Eat Less, Move More ~ Just Do It!

brain

Introduction to The 4-Day Win by Martha Beck

We share a cultural belief that a combination of information and willpower should be enough to ensure compliance with any weight loss program. Eat less, move more, just do it! If this worked, we would all be thin already. Martha tell us that there is something amiss in our diet strategy.

The problem isn’t that we don’t know what to do, the problem is that we don’t do what we know. Why not? Contrary to conventional wisdom, the most compelling answer is not in our refrigerators, our restaurants, our mouths, our stomachs, our weak wills, or our basically vile and godless natures. It’s in our heads.

The Process

The 4-Day Win process is based on the premise that doing anything for 4 days is (a) achievable (a small chunk) (b) long enough to learn a new skill and (c) enough time to start the momentum of a new habit. Some exercises are forefield – conscious thoughts and behaviours that become daily practice and some are backfield – shifts to the way we think about things that only need to be learned once (like riding a bike).

turtle stepEach new idea is practised for four days by setting a ridiculously easy small goal (turtle step), a small daily reward and then a larger reward for completing the 4 day block. It looks like this in my notebook.

Observing Famine Brain

Ridiculously Easy Goal : For the next 4 days I’ll watch my emotional and psychological responses to food limitations noticing where I show signs of famine brain

Daily reward : download calming music for meditation

4 Day reward : manicure with french polish

  • Day 1 : 25 Dec
  • Day 2 : 26 Dec
  • Day 3 : 27 Dec
  • Day 4 : 28 Dec

The Seven Stages of Change

change model

Stage 1 = pre-contemplation (I have no intention of changing)

Stage 2 = contemplation (I’m thinking of change)

Stage 3 = preparation (I’m getting ready to change)

Stage 4 = action (I’m actually making the change)

Stage 5 = maintenance (I’m at my goal and holding steady)

Stage 6 = relapse (oops I fell off the wagon)

Stage 7 = lifestyle (my work here is done)

“When we go right from pre-contemplation to full bore action we can sustain the effort for a short time but then we slide right back into pre-diet habits. You can’t sustain any significant, voluntary new action with spending adequate time in pre-contemplation, contemplation and preparation.”

The problem with the traditional weight loss model is that is skips over the important first three stages and jumps straight to the action phase. Without the foundation of pre-contemplation, contemplation and preparation, the action phase will never stand the storms of circumstance.

While there is motivation and willpower galore, then all is well, but as soon as sickness, holidays, family, tragedy or work start competing for your attention, the healthy living commitment takes a back seat.

But I’m Way Up There in Stage 6 – Relapse!

That’s what I thought too … but you see you can’t be ready to change until all of you is in agreement with the idea of being skinny. If there is part of you that has no intention to change then you are right back at pre-contemplation. You must have no resistance to changing, in fact, you must have no resistance at all.

The presence of resistance to anything – your body’s signals, your appetite, your habits, getter fatter – indicates that you still in pre-contemplation. Resistance will seriously undermine your efforts to make permanent change because … I know you know this one … what you think about attracts more of the same, what you resist persists. Subconscious negative thoughts will make weight loss difficult and temporary.

Stage 1 = Pre-Contemplation

So we agree that most of us should maybe take a step back and admit that part of us on some level has no intention to change whatsoever. Even if you don’t agree, it doesn’t hurt to follow a program from the very beginning just to re-inforce all the good behaviours you’ve already got going. So Stage 1 it is then.

→ Related 4-Day Win Posts

→ photo : Migraine Chick

About Katie Paul

Embracing my midlife sexy while exploring modern love & relationships • Devoted to all things beautiful • Master of Arts in creative writing & non-fiction writing • Join the hottest group on FB → Sassy Midlife Women

0 thoughts on “Eat Less, Move More ~ Just Do It!

  1. For me, it was all about just “doing” it. If I hadn’t started changing my eating and my habits, I would never have gotten to where I am now (down 127 lbs). I couldn’t wait for motivation or think about it too long. I just started doing it, even when I wasn’t sure I would keep at it, and when the weight started coming off, the motivation to keep making changes followed.

    1. Hi Becky

      I believe all actions are driven by our thoughts and feelings.

      You might have thought “If I clean up my eating I’ll feel better” which made you feel hopeful so that is what you did.

      You might have thought “I’m not sure I’m going to do this forever, but I can do it for a week” which gave you a feeling of confidence so that is what you did.

      If it’s not broken, then don’t fix it. What you are thinking, feeling and doing is perfect for you because your results prove it. Congratulations on releasing all those pounds ♥

  2. This is great. I have agreed for the next week/four days..it be concious of the Bites.Likes.Tastes (BLTs). I have really focused on not eating before and after making a meal. There are times when I’d eat a mini/whole meal before the one which I was cooking. So if I feel the snackies coming on. I say ‘portion out a bit’ and that’s it. It’s REALLY helped.

    Thanks for this. You seem to be onto something for you..which is really helping us all. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Hi Mish

      Graciously and humbly might I suggest that you don’t focus on NOT eating before and after making a meal but that you focus on what you would like instead.

      Maybe “I am the type of person who enjoys a little hunger while I’m cooking because I know that I enjoy my meal so much more when I’m really hungry for it. I can snack now if I choose (I always have a choice) but if I do, I will be missing out on the exquisite pleasure and satisfaction of enjoying a delicious meal when I’m truly hungry.”

      Now you’ve replaced a rule that might make you feel deprived, frustrated and anxious (which makes you want to snack more?) with the thought that you can always choose which makes you feel more free, empowered and in control (which will probably make you forget about snacking altogether).

      My latest discovery – our thoughts and feelings drive our actions (and results) so all we have to do is search for the thought that makes us feel better and we’re sorted! (sorry for the lecture – I can’t keep all this stuff to myself ;))

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