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Tuesday, 27 July 2010

27th July 2010 - todays facebook email

Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

An educational email this morning! Making those brain cells work ;)

I have a friend who’s very clever and uses big words I sometimes don’t understand ;-! But she always challenges me and makes me think about things. We were chatting at the weekend about the whole ‘choices’ thing and how it’s not as clear cut, and black and white as you have the power to choose in all situations. Of course she was right its not that cut and dry and there has been lots and lots of research on the subject. All the choices we make aren’t conscious ones; some are subconsciously or unconsciously made which totally confuses everything. Anyway this conversation reminded me of the ‘stages of change’ model, which is something I’ve read about in the past, so I thought I’d share it with you as these emails are mainly about diet, however this model can be used for any part of your life where you’d like to change.

The Stages of Change Model was originally developed in the late 1970’s and has been applied to a broad range of behaviors including weight loss. The idea behind it is that behavior change does not happen in one step. Rather, people tend to progress through different stages on their way to successful change. Also, each of us progresses through the stages at our own rate.

Stages of Change
There are five stages of change in the model; these are precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, and maintenance. Precontemplation is the stage at which there is no intention to change behavior in the foreseeable future. Many individuals in this stage are unaware or underaware of their problems. Contemplation is the stage in which people are aware that a problem exists and are seriously thinking about overcoming it but have not yet made a commitment to take action. Preparation is a stage that combines intention and behavioral criteria. Individuals in this stage are intending to take action in the next month and have unsuccessfully taken action in the past year. Action is the stage in which individuals modify their behavior, experiences, or environment in order to overcome their problems. Action involves the most overt behavioral changes and requires considerable commitment of time and energy. Maintenance is the stage in which people work to prevent relapse and consolidate the gains attained during action. This stage can extend from six months to an indeterminate period past the initial action.

So the good news is hopefully if you’re attending my meetings on a weekly basis you’re already at the ‘action’ stage, which means any choices you make regarding your diet are consciously made because you have already made that decision to lose weight. They may not be easy choices and you may make the wrong choice for any number of reasons, personally, here I find the thing that helps most is you don’t give yourself a hard time over any of it! By being gentle, forgiving and loving yourself you’re much more likely to succeed than thinking negative thoughts about yourself.

Some of you may still be in the ‘contemplation’ stage and that’s just fine, when you’re ready, you know where I am, hopefully the rest of you are at the ‘maintenance’ stage which is fabulous, congratulations and remember the hard works not over - my ‘maintenance’ stage started 6 years ago and I still have relapses!

We sometimes view ‘relapse’ as failure and that feeling of failure may cause us to give up! Because I have relapsed many times since starting my very first diet when I was 18, I prefer to see relapse as taking one step backwards but then taking two steps forward, we learn from trial and error. I think dieting relapses are almost inevitable and become part of the process of working toward life-long change, once we accept this concept, we don’t tend to beat ourselves up so much for what we consider ‘failure’. Every time we relapse we have learned something new about ourselves and about the process of changing behavior.

So I believe life is a journey not a destination; it’s a continual process so make sure you’re treating yourself well along the way.

Have a great day and I hope that hasn’t taxed your brain too much for this time in the morning!

Remember Life Starts NOW!

Are you living yet :-)

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