Saturday, 8 December 2012

Hi all,

I have started this blog to truly understand why it is that I am overweight, and why it is so hard to lose it. You can see my first thoughts on taking the FIRST STEP and what the goal of my blog is here.

And following is what I focused on this week to Loose Weight and Find Tranquility.

Here is what I focused on this week to Find Tranquility:

I do not have much for finding tranquility today, except one thing that has been incredibly helpful for me to find calmness in the past. I know it sounds silly but here it is.

Rainy Mood

Play this website over the music you are listening to, or just listen to it. You can just listen to the rain. Rain has a huge calming affect for me. I love the sound of it, and I love the smell of it more. Nothing brings me a feeling of renewal and calm like a spring or summer rain storm. So if thats your thing: Enjoy :)

Here is what I focused on this week to Lose Weight:

I have read a very intriguing article today in my search for understanding this "weight problem" I have. It was very eye opening and is definitely a great first look at the problem. To read the full article click here. Otherwise I will highlight the parts that spoke to me.

The first very telling point of the article and the main reason why I started this blog is right here:

"According to the 2011 Food & Health Survey conducted by the International Food Information Council Foundation, 77 percent of Americans are trying to lose weight or avoid gaining weight. Despite their efforts, nearly 70 percent of Americans are overweight or obese."

This is what people like me who are unhappy with their weight and wish to be healthier are faced with. So this tells me that its not a problem of being lazy or complacent per se, it's a much more complex issue to do with hormones, genes, brain activity, as well as environmental factors like self control, addiction, and emotions, etc.

"Obesity psychologist Jim Keller, Director of Behavioral Health at the WeightWise Bariatric Program in Oklahoma City, asserts that the human body and brain are designed to eat -- thus explaining why losing weight proves so challenging for so many."

Food is one of the most important things that you need to survive! So if you have an issue controlling your eating, its not like you can just abstain from eating, that takes you onto the other end of the spectrum of eating disorders.
"According to Dr. Howard Rankin, an expert on behavioral change, a key part of the problem is that we believe we have more control over our behavior than we really do. Stress, anxiety and addiction can limit the conscious control we have over our choices.

Dr. Rankin asserts:
What drives our behavior is not logic but brain biochemistry, habits and addiction, states of consciousness and what we see people around us doing. We are emotional beings with the ability to rationalize -- not rational beings with emotions. If we are stressed, depressed or addicted, no matter how good the advice we are given, chances are that we will not be able to act on it. The more primitive, emotional brain generally has precedence over the newer, more rational brain."

Ok so I am vaguely remembering something about us having a "newer brain" in my Brain and Behaviour Psychology class last year. Oh I wish I listened more :p lol. But this does make some sense. 

But here is the MEAT of the article (you like the pun there? :p lol)
5 Tips on Loosing Weight:

The National Weight Registry is tracking over 5,000 individuals who have lost an average of 66 pounds and kept the weight off for five years. Insights from their success stories are consistent with these five tips from Dr. Rankin:

1.) Focus on a change of heart, not a change of mind. Losing weight through changing what and how much you eat doesn't happen because you rationally decide to lose weight. You have to have a change of heart; that is, you must get in touch with your deepest, heartfelt desires.
Your motivation may not be positive. Indeed, it may stem from a fear of loss. For example, you may not want to get sick. Or you may not want to be ostracized. To get in touch with your motivation, think about the negative consequences of not changing as well as the positive ones. Getting fit must become a priority and your life must be organized accordingly. Nobody can change you but you, and once you've made the changes, you need to stay focused. Successful individuals keep their motivation in the forefront of their minds all the time.

2.) Practice self-discipline. Self-control is a muscle that, like other muscles, needs exercise and strengthening. Change doesn't happen because you want it to happen. Each time you resist temptation, you are developing greater self-control. Success breeds success. Facing down temptations builds strength for future decision moments. Some of my clients throw away their favorite food as a symbolic act that shows they have control over the food and not the other way round.
Self-discipline is required for behavior change, but does that mean that the lack of self-discipline causes obesity? No. That would be like saying aspirin helps a headache go away, so headaches are caused by a lack of aspirin -- which is nonsense!

3.) Eliminate or reduce sugary, fat-laden foods. Such foods create physical changes at a cellular level that alter how our brains and bodies react. When analyzing your level of addiction, consider both physical dependence (changes at the cellular level) and psychological dependence (the habitual repetition of a behavior in an attempt to satisfy an emotional need). For example, how often do you use a sugary treat to lift your spirits?
What is often misunderstood is that these dependences exist on a continuum. You can be mildly, moderately or severely dependent, and the degree of dependence determines how difficult it will be to change.

4.) Make history your teacher, not your jailer. You can learn from your mistakes. Instead of [beating yourself up] when you fail to keep your promises to yourself, seek to gain self-knowledge so you won't repeat the error. No one is perfect. Be sure to acknowledge what you are doing right, not just what isn't working.

5.) Surround yourself with friends, family and colleagues who will support your effort.Getting fit and losing weight absolutely require others. Although you alone can make the changes you need to make, you can't make the changes alone. Not only in terms of eating, but in all areas of our lives, we are much more influenced by other people than we imagine. One of the most potent forces for positive change is the emotional support of the individuals who surround you.
You must, however, ask for the support you need. Don't assume that others know what would be most helpful to you. Similarly, you need to avoid those people who aren't on the same page as you. Social pressure can work for you or against you. Hang out with the right people.

A lot of this is repetition if you are like me and have researched much about weight loss, but this is from people who have successfully lost weight! I think it's worth a try... I may I have already mastered number 1, so I think my goal for this week is to practice number 2. I am going to fight every urge to procrastinate. I am going to fight the urge to indulge. I will post back next week to let you know how I did. 

But first I will leave you with a last quote from this article:

"Dr. Rankin reminds us that, for better or worse, our core, emotional values will ultimately determine our choices. Once we identify our heartfelt desires, we can use them to create a healthy lifestyle that reflects our best self. Our deepest values can be summoned to keep us on track, especially when we are facing temptations and distractions. They can also serve as our compass when we go astray."

Comment below with your take on the article above. Do you think they are over-analyzing the issue? Or do you think they have hit the nail on its head? I am truly interested to hear your take on it :) so don't be shy!! :)


  1. I agree fully with this article. Especially the link between tranquility and losing weight.

    I believe both are fundamental to happiness and mutually reinforcing.

    Also I believe the most important feature is the focus on the historical context. The past, weather they contain failings or triumphs, are important to who we are as people and a society. The past should never be forgotten. The emphasis you placed in your article on the past is key to self reflection and personal growth.

    Very excited to see where this will go :)

  2. Wishing you so much luck! It's never about a number on a scale or a dress size, but the numbers that tell you that you are healthy. Excited to be a witness to your journey and here to root for you the whole way through! :)

  3. "never a failure, always a lesson"

    Remember that.

    I enjoyed reading your post.