Mission Statement

I will in general eat healthy, eat "normal" food, without gimmicks, pills, surgery, or trademarked diets. I will log all calories consumed and estimate calories burned on a daily basis. I will then be able to track my progress and estimate arrival time to my goals through My Food Log. I will also develop non-food rewards for reaching my goals knowing that reaching each goal is a reward in-and-of itself. I will not give up. I know that I will not be perfect but that I am making a permanent lifestyle change. The good days will out-number the bad days. I will not give up!


Food As A Motivator


I will be the first to admit that I have used food as a reward in the past. For people in my condition (obese), food should not be used as a reward. That doesn't mean that food can't be used a motivator.

If food should not be used as a reward, then how can it be a motivator? That depends on how you define motivation and how you apply it. To me, when food is used as reward, there is usually some internal conversation that sounds like, "Since I did such a good job cleaning the house, it's OK for me to eat this huge serving of ice cream." Another internal conversation about food as the reward might sound like, "I've done so well on my diet this week. I deserve to eat whatever I want right now."

The problem with this type of thinking is that it involves justifying your actions, making excuses for the behavior, and becoming comfortable with the idea of not sticking to a plan. Changing your lifestyle is tough. Everyone who attemps deserves a reward for trying. But if food is used as the reward for trying to loose weight it is just like telling an alcoholic that it's OK to have a drink since they established their sobriety. That type of system reinforces the bad behavior instead of attempting to find alternatives to it.

If food is used as a motivator instead, then thinking about food and choosing behaviors based upon the available food choices becomes a healthier process. For example, I believe that eating is good for me. I am learning that eating the correct portions and the right kinds of food is also good for me. I am motivated by the food I eat throughout the day to continue to make healthy choices. Simply put, I am leaning that good food is food that is good for you.

Another way I use food as a motivator is when I correctly plan my meals and eating. Let's say my husband bought ice cream and what he didn't eat is sitting in the freezer. I am able to resist the temptation of eating the ice cream at first. But the temptation grows stronger. I know that a proper serving of ice cream has healthy nutrients in it, like calcium, sugar and fat (yes, fat.. that article is in the research phase). If I use food as a motivator, then I will be able to plan my menu the next day, or for the next few days to include the ice cream. By using ice cream as a motivator I have practiced my healthy lifestyle change. I have remained committed to my plan and I will still be allowed to eat the ice cream. The key to using food as a motivator is to eat in such a way that feelings of deprivation are eliminated. By planning to eat the ice cream I do not feel deprived. I still have to practice restraint but that's not the same thing as depriving myself.

So, cheers! Plan to eat a proper serving (1/2 cup) of ice cream. We can do this! I will not quit!

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