Monday, March 25, 2013

Another Monday

Okay, I'm vowing to myself to get back on the straight and narrow this week. I've been fighting a mental battle with myself for weeks now and instead of losing weight like I'd planned and certainly wanted to, I've gained. That being said, despite the indulgences, I managed to incorporate lots of new healthier habits in there while I struggled along so it wasn't all backwards movement, I did progress on some fronts. I've been eating far more natural with a minimum of processed foods. That's not only good for dieting because you aren't taking in all of those hidden baddies, like sat fat and chemicals you can't pronounce, but it is necessary for me dealing with the celiacs. You know what? I'd have to say it is necessary for all of us to avoid those bad things...so there! ;-) I'm also doing my best to drink more water and less diet cola....that is soooo hard for me. I'm becoming aware of my sugar consumption even if I haven't cut back in that area yet. I also have incorporated a lot of other healthy foodstuff in my diet like ev coconut oil, maca powder, and pomegranate seeds. So, all in all, I think healthy gains out weighed the pounds gained. And now, I start a new week with new habits and concentrate on saying goodbye fat pounds!
 Cartoon of a man bypassing cupcakes and carrying a shopping basket filled with produce.

So, I'm including this article by, Heidi Grant Halvorson, Ph.D., a social psychologist and author of, Succeed: How We Can Reach Our Goals. Link to original article in Psychology Today.


1.    Get Specific.  Very Specific.
One of the most common mistakes we make when trying to reach a goal is not being specific enough about what we want, and what we we're going to do to make it happen.  We say things like "I want to lose some weight" - but how much exactly do you want to lose?  Studies show that it is much easier to stay motivated when we have a very specific end point in mind, and can know at any moment exactly how far we still have to go.
Next, make sure you think about the specific actions you'll need to take to succeed.  Don't just say "I'll eat less."  Less of what?  And how muchless?   Don't just say "I'll save more money each month."  Decide exactly what will you spend less on to make that happen.  The more detailed you make your plan, the more likely you are to actually stick to it.

2.    Embrace this Fact: It's Going to Be Hard.
People will tell you that it is important to stay positive and be confident in order to reach any goal, and that's perfectly true.  But there's an important difference between believing you will succeed, and believing you will succeed easily.  When you are tackling a difficult challenge, like losing weight or stopping smoking, you will be much better off if you accept the fact that it's not going to be smooth sailing.   
Studies show that people who are realistic about what it will take to succeed naturally plan more, put in more effort, and persist longer in pursuit of their goals.  They expect to have to work hard, so that's exactly what they do.
For example, in one study, women in a weight loss program who believed that it would be hard to resist the temptation of snack foods lost 24 pounds more than women who believed they could easily ignore the allure of doughnuts and potato chips.  Because they accepted that it would be hard, they avoided being anywhere near tempting foods, and were much more successful because of it.

3.    Willpower is Like a Muscle.  Plan What You'll Do When It Gets Tired.
Research shows that your capacity for self-control is very much like the muscles in your body - it can grow stronger with regular exercise.  But just as well-developed biceps sometimes get tired and jelly-like after too much use, coping with the daily stresses of career and family can exhaust your supply of willpower.  When you tax it too much at once, or for too long, the well of self-control strength runs dry.   It is in these moments that the doughnut wins.
If you've spent all your self-control handling other challenges, you will not have much left at the end of the day for resisting bad habits.  So it's important to think about when you are most likely to feel drained and vulnerable, and make a plan to keep yourself out of harm's way.  Be prepared in advance with an alternate activity or a low-calorie snack, whichever applies
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