Posts Tagged ‘weight maintenance’

THE JOYS OF JUST MAINTAINING

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

As a therapist, you tend to see less joy and fun this time of year than worry and strain. Yes, it’s a biased outlook, but the stresses of the season are certainly real. People trying to keep their health and weight in check, especially, face a daunting array of triggers and challenges. Many simply say, “Forget it!” and let go of goals and good self-care for weeks.

If you’ve followed this blog (see 11/23/09 post), you’ll know that I don’t think “forgetting about it” makes sense—for a lot of reasons. On the other hand, neither does striving for perfection. One idea I’ve discussed with many clients this season is that of “just maintaining”. That is, if you’re working to lose weight, and/or to change your habits for the better, this may not be the best time for full-steam ahead progress. After all, most of us will confront some potent combination of parties, extra tasks and running around, family pressures, and of course all those cookies, candies, special drinks, etc.

If you aim to “just maintain”, though, you won’t need to view this stretch in all-or-nothing terms. In other words, you’ll discern something in between the extremes of resisting everything vs. letting go of all your hopes and progress. This will most likely mean picking and choosing the events you attend, the foods you go for, the types of things you cook or contribute. It might mean carving out exercise time even while life and schedule get crazy.

You might even think of this “just maintain” time as an opportunity to experiment with one new behavior, however small, that could yield interesting results….or that could make future holiday seasons a bit less stressful. For example, try some “assertive dieting” techniques with your family (see references below for more help with that….) On a (maybe easier!) note, you could try some 5- or 10-minute exercise “bites” (also see references) at work. Or, you could simply make a less fattening version of one favored food. (more…)

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THE EAT SANELY COURSE

Saturday, November 14th, 2009

I’m so happy to launch EatSanely, my new website, course, and blog. I’ve been working toward this project in various ways for years–as a psychologist, eating disorders specialist, and person who’s very fired up about the food craziness surrounding us.

To start with, let me restate here my working definition of “sane eating”: In short, this is eating in a way that maintains a healthy-enough weight, for good, without constant worry or guilt. In other words, without short-term or extreme diets cause frustration and regain. This doesn’t mean one way of eating fits all. It also doesn’t mean that this is easy, or that it happens all at once. Given the world we live in, though, it does mean that we each have to find some way of reaching that sane eating path—because our food world isn’t going to change overnight. Finding your own path to sanity can take trial and error, and time and attention, given that we live in a world of fast food, fake food, 300,000 diet books, and 1,400 calorie hamburgers. I believe there’s a way for each of us, though. And that’s what this work, and this forum, is about.

In this weekly blog, I’ll talk about sane eating “building blocks”—change strategies, coping skills, and “food for thought” that might help in paving a sane path. Also, as I comb the media daily for the helpful and the ridiculous, I’ll often comment on what strikes me there.

I hope you’ll join me in this exploration. I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts, your ideas, your questions, your successes and frustrations. Let me know what you think!

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