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Change June 6, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Food & Drink, Health & Wellness.

Chicken-Little-PosterFor many things, it’s slow and steady progress (not perfection) that helps us manifest change.

For others, cold turkey works best.

Gobble.  Gobble.

For example, switching from regular milk to skim milk or from dairy milk to almond or soy milk is harder if we alternate back and forth.  We don’t acclimate to the new milk until we STOP drinking the old milk.

The same is true of other dietary changes.

Our taste buds adapt to less salt and less sugar, but only after we eliminate the “problem foods” from our daily diet.

Also, change is easier if we don’t rely on sheer will power alone.


Most of us are impatient and don’t want to wait.  Delayed gratification often is not enough to keep us slogging along with the new regime.

If we focus on the short term rewards gained from the behavioral changes we’re making, rather than on what we are giving up, it makes it easier to stick with the new behavior until it becomes status quo.

For example, we can focus on how we feel after a vigorous walk, rather than obsessing about the slow-to-move number on the bathroom scale.

Aah . . . that’s better!

For some terrific tips on mindful change:  What Needs to Change for Change to Happen (Find Your Middle Ground)


1. suzicate - June 6, 2014

Most of my lifestyle changes stick when I go slow and steady rather than cold turkey.

nrhatch - June 6, 2014

I’m the same with most things, Suzi.

Tell me I can’t have ANY chocolate, and I’ll fuss. Cutting back on chocolate (or chips) is far easier ~ knowing I can have a little bit anytime it’s what I really want.

2. Jill Weatherholt - June 6, 2014

Well said, Nancy! We need to stop getting stressed by the number on the scale and go by how our clothes fit and our bodies feel.

nrhatch - June 6, 2014

Yes! Exercise is great ~ At first, my mood went UP after each walk . . . and now the number on the scale is heading in the opposite direction. Slow and steady.

3. Pix Under the Oaks - June 6, 2014

Yep, I monitor my weight by how my jeans go on.. 😀 I switched from whole milk years ago to rice milk and can’t stand cow’s milk now. I stopped eating ALL chocolate.. wait for it Nancy, for 15 years after a Dr. told me it would help a health condition I was having! I do eat a bit of chocolate now though.. chocolate chip cookies!!!!!

nrhatch - June 6, 2014

I’m the same way with milk. The “new” quickly becomes the “norm.” I’m glad you now enjoy the occasional cookie ~ life is short and food is a pleasure.

4. Silver in the Barn - June 6, 2014

I hate to admit it….and I can’t even imagine that I actually did it for so long…..but i smoked for years. I was so cool. Anyway, the only way I was able to kick the habit was cold turkey. It was like saying goodbye to my best friend but probably the best thing I ever did for myself.

nrhatch - June 6, 2014

Good on you, Barbara! Making positive life changes pays dividends.

5. ericjbaker - June 6, 2014

I’m one of those weirdos who thinks milk is gross but likes soy beverages (provided they are not sugary). Junk food on the other hand…

nrhatch - June 6, 2014

I am getting to the point where seeing advertisements for junk foods no longer creates a craving. Instead, the ads invoke the thought, “that’s not food.”

If only I’d reached this point about 40 years ago. 😎

ericjbaker - June 6, 2014

My junk food craving thinks independently of the rest of me. I think if I didn’t sit at a desk all day, it would be easier to avoid.

nrhatch - June 6, 2014

The worst time for me is not sitting at a desk (since I’m too focused on what I’m doing to get something to eat) . . . it’s watching TV in the evening when interminable commercials start rolling in, one after another after another.

I stocked up on a few “OK for me” snacks that seem to help.

6. Kate @ Did That Just Happen? - June 6, 2014

I never thought about it like that – the taste bud theory makes sense. I have quit smoking and took a puff the other day and it was awful. But I never translated that to sugar!! I have to think on that! Thanks for this post today!!

nrhatch - June 6, 2014

Cutting sweet and salty snacks out for a short time shifts our taste buds so that when we take a nibble those “treats” no longer taste as good. But we each must find the right balance ~ I do still eat chips and chocolate, but not every day.

7. Val Boyko - June 6, 2014

Being mindful …. and having an attitude of everything is ok in moderation (as long as it doesn’t cause hurt or harm) works for me.
Val x

nrhatch - June 6, 2014

Your recent posts have resonated with me loud and clear, Val. Thanks!!!

Val Boyko - June 6, 2014

Thanks Nancy …I just saw the link to my mindful change post.
Hhmmm …. there is some change in the air 🙂

nrhatch - June 6, 2014

There is indeed, Val!

I had an epiphany this afternoon ~ a lesson I’ve been resisting. Finally, I tuned in and heard it loud and clear.

Now I just need to put it into daily practice. And you helped. Thanks!

8. jannatwrites - June 6, 2014

When it comes to food, I have to avoid the offending food all together. Apparently I haven’t grasped the concept of moderation…

nrhatch - June 6, 2014

For some things, I find it best to eliminate the “temptation” . . . for others, I like to enjoy them in moderation.

Each of us eventually finds the right balance for us. Life should be filled with pleasures that add to our genuine happiness.

