Beware the After Halloween Candy Sales!

Tread wearily fellow dieter; the dark forces have gathered.

Faster than a chocolate bat escaping the flames of Hades; quicker than a skeleton-costumed, sugar-crazed seven-year-old can consume a pile of gummi booty; we have arrived at the time of year when calories assail us from every direction.

One of the seemingly benign but more malevolent influences is the post-Halloween candy sale. Enter any store and be immediately accosted with an oversized display filled with foil covered peanut butter chocolate bats, black and orange jelly beans, and “fun size” candy bars. (Personally, I consider one-pound bars to be the “fun size” bars; miniatures are merely appetizers. But, who am I to quibble?) Attached to this colossal cache of calories is a sign proclaiming, “Half Off!”

Despite the activities of the previous evening, no amount of sugar crawling through my veins will cause me to pass up a 50% off sale; after all, I’m overweight, not stupid. Buy one, get one free, is a deal in which any rational person would partake. I therefore purchase four bags of high-fructose pleasure — saving five dollars — rationalizing it to the fact that I can freeze the treats for next year. I plan to use the five bucks for a low-calorie meal; truly, I have achieved a win-win scenario.

Despite noble intentions, too many marshmallow peanut bars have melted my willpower, and the treats do not survive until next October; actually they don’t even endure the trip home. As I debate whether or not to curtain the damage after 7,353 calories, the mantra of all disillusioned dieters haunts its way into my caramel-coated consciousness, “As long as I blew it, I might as well really blow it and start dieting tomorrow.” Whether ‘tis the dark side of candy corn talking or not, this idea makes sense at the moment and from then on, anything slow enough to get a fork into it becomes my prey. Before dawn, I have consumed more calories than there are zombies walking the streets on all Hallows’ eve.

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Action list for Habit Change

Just because the holidays are rapidly approaching does not mean that we get a free pass on changing bad habits.

Fat man holding a measurementIf you’re trying to change your lifestyle, don’t make the mistake of waiting until “after the holidays.” After all, they’ve been going on for over 2,000 years; they’re not stopping anytime soon.

So, for those dedicated souls who wish to enter next year without regret about having “blown it” during the last two months of the year, here are several strategies to navigate your way to a new you in the new year.

Be “sparklingly clear” about what your definition of success looks like.

How will you know you’ve arrived if you don’t know what it looks like when you’re there? It’s true; the result might look different than expected. However, one doesn’t begin a trip without at least an idea about where he’s going.

Describe success in as much depth as you can. Use numbers whenever possible while also focusing on the feelings that will result from your hard work. Use concrete descriptions in defining your goals.

Instead of “I will lose weight,” try (for example) “I will wear a perfect size ten comfortably by January 15.”

Take ridiculously tiny steps.

Small steps done regularly will always generate more results than large steps done intermittently. In other words, it’s better to walk a block and really do it than to swear you’ll run a mile and never get around to it.

If after saying, “I will do (whatever),” you’re not 100 percent absolutely dead-on totally confident that you really will do that, then that goal is too large. Make it small enough so that you have no excuse to not do it.

By the way, a good indicator is that if your inner critic is telling you’re not doing enough, you’re probably on track.

Embrace the rough patches

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State Your Intention Clearly

What is your intention?

yelling-guy-with-megaphone

The spoken word is the least important part of communication.

Studies have shown that over 90% of communication is non-verbal, such as tone of voice and body language. So, since attitude obviously communicates, make sure you attitude is “clean” before talking to others.

Ask yourself, “What do I want to come from this communication?”

For example, some intentions might be:

  • I want someone to know how I feel
  • I need more information
  • I want to “teach a lesson”
  • I am looking for a deeper relationship
  • I want to resolve a conflict

Notice how each intention will change the outcome of the communication.

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Celebrate Your Age

Celebrate your age!

Yes, it can be frightening growing older.

old coupleAfter all, we’re entering the great unknown.

As I heard someone say long ago:

“Yes, there are people who are older than me, but this is the oldest I’ve ever been.”
A few days after my mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer, I asked her how she felt about knowing that she didn’t have long to live. My mother, who always believed in “The Greatest Good at All Times,” did not changer her life-long philosophy because of her fate.
She said,
“I’m frightened and I’m going to miss you and your sister. But, I have to believe that the greatest good is at play and I cannot give it up here. Besides, it’s kind of like life’s last big adventure. I’m curious to see where it goes.”

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