Dalando's Dharma Deli Topic Index Site Map

Breaking Habitual Patterns
'Loop de-Loop'
February 20 through April 1 2006
Page 2

A 40 Day Dietary Record

Day 11

March 2

I need to food shop. This joy is tainted by confusion concerning food. I take a mental inventory and all is well, yet I can not shake this sense of pending doom. I will take a long drive to a distant shopping warehouse store, and try and shake this anxiety.

I enjoyed the open highway, but the inevitable pig out, disturbs me. What is this insanity. Truly obsessive.

The future vision is not clear at all for me. Do other people have such a vision? My interest in persevering is a such a study in duplicty. I seem to have some abstract ideas of success and go through symbolic gestures of compliance yet... Yet... they are only gestures.

Where does character lie in the self?

Action is where character meets the road. Only a small point actually touches. A moment in the motion of a karmic wheel spinning. Though my progress with understanding my weakness is ridiculously insignificant, it's significance comes within the greater spinning of will. Increments in a greater goal, unattainable yet worthy.

Face my failings but continue my efforts never-the-less. Find the Rosetta Stone to my psyche. I feel such chest pains, so blown away by todays overeating... this morning so hung over from doing the same yesterday. What the f__k am I thinking? Yet it keeps happening!

I will win.

You are Not alone

If you think you might have binge eating disorder, it is important to know that you are not alone.
Most people who have the disorder have tried but failed to control it on their own. You may want to get professional help. Talk to your health care provider about the type of help that may be best for you. The good news is that most people do well in treatment and can overcome binge eating.
Day 12 Friday, March 3

The Rosetta Stone

Causes of Obesity: Psychological factors
Weight Control Informtion Network

Psychological factors may also influence eating habits. Many people eat in response to negative emotions such as boredom, sadness, or anger.

Most overweight people have no more psychological problems than people of average weight. Still, up to 10 percent of people who are mildly obese and try to lose weight on their own or through commercial weight loss programs have binge eating disorder. This disorder is even more common in people who are severely obese.

During a binge eating episode, people eat large amounts of food and feel that they cannot control how much they are eating. Those with the most severe binge eating problems are also likely to have symptoms of depression and low self-esteem. These people may have more difficulty losing weight and keeping it off than people without binge eating problems.

If you are upset by binge eating behavior and think you might have binge eating disorder, seek help from a health professional such as a psychiatrist, psychologist, or clinical social worker.

How can people with binge eating disorder be helped?

People with binge eating disorder should get help from a health professional such as a psychiatrist, psychologist, or clinical social worker. There are several different ways to treat binge eating disorder.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy teaches people how to keep track of their eating and change their unhealthy eating habits. It teaches them how to change the way they act in tough situations. It also helps them feel better about their body shape and weight.

Interpersonal psychotherapy helps people look at their relationships with friends and family and make changes in problem areas.

Drug therapy, such as antidepressants, may be helpful for some people.

The methods mentioned here seem to be equally helpful.
Researchers are still trying to find the treatment that is the most helpful in controlling binge eating disorder. Other therapies being tried include dialectical behavior therapy, which helps people regulate their emotions; drug therapy with the anti-seizure medication topiramate; weight loss surgery (gastrointestinal surgery); exercise used alone or in combination with cognitive-behavioral therapy; and self-help. Self-help books, videos, and groups have helped some people to control their binge eating.
Day 13 Saturday, March 4

SMART Objectives
from Changingminds.org

SMART is an acronym that can be used to help ensure that effective objectives or goals are set.

Specific objectives are clear and well-defined. This helps both the performer and the manager, as the performer knows what is expected of them and the manager is able to monitor and assess actual performance against the specific objectives.

Progress towards objectives often need to be monitored whilst work is under way. It is also very useful to know when that work has been done and the objectives are completed. A measurable objective achieves this end.

Achievable (appropriate)
When giving objectives, the person may not be able to achieve it for various reasons, including a lack of skill, not having enough resources, not having access to key people and not having management support. Achievable objectives ensure that everything is in place and that if the person does not reach the goals they cannot reasonably point the finger elsewhere.

Relevant (realistic)
Objectives should also add useful value within the context where they are being set, being aligned with strategies and higher goals.

