Friday, March 1, 2013

My Future Self

February has been a difficult month in terms of weight loss. I stayed either close to the same weight, or even gained a pound or two. In the grand scheme of things, a few pounds is fine, although I'd rather be losing weight than gaining it. The issue was that I let myself slide; I stopped being as mindful as I had been in the past several months. "I'll have just a few squares or pieces of chocolate; I can stop after that" - I felt like an alcoholic on the verge of relapsing. I simply can't have "just a few" or a single serving; I can't get myself to stop. So once again it's back to simply no chocolate or other sweets; it'll be a bumpy week or two, but once I move past that stage I'll be happier in the long run.

I was reading the most recent issue of Scientific American Mind earlier this week, and in reading "Time-Warping Temptations," a quote gave me pause and caused me to rethink some of my dieting-and-exercising thinking:

"'When you evoke people's moral obligation to take care of a future self who is dependent on them, in the same way we take care of our children and elderly parents, they make better choices.'...To enlist this effect when you are about to give in to a costly temptation, think of the long-term damage you will be doing to that trusting person under your care who happens to be your future self" (Freedman 49).*

I realized that I need to start thinking about the long-term damage I could be doing to myself by not taking care of myself now. A serving or even two of chocolate now and again isn't detrimental, but until I get to the point where I don't down multiple chocolate bars, I can't touch the stuff. In not taking care of myself, I could be making things harder on Ed and our future children; I don't want something that may happen to be something I could have done to avoid such a problem. I want to be able to travel and do interesting other things once Ed and I retire, but if I've lost a leg because of diabetes, or worse, that might not happen.

* Freedman, David H. "Time-Warping Temptations."  Scientific American Mind March/April 2013: 45-49. Print.

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