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Diet: Changing Your Focus


Have you ever decided to take a trip somewhere relatively unfamiliar? Suddenly, everywhere you look, there is something about your planned destination. Turn on a television travel channel and it is featured. Pick up a newspaper and there is an article about it. Why this sudden universal interest in somewhere you had never really thought much about?

That is the secret: you were not previously thinking about it. The subject was always out there but you didn't -attend so you didn't notice. We are surrounded by so much stimulation and information that we cannot grasp more than a fraction of what comes into our environment. We filter out the vast majority of that stimuli by our own interests and by our lack of interest. Become involved in a new field and what you thought was a rather narrow and under-developed subject is revealed as a worldwide, enormous, fully developed area in which you are a novice surrounded by experts who appear to be widely known and respected -- the "gurus" of the new field -- but you have never heard of them before.

Changing your interests changes your world because your filters have been reshaped. It frequently happens spontaneously when something you see or hear hits an internal chord, intrigues you, and drags your thoughts in new directions.

It may also happen by necessity when you are forced to explore new areas in order to accomplish a different goal. For example, I wrote for years. I never thought outside the box of traditional publishing which says submit to the commercial publishers and hope that after an unbelievable number of rejections, something will stick. One day on the internet, I found self-publishing and walked into a vast universe I knew nothing about. Once published, I was forced to foray into the world of publicity that I always thought was a small field encompassing celebrities and public personalities. The depth and breadth of information and resources was overwhelming. After many months of trolling, I have still only scraped the surface.

What is this leading to? If we change our world outlook spontaneously or by necessity, WHY NOT CHANGE IT BY DESIGN?

If I often think about food then my world is filled with food-related stimuli. I watch and attend to food commercials, cooking shows, recipe sources, new restaurants, cookware, and "utterly amazing" kitchen gadgets. If I consider myself a gourmet, I scrutinize the appearance of the dish and the sophistication of the ingredients. If I am on a diet, I scan the details of how many carbohydrates, how much fat, how many grams of protein, the total caloric content. If my focus is health, I look for the vitamins, mineral, and free radical scavengers.

Wherever my particular focus lies, it doesn't really matter: IT'S ALL ABOUT FOOD!

If we want to change that, to remove food from its central role in our lives, we have to stop thinking about it. Not an easy task but it can be done, even if painful. The real question is how can we do it.

Reread the last two pages. We color our world by how we filter its input. We are going to filter out every scrap of food (excuse the pun) that we can and replace it with different input that won't make us fat.

What kind of stimuli shall we let in?

This is where we go in different directions because each individual has their own likes and dislikes. For one person, thinking about sex may be an excellent substitution, for another football may provide a pleasant diversion while another may prefer to curl up with a great mystery novel.

What is important at this point is to pick something you like to do! You're going to have plenty of time to work on the painful aspects of losing weight but at this early stage, being comfortable is of utmost importance. Leave your tendencies toward martyrdom for later.

Take your pleasure from any of these items or add your personal selections.

Reading
Sewing
Solitaire
Mah-jongg
Video games
Jigsaw puzzles
Knitting
Quilting

I hesitate to include exercise. While that is obviously a wonderful thing for your health, if it is something you love, you wouldn't be overweight. We are looking for enjoyable diversions here, not more "shoulds" and "ought-tos."

Virginia Bola is a licensed psychologist and an admitted diet fanatic. She specializes in therapeutic reframing and the effects of attitudes and motivation on individual goals. The author of The Wolf at the Door: An Unemployment Survival Manual, and a free ezine, The Worker's Edge, she recently completed a psychologically-based weight control book: Diet with an Attitude:A Weight Loss Workbook. She can be reached at http://www.DietWithAnAttitude.com


MORE RESOURCES:

New York Times (blog)

Ask Well: Exercise and Weight Loss
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“It all comes down to energy balance,” or calories in and calories out, said Edward Melanson, a professor at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Denver, who has conducted many studies of exercise and weight loss. Most of us will burn only ...



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Did you make a New Year's resolution to lose weight in 2014? If so, you are not alone. Arguably, weight loss is one of the most common promises people make. How effective are most of us at keeping our promise? In this society, food is abundantly ...



KTXL

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Weight loss success: 100 pounds with a plant-based dietBayoubuzz
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Doctor healing herself with weight-loss regimen
Clarksville Leaf Chronicle
Because of Manning's dedication to good health, however, her personal struggle with weight loss has been a particularly difficult road. For Manning, weight gain was a direct result of leaving the military to focus on her budding medical career. “When I ...



Weight loss surgery changing lives
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The Perfect Dinner Equation for Weight Loss
Shape Magazine
You might have breakfast and lunch covered when it comes to a weight-loss plan, but dinner can prove to be a little more difficult. Stress and temptation can sneak in after a long day at work, and building that perfect plate to satisfy your body and ...



Dmitri Young explains his amazing weight loss
Washington Post (blog)
Over the weekend, Dmitri Young visited with some former D.C. baseball friends in Cincinnati, leading to a couple unbelievable photos of the former plus-sized star. And three days later, it's still kind of impossible to believe that the guy on the right ...

and more »


Marshfield News-Herald

What you need to know about weight-loss surgery
Marshfield News-Herald
Weight loss is different for everyone — some diets or exercise programs work for some people, while the same program might not work for someone else. People might wonder the same about bariatric surgery. An online educational tool, called the Ethicon ...



Weight Watchers, phentermine/topiramate best value in weight loss
Healio
Data were based on adults in studies with no less than 50% attrition, with a primary outcome of weight-loss results extending at least 1 year. All weight-loss strategies included in the study are currently approved and available for use in the United ...



Healthy weight-loss: 'I'm constantly busting through barriers'
Sioux Falls Argus Leader
The company has an on-site fitness center, free fitness classes throughout the week and provides employees access to wellness coaches to help with weight loss or smoking cessation. "It's a daunting task, and we have to be patient. It's good to have ...


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