Descriptions of objectives should also include timescales of what is required by when. Giving a time scale adds appropriate sense of urgency and ensures that the objectives do not dribble out over an unreasonably long timescale.

How does a mentor persuade the dieter?
How do dieters persuade themselves?

Aristotle, perhaps the most famous arguer, described three routes to change the mind of the other person.

Ethos uses trust, and focuses first on the speaker. showing the speaker's:

The reputation of a person depends on their past, and what is known and spoken about them. Note that, although there is usually a close relationship between reputation and reality, this is not always so. Politicians, for example, guard their reputation carefully, yet many still have skeletons in the closet.

Leveraging reputation often means reminding others of your illustrious past, perhaps through stories of your successes, of how you have helped others and been able to see the truth where others have not.

Credibility, depends both on expertize and how this is portrayed. If you want people to believe you, you must first show that you believe yourself.

To use credibility, position yourself as an expert. Talk as if you cannot be challenged. Show how others look up to you. Use powerful gesture, eye contact and so on to position yourself as a leader.

Pathos appeals to the emotions of the listener, seeking to excite them or otherwise arouse their interest.

An effective way of arousing passions is in appeal to values. Tell stories of poor values, for example where innocent people are harmed. Use Ethos to show your own values and how you put others before yourself. You can also work with their goals and interests or even challenge their beliefs.

Language has a significant effect on emotion, and key words (fire, child, anger, smooth, etc.) can trigger senses and feelings.

Logos focuses first on the argument, using cool logic and rational explanation, as well as demonstrable evidence.

Science and scientific proof are based on the use of empirical evidence. If you argue without evidence, a scientist would dismiss your argument as metaphysical (literally, outside the physical world).

Evidence cannot be refuted, as courts of law seek to demonstrate. If you show, then it is very difficult to deny without calling into question the validity of the evidence produced.

Evidence can include statistics, pictures and recounted experience (especially first hand). Pathos may also be evoked when giving evidence as you give it an emotional spin. Ethos is also important to establish the credibility of the witness.

Reason uses rational points that call on accepted truths and proven theories. Where evidence does not exist, reason may still prevail. A common tool in reasoning is to link two items together, for example by cause and effect.

Reasoning often uses syllogisms, that include a major premise, a minor premise and a conclusion based on the combination of the two premises.

Day 14 Sunday, March 5

Creating Change
from Changingminds.org

These are techniques for creating change, adoptable for people like myself interested in overcoming an eating disorder.

David Straker

Here is an alphabetic list of some of the methods you can use
compiled by
David Straker.

Commentary in red on this page on how this may be adopted for someone interested in losing weight is by Robert L. Seltman.

