Saturday, February 5, 2011

YoYo to MoJo - Behavior Modification

Thanks to Lori Horne who ran our workshop at BDHQ today. No matter where you are on your health journey a session like this is still useful. Lori lead us through a cliff notes version of her workshop that would normally be done over the course of four, two hour session. The basis of the workshop is how to faciliate a health related behavior change and bridge that gap between intention and behavior.



Above is the visual we used in the workshop to follow along. At the very top of the board you can see the 5 steps that the workshop goes through. We talked a lot about the first step which is self assessment, this is taking a look at what your current state is. There is hard data such as BMI and weight and then soft data which is your own perception. In Lori's full length workshops she would of had us do a visual of our self assessment by using images or magazine cut outs to make a collage to have accessible to you. My self assessment is: "I am 206 lbs, I am 5'7, I am 27 years old, I perceive myself to be strong, independent and capable".

We talked about the concept of personal agency which is you regulate your own behavior. Basically, you and only you are responsible for your behavior. You are responsible to ensure you make healthy choices and exercise. It's about taking responsibility for your actions. I think I have a strong personal agency and good control over my behavior surrounding food, but I still slip up now and again.

We went through an exercise where we rated our attitudes towards exercise, self-efficacy, perceived behavioral control, and social support and norms. You would what your level of belief was in the statement. So for example "Most people in my social network want me to exercise" I answered "Strongly Agree". What I learned from this exercise is that the social aspect of weight loss and health is HUGE. If I did not have the Biggest Winners group to support me, push me, and keep me accountable I don't think I would be so successful. I don't know many people in my social network that work out a lot. I also don't know many people who have gone through a huge body transformation or who could understand where I am coming from when I get frustrated. You need the social/emotional support just as much as the physical exercise. If everyone in your life thinks that you working out is a waste of time and skipping those donuts at work is silly, then it will be extremely difficult for you to be successful. You must surround yourself with people who support your goals.

We talked about the interchangeable stages that we go through when starting/continuing on a health journey. You can change between adoption, adherence and maintenance from day to day. I feel like right now I am at maintenance. Health is a habit to me, I enjoy working out, I enjoy eating healthy food. But sometimes I slip back to adherence, I still go through the motions and I still work out but it doesn't feel like a habit, i'm forcing myself to get to the gym. Just being aware that it's ok to change between these stages is important, I don't have to be 100% all the time, but I just have to keep going.

Lori said something that was so meaningful to me, she said "physical energy is the only renewable resource you have". This is soooo true. Physical energy can be renewed over and over again, but it is fueled by your thoughts and feelings. Those thoughts and feelings can prevent you from creating that physical energy. It's such a simple concept, but sometimes so difficult to implement. Optimal health = increased physical exercise + decreased sedentary behavior + healthy eating

We finished the workshop by breaking into two groups and doing a visual exercise where we identified our goals and identified the "what/when/where/how/who" of achieving those goals. Since I love being crafty it was a great exercise. Below is the picture of what our group (Sheri, Ellen and myself) came up with...



We identified the things that we wanted to stop doing, what we were going to start doing and what we were going to keep doing. We definitely didn't have enough time, we could have added a lot more. But you can get the jist from this. The other group (Aidan, Heather, Michelle and Erna) created one as well...



Overall it was an excellent session and can definitely see the benefit of doing more of this. Especially in a group setting where you can hear each others point of views. if you want more information on Lori's coaching she has her own coaching business called "YoYo to MoJo Health Coaching" and she can be reached via e-mail at yoyotomojo@gmail.com or phone 250-580-1747

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