As someone who has watched his weight go up and down over the years (from a low of 167 to a high of 245 as an adult), I’m always looking for a pain-free way to take off the pounds.

The latest way I’ve found is to simply imagine myself thin. No, seriously, a study by the University of Plymouth and Queensland University in Australia showed that people who imagined how they would look after shedding however many pounds they wanted to lose reached their goals more often than not.

I’ll admit, when I first saw a headline about losing weight about imagining yourself thin, I figured it was one of those weird internet things that will offer you something great when all they really want is your credit card number and birth date.

But no. This was a legitimate study involving 141 people, who were divided into two groups. One group used phone calls to offer support and motivation while the other one was left on its own to imagine their way to a better life.

The group that was left on their own lost an average of nine pounds while the other group lost only 1.6 pounds. I’m not sure what the difference was supposed to illustrate, but maybe it says if you’re left on your own and not aggravated by somebody, you’ll lose more weight?

To be honest, this doesn’t seem to be very different from that “see it, own it” thing that was all the rage a few years ago. That thing said all you had to do was imagine yourself in a new car, on a big boat, in the job of your dreams, dating Beyonce, etc., and it would happen.

I don’t know how well that worked, but it faded from view after a while. But seeing yourself accomplishing things has always been thought of as a way to get what you want. You can’t know what you can get until you figure out what it is you want.

I’ve imagined myself with a lot of things over the years. Some I got, some I didn’t. Most of the ones I got involved working and then shelling out money. The ones I didn’t get usually involved other people and an unwillingness to help me out. If you’ve got a dream that involves other people doing a specific thing, go ahead and toss that dream out. Not gonna happen.

Another thing about the study was how they talked up how much happier you would be if you lost the weight. Take off those pounds and you’ll feel better, look better and all you ever wanted will finally begin to happen.

Yeah, probably not. The most weight I ever lost at one time was 58 pounds. I did enjoy not being afraid of mirrors and I did feel better, but nothing else really changed. I still had to get up and go to work every day, still had to pay bills, and I was still the same person inside, which was probably the biggest disappointment.

But if we could all get the things we wanted just by imagining it, how would the world look? Probably like a painting by a crazy person. Take a simple example. Two people fall in love with the same person. They each imagine themselves with that person. What happens?

And what if the person they want is imagining themselves with someone else? What happens then? Do hippie communes make a comeback?

Most stuff can be gained by simply making enough money to buy it. That doesn’t really work with your looks. Sure, you can have plastic surgery or get some kind of stomach surgery to help you lose weight, but everybody knows you cheated. You probably won’t care, but you won’t get the respect or praise you expect.

As for myself, I’m on another weight swing. Down 19 pounds so far. I’m going to start imagining it better and maybe somebody will actually notice. Jerks.

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