* Boiling the frog: Incremental changes may well not be noticed. This method is ideal for a parent or spouse interested in helping the family in the kitchen with better eating habits. Small incremental change may be more difficult for a self-help program, but may prove more effective over the long haul than too radical a change.
* Burning bridges: Ensure there is no way back.This may be the most effective way to instigate change, yet one the most difficult to implement. Just as divorcee tend to repeat similar relationships, so too dieters fall back into old patterns. There may be rituals that can be eliminated, weekly and daily habits that draw a dieter into old patterns, but short of joining a cult or moving to a third world environment, old patterns are a tough nut to crack.
* Burning platform: Expose or create a crisis to get things going.
This is a scare tactic that has proven effective for some... diabetes, a stroke, or a severe warning from a doctor has helped many change their life around. Others though, still smoke in the Lung Cancer Wards, or binge-eat after a doctor's weight warning.
* Challenge: Inspire them to achieve remarkable things. Weight-loss TV show challenges are inspiring to watch, and we all wonder if we too would be a better dieter if the whole world was watching. But the whole world is watching. Many people do challenge us daily with their off handed comments. Keeping it positive and effective is the trick.
* Coaching: Psychological support for executives. For those who can afford it, this is a good way to go. If one can find a qualified coach all the better.
* Command: Tell them what to do. Boot camp methods can and do work, but there is a risk of reactionary 'binge eating' if the grunt does not end up believing in the changes created by this process.
* Destabilizing: Shake people out of their comfort zone. This is employed by many new age self-help communities, as both a challenge and test of commitment. Some stay and fight others run.
* Evidence for change: Cold, hard data to show need for change. This shows respect to the recipient but more may be needed for deep rooted change.
* Evidence stream: Show them time and again that the change is happening. For dieters, who must face day after day of discomfort without any measurable form of success, an evidence stream would be a godsend. A conscientious coach may be able to find a wide variety of markings (i.e. blood pressure change, increased stamina, cheery disposition, issue confrontation, etc.) to create such a stream.
* Education: Learn them to change.Empower the dieter with facts and methods that are proven effective.
* Facilitation: Use a facilitator to guide team meetings. Facilitator, mentor, coach... godsend to the dieter.
* First steps: Make it easy to get going. Follow through is key here. Once a diet is started, perseverance is the crucial next step that needs facilitation, to avoid bounce-back disastors.
* Golden handcuffs: Keep key people with delayed rewards. It is tempting to plan diets in terms of weeks or months, but dieting needs a life plan, and in that life plan there needs to be rewards to mark success and the passage of time. A good planner takes into consideration the celebrations that reward perseverance, as a lover remembers anniversaries.
* Institutionalization: Building change into the formal systems and structures.
Essential for the community.
* Involvement: Give them an important role.
* Management by Objectives (MBO): Tell people what to do, but not how.
Key for many personalities.
* Open Space: People talking about what interests them.
Community based development for dieters.
* Re-education: Train the people you have in new knowledge/skills. Necessary for most obese people.
* Restructuring: Redesign the organization to force behavior change. Necessary for most obese people.
* Reward alignment: Align rewards with desired behaviors.
Keep dieting human.
* Rites of passage: Use formal rituals to confirm change.
We all love being stroked.
* Setting goals: Give them a formal objective.
* Shift-and-sync: Change a bit then pause restabilize.
* Socializing: Build it into the social fabric.
* Spill-and-fill: Incremental movement to a new organization.
Some familes, friends and/or spouse resist a dieter's life-style changes. This needs to be dealt with.
* Stepwise change: Breaking things down into smaller packages. Great coaching!
* Visioning: Create a motivating view of the future.
* Whole-system Planning: Everyone planning together.
Family and friends working to help not hinder the dieter. What a great idea. Implementing this would be a challenge for many but a worthwhile objective.

These are also available, sorted by Lewin's freeze phases, as:

* Unfreezing techniques to get them going.
* Transitioning techniques to get them to the right place.
* Refreezing techniques to keep them there.

New challenge: Get them looking to the future.
Health is a Life time occupation.

Day 15 Monday, March 6

The Brain's Urge System
by David Straker

At a fundamental level, the brain has a simple carrot-and-stick biochemical system of forcing us into action, as illustrated below.

Six Steps To Heaven

1. Stimulus
The stimulus to the brain starts with a physical condition such as low blood sugar. It can also come from a visual signal from something desirable or undesirable, or even pure thought. In each case, the stimulus is a trigger for a sequence of internal events which will result in external action. 

2. Urge
The thalamus in the limbic system ('leopard brain') converts the physical need into an urge within the cortex. It is, in effect, saying 'Hey, do something! You have an unfulfilled need!' Cognitively-driven urges have a similar effect, where internal imaginings trigger an urge response.

Urges are, quite literally, urgent. They have priority and force other matters aside. They are frequently felt as a kind of 'emptiness', typically felt physically as a gnawing feeling in the abdomen.

For example the low blood-sugar gets translated in hunger. The lack of human company, especially close companionship, is a more instinctively driven situation that provides urge. Note how both give you a feeling of emptiness.

3. Desire
The cortex then translates this urge into a targeted desire for something specific, which gives us a conscious motivation towards a particular goal. The underlying urge becomes wants and needs. Wants and needs have to struggle against one another in a priority list for action now or later or not at all. The strength of the urge is thus important, with strong urges leading to needs that jump the queue, demanding immediate action.

For example the felt urge of hunger is translated into a desire for food, whilst the urge for human company becomes a desire for company. This can be a desperate desire, as the starving person thinks of nothing but food and the love-struck individual cannot get the object of their desires out of their mind.

