The most important thing for weight loss

The most important thing for weight loss

As a wedding present, Dr. P got me a nice camera.

It’s my favorite possession- unless a dog counts as a belonging? Jury is out on that.

Here are a few pics I took in Israel. I love noticing the patterns hidden in every day life.

door pattern

cloth patternwine bottles in Israel

I’ve always been attracted to things that repeat.

And nice doors. I like doors. So much possibility behind them…

red door

 

Nice door

My baby book says Baby Bee is beginning to notice patterns now as part of her developmental stage. As we get older, most of us forget to look for them.

This is also an issue with our waistline.

In order to modify our behavior, we have to notice the behavioral patterns.

A very common issue among my patients is they haven’t taken a step back and evaluated the Ws:

  1. What am I doing each day that is affecting my health.
  2. Why am I doing these things.
  3. Who is affecting my behaviors.
  4. Where presents a problem for me in terms of self-control or situation.
  5. When am I having issues or concerns.

Let’s take a look at a common behavioral pattern I’ve seen. We’ll call our girl Betty.

What is she doing:  Betty skips breakfast usually, eats a heavy lunch, snacks on whatever is in the office in the afternoon, eats out a lot in the evenings, doesn’t exercise enough, snacks in the evening, often stays up late watching TV.

Why is she doing these things: Betty doesn’t know what to eat for breakfast and is often tired in the morning. She is starving by lunchtime and overeats. She is tired in the afternoon from chronic sleep deprivation and didn’t prepare to bring a snack with her to work so gives in to office treats. She doesn’t like to cook and neither does her husband so they eat out. She has always been a night owl and keeps her favorite treats in the house.

Who might be influencing her (other than herself): Betty’s office mates, husband

Where is she having the most trouble: Betty has trouble avoiding office temptation, night eating at home, ordering reasonable portions at restaurants.

When is an issue: Betty skips breakfast, overeats at lunch and dinner, snacks on sugar-rich foods in the afternoon and before bed, stays up too late, runs late in the morning.

What patterns do we see? Often we do them automatically and without awareness.

The first step in taking back control of our rote patterns is to notice them.

Now that we’ve been mindful of Betty’s behavioral patterns, we can come up with a plan to start changing them one or two at a time.

Betty didn’t notice that staying up late is offsetting her entire day. Bringing a simple snack from home could help her avoid office temptation. Eating breakfast would help her not overeat at other meals. She could also learn a few simple and healthy meals to help limit eating out at night. Exercise would help because it increases our desire for healthy foods and aids in neurotransmitter production related to sleep. And this is just a start.

There are several changes she could make now that she has noticed her automatic patterns of behavior.

What patterns do you unwittingly have?

xoxo

Joanna

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