1/11/12

Weighty Wednesday--Pavlov's Dogs

I debated various names for this particular blog, anything from Head Games (the Foreigner song) to Psych 101 to You want Fries with that? I thought Pavlov had an interesting theory that was very pertinent to our ability or inability to lose weight.

In a Margaret nutshell, Pavlov came up with the idea of the "conditioned reflex". Stimulation is provided and the dogs would react to the stimulation by drooling because they knew they would be fed. Positive and negative reinforcement has been used to test this theory over the years. Think of the rats running the maze. They get zapped, they avoid a particular area until they can figure a way around an obstacle to get to the food (positive reinforcement).

Losing weight is a head game that you have to play. We aren't talking about eating to survive here. Think about it. For years and years, you have developed certain responses to stimuli. No matter the stimuli, you get the positive reinforcement from eating. Eating is a pleasurable. We like to be happy.

If you're sad, you eat.
If you're bored, you eat.
If you're happy, you eat.
If it's dinner time, you eat.
If you aren't hungry, you eat.
If you overfilled your plate, you eat it because you were taught to clean your plate.

And these are just a few eating situations that we have to overcome. It's a mind game.

It's the beginning of the year and many people are realizing that they need to get serious about their health and weight. Everyone has different reasons for losing weight, just as they have different food triggers. We are all in this together.

One of my writer friends commented that she can't go to bed when hungry, so she's grazing after dinner. My comment was, "Are you really hungry? Or do you just think you are?" She realized she had programmed herself to snack in the evenings. There's a reason food commercials are put on during certain times of the day.

Your challenge is to find something else to occupy your mind when you think you're hungry.
  • drink a glass of water
  • walk around the block
  • crochet, knit or do needlework
  • brush your teeth
It all comes down to breaking the cycle. And the only person who can break the cycle is YOU.

Good luck! If you have any questions, suggestions, or comments, please feel free to post your opinion. If you don't want to put your question on a public forum, then send me an email, margaret.golla @ gmail.com (without spaces). I don't have all the answers, but I have defused some of the mind games.

Oh, I almost forgot. I lost another 2.2 pounds! I've lost a total of 38.6 pounds. The last six weeks have been gain weight, lose weight, gain weight, lose weight, and I'm tired of it! I'm 1.4 pound from losing 40 pounds! I'm so close I can taste it. Next weigh-in I'll succeed.

But I've had the positive reinforcement of buying a new pair of jeans. When you can pull your jeans down without unzipping them, then that's a good thing! I honestly can't remember the last time I could wear a size 6, so this was exciting. Bra shopping wasn't so successful.

Later, Peeps!

8 comments:

Edie Ramer said...

Margaret, that's so awesome! You're a role model.

Yesterday I saw Jennifer Hudson on Dr. Oz, and her transformation is amazing, too. Today I'm starting a new book and a new way of eating.

magolla said...

Thanks, Edie, you're too kind.

I meant to watch Dr. Oz yesterday, but I totally forgot when I got busy making some new flavors of caramel--Banana Foster and Hot Pepper Cinnamon.

Bonnie Dodge said...

Congratulations on the weight loss. I don't know how you do it making those delish chocolates. WTG

magolla said...

Thanks, Bonnie! I was so excited when I bought a pair of size 6 jeans the other day. I don't know how many years it's been since I could wear a 6!

Ah, I make the fillings, sample them and freeze them. They aren't sitting around waiting for me to eat them. :-) And when I do make the chocolates, I immediately package them and send them on their way!

Twisted Sister said...

Awesome, Margaret!
I'm so proud of you.

Jody Werner said...

Very interesting - I don't eat for any of those reasons. I eat when I am hungry. Some days I'm not hungry at all. Other days I eat a lot. I wonder if that is a common mindset among people who don't generally have weight issues? Anybody want to 'weigh in' (pun intended) on that?

Margaret, your transformation is truly awesome. You should be very proud! Time for a whole new wardrobe if you ask me!

magolla said...

Thanks, Meg! I hope my loss has inspired others to go down this road--in fact, I was in B & N yesterday and talked to a lady in the magazine section. She had written down the WW phone #, but hadn't called it yet. I urged her to give it a whirl. She was on medication for diabetes--her motivation was there, she just needed a little encouragement.

magolla said...

Thanks, Jody!

I really do think there should be a study about how slender people eat. If not, then it would behoove people trying to lose weight to observe.

The one thing I have is that slender people STOP eating when they are full.

Many, many overweight people do not. They want to 'clean their plate', get another piece of whatever because it's so good, or feel guilty wasting food. This has been a hard trick for me (stopping when full).

As I mentioned, losing weight is a mind game.