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27 September 2010


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Hmmm... not losing weight but gaining a habit. Nice. But the habit may be gained by outside imposition of acts before it becomes internal. For example, we pray even when we don't want to, even when we "feel" like God is not there. So I am thinking that this beginning focus on the numbers (calories and scale weight) will eventually lead to the internal self control. Perhaps because even though they are "external" impositions, they are actually internal. I am making myself focus on the numbers.

Barbara C.

Because I'm weirdo, I have the opposite problem of most women, and I've really been trying to gain/maintain weight. But it's similar in philosophy to the lose/maintain concept. Just as losing weight isn't just "eating less", gaining weight isn't just about "eating more".

For awhile I was keeping track of all my calories, but it got rather tedious. So, I've really been focusing on habits:
1. Eating breakfast every day.
2. Preparing calorie-dense healthy foods that are easy to grab and go.
3. Grabbing an extra snack when I sit down to nurse the baby.
4. Eating as soon as I feel hungry and not keep postponing eating until after I do "one more chore".
5. Drinking a Boost when I get up to change the baby's diaper in the middle of the night (when I normally wouldn't eat).

I must say that I probably wouldn't have come to that point if I hadn't read your posts.


Delores, the reason I say that the numbers on the scale can't be a goal is not because they are external or because they are "outside imposition of acts."

The reason I say that they can't really be a goal is because they are not acts at all. You have no direct control over the numbers on the scale. You have some control, but not perfect control, and only indirectly.

The only thing you can control is your behavior. Theoretically the behavior has a result that shows on the scale. But maybe not, or maybe not for a long time (especially if there are underlying health problems like endocrine disorders that make it very difficult for your body to obtain energy from fat cells).

Behavior goals, unlike scale goals, are IMMEDIATELY accessible to you.


>>Going back to old habits is not "maintaining" behavior, it's "gaining" behavior.<<

This absolutely matches my experience and thought process. My old way of eating was undesirable in and of itself, because it was unhealthy, used too many resources, and let me be greedy all the time. It also clearly caused me to gain, sometimes at a very slow rate, say a pound every year or two, sometimes at a faster one.


Yes, they are external and I have no control. So perhaps I should phrase it: the numbers on the scale are a visible reminder (hopefully visible reward) of my changed behavior.


I see what you mean, Erin. It's like when my NFP teacher told me that if you "take chances" your behavior says you are seeking a pregnancy.
The eating behaviors aren't a perfect analogy, of course, but it makes sense that you either have the healthy habits or gaining habits.


Thanks. This post was eye-opening to me. You're right. I cannot control the number on the scale. My experience has shown me this but somehow it never reached my thought life. On any given day, that number on the scale may or may not reflect whether I have been following my new habits. I should not be discouraged if I've been "good" and the scale did not move or, worse, went up. Conversely, I should not think I've gotten away with cheating if the scale fails to register that fact. The over-riding goal here is the change of habits, which I have control over. The weight is a secondary effect, which I generally find to be a poor reflection of my habits in the short term anyway.

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