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30 December 2011


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A very interesting distinction. I think it might be very helpful to be able to sort behaviors into those two categories.


I hope it does prove useful. In one sense it is a matter of time scale, but qualitative time scale: -- more like definite and manageably brief vs. indefinitely long.

Someone who is hoping to make large changes in body weight might do well to abandon "deprivations" entirely, except maybe as:

o time-limited personal challenges (let's see if I can go without dessert for one week!) or

o trial periods to see if they are really as bad as you fear (let's see how badly I miss my nightly ice cream if I have some of my favorite fruit instead for ten days).

The thing is, if you've got more than eight or ten pounds to deal with, you really don't know how long it will take. Because the time period is indefinite, if you're going to stick with it, it has to be by identifying and nurturing behaviors you can live with _indefinitely._ Behaviors that make you sad and resentful and angry are no good unless you can see the light at the end of the tunnel -- unless the time is short enough that you can almost make the "gosh I hate this" motivate you to get it over with and get it to the end.

My situation is fairly well controlled, but I have to put too much effort into the controlling, which makes me think that I have not been emphasizing habits enough. I'm more in a indulge-gain-deprive-lose cycle, and that makes me kind of insane even if it does keep my weight down pretty well, within 4% of target.

Amy F

These posts are timely for me -- I joined the Y and a weight loss challenge after Thanksgiving and although my original 8 week goal was to lose a pound a week, personal trainers at both didn't think it was too ridiculous to try for 2 lbs/wk. After 3 weeks, I was down 8 lbs and I maintained over Christmas. So I'm down 2 lbs/wk after all. I realized that I was eating a LOT of food without thinking about it and never exercising. I'm struggling now, a month into it, with the balance between eating nothing fun and finding small, reasonable portions of fun food. I think it will be easier now that Christmas candies and cookies are gone but I still find myself eating because I want to rather than because I'm hungry. I rarely seem to feel hungry so I suspect I've messed up my body's ability to give hunger cues after essentially eating constantly for years. I've removed ice cream from the house entirely because I'll eat it daily if it's there. My ultimate goal weight is 20 lbs lost with substantial muscle added. At my current rate, I feel like I can get there this winter, which should be short enough to handle some deprivations. I was pretty good at avoiding desserts unless I was at special functions for the first two weeks -- I also counted every calorie during that time. I don't expect to deprive myself of desserts indefinitely so I'm trying now for restricted portions.


I love New Year's, bdays, anniversaries, new liturgical year, new school year, etc... the chance to take stock, evaluate, set some goals.

I take a different approach: set goals (SMART -- specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, timely), then develop the plan. This year, I also broke my goals down into the 5 Ps in A Mother's Rule of Life (Prayer, Person, Partner, Parent, Provider). I am still working on the action plans but should have them written out within a couple of days.

In reality, I already had some specific habits I wanted to develop, i.e. less time on the internet, consistency at grading the kids schoolwork. But for me, by thinking in terms of the Ps, and then in terms of goals, and then in terms of action plans (which translates into both the habits and the temporary deprivations), I feel in a much better place to succeed this year.

Also, a friend and I are holding each other accountable. Accountability is great!

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