4. Action
Eventually the urge-desire reaches its goal and the person takes physical steps  to satisfy the internal nagging that has prodded them into action.

The action may be small or it may take significant time and effort. It may also be undesirable in some way, such as when a person on a diet does not really want to eat. This only goes to show the power of this internal motivation system to force us into even uncomfortable action.

5. Evidence
To complete the loop, the brain now needs proof that the action has been completed before it proceeds with its reward. It is not enough to remove the stimulus, for example intravenous feeding or going to a crowded place does not make you feel good.

The evidence has to come in a particular place. It is specific actions which are rewarded. Going to a restaurant is not good enough. Looking at food is not good enough. Putting it in your mouth is in the right direction. You can almost hear the brain shouting 'go on, go on'. But it is the swallowing where you feel good.

6. Reward
When the limbic system detects that we are satisfying the urge, like any motivation system it must reward to encourage continuance of the desirable behavior.

The brain rewards us in two stages. The first stage is to tell us that we are doing the right thing and to encourage us to keep doing it. Thus we get to feel satisfaction for each mouthful of food. It's as if the brain is saying ‘That’s right! Keep doing that!’

However, we can't keep eating forever and there is a point at which our bodies have sufficient input to sustain them for a while. The job of the brain is now to stop us eating. It does this by making us feel fulfilled, often by a literal feeling of being 'full'. It is as if the brain says ‘Well done! That’s enough for now.’

The gnawing emptiness is now replaced by a replete sense of completion and satisfaction as we sit back and relax in an after dinner snooze.

Day 16 Tuesday, March 7

Weight Loss, Health & Food Websites

Gimmick or Genius?

Safety and Interactions

Looking for Weight Loss Tips?

by Cherie Carter-Scott

Managing Your Weight
A sensible weight plan includes a healthy diet and an active lifestyle.

Act now. For now is all you have.

Safe Food Quiz

Ten foods You Should Never Eat!

When the system goes astray

This system does not always work to our advantage. If it breaks in some way, then we can either find ourselves stranded and unmotivated or stuck in a cycle of repetition. 

Can't start

What if the cycle does not complete itself? The stimulation may be there, but somehow the chain of urge-desire-action has been broken.

One way we are unable to start doing something we should is where urges clash,and one overcomes the other.In Anorexia Nervosa, the urge to be socially accepted and the consequent desire to be fashionably thin overrides the urge to eat. Cleverly, the part of the mind that wants to be thin compensates for the painfully thin reflection by hallucinating it into a fat and undesirable person.

We can also break cycles merely by interruption. People who fast for political or religious reasons will tell you that once you have got past the day or so, it becomes increasingly easy to not eat, to the point where they have to force themselves to eat for some while before it becomes pleasurable again.

Can't stop

As well as not being able to start, we can also fall into a state where we cannot stop. The 'fulfillment' signal is either broken or is overridden by a stronger urge-desire signal.

The reverse of Anorexia is over-eating. In this case, it is the system which tells us to stop which is broken. This may happen where the urge for comfort and to feel good drives us to do those things which have made us feel good in the past. Eating is thus driven less by the body's need for food as the brain's need for comfort.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a classic syndrome where non-helpful urges fall into a can't stop cycle. These can include peculiar 'can't stop' activities, from counting and repetitive movements to collecting and other actions that others find annoying or trivial.

So what?
So this is the inner secret of how the brain prods us into action. You can use this system to change behaviors.

Breaking the cycle
To stop someone over-eating, you could provide something more desirable. When they reach for the food, show them a picture of a healthy person. You can also do the reverse, showing them a picture of a fat person. You could put a mirror on the refrigerator.

You can also break cycles by removing stimuli. So take away the food. Or replace it with fruit and vegetables. Make mealtimes short. Fix the times when you eat.

Introducing other urges
You can also overpower them with other urges that blot out and distract from the urge you want to extinguish.

Get them interested in sport and being healthy. Take them out to dinner and let them pay. Go to expensive restaurants. Put something that smells nasty in the refrigerator. 

Changing the rewards
Finally, you can attack the end-point, the rewards they receive for both acting and completing the action.

Make the food bland so it doesn't taste so good. Change the texture or appearance. Watch a horror movie or listen to disliked music during the meal. 

