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Wednesday, 23 March 2016

What's your payoff?

23rd March 2016
Always laugh when you can, it's cheap medicine.  Bryon

Habits - they really are at the bottom of our eating behaviour, they play an incredible part in whether we are successful on our weight loss journey or not.  Of course one of hte reasons weight loss is so difficult is because those habits are deeply ingrained in our mind.  One thing I've found out from all the reading I've done over the years on this subject is that there are a few things to consider about our habits if we want to reach our goals. 

  • All habits, whether they serve you or not, have a payoff.
  • Find a different routine or action that will help you stay on track.
  • Give yourself every chance of success by adopting your environment to support yourself while pursuing your goal.
  • Stay positive!  Be optimistic - choose to believe you CAN!

The first one about the payoff is so true, even if we're not sure what that payoff is, and it's usually something pleasurable.  To make it simple to relate to, we'll use a none eating habit.  There might be no pleasure in screaming at someone when you get angry. But the screaming relieves stress and lets off steam – that'll be the payoff. So the cue is feeling stressed, rushed, or anxious. So the trick is to those same cues can be linked with different habits - other people do!  Instead of screaming at everyone you might go for a run when you feel stressed.

This is where you have to start really thinking and being honest with yourself!  Because this information can really help you with your weight loss goals.
 Think about the payoff in those eating habits that aren't serving your weight loss success.  If you truly want to reach your goal, if it's really important to you, you're more likely to work toward it.  But working out what the payoffs are for your bad eating habits will assist you enormously, especially if you can find another way to get that payoff that doesn't involve overeating or eating the kinds of foods that aren't helping you to lose weight.

If the changes you need to make to reach your goal weight requires sacrifice in the short-term (we know it also means long term changes), then ensure the payoff makes you feel great, so there’s a pleasure in it. For example, imagine you are aiming to lose a stone for your summer holiday, skipping your weekly takeaway for a while will help you achieve that, yes you look forward to that takeaway for whatever reason, it tastes good, it saves you cooking, it's a treat, whatever your payoff is, you need to find a way to get that payoff in a different way.  Can you but a healthier version from the supermarket, could you make your own.  You could shop in a posher supermarket so it's still a 'treat', it'll still taste good. 

We are constantly trying to avoid pain and maximise pleasure, so the changes we make to our habits and routines need to tie in with that thought pattern.  I know most of my takeaway loving members will not want to come home on a Friday night and start chopping veggies and preparing their own version of a takeaway because one of the reasons they want it is because it's easy and their tired.  So to them cooking on a Friday night is not avoiding pain and maximising pleasure at all!

If you think getting active could help you achieve your goal, you're more likely to keep up going to the gym you join if it's nearby, if you've got to go out of your way, it's not going to last.  Be realistic, focus on the payoff and make it as painless as possible!

Surround yourself with supporters, that's point 3 " by adopting your environment to support yourself while pursuing your goal."  Find people who you can exercise with or talk to about your weight loss.  For me this also means sorting the place where I live, if it's not got certain foods in, I can't eat them.  Not so easy when your mothers a crapaholic!  Hey ho, I try not to look in her crap cupboard, not always easy.

Last but not least - Stay positive!  Be optimistic - choose to believe you CAN!  Hell yeah you can and so can I!  Today I'm going to think about the payoffs that are stopping me losing weight, I'm going to have a good think over the next few days over how I can get that same payoff in a different way, I know if I put some time, effort and thought into it, I can come up with solutions.  I may not like what I realise but hey that's life and luckily I've got a pretty, damn good support system that helps me to believe I can and helps me to stay optimistic.

On that note, I'm off to start my day, have another glass of water before my cuppa and stand outside for five minutes and listen to the bird song.

However you are starting your day, enjoy it, below is your Smart Point recipe.  Oh and if you're now thinking I wished I had 5 minutes to go outside and listen to the bird song - I don't either but that's one of the reasons I get up at silly o'clock so I can do these things like my blog and a bit of meditation so I'm ready for a hectic day.  The payoff is I feel good when the hectic starts, so I'm more able to cope. Put yourself first BeYOUtiful, you're important too xx

Soup maker lentil soup
Serves 4 (5sp each)
200g Split Red Lentils (Rinse & Soak in water for half an hour before cooking.) (15sp)
1l Stock (To Taste - Beef, Chicken or Vegetable)
200g chopped potatoes (5sp)
1 teaspoon Black Pepper
1 Chopped Onion

Lentil soup is very much a personal thing.  Some people like it so that their spoon stands up on its own, and others like it more watery.   Add more or less lentils with experience, once you know the likely consistency that a set amount yields.  I like mine smooth and not too thick.  If it turns out too thick, I simply add a little more water at the end of cooking.

Throw it all in your soup maker or a saucepan and cook until done.  If using saucepan blend afterwards to a consistency you like.

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