Changing the Way You Think

With the DECO Healthy Living Program, change begins with an exploration of your weight loss beliefs and expectations. When you understand your expectations, you’re better able to achieve your goals.

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Hunger: Friend or Foe

Hunger isn’t the enemy. It’s your friend. It lets you know that it really is time to do one of your favorite things – EAT! In face, hunger is your only truly legitimate cue for eating. And eating when you are legitimately hungry is an exercise in eating without guilt.

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Who's Diet is it Anyway?

While assessing your habits and learning to control them is a difficult task, the rewards of accepting personal responsibility are well worth the effort. Concentrate on developing a positive attitude and keep the value of food in perspective

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Working Towards a Healthy Lifestyle

A person who has been heavy all their life may meet with negative feelings from family members when trying to lose weight. Remember, change can be frightening. Stay focused, get control over your own life and affirm your right to change.

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The Art of Managing Your Thinking

When you make an affirmation, you declare that what you are saying is true. You are making a commitment to yourself. It is important to remember that affirmations require hard work. Just making the affirmation is not enough. You need to follow through on the actions that will make that affirmation a reality.

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Self-Image and Self-Esteem

Self-image and self-esteem are very closely connected. Your self-esteem – how much you value yourself and who you are – depends to a very large extent on your self-image – what you think about yourself, your talents, capabilities, intelligence, personality, etc.

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Control: What it is, What it isn't

When you’re in control of your eating, you feel in control of other areas of your life as well – powerful, focused, full of possibility. When you are out of control in the area of weight management, often other things in your life are out of control too – your relationships, your job, your progression towards important goals.

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Life Under 30% Fat

Adjusting your eating habits to consume less than 30% of your calories from fat is not impossible. Remember that fat in your diet is easy to control once you recognize that many foods contain hidden fat. However, just recognizing the proper foods is not enough. You must then adjust your cooking techniques to effectively control your intake of dietary fat.

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Imagery and Mental Rehearsal

Psychologists have found that the human capacity for imagery and imagination is a potent tool that anyone can use to make improvements in their lives.

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Heart Disease Prevention

Heart disease is commonly caused by “hardening of the arteries”, a process in which cholesterol plays a role in the thickening, hardening and narrowing of the blood vessels/ if a blood clot gets “caught”, it may lead to a heart attack.

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Smart Shopping

As with many other experiences, you must make time for calorie-wise conscious shopping. The shopping experience requires planning ahead.

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Behavioral Control: Basics of Change

No eating on the run, in the car, on the street, at the playground, in the park, or while you are in front of the TV. if you are standing up you should not be eating. It’s that simple. Simplicity is what makes it easy… but only you can make it work.

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Behavioral Control: The Environment

You know certain situations, foods and emotions are red lights for you, warning you that danger lies ahead. Examine your past behaviors and attitudes toward food. Do you want to eat every time you watch TV, talk on the phone, or walk into the kitchen? It is possible that your old behaviors were linked behaviors – that is, you linked eating to another behavior. It took time to develop that link and it is going to take some work to make sure that the destructive link does not return.

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Behavioral Control: Alternating Responses

Healthy choice making is a process by which you train yourself to think and make choices from a thin viewpoint. You already have the knowledge, all you lack is practice. The key to healthy choice making is how to follow up on the awareness which you have gained through the DECO Healthy Living Program.

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Behavioral Control: Special Situations

Are you a victim of your environment? Or are there ways you can change your environment to adapt to your needs? Obviously there are some things you can’t change – at least not right away.

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Behavioral Control: Making it Work

You have probably noticed by now that certain behaviors trigger other behaviors. That is, that there is often a chain of events that leads you to want to eat for reasons other than hunger. They key to handling a behavior chain that may lead you to overeating is first to recognize what is going on. For example, perhaps you know that when you enter the kitchen after you return from work in the evening you want to eat. The chain of events goes like this:

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Integrating Thinking, Feeling and Acting

Some forms of behavior are automatic, like breathing or scratching an itch. Others, like eating are rarely automatic. Eating behaviors are the end result of a continuum or a sequence of events which are influence by your thoughts, feelings and emotions.