Give completion awards earlier and make them significant. So eat before going to the theater, but go late so you've only a short period before the play. Have a small first course followed quickly by a very tasty second course.

See also
Carter, Rita's "Mapping the Mind" and her "Exploring Consiousness" Meet the Author, University of California Press

Baoji Xu

Mice that express TrkB receptors 
at low levels become obese.

Mr. Brain


and Sleeping... ZZZZzzzzz.

ExRx.net: Estimated Calorie Requirements

MultiMedia from the New York Times
The Search for the Magic Pill
Stephanie Saul of The Times examines the pharmaceutical industry's search for a treatment for obesity.

Health Minutes: Behavior and Weight
Gina Kolata, a health reporter for The Times, discusses a new study that says behavior change, rather than dieting, may be better for overweight people.
June 20, 2005 - New York Times Video

Eight Keys to a Healthy Weight
by Daniel Kosich, PhD
The following principles are adapted from GET REAL: A Personal Guide To Real-Life Weight Management. This groundbreaking book was written by Daniel Kosich, PhD one of the world's foremost authorities on fitness and health. GET REAL outlines the three most important elements of successful weight control: regular activity, proper eating and (perhaps most important) a positive attitude, including high self-esteem, self-empowerment and a healthy body image.

Dr. Kosich invites you to ask yourself where you want to be in 10 years. "It's not what you do for the next 10 days, or 10 weeks, or even 10 months, that determines where you'll be in 10 years," he says. "It's what you do for the next 10 years that counts." To get started, Dr. Kosich recommends that you follow the eight keys listed below to adopting a healthy lifestyle.

Key #1: Don't Rely on Magic
As much as we might want it to be true, there's simply no magic way to achieve a healthy body weight. Many of the "magic" pills, potions and powders can lead to significant weight loss for a short period. But the vast majority of people who lose weight using these approaches regain the pounds within a couple of years.

No short-term program can help you maintain a healthy weight. It's not what you do for the next six weeks or six months that counts. It's what you do for the rest of your life, including regular activity, healthy eating and maintaining a positive attitude and self-image that determines your ability to stay at a healthy weight.

Key #2: Forget the "One-Size-Fits-All" Mentality
Many of us think we need to look like the superfit models, actresses and athletes we see on TV or in the movies. And advertising messages reinforce the impression that thinness equals happiness. The truth is, we're all very different. Body weight and shape are influenced by factors we can't control, including genetics. Your genes determine the number of fat cells in your body as well as your metabolism.

This doesn't mean you're destined to be heavy, or that you can't lose weight if you need to. It does mean your progress in a sensible weight management program will be unique. It also means that your ultimate healthy weight may be different than you think.

Key #3: Develop a Positive Self-Image
Weight management is often promoted as a process of learning to change the things you dislike about yourself. This attitude becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, it makes you focus on disliking yourself. Effective weight management is just a natural extension of your desire to take responsibility for your health and take good care of yourself. Don't get in the rut of "If . . . , then . . . " thinking—"If only I lost 30 pounds, then I would be happy with myself." Instead, practice acting "as if." Acting "as if" you are a person with the ability to nurture and care for yourself may well be the first step to becoming that person.

Key #4: Set Realistic Weight Goals
Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight is important for good health. But a healthy weight isn't necessarily the one that's suggested by a height/weight chart! There are many techniques for estimating a healthy weight. One of the easiest is to shoot for the lowest weight you've been able to maintain for at least one full year since age 21, when you were active and eating a prudent diet. Who knows—you might be at your healthy weight right now!

Ultimately, you should focus on taking care of yourself today, not achieving some future weight goal. There's no rush, since maximum effective weight loss is about a pound a week.

Key #5: Learn to Play Again
Regular activity is one of the few proven predictors of successful weight maintenance and significantly reduces a number of health risks, ranging from cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure to breast cancer. Unfortunately, we've forgotten what children already know—that activity is fun! We've also forgotten that exercise is an act of caring and self-respect, not work or punishment. These are great reasons to rediscover the joys of play!

