obesity

How Will You Celebrate Success?

David Mendosa Health Guide September 13, 2012
  • Losing weight can be easy. I’ve done it hundreds of times.Mark Twain actually said that about stopping smoking. But losing weight and stopping smoking have a big difference.When you stop smoking, you stop. When you lose weight, you still have to eat something. This makes losing weight even hard...

8 Comments
  • My Bariatric Life
    Health Guide
    Nov. 04, 2012
    I had not thought of this, setting a reward for oneself, thinking that the weight loss was itself the reward. While the weight loss is its own reward, and you are not disputing that, setting up some type of non foodie reward can remove any feelings of depravity that a dieter may experience and celebrate accomplishment of a goal. Tell me, please, how did that...
    RHMLucky777
    Read More
    I had not thought of this, setting a reward for oneself, thinking that the weight loss was itself the reward. While the weight loss is its own reward, and you are not disputing that, setting up some type of non foodie reward can remove any feelings of depravity that a dieter may experience and celebrate accomplishment of a goal. Tell me, please, how did that victory balloon ride feel? I will bet it was exhilarating. While it did not occur to me to establish such a reward for myself after weight loss, I have enjoyed so many things and seen many things that I never would have been able to do when I was obese. There was Disneyland rides with my granddaughter on my lap... I alone would not have fit on these in the past. How much I enjoyed that is immeasurable. There was a very long hike through the Anza Borrego desert with my family, the beauty of which blew me away. There was hiking the pyramids and ruins of Tikkal and the mountains of Lake Atitlan, hands down one of the most enriching experiences of my life. I could go on but you get the idea. You have inspired me, once again, to set a goal and a reward for myself. I am going to think on this one. Look for a future sharepost about it :-) MBL
    • David Mendosa
      Health Guide
      Nov. 04, 2012

      Dear MBL,

       

      Your comments are right on target. The Disneyland rides that you took with your granddaughters were rewards that your weight loss made possible just as my hot air balloon ride over Boulder was a reward for me. Neither of us could have taken those rides at our old weight. The difference (as I understand it) was that you hadn't looked forward...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      Dear MBL,

       

      Your comments are right on target. The Disneyland rides that you took with your granddaughters were rewards that your weight loss made possible just as my hot air balloon ride over Boulder was a reward for me. Neither of us could have taken those rides at our old weight. The difference (as I understand it) was that you hadn't looked forward to your rides, while I did. Looking forward to my ride was a big incentive for me to continue my weight loss efforts. Making our goals and our rewards explicit strengthens them. 

       

      At the time I only vaguely understood this. However, this year I read The Power of Habitby Charles Duhigg. He writes about how we can change "our routines," the things that we habitually do, "By learning to observe the cues and rewards." He writes about the cue-habit-reward cycle in our actions and I don't want to oversimplify what he writes, but he also writes that, "Rewards can range from food or drugs that cause physical sensations, to emotional payoffs, such as the feelings of pride that accompany praise or self-congratulation."

       

      Similar to what you write "that the weight loss was itself the reward," I reward myself every day with self-congratulation about my weight loss to say nothing about feeling better and being healthier and looking better than ever before. Knowing that I lost half of my body weight and kept it off now for more than four years is indeed something that I am proud to have accomplished. 

       

      That balllon ride over Boulder, which in October 2008 I first wrote about in my photoblog at "Ballooning," was indeed exhillerating and it continues to be a memorable event in my life. It was my big and explicit reward for losing weight.

       

      Namaste,

       

      David

    • My Bariatric Life
      Health Guide
      Nov. 04, 2012
      This book sounds like a good investment, David. I am going to add it to my reading list. Thanks again!
  • Anonymous
    Abhi
    Sep. 23, 2012

    Hi David,

     

    Thanks for this great article! I've read the 'Power of Habit' and found it useful too. I like your advice very much. However, many people, including myself, find it very difficult to keep working on our long term goals despite the many benefits that achieving these goals might bring.

     

    Personally, I tend to work towards a goal consistently...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    Hi David,

     

    Thanks for this great article! I've read the 'Power of Habit' and found it useful too. I like your advice very much. However, many people, including myself, find it very difficult to keep working on our long term goals despite the many benefits that achieving these goals might bring.

     

    Personally, I tend to work towards a goal consistently when I set up a small reward for completing a certain activity or give myself daily or weekly rewards for completing a set of activities that will take me closer to my long term goal.

     

    The reason I've quit many times in the past, especially with my weight-loss goals, is because I would never reward myself on a frequent basis. Hence, I feel the article would have been even more helpful if you would have mentioned setting up small frequent rewards as well. I remember this strategy is also recommended in 'The Power Of Habit.'

    • David Mendosa
      Health Guide
      Sep. 23, 2012

      Hi Abhi,

       

      Yes, I should have made the point that you make. Setting a big goal can sometimes feel overwhelming. It helps a lot to break it down into small chunks.

       

      I think, for example, of the wise words of another author, Anne Lamont. In her book, "Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life," she takes as the theme something her father...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      Hi Abhi,

       

      Yes, I should have made the point that you make. Setting a big goal can sometimes feel overwhelming. It helps a lot to break it down into small chunks.

       

      I think, for example, of the wise words of another author, Anne Lamont. In her book, "Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life," she takes as the theme something her father once told her brother. 

       

      "Thirty years ago," she wrote, "my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report on birds written that he'd had three months to write. It was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books on birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him, put his arm around my brother's shoulder, and said, 'Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.'"

       

      Bird by bird is, of course, equivalent to pound by pound.

       

      Best regards,

       

      David

    • Anonymous
      Abhi
      Sep. 23, 2012

      Hi David,

       

      Thanks once again for the great advice.

       

      Regards,

      Abhi

    • David Mendosa
      Health Guide
      Sep. 23, 2012

      Dear Abhi,

       

      And I appreciate your suggestion to break down the goals we set into discrete units!

       

      Best regards,

       

      David

  • Scott K. Johnson
    Sep. 15, 2012

    Way to go David.  I remember you from way back, and your journey fills me with hope and inspiration.

     

    Thank you for all that you do!