Focus is the secret ingredient


Full Member
The Wt. Loss Minute by Linda Spangle, RN, MA
Great idea: Focus is the key to reaching your goals
Imagine you are a parent (even if you aren't) and that you took your two pre-school age children shopping at the mall. You wouldn't get so preoccupied that you'd 'forget' you'd brought the kids along. Instead, the entire time you were shopping, you'd always know where your children were and what they were doing.
Most parents have a mental 'antenna' that stays on alert, even after the kids are in bed. This built-in awareness or focus helps you know when your children are happy and contented as well as when they are at risk for harm.
It's this same ability that helps parents recognize broken rules or other behavior problems. My mother referred to this as the 'eyes in the back of her head.' I guess that's how she always caught me when I tried sneaking into the pantry to get cookies.
Successful weight management requires a similar level of focus.
And when we let up on it, especially during times we feel weak or vulnerable, it's a setup for disaster.
When we lose focus
Here in America, we just celebrated Thanksgiving, a holiday that traditionally includes family gatherings and LOTS of food. I had two Thanksgiving dinners this year, including one where I carefully monitored my what I was eating. I savored the cranberries and the stuffing, appreciated the sweet potatoes and other vegetables, but left a fair amount on my plate.
At the second gathering a couple days later, I 'forgot' to pay attention to my food intake. By the time the plates were cleared, I'd eaten way more than I'd intended. I pushed back from the table feeling totally stuffed, and a bit disgusted with myself for eating so much.
What went wrong? I simply lost my focus--the ability to stay aware of my eating plan even as I enjoyed the food and conversation.
Focus doesn't mean you can't have fun. Instead, it provides a way to hold continual awareness, in spite of what's going on around you. It means that you don't 'forget' that you are striving to eat smaller portions, limit sweets or follow a specific diet plan.
Tricks for staying focused
1. Remember it. Remind yourself often that you are living in a healthy manner and staying on your diet or exercise plan.
2. Pull it back quickly. If you start slipping into old patterns, intentionally renew your focus. Remind yourself of your weight-loss goals and why they are important to you.
3. Take care of your emotions. Focus on ways to identify and express your emotions, especially during high-risk times such as holidays.
Like any good parent, don't 'forget' about your weight-loss efforts. Develop a special 'antenna' that helps you stay focused on how you want to live every single day.
To read more about being focused, see Day #100 in the book "100 Days of Weight Loss."
To send feedback or comments on the Wt. Loss Minute, click "reply" and send me a note. I value your thoughts and ideas.
Please be sure to add <[email protected]> to your email address book or white list.
Know others who've got a minute? Forward this ezine and brighten their day.

Very spooky this one as it was only just the other day I was thinking that maybe I think too much about dieting and it seems easier whenI dont think about it. This article puts that idea to bed, perhaps I do need to live and breathe it !!!!
Nice one Shazza and certainly very apt for the moment! :)