Spring has officially sprung and Plus Size Wellness Magazine have included some great spring based information and tips in this our 1st Anniversary issue. We know you are aiming to get healthier this spring and you won't be disappointed with the articles we have inside. Enjoy your read!
group were told to imagine they’d decided to eat them later on. The first group did indeed eat more than the other two groups. But when given the opportunity to eat candy later, those who imagined they would delay eating the candy actually ate significantly less than the other two groups. They even reported having less desire for candy when queried through email following day. 3. Think about something else. You can even use your imagination to keep unwanted thoughts at bay. In Winter Notes on Summer Impressions (1863), Fyodor Dostoyevsky made this observation: “Try to pose for yourself this task: not to think of a polar bear, and you will see that the cursed thing will come to mind every minute.” How do you avoid thinking about a white bear (or any other situation that tempts you or fills you with dread)? Train yourself to think about something else: Every time that white bear begins to lurk about in your consciousness, think about a black bear instead. Every time that unwanted thought threatens to intrude on your consciousness, think about something pleasant instead. That puts you in the driver’s seat of your thoughts. Don’t underestimate this simple technique. In Mischel’s famous marshmallow study, “high delayers” resisted eating the marshmallow by distracting themselves, such as covering their eyes with their hands or turning around in their chairs so they couldn’t see the enticing object, or singing to themselves. 4. Build good habits; you’ll need them when you’re stressed In a previous post, I discussed the impact that stress has on the body. Stress, as it turns out, also strongly depletes willpower. When people are stressed, they tend to fall back on ingrained habits—whether those habits are helpful or harmful. Often, this is not a conscious choice. Rather, people resort to old habits without thinking because they are in a stressed state. Art Markman discusses this in more detail in a recent Psychology Today post. Imagine, for example, that you have an important exam or business presentation tomorrow. Your grade in the course or your chance for a promotion depends entirely on how you perform. These are highly stressful situations, and your body will respond by boosting stress hormones, notably cortisol. How will
Cortisol boosts cravings for carbohydrates because, as we saw, carbs lower cortisol levels. So perhaps you will take solace with your friends Ben and Jerry. But the downside of dealing with stress this way is that, in the long run, you risk obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Alcohol is a depressant that lowers cortisol. But taking this route puts you at risk for alcoholism. Every time you respond to cortisol surges through unhealthy means, you strengthen those habits. This virtually guarantees that under times of stress, you will fall back on these habits Fortunately for us, knowledge is power. Deal with the stress-induced surge in cortisol and you’ll manage your cravings for sugar or alcohol. Almost anything that counteracts the fight-or-flight response will do the trick. So start responding to mild stressors with healthier choices, such as listening to calming music, visualizing or viewing .calming scenes, moderate exercise—whatever works for you. In fact, using comedy videos and surprise gifts, researchers demonstrated that inducing a good mood can overcome willpowerdepletion effects. The more you strengthen these habits, the more likely they will be there to rescue you when a major stressor comes along. 5. One step at a time Oftentimes, people give up not because they lack willpower, but because they feel overwhelmed by the enormity of the goal they must accomplish. A good way to deal with this feeling of overwhelm is to break the goal down into manageable pieces, and line them up in a sequence that guarantees success. A journalist friend of mine (who is constantly facing impossible deadlines) once described her strategy this way: “Here’s how I do it,” she said. “It’s like eating an elephant —one bite at a time, and you’re not allowed to look up to see how much is left.” After I stopped laughing at the image, it occurred to me that this was virtually the same advice another friend had given me about how to improve my running distance: Run as many laps as you can right now, she advised, then set a goal to add just one more lap each week. Following this advice, my daily runs progressed from a paltry half-mile to three miles