But if you think of exercise as drudgery, it won't become part of your healthy lifestyle. Find activities you enjoy and you're more likely to stick with them. Be sure to follow the American College of Sports Medicine's recommendations of 30 minutes or more of aerobic exercise on most days of the week. Aerobic exercise is the type that sends a lot of oxygen to your heart and muscles. Walking, swimming, bicycling, and group exercise classes (step and high/low impact aerobics) are all great examples of aerobic exercise.

Key #6: Get Stronger
"Lift weights? Me? Never!" If this was your initial reaction, think again. Resistance training, whether with weights, machines, elastic bands or tubing, even in water, does more than aid in weight control. It also helps maintain good posture and reduce the risk of diseases such as osteoporosis. Strength training just twice a week will bring you a long list of benefits. Plus, stronger muscles burn more calories even when you're at rest.

It's important to practice good technique with each strength training exercise, though, so consider working with a qualified fitness professional, such as an IDEA Member group fitness instructor or personal trainer member, at least a few times before you try it on your own.

Key #7: Harness the Power of the Pyramid
Some weight control programs focus on what you eat instead of emphasizing exercise and active living. The problem with this approach is, people have a tendency to look at eating with a rigid, always/never perspective. And that doesn't work for very long for most people. How many of us can eat nothing but cabbage soup or grapefruit for an entire week!

Instead, try the 80/20 approach. Eat what you know you should 80% of the time, and leave 20% for acknowledging and accepting that you're not perfect! That way, you won't set yourself up for feeling guilty or testing your willpower against cravings for foods you know you don't need much of. Follow the U.S. Food Guide Pyramid recommendations to nourish your body in a healthy way, with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, grains and water.

Key #8: Be Patient and Persistent
Plan and choose attitudes that demonstrate self-acceptance and self-care. It takes practice. Most experts recommend that you keep a simple log or record of your new healthy self-care habits. Just take a few minutes each day to note what activities you did, a general description of the foods you ate, and the positive things you did to take care of yourself.

Most importantly, don't be in a hurry. Most health professionals will tell you it takes at least six months for a new habit to become part of your lifestyle. Keeping records helps you stick to your healthier habits until they become second nature. And take it in small steps. That's how most things happen . . . in real life.
Day 17 Wednesday, March 8

I have begun 'The Body You Deserve' program by Anthony Robbins.
He is brilliant and there is much integrity in the self-help tapes he creates.

Already I am working with his 'Personal Power' series and felt confirmed in his integrity. This new process 'The Body You Deserve' is specific to weight loss. Here is a sampling of the logic and methodology:

3 steps to lasting change

Step 1: Raise My Standards.
Achieving a quality lifestyle with vitality and energy is not just a desire... It's a MUST!
Step 2: Change My limiting Beliefs.
The only enemy I have in creating change is doubt. Create a sense of certainty!
Step 3: Change My Stratergy.
Create a step-by-step procedure to help myself once and for all, gain the body I deserve for life.

He keeps dancing!

7 Steps to Neuro-Associative Conditioning

Step 1: Decide What I Really Want!
Define a compelling future, because whatever I focus on, I move towards.
Step 2: Get leverage! Make the Change a Must!
The ultimate leverage in human beings to create change always comes down to our ability to change what we link pain to, and what we link pleasure to.
Step 3: Interrupt the Limiting Pattern!
I can't put something new in when there is already something in the slot.
Step 4: Create a New, Empowering Alternative Pattern!
Find something that gives me what I originally wanted from food.
Step 5: Condition the New Pattern Until It's Consistent!
Any behavior that is consistently reinforced will eventually become a conditioned pattern or habit. This will ensure that my new choices become lifesytyle.
Step 6: Test It!
The ultimate test is living my daily life. Know that the changes I have made work.
Step 7: Peer group.
Create an environment that consistently reinforces the new standard.

Day 18 Thursday, March 9

Diet Links in Japanese

Aichi Health Plaza
The Japanese side of this site has an excellent diet help section.

Japanese Fat Check

She keeps walking herself to health!

WHO: Overweight, Obese Could Swell
50 Percent in a Decade

Day 19 Friday, March 10

Anthony Robbin's
Ten Characteristics
of Success

I must do it!

"I've reached threshold! I must lose the fat now!"
I must do it!

