You may have reached that critical point that will change your life. No matter how old you are or what circumstances you may be in, all you have to do is be alert and receptive and believe. Know that it is possible to start from scratch as so many others have done and achieve your loftiest goals. It’s just a matter of believing it is possible and becoming determined to create the life you desire”.
There are several steps in the decision making process, and most people remain in what is called the contemplation or preparation phases. These are phases, in which you think about making a change, because you know you should. You even start the process. Please understand, that in order to succeed you must pass these stages and take action. Also, do not stop until you reach your destination. Whether your goals are to lose weight, to improve your nutrition, or to become a better athlete, or just be the best YOU, take the first step, and never lose sight. Stay focused.
What usually happens when someone makes a decision to change? Lets use the example of someone trying to lose weight. They know that they are overweight, but usually are focused on other things. Statements are made like “I should really lose some weight”. This is a pre-contemplation stage. Then, in the contemplation stage they say, “My clothes do not fit properly”, I am going to start a diet on Monday. At this point, being overweight is affecting their self- esteem. They may also notice increased difficulty performing everyday tasks. For example, walking up stairs and experiencing shortness of breath.
An attempt to lose weight begins. Upon awakening the first morning, the attitude is “Today is the day”. Breakfast usually consists of something like bran cereal or oatmeal, skim milk, and a piece of fruit. These are considered some typical diet foods, so the feeling of accomplishment is achieved. After breakfast, another meal is not consumed until lunch- time, which is usually about five hours later. Lunch consists of tuna fish on whole wheat bread, a salad, and maybe fruit. The mental attitude is good. Even dinner is a success with three ounces of chicken, and some vegetables.
Then comes the difficulty. About two hours after dinner, sitting around watching television. The body is now starting to notice some type of depravation. Much less food was consumed. Hunger starts to set in, and the refrigerator or cupboards are visited. The amount of food consumed is more than what should be eaten. The mental attitude diminishes, and failure is perceived. Lets start again tomorrow.
This is a typical pattern that is followed and many people have experience it. Sometimes it may take two or three days before too much is eaten, but the body will usually win over will power. There are physiological reasons why the body responds this way.
If this pattern looks familiar to you, I want you to think about how positive you felt when you were in control. That is the power that must be sustained. Not many things life comes easily. Certainly not dieting. It all begins with the mental attitude. To that end, it is important to understand the decision making process, and the power of goal setting.
STAGES OF READINESS TO CHANGE
PRECONTEMPLATION A PERSON EXPRESSES AN INTEREST TO CHANGE.
A PERSON IS THINKING ABOUT MAKING CHANGE.
A PERSON IS DOING SOMETHING, BUT LESS THAN DESIRED.
PERFORMING THE REQUIRED BEHAVIOR FOR LESS THAN SIX MONTHS
MAINTENANCE ADHERES TO THE BEHAVIOR FOR MORE THAN SIX MONTHS.
Any health or behavior change must start from within. The first step is to identify the problem. As was used in the example, the clothing not fitting comfortable, and it was harder to perform everyday activities. Second, was the commitment to make a change. Third, is setting goals. You must have a goal, a focus to achieve. Without goals, is like sending a sports team out to play, with no plan book, or reason why they are playing. When you have a plan of action, you are likely to remain focused, and committed to achieve.
The adage goes “ You Are What You Eat”, but have you ever really thought about that. Many times this is quoted without a full understanding of how true it is. This saying is truly the foundation of who you are.
The human brain is a fascinating organ that is studied in depth by scientist and people in the medical field, but it still remains a mystery. It is the organ in the body that has the most demand for energy and nutrients. It consumes twenty – thirty percent of the Calories of your basal metabolic rate but cannot store energy so it must be supplied by glucose. It is also the “main frame” that controls your desire to eat, and also to stop eating, by regulating certain physiological metabolic factors and substances.
Besides the physical attributes, there are also debates regarding the notion if the brain and intelligence are the same. One side believes they are, while the other believes the brain is merely a physical organ and intelligence is something science may never understand. Sure intelligence can be measured, but by tests that have been developed by us. Therefore, philosophically speaking, what are we measuring?
Why can some people analyze in depth concepts to their finite details, while others cannot? How can some people visualize something in their mind and replicate it in writing, a painting, or a song, while others cannot? Can some people truly hear an inner voice and be more attuned to a different plain of existence? Why can some people see a vision or set a goal and never lose sight of it, while others give up quickly? Why are you sometimes in a good mood, and sometimes you are not? Are you happy, sad or angry? Can you remember things easily, or do you forget often?
The brain can be looked at as three separate areas of function: reflexive, skilled, and emotional/instinct. Different sections of the brain deal more specifically with each of these functions.
Fundamental units of the brain are the billions of neurons (nerve cells), which conduct