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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Session 14: Making Social Cues Work for You

Hello there my darlings. How are you making out? Hopefully, you're doing much better than I am. What am I saying? Of course, I'm losing weight, but I have a confession to make at the end of this course. I'm not giving up though; we still have two sessions to go. That's two whole weeks. And I'm staying away from buffets, I promise.

Did you record your food and drink, fat grams intake, weight and the number of minutes of exercise? Well, let's therefore get down to the business of Session 14 when we will learn how we can make the social cues to work for us. What are these social cues?

I don't know about you but when I see people eating, I want to eat too. Isn't that bad? And it gets worse when they offer me food to taste. How can one resist that especially if it's Lindy’s Cheesecake? There must be a way to eat good Diabetes Food. Then there are some when you’re getting ready to walk will entice you to go to the movies instead.

Now these are cues that we should know how to handle. They are such problematic cues we should try to stay away from them. Maybe we can change the problematic social cues to helpful ones. Do you think we can do this? Of course we can.

Let’s look at the people eating healthy instead. And when you’re offered healthy food, accept a small apple or something. So what to do is to stay away from social cues that will tempt you away from your new lifestyle. Know the people around you who give positive social cues.

Yes, go with people who encourage you to eat healthy. That’s easier said than done especially if it’s your husband who is steering you to the buffets. Could this be a ground for divorce? Well, anyway, let’s not go there. Let’s just do our best.

Also, go with people who are physically active. Join them in their walks. What works for me is planning ahead for parties, vacations and such. We went on a cruise one time and didn’t gain weight. Isn’t that grand? To think that the estimate for the daily weight gain on a cruise is at least one pound.

For homework, think of problematic social cues and turn them into helpful ones. Tell us the plan that helped you turn that around. Then write down every day your weight, food, drink, and fat grams intake, calories and exercise minutes. You thought you got away from that, didn’t you? Not a chance, sorry. See you next week.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Session 13: Jump Start Your Activity Plan

Here we are on Session 13 but first, how was your week? Did you keep a record of your weight, food and drink, fat grams consumption and the number of minutes of physical activity? Did you find a situation that tempted you to eat more and exercise less? How did you deal with it?

Folks, this works as long as you do your share, you can't help but lose weight. It is happening to me, although not as much weight as I wanted to lose. But it is a good start for me because without this program, I probably would have gained more. Now with the Physical Activity I am doing, I can’t help but lose a bit of weight.

Now let's deal with the boredom that could settle in with our activity plan. How do you do your activity? Do you run in place? Are you getting tired of the way you're doing your activity? Oh, I know, to get over the boredom try something new. Why not go swimming every once in a while instead?

And if you're tired of running in place, why not do it some place else. Do it in the laundry room or outside under the trees while you commune with nature. Just don't go on a burst of energy and run in place while you have guests. I tried that once, and boy, I almost landed in a psychiatric hospital.

Make it fun. Play badminton or some other new game. And this is the best, make it social. Invite a group of your friends for a run-along fest. As you run, you can gossip as much as you can as long as you don't put anyone down. Find out what Senators Clinton and Obama's latest antics and talk about this with your friends.

Make it a challenge. Learn a new kind of sports. I did and now I golf three times a week. My challenge is to break a hundred but that is nowhere near the horizon, but I did score a par once. The trouble was, just as I thought I was wonderful, I tripled bogey the next hole. What a let down!

Remember to be aerobically fit, you should follow the principles. The frequency should be five to seven times a week, the intensity should be to the point you can still talk but not sing, the time of activity should at least be ten minutes, gradually increasing to twenty and then sixty minutes. As for the type of activity, it should be one that strengthens the heart and muscles in arms and legs.

For homework, keep track of food, fat grams, exercise, weight and calories. Take your pulse while exercising. Check if you are in your target heart rate range. One test for this is exercise hard enough that you can still talk but intense enough that you cannot sing.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Session 12: Adjusting to Lapses in Lifestyle Changes

Have we done our homework? Where is the notebook where you jotted down your daily food and drink intake, the fat grams, the number of minutes of exercise you did each day? What did you do with the negative thoughts that came along each day? Did you talk back to them? Good for you.

Now let's go to session 12 which will help us go through the slippery slope of changing our lifestyle. For lapses there will be. They are a normal part of the process. We will be kidding ourselves if we did not go through some of them. For any weight loss program like at this site , we will experience a lapse.

To be successful at what are trying to do, that is lose weight and change lifestyle, is to learn how to recover quickly from these lapses. Find out what makes those lapses happen. In other words, what triggers them? Then practice how to react to these triggers and get back on track. Check this out:

Lapses are normal for we are humans. To err is human; to forgive divine, right? So we are likely to experience lapses especially in high-risk situation. A lapse occurs when we do not follow our plan of eating right and moving more. It is usually a separate event from which we can easily recover.