"I take full responsibility for creating the body I deserve!"
I can do it!

"My belief in my ability to be trim now is the number one predictor of my success!"
The past does not equal the future!

If you think the past does equal the future you are in a rut... a rut is nothing more than a coffin with the ends kicked out.
I'm prepared! I have an effective strategy!

Having an effective strategy like the one I will learn in this program will put me on the fast track to success.
Becoming trim is a challenge!

When I have a challenge in my life I look forward to overcoming it.
I am not my behavior!

"I'm a human being not a human doing."
I concentrate my power on my challenges!

When I focus my time and effort on one outcome, I concentrate my power.
I have realistic goals!

"I have a realistic expectation of what I can achieve and the rate at which I can achieve it."
I'm going to enjoy the process!

Becoming trim is too important to be treated seriously... have fun along the way.

Day 20 Saturday, March 11

The diet process is a monumental transformational process that few of us do, yet all of us are capable of. I am interested in making this work.

I am up to the task because ALL the signs demand it. I tried to do just a bit of stretching exercises and could not touch my toes, and saw for the first time, clearly, how swollen my feet have become (explaining why old shoes no longer fit).

You may wonder how can anyone live with themselves and not know how they look, not know what symptoms are slowing them down... perhaps it is denial, but inevitably we know. Facing this hard truth and doing what needs to be done is the process I find myself in now.

Frankly this is terrifying. With Anthony Robbins audio guidance I did a visualization of where I am today. It is a hard ugly truth to look at my present state. Worse more, he brings the listener into the future to witness the price of these foolish unhealthy life choices I am making, still, even today.

I an starting to get through my thick resistive skull what needs to be done. There has to be a constant diet, a goal in daily lifestyle that I can easily articulate. For this, I like the idea of a very specific manageable goal, like a half a kilo a week or whatever is realistic (this process needs testing, persistence will be new for me in the arena of watching what I eat) .

Working in the negative is tough, so there needs to be a major transformation in how I perceive myself. I have mastered self delusion and need to now SEE myself regularly, as well as the me I want to be. These are two very distinct visions. One toward a horrific future filled with sickness and suffering, the other a high energy lifestyle as the man I feel inside.

Changing your body type
There are many different body types around, and regrettably many are 'round'. But underneath all the padding and designer wear we can put each body into one of three categories.

The three main types:
1. ectomorphs - thin and wispy
2. mesomorphs - athletic and muscular
3. endomorphs - generously rounded or 'stout'
Your basic body type is greatly outside of your control - more to do with DNA, and your childhood lifestyle than anything else. So if you are over 18 and reading this, you are what you are, although you can fine tune what you already have.

Changing your body type
If you're looking to change the shape of your body the basic groundwork is the same.

* eat fresh, low fat and healthy food
* avoid large amounts of toxins such as alcohol and caffeine
* take regular exercise which should include elements of stamina (puffing), strength (grunting) and suppleness (bending)
If you have reached this state of physical nemesis you may wish to be more specific in adapting your training in order to develop characteristics of the body type which you favour.
Try adapting your training along the following lines:

If you want to be ectomorphic (long and thin):
* Do more aerobic exercise, running and biking and ensure you work at a steady state (70 per cent max heart rate). Avoid explosive activity.
* Use exercises that allow full range of movement - swimming, isokenetics or yoga and take more time to fully stretch each muscle.
* Concentrate on eating complex carbohydrates such as pasta and potatoes and drink plenty of tepid water.

If you want to be mesomorphic (athletic and muscular):
* Work on short bursts of explosive, dynamic and intense aerobic activity near to maximum effort - short sprints, jumping and punching.
* Do more weight-bearing exercise - pump iron. Use heavy weights, up to 90 per cent of your maximum capability and complete at least three sets of each exercise with no more than seven repetitions per set. Ideally isolate one muscle group at a time and work it until exhausted.
* You must have plenty of rest between each workout to allow the muscle to grow.

If you want to be endomorphic (rounded and stout):
* Buy a video, some beer, order a takeaway, sit back and enjoy.
Remember you can only adapt what you already have and that miracles aren't going to happen.

This article was last medically reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks
in May 2005. First published in October 1997 by John Neal.

Page 2