I lost six more pounds last week--and did it while traveling, away from my normal routines, and away from the safeguards and comforts of home. Having lived in a hotel for the past six days, and having had to eat at least one meal a day in a restaurant, I wasn't sure if I would stay successful. Before being conscientious of my health, I would have gained weight just looking at the menu! I'm not just losing weight, I'm gaining a broader perspective.
Now that I'm conscientious of what I'm doing, I can be even more focused and dedicated to the end results.
It has been said that change will only happen when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change. Since I've been journaling through this process (both publicly and privately), I decided to look back at my thoughts and experiences over the past seven weeks to see what has changed.
Day 8: "For the first REAL time since starting plan, I was tempted by food off my diet. Overcame it though."
Day 21: "Should have a new habit formed... Uh, no. I don't. I'm being challenged. Maybe I'll blog about that..."
Day 30: "You would think I'd have the hang of this now and wouldn't be craving other things. I thought that, but I was wrong."
It's now Day 49. Yes, I still want a cheesy stuffed crust pizza. (I eat a cauliflower crust one instead.) I still want some good cheese enchiladas or eggplant parmesan. I don't know if that will ever change. And since I've been so good, I want to reward myself--with a trip to Baskin Robbins for a double scoop cone! But here's something I have discovered as I press on through this journey.
But maybe that's where the change is coming in. I still want all those other things, but now I simply say, "No, thank you" whereas before I would have said, "Yes, please."
For change to really take hold in a person's life, it has to be positive, and it has to be continually reinforced. This makes the change permanent. Carol Sansone, Ph.D., a psychology professor at the University of Utah, says that permanent change needs to have at least of of the following types of reinforcement: intrinsic, extrinsic, or extraneous. It's best if all three happen.
Then I read a strategy for implementing all three reinforcements that I realized I had been using all along. Now that I'm conscientious of what I'm doing, I can be even more focused and dedicated to the end results.
INTRINSIC // Strategy: Enjoy the Act.
Example: I like that my clothes fit better since I'm losing weight. It makes my diet plan a positive experience.
EXTRINSIC // Strategy: Admire the Outcome.
Example: Eating the foods and quantities of food that I eat doesn't have to be enjoyable because the end result is reinforcing. The other night we were at a family gathering at a pizza place. I wanted pizza like everyone else, but ate a salad instead. The reinforcement came the next morning when I was able to tighten my belt one more notch. And I realized (again) that I liked the way I was starting to look.
EXTRANEOUS // Strategy: Reward Yourself
Example: This type of reinforcement isn't directly connected to the act or the completion of it. It does however positively reinforce the accomplishment. A worker may despise his job, but continues because it's a good paycheck. As he works, he saves for his Hawaiian vacation fund. In my case, I am realizing I don't need ice cream for a reward. Being able to wear clothes that fit nice, having energy, not needing coffee, sleeping better--these are all rewards that I am enjoying. And if I really needed something extra, I could go buy some new clothes--which I will, when I've reached my goal weight.
Losing 49 pounds in 49 days. That's a reward right there.
If you're on your journey--regardless of what it is. Hang in there. Don't give up. You can do it.
WEEK 7 Results:
Overall Weight Loss: 49.6 pounds
Total Loss in Waist: 10 inches