Change Your Thinking: Startle Yourself with Surprises!


Let little gems be your big rewards. Savor the surprise of tasting the food at tonight's party and enjoying every bite and noticing when you have had enough. Savor the surprise of achieving your fitness goals for five days in a row with nary an internal nag. Savor the surprise of doing even very small things that you had only hoped to do but now that you have, you realize you hadn't really believed you could. This is changing your thinking and focusing on what works.

Let these surprise successes build one on the other, as success is known to do. That's right: success leads to success. You know that because you've experienced it, though you might not have noticed. We casually think that: If I can do it, anyone can, so it's nothing special. We're often wrong about that. Often others cannot do what we easily do. No matter. This is about you, not about the elusive “them,” who are often our focus – we think we know what they must be thinking.

One surprise might be that you can pull away from this mind reading and be attentive to what you are thinking. Find some way to track your successes – be it a mental catalog or preferably, a handy little diary that you can unobtrusively whip out of your purse in a moment. You'll be surprised to look over your notes and see the accumulation of your big and little successes. If you like counting things, well, even if you don't like counting things, you might find this a worthwhile endeavor.

While you might not be at all interested in keeping a food diary, you might find it emotionally rewarding to keep a list of the little behavioral surprises you gave yourself just as a way of keeping track of yourself. Reminders to yourself of important things to remember not that cathedral you saw in Rome, but the time you took just one cookie and felt quite satisfied or the joyful moment that you want to hold on to. These small efforts might help you when you're in danger of falling back into patterns that offered no surprises.

This #gmKISS strategy could also be called mindful moment.  Know that it is in the words you choose and the moments that you focus on that  create your internal experience.  Give yourself the gift of noticing what is working for you.

What surprises did you notice today?

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About the Author

Marsha Hudnall, MS, RDN, CD

Marsha has been a guiding force at Green Mountain at Fox Run since 1986. In addition to overseeing a professional program that helps women establish sustainable approaches to healthy living, she is a respected thought leader when it comes to managing eating, emotions and weight. She has been a voice of reason for the last three decades in helping people move away from diets, an area in which she is personally as well as professionally versed. An accomplished writer and speaker, Marsha is the author of six books, including the online course Disordered Eating in Active and Sedentary Individuals (co-authored by Karin Kratina, PhD, RD, Human Kinetics), What You Need to Know about Carbohydrates (Academy for Nutrition and Dietetics [The Academy]), What You Need to Know about Vitamin and Mineral Supplements (The Academy), and The Pregnancy Cookbook (co-authored by Donna Shields, RD, Berkeley Publishing). She has worked extensively on a national basis to educate the public about nutrition and the impact of dieting on eating behaviors, including binge eating and emotional eating. Active in many organizations helping to further the cause of health and wellness, Marsha currently serves as vice chair of the Binge Eating Disorder Association and vice president of The Center for Mindful Eating and has been active in the Association for Size Diversity and Health in support of Health at Every Size(R) principles.

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