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Day 28: Yes, You Can Play The Weight Game Too
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Day 28: Yes, you can play the weight game too

Three scholars from SCSMI conference on a visit to Yellowstone park

Rikke, Lyuba, and Catalin from SCSMI conference, on a visit to Yellowstone park

I got my first “student” for my weight game. Lyuba wants to lose 17 k, but will try to start – like me – with trying to lose 3 kilos in 30 days.

I will make sure she sends me daily e-mails with updates.

I am asking her to document her weight every day; to chose a habit she wants to change; and to track her progress every day; I’ll recommend her to either buy Duhigg’s book The Power of Habit or read my earlier blog entries.

And, to summarize, my weight game to diet without dieting has very few rules and they are:

  1. Eat what you want
  2. Identify your bad habits and work on breaking them into god habits
  3. follow the normal rules for not eating too much, such as use a smaller plate, take smaller potions, take only one helping of food instead of several helpings, and so on.

My bad habit is snacking and I am working on changing that; your bad habit may be something else. Lyuba said she would start with taking jam away from her kitchen. (This reminds me that I took away Nutella and peanut butter).

Exercising at the Lewis & Clark Motel, Bozeman, Montana

Exercising although I am at a conference

I’ve tried to exercise every day, so even today when I am on a tour to Yellowstone national park and we leave the motel at 8, I got up at 6 to exercise and even have time for a breakfast with Margrethe before the tour.

I felt like an over-achiever.

But I can also feel my body changing and am sooooo curious about how much I weight when I get back home.

The aim is not just to lose weight, also to get fit so I can run future marathons. Maybe I should sign up for one soon. For me it always helps to have very clear goals.

 

Remember, the point is to change your bad habits into good  habits. As Duhigg says, “left to its own devices, the brain will try to make almost any routine into a habit, because habits allow our minds to ramp down more often.”

Image from Charles Duhigg, The Power of Habit. The rat's brain activity when dealing with a new situation

Image from Charles Duhigg, The Power of Habit. The rat’s brain activity when dealing with a new situation

When we first encounter a situation, the brain evaluates every step of the way of resolving the situation.

This is the rat’s brain when it has to solve a situation to get chocolate as a reward:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image from Charles Duhigg, The Power of Habit. The rat's brain activity when dealing with a habit

Image from Charles Duhigg, The Power of Habit. The rat’s brain activity when dealing with a habit

And this second image is the rat’s brain when it the action has become a habit. The brain “chunks” the middle part of the action, going from the cue to the reward of chocolate. The bad habit has become an automatised action. When our brain “chunks” a situation, we don’t think about what we do, we just do it. It saves energy, but if you want to change your habits, you have to get back to using your brain to consider your options. Do you want to keep eating chocolate, or are there other options?

If you have forgotten how the habit loop works, then look at blog entry 2, 3, 4 and 7 – or you can look at this wikipedia entry or go to Duhigg’s webpage.

 

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