Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Ins and Outs of Self-Control

Self Control: control of oneself, or of one's own emotions, desires, actions.

Despite popular belief, self control is not some elusive quality that some people are born with and others are not. The good news is that we all have it and we can learn to make it stronger.

Strengthening Self-Control

*Internal Strategies:
Learn From Experience
Mental rehearsing
*External Strategies:
Take Care of Yourself
Eat Satisfying Foods
Manage Your Environment
Attend WW Meetings

Learning from past experience can help us identify the places, times, and thoughts that contribute to strengthened self-control. (or weakened!) Does your "will power" sink when at your mothers for dinner? What about an afternoon at the ballpark? Do you find yourself exceptionally strong when out to eat? Identify when you are strong and when you are not. This is the first step to changing the unwanted behaviour.

Is there a word, gesture, ring, 10% key chain that you use to remind you of your self-control ability when you need it? One year I wore a ring at Thanksgiving that was a bit too big to remind me of the weight I had lost and that I didn't want it to fit. It worked really well. What about hanging your weight loss paperclips on your rear view mirror so you will see it all the time and remind yourself how hard you have worked to lose your weight. This is called Anchoring.

We talked about Mentally rehearsing last week. If you are facing a challenging situation, play over in your mind what you want to happen, and how you will handle any difficult temptations.

I think the External Strategies are a bit easier to do. The Internal stuff takes a little more practice.

Taking care of yourself includes getting enough rest, not letting stress take over your life, being active, taking the time to prep some healthy foods. Make sure you are not putting yourself last on the to-do list!

Don't let yourself get too hungry. Eat foods and portions that make you feel satisfied. Choose foods from the Filling food list and use your weekly points allowance if you need to.

Managing your environment means stocking the fridge, pantry and office with healthy food and making sure the junk, or the "red light" foods are not available. If you can eat a whole box of 2 point bars in one day, may I suggest you don't have them around?

Making time for your WW meetings is important too. Knowing where you are as far as your weight is important, and being with other people that have the same struggles as you lets you know you aren't in this alone. When I was loosing weight my WW meeting was my lifeline! I never missed a meeting!!

See what you can do this week to strengthen your self-control.

"Losing weight is not about "willpower" it's all about "wantpower"...recognizing that you already have all the resources you need to get what you want."~ Palma Posillico

1 comment:

  1. I had never heard about the paper clip idea, so I googled it to find out what it was. I'm going to do that, it sounds like fun. I've lost 7.2lbs, so far, so I'm happy. Too bad it doesn't come off so fast after the first little while... lol


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