The 3 P’s to changing our lifestyle habits

I picked up this book (Bob Greene’s “The Best Life Diet”) a few years ago and read it from cover to cover!  This morning I just pulled it off the bookshelf, blew the dust off of it for a few recipes and just happened to open  it to a chapter called “Patience, Perseverance, and a Positive Attitude.”  I read it again and found that it really resonated with me and I really like the way he explains what he believes are the best and most important ways to make permanent lifestyle changes.  I had some extra time to write today so I thought I would type this chapter out and share it with you…I hope the author doesn’t mind!

“I’ve been helping people make lifestyle changes for over twenty-five years, and one thing is very clear: changing out behaviour is one of the toughest things we can do.  Changing how we eat is particularly tough due to our primitive hardwiring.  We’re born with mechanisms that make us want to eat high-calorie foods-and lots of them!

With the right approach, we can overcome those instincts.  The tougher challenge, for some people, is another kind of hardwiring: negative, firmly ingrained attitudes about the world and themselves that were formed when they were growing up.  So much of our behaviour is dictated by how we think, and how we think tends to stay static-unless we consciously try to change it.  And that’s key: if you’re hampered by a negative attitude, you’re going to need to think differently.  Change your attitude and you can change your life, too.

This program sets out quite a few challenges for you.  It asks you to change how active you are, when you eat, what you eat, and what you drink.  It also asks you to set about changing the areas of your life that are troubled or in which you are unfulfilled so you will stop turning to food for comfort.  You are capable of all these things, but only if you believe you are.  If there’s one thing that people who make major-and permanent-changes in their lives have in common, it’s a positive outlook.  I can’t stress how important this is.  But you don’t have to be born with a glass-is-half-full attitude; you can develop one.  It’s a thrilling process; the process of positive change can be one of the best experiences of your life if you let it.

Here’s what it takes to be the optimistic and confident person you need to be to succeed: Focus on the good things that happen in your life each day rather than the bad.  What went right today?  What things did you do to benefit yourself? This doesn’t mean you need to avoid thinking about what went wrong; going over what you would have done differently is the best way to learn.  But look at those things as something you can work to change, and vow to do better tomorrow.

This is where having a journal can be enormously helpful. Sit down in solitude, in a quiet room, maybe with some soothing music playing and a cup of tea on the table; then write about where in your life you need to make improvements.  The perfect time to do this is when you’re tempted to eat, because the process can not only distract you from eating, but it can also help you be proactive and positive about the changes yuu’re making.  Writing demands that you focus, and that will help you face challenges head-on instead of letting vague thoughts of change hover in the back of your mind.  Even if you just have moments of feeling hopeful, capturing them on paper can generate more of these moments.  Positive thinking is like a ball rolling downhill: it may start out slowly, but it will gather momentum, inspiring and motivating you to create a better life for yourself.  

Having a positive attitude prepares you to take the next steps toward change.  Those steps are:

  • Decide what you really want for your life.
  • Make an honest assessment of yourself and what you’re willing to change about yourself and your behaviour.
  • Determine what you need to do to accomplish those changes.
  • Muster up the discipline needed to make it all happen.
  • Avoid getting discouraged along the way.
  • Find fulfillment out of each small step you take toward your Best Life.

Getting discouraged can be hard to avoid.  But not if you look at obstacles as opportunities and at challenges as a chance to show your mettle.  In other words, take pleasure in persevering; that’s what separates those people who keep pushing forward from those who throw in the towel.  From what I’ve observed, people who persevere delight in each small victory.  To them, having the inner strength to turn down a piece of cake at a party is cause for celebration.  They feel good about themselves for their self-discipline-and their self-esteem, along with their motivation, grows.  Perseverance is born out of affirming each small accomplishment along the way to a larger goal.  That’s what is going to help you develop the optimism you need to succeed.

Not allowing yourself to be discouraged and acknowledging your small victories is also what’s going to help you have the patience to see this program through.  Dramatic change does not happen in one day or even one month, and that can be discouraging if you’re used to (and long for) immediate gratification.  It’s easier, though, to be patient when you feel as though you’re reaping some kind of reward for your efforts; that’s why it’s so important to enjoy the process of positive change rather than focusing on the end result.  Find joy in each triumph, big or small.  Don’t take for granted turning down a piece of cake, eating a healthful breakfast, or going for a walk at lunch-or any of the small but significant efforts you make as a part of your commitment to this program.  All of them count, and with continued patience, perseverance, and a positive attitude, they’re all going to add up to a big payoff.

If there is any secret to success, it’s this: Be honest with yourself and those around you.  Take responsibility for your actions and your life.  Think of the commitments you make to yourself as sacred, and honour them in the way that you honour your commitments to other people.  Identify what it is your really want from life, realize you deserve it, and think positively about your ability to get it.  Make your plan, have the inner strength to stick to it, and claim the life you deserve!”

-From Bob Greene’s book “THE BEST LIFE DIET”.

Click on this link to buy it online… http://www.google.com/products/catalog?q=the+best+life+diet&hl=en&biw=1280&bih=673&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid=14040367868186924639&sa=X&ei=_yFzT_aaIuqZ0QHv_PG9AQ&ved=0CJ4BEPMCMAo

…or you can visit your local Chapters to pick up a copy.

 

Has anyone else read this book?? Your thoughts??

Hope that everyone is having a wonderful Wednesday!  I had an AWESOME time with my mom the last few days and, to be honest, I am very sad she is leaving today 😦  Good thing Easter is just around the corner…

Les 🙂

 

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