9. Barbara - June 6, 2014

I’ve learned that slow and easy gets us there, a tried and true method in most things we want to achieve.

nrhatch - June 6, 2014

Most “bad” habits are developed over time . . . and it’s hard to break their hold on us over night. But if we keep “nibbling away” at them, we eventually see lasting progress toward our goals.

10. Three Well Beings - June 7, 2014

It’s so often hard to be patient while we wait for our tastes and habits to “sit well” once we make up our minds that we have some necessary changes to make! I love the picture you used to illustrate this post, Nancy. It’s so interesting and has a very appealing vintage feel!

nrhatch - June 7, 2014

That is so true, Debra. And once we’ve mastered our minds to accomplish “one change” . . . another necessary change often appears on the radar. So we’re in constant flux.

That’s a painting by Leslie Brooke, now in the public domain. You can find it here:


11. sufilight - June 7, 2014

I have been able to make some changes such as drinking almond milk and eating almonds and walnuts everyday as snacks, but in another area I have a resistant habit.

These words are very helpful; thanks!: “we focus on the short term rewards gained from the behavioral changes we’re making, rather than on what we are giving up, it makes it easier to stick with the new behavior until it becomes status quo.”

nrhatch - June 7, 2014

My progress seems faster when I state things in the positive (rewards) rather than the negative (“no more X, Y, or Z!”). For the past 6 weeks, I’ve kept a daily journal to assist me focus on nutrition, sleep, physical activity/exercise, relaxation, positive thinking, energy level, new learning, motivation, gratitude, etc.

Jotting in it every day has kept me focused on forward momentum and progress.

sufilight - June 7, 2014

Thank you for the tips! Will do the same and keep a journal. I see now that I am wording my goals in the negative.

nrhatch - June 7, 2014

Good Luck!

12. kateshrewsday - June 7, 2014

Excellent conclusions today, Nancy. I love the thought of focusing on what our change brings us today.
(Ps, I just lost 4 pounds!! Yippedeedoodah!)

nrhatch - June 7, 2014

Yay! I mean, Yippedeedoodah! I’m on the same downward trend myself. Five pounds in six weeks.

Perhaps now that I’ve set the mantle of “General Manager of the Universe” aside, I’ll lighten the load still further. 😎

13. bluebee - June 8, 2014

Cold turkey works best for me – it is how I managed to stop smoking. Same with sugar in tea.

nrhatch - June 8, 2014

Go you! I quit smoking “cold turkey” for 5 years ~ after two “bad” weeks, the physical cravings were gone. But certain activities continued to prompt the psychological urge to “light up.” Before quitting, I smoked a pack (and a half) a day ~> 20-30 cigarettes.

I did start smoking again around the time I stopped practicing law, when the ground under my feet was in upheaval. These days, I smoke one pack a week ~ 3 cigarettes a day.

Other than reminding me that there is no “safe level,” my doctor doesn’t chide me about my last bad habit. 😎

14. Grannymar - June 8, 2014

I was never a fan of fast food and dairy is out for me. I go by mammy’s manta: A little of what you fancy does you good. A small bag of crisps/chips every three or four months or a couple of squares of dark chocolate every now and then, it takes away the craving.

nrhatch - June 8, 2014

I agree, GM. I would rather enjoy things in moderation than cut them out and feel deprived. I have chocolate, chips, liquor, etc., in the pantry and go weeks without touching any of it.

But when the mood strikes my fancy, I indulge in small amounts.

15. I am J - June 9, 2014

Dang it. So you’re telling me I should stop throwing my scale at the wall and just start enjoying the journey? Okay, I’ll give it one day and see what happens… 🙂 Great post, Nancy.

nrhatch - June 9, 2014

The most helpful thing to me over the past 6 weeks has been jotting down what I’m eating, how much I’m exercising, etc. [Comment 11] I’ve lost 6 lbs. in 6 wks. ~ slow and steady progress. Even better than the number on the scale is the way I’ve transformed how I’m feeling, my view of the world, my energy level., etc. So, yeah, enjoy the journey from HERE to THERE.

16. Karen J - June 9, 2014

Phrasing your goal in terms of “immediate pluses” instead of “no more X or Y” makes So-o-o-o much difference!!

Thanks for this, Nancy!

Bright Blessings, all ~

nrhatch - June 9, 2014

Thanks, Karen! Change is hard ~ we need lots of tips in our tool chest of tricks.

17. livelytwist - June 11, 2014

Focusing on how I feel after my jog and the fact that my clothes hang looser on me, definitely helps. The number on the scale refuses to budge! Sometimes slow change equals lasting change.

Karen J - June 11, 2014

Plus, don’t forget that muscle is denser than fat. As you shift from “fat” weight to “muscle” weight, the total may not change, but the shape sure does (thus the looser clothes at the same weight!) 😉
Hooray for looser clothes!!

livelytwist - June 11, 2014

Hooray! Thanks for spurring me on. Change is here!

nrhatch - June 11, 2014

One thing I’ve noticed ~ distances seem “shorter.” We used to go for a two mile walk and feel like we’d really accomplished something. Now a two-mile walk seems like nothing.

Keep at it. Change is good.

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