The simplest path to weight control is in your head.

It was a learning curve for me, but now I think that weight control can be a simple matter(not easy, but simple): I decide what weight I want to be, and I make a commitment to follow through with that decision. If I can do this, so can you – that’s if you want to, but you have to really want to do it or it doesn’t work.

Having cancer 22 years ago taught me to start taking better care of my eating habits. Before cancer I had a high fat – low fiber diet; this made me feel crappy for the most part, pun intended.

Since cancer had a way of making me wake up enough to want to change my lifestyle, I decided to make good health my number one priority in life. I learned to filter all my eating decisions through the question “Is this good for my health?” I have to be very honest with myself and if the answer is yes, then I can go ahead and eat whatever I want to eat. If the answer is no, then I have to ask myself if I’m cheating. Once I realize that I am only cheating myself, it’s very easy to back up and filter everything through the question again.

I just read a great article by Judith Beck in the January 2009 issue of Reader’s Digest, a Canadian magazine. The article is called “Think Like a Thin Person” and it’s adapted from Dr. Beck’s book called “The Complete Beck Diet for Life”.

The philosophy in the article is the same as mine, and my summary of Dr. Beck’s 7 key principles is:

1. Change your thinking – be aware of the thoughts you have before you eat and flex the resistance muscle more than you flex the “giving in” muscle

2. Eliminate emotional eating – face the emotions that make you eat when you’re not hungry, and distract yourself so you’re not tempted to eat

3. Dare to be hungry – recognize when you’re truly hungry and talk yourself out of eating when all you have is a desire to eat

4. Get real about your intake – pay attention to what you’re eating and instead of thinking it doesn’t count, remember that it does

5. Forget fairness – if you envy someone who is thin, remember thin people consciously choose to eat less so they control their weight

6. Eat sitting down – this is key, as it helps you to see everything you’re eating so you’re more satisfied visually and psychologically

7. Believe you can do it – keep up your motivation and confidence in yourself -rather than beating yourself up if you fall off the rails, talk to yourself in a positive way so you can quickly get back on track.

If you want to make a change, remember to do something every day to be kind to yourself; something small will do, but it helps you to feel nurtured so you won’t crave the comfort food and you’ll feel great.

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