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Learning to Love Your Body

Everyone carries around an inner view of how he or she looks to the world. This is known as your body image – the way you see your body through your mind’s eye. Depending on whether your body image is positive or negative, it can support you on the road to success or pull you down the path to failure.

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Resistance Tactics: Strategies for Change

You are likely to resist change because it creates chaos and conflict. Change riles things up, bringing out emotions you are not used to or comfortable feeling. It also means you are striking out into dangerous territory – the unknown. Your mind may panic at the thought of having to change comfortable patterns of negative behavior to more positive ones. If you take a good , honest look at your behaviors, you will probably discover some common resistance tactics.

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Conclusion: Putting It All Together

You may be surprised to discover that you have reached the end of the DECO Healthy Living Program Modification Program and are now ready to enter maintenance, STAR (Steps To Avoid Regain). If that prospect seems overwhelming, take heart, here is what you have learned:

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My Lucky STARS Top 10

Let’s savor your success. Now that you have lost some weight, what have you gained? Or if you are just beginning your journey, what do you hope to gain once you lose weight? Make a list of all the benefits of your weight loss that you notice, and any key reasons you want to stay at this weight. An example might be, “I feel more energetic and now enjoy taking hikes with my family.”

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My Weight Story

Your weight has a history, and your recent weight loss is a victory! In order to appreciate where you have been and how far you have come, take some time to understand how you gained and lost the weight over the years. Try to relate the fluctuations in your weight to life events. Fill out the following chart, starting with your weight as a child or young adult.

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Get Your Motivation Back

How not to give up! Which came first—you lost your motivation or your self-confidence to lose or maintain your weight? Weight loss and weight maintenance is a challenging endeavor—how can you stay motivated to just stay the same? You were good at losing weight and were rewarded for it, but do you feel confident that you can hold that weight?

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Personal Pride and Confidence

Now that you are working on achieving your best body weight, you still need to strengthen your self-esteem in order to continue to be successful at weight loss/maintenance. Your self-esteem is a reflection of your personality traits—life experiences, body image, and how you think others view you.

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Life Passions Inventory

Values give life meaning and direction to accomplish your goals. Look at your life and determine what is missing that is important to you. Consider all the items in the chart below.

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Attitude Adjustment

Positive emotions are essential for change, growth, optimal functioning, health and well-being. Being positive or happy begins when you realize you can choose to convert any negative self talk that currently tends to plague your daily life. Let today be the start a new attitude that says, “I can!”

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Nurture Your Emotions Without Calories

Healthy eating and exercise helps keep more than your weight balanced, it can also help your mood. For occasions when your emotions seem to get out of control, the following exercise can help you build awareness and plan appropriate action.

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Making Your Exercise Plan Vital

At this point, you have probably found that the ways you used exercise during your weight loss phase are also very important to maintaining your new healthy weight. Some people will have a very comfortable exercise routine and find they really enjoy being active every day. For others, this can be a time when you struggle to keep up with the routine and risk becoming less active again.

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Behavior Detours and Shortcuts

Behaviors are interconnected, just like the roads between your home and work. As you practice understanding your unique behavior patterns, you can expose alternate paths for the under-construction detours that can sometimes slow you down. Like with driving, detours can be an enjoyable alternate way to reach a destination; however, they could also make you frustrated and late.

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Kitchen Makeover

From the past, you may recall multiple lessons on menu planning, shopping, healthy cooking, and recipe modification. Are any of these areas still a struggle for you? Which ones, and why?

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What Makes a GREAT Day?

Describe a day when you felt that you accomplished a lot. Maybe it was just before you went on vacation, while getting ready for a celebration, or just one of those days where you felt you did twice as much as you thought you could in just 24 hours—you had fun, meaningful conversations with others, ate well, enjoyed physical activity, slept and woke up rested and refreshed. A great day!

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Develop your Support Team

The people in your environment—even the environment itself—play an influential role in your ability to continue to lose maintain your weight. People can offer you encouragement, give your feedback, and notice changes. They can also help make your environment maintenance friendly, such as not bringing donuts to every staff meeting, or limiting the purchase of junk food at home.

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