Do you know you could be indulging in “impossible dream thinking”

Do you fantasise or dream about impossible accomplishments when it comes to your weight loss? If your answer is yes, you are engaging in what is sometimes called impossible dream thinking. Along with negative self-talk and attitude traps, impossible dream thinking ranks high as an attitude barrier to losing weight.

Many of us are not aware of these thoughts as they pass through our mind. But if you are daydreaming about how wonderful life will be after weight loss, such as improved marriages, wonderful social lives, intimate relationships, and other such happy endings, what we must know is that these dreams are possible, but it is highly unlikely that weight loss alone can make such things happen.

Sometimes having impossible dream makes us overlook the reality associated with it. For example the amount of effort required to make the dream a reality. When one is fantasizing about weight loss, one doesn’t think of scenarios such as pain, shortness of breath from exercise or the agony of always saying no to chocolates or gulab jamuns.

Just to be clear – if you are hoping for the best and aspiring to a better life, that is a completely achievable dream! However, it is important to draw a line between what is a reasonable, positive hope and what you might interpret as fantasy if you heard someone else say it.

Sana’s story

Sana is 35 years old and works as a part-time designer in a well-known Ad agency in Mumbai. She had been heavy since her teenage years and was recently married. After marriage, her weight drew her a few negative comments from her new family, all of which rankled in her mind. Many others commented on her other achievements, but the few comments about her weight really troubled Sana.

Sana lost weight at a good rate of progress and seemed happy with her progress. She often joked about how she would get a promotion once she got thin, which would really shut the people who had commented on her weight, up. What Sana herself did not realize was, how serious her fantasy was. Once Sana reached her ideal weight, she was steadily more and more depressed because no promotion materialized. Clearly, problems other than weight were keeping her career from growing, but Sana saw weight loss as her ticket to a better role.

Fortunately, Sana found someone to confide her fantasy and her disappointment in, and found the help she needed in separating fantasy from reality. This helped Sana realize that she had successfully achieved her weight loss goal and for that alone, deserved congratulations.

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