A lapse won't hurt our progress unless it graduates into a series of lapses which they call a relapse. This is when we lose focus and go back to our old unhealthy habits. We can still recover from a relapse but it will be harder than dealing with a lapse.

After relapse comes collapse. This is when we have returned to the old habits and have gained back all the weight we have lost. The wrong thing to do is to react to a single lapse as if it were a relapse. So it is the way we respond to a lapse that is important. The truth is that no single lapse will ruin the progress we have made.

So let's learn to master how to respond to lapses so we can regain our focus and go back to the healthy ways of eating and exercising. Talk back to it and to someone who supports your weight loss program. Ask why the lapse occurred and learn from that.

Then focus again on what is right and all the positive changes you have made. Lapses are just opportunities to learn something. Remember that had we not done something good, there would not have been any lapse. Know the high risk situations. Do you eat more when you're tired? Take a nap. Do you eat more when you're mad. Take a walk; it will lift your spirit.

Continue to keep a record of your daily weight, food and drink including fat grams intake, and the number of exercise minutes. Then identify a high risk situation that made you eat and not exercise. Then deal with it accordingly. Share with us next week how you dealt with this slip

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Session 11 - Talk Back to Negative Thoughts

Did you follow the keys to keep away from temptations? Did you keep a record of your weight, physical activity and food and drink intake including the fat grams. Yes? If you did this religiously, you can't help but lose some weight.

Now let's get on to Section 11 where the focus is on talking back to those negative thoughts. You know what those thoughts are. Oh, I can't do this. This is too difficult. For this, you can say, go away, you. I'm doing just fine without you.

Then there's the negative thought of, "I'm tired now and I need to rest; I had a hard in the office. I deserve a break and there's a good TV show right now." Now what can you say to that? Here it goes, "I can still watch TV; I'll run in place for half an hour while the show is on."

Do you get it? Just learn to identify some of the thoughts that are self-defeating and think of a way to counteract them with a positive talk that you can say to yourself. Sometimes the negative talks are so familiar we don't even listen to them. Not anymore. Now we will listen and talk back!

Avoid all or nothing thought. Don't say for instance that you will not exercise today but starting tomorrow, you will walk every day after dinner. This could be an unrealistic goal that will set you up for failure. To walk every night after dinner expects perfection so it sets the stage for failure.

To remedy this, beware of thoughts that say always or never, good or bad. Instead aim for a balanced view. Remember that it is not the end of the world if you make a mistake. In truth, real lifestyle change is two steps forward and one step back. Read this for more information: Diabetes Disease Management.

For homework, continue to diligently keep a record of your weight, food and drink consumption, including the fat grams, and the number of minutes of your physical activity. Then think of negative thoughts that may creep up on you and learn to talk back to them.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Session 10 on What to Remember When Eating Out

A week has come and gone and now let's check where we are. Did we write down what we ate and drank especially the fat grams, the number of minutes of exercise we did? Did we do 150 minutes of exercise? How did we do weight-wise? By now we should have lost a few pounds especially if we are tipping the calorie balance.

So let's go ahead to session 10 where we will have four things to remember when eating out. The first is to plan ahead. What should these plans include? Well, things like what to order and where to eat. If we plan ahead where to eat, we will be less likely to eat where we will consume more calories.

As to planning ahead what to eat, we will have better chance at choosing what to eat that will be most beneficial to our effort to lose weight. We can even call the restaurant to see what they're offering. Or better still, let's go online and see if they have their menus where we can choose the best item for us.

The second thing to do ahead of time is to practice being assertive as to what foods to order. We can stress the fact that we want adjustment to the cooking method used. Ask fish to be broiled instead of fried, for instance. And then request for smaller portions. We usually ask for lunch portions.

When practicing assertiveness, it is good to do some role playing. Get a buddy to act as the waiter and place your order as to what you want to eat, the way it is cooked and the portion you want served. This way you are good and ready to face the waiter with your order.

The third key to eating out healthy is choosing the food items that are lower in fat and are healthy. For instance, between French fries and boiled potato, it is clear which one is healthy for us. I thought this is covered in the second one but I suppose Diabetes Prevention Program just wants to be sure we will have this covered.

The fourth is to take the initiative to be the first to order and to keep temptations out of reach. So we have all these four keys. To summarize, here they are:
1. Plan ahead what to eat and where to eat.
2. Practice being assertive when ordering what food, portion and how it’s cooked.
3. Select items in the menu that are low in fat and less in calories.
4. Be the first to order and keep temptations out of reach.

For homework, try following those guides and keep records of the weight, food and drink intake including fat grams, and physical activity. And please read this: Diabetes Diet.