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All articles and commentaries
written by NotSoSnowWhite (aka Lori Roache)
Feature Article
Habits and Behaviors

Have you ever heard of Pavlov's dog?  It is one of the most famous behaviourial experiments of early and modern science. In its barest form, it addresses the world of behavioral management and modification.  The ceaseless world of weight loss is no different. For instance, many of us have been trained since childhood that we cannot leave the table until we have cleaned our plates.  This daily echoing of eating behavior ingrains itself into a habit that continues to haunt us as we strive to control our weight in later years. Intellectually we know that this behavior is incorrect, but it has in fact become a habit without our ever being aware of it.  Successful weight loss is founded on the ability to change one's habits and behaviors. 

Habits, good or bad, are formed by repetition. Eating habits are no exception. If you are in the habit of snacking when you watch TV, you reinforce that habit until finally it becomes a part of what you do.  All habits
are built this way.  From eating to drinking, there is no difference.

When trying to lose weight it is important to target those behaviors that trigger uncontrollable eating episodes, those behaviors that make you want to eat even when your not hungry.  One of the most documented effects in this arena of study is emotional eating.  People who deal with this issue find that certain moods and circumstances cause them to eat even when they are not hungry. Every individual who suffers this problem has their own emotional triggers.  For some it may be sadness, for others it may be anger.  The list is endless, but whatever the stimulus, the result remains the same. 

Habits are hard to break.  Not only do you have to break the old habits, but you have to strive to develop new and better ones.  This is achieved by repetition. It is scientifically proven that performing a task over and over again causes your brain to associate a given stimulus to a given response.  For example, boredom equals reaching for bottle of water
instead of a bag of potato chips.  With given repetition this habit no longer is alien but the norm.

In the course of these studies, many techniques have been suggested to overcome these difficulties.  Some are effective while others are not, but here are some that I have personally found successful in my weight loss journey. 

    *    Develop a habit of leaving at least one bite of each item on your plate.  It will make it easier to stop eating when you feel full.  You will be used to leaving food on your plate.
    *    Serve yourself on a smaller plate.  That way even if you need seconds it will still be only the amount you would have had on a larger plate
    *    Don't buy junk food.  If it is not around, you can't eat it without making a conscious decision to go get it first.

So, work hard on changing those bad habits and hold tight to the good ones.  You can do it.


HOW TO . . .

The holidays will soon be here and so this month's HOW  TO is dedicated avoiding weight gain during the holidays.  The holidays should be a time for celebration, visiting, and fun and not a secret plot to sabotage weight loss and maintenance.  Anyone who has been on a "diet" has experienced the frustration of trying to maintain a weight loss program over the holidays.  In fact, a lot of holidays are actually based on food.  The following are assorted ideas that can help you beat the holiday munchies this year.


*    Healthy serving size :  Just because your trying to lose weight doesn't mean that you can't have any of the delicious food.  If you cook a smaller amount of food, you get to enjoy the food now but you will not be tempted by leftovers

*    Interact rather than indulge : For too many, the holidays focus around food
but the real purpose of holidays is observance.  To see friends and family, converse and share news.  It is better to spend time playing and talking ratherthan eating and drinking.

*    Daily exercise : The holidays are not a time to abandon a healthy lifestyle.  Do your regular routine.  Take a walk down on the beach or swim in the hotel pool.  Don't do less, do more.

*    Alcohol in moderation :  Moderation is the key to a healthy lifestyle. With respect to empty calories in alcohol, and the potential impairment of regular behavior, alcohol should be drank in moderation.

*    Seek help : Let your friends and family know about your healthy lifestyle.  Seek out those who can support and help you and who can engage in activities that produce feelings of calm and happiness.

Well, there you have it.  I hope this helps in preparing for the holidays.  It is so important to follow our weight loss plan during these times of year.  Don't deprive yourself of the joys and fun of the holidays.  Enjoy yourself.




I look in the mirror and what do I see
A face that is chubby, I wish it wasn’t me

I imagine myself tiny and small
But what I see is not that at all

Society paints perfection as skinny and tall
We all fight for that, but many will fall

Everyday is a battle, every chip a defeat
Every moment a wish, the weight I could beat

Wont lose it for others, but because I care
Where my life is going, the problems that I bare

Power of will, power of fight
To do it for myself, to do it right

When I lose the weight others will see
The person inside, the real me




In every months issue, "NotSo's News" will do a focus article on one of the members of our 50+ board. The article will tell about the persons background and maybe we will get a glance into their lives and see who they are on the other side of online. We will learn how they can inspire the rest of us to do our best as we all work together towards achieving our goals.

Danseamour or Janet, as her friends call her, is a 50+ young grandmother who by the age of seventeen had traveled the world.  She has been happily married for almost forty years.  She is now a retired belly dancer but still enjoys to dance and move.  Janet's days of dancing were shortened, as far as I'm concerned, because of a permanent disability due to chronic arthritic back pain from degenerating disc disease.  However this has not stopped her from enjoying life and all that it offers.  Even battles with cancer, an auto accident and open heart surgery have not beaten her spirit. 

In Danseamour's weight loss journey, she believes that 
rededication is the key.  It is important to her to take the time to review goals and adjust them if necessary. She often says that any success must come from within.  To reduce stress and alleviate pain, Janet asserts that taking a deep breath, visualizing your favorite place or surroundings and a slow exhale will make you feel so much better.

Through all of life's trials, Janet maintained a positive outlook about life.  She has a "never give up" attitude even when times gets tough.  The people who know her would classify her as fun- loving, caring, loyal, and a source of great support. She says about herself that she has learned patience, persistence and the importance of having a positive attitude.  The members of "50 lbs + Weight Loss Friends" support Janet and respect her.  She has given to the group her strength and wisdom, inspiring us all by acting as living proof that the hardships of life can be overcome.  For although issues of weight loss may seem trivial compared to all else she has endured, she meets the challenge head on and motivates us to do the same.

So here's to Danseamour/Janet. You certainly glow brightly in the spotlight.

EDITORIAL RANT  - The Bottom Line

Have you ever noticed how easy it is to help everybody else is this weight loss journey?  Oh boy though, when it comes to doing it ourselves we find it hard to listen.  Even when it's good for us and it's what we need to do.  We come from a culture that shares it's love but doesn't necessarily embrace it ourselves.  When someone else is down and out, we are the first to jump to their aide and what wonderful advice we give, but when the same advice is offered to us, we smile and nod with the best of intentions, then go on doing just what we were doing before. Why can't we step back and look at the big picture when we are the focus. 

The next time someone asks you for advice, ask yourself a question, "What would I do if this same advice were offered to me?" If it was wise enough counsel for you to give to another in the first place, then the answer should be, "I would follow it, of course."  Now, the next time you need advice, look at yourself in the mirror and say, "If others can take my suggestions, then I can too," and that's the bottom line cause Notsosnowwhite says so.  LOL


So! What do you think. Please drop me a line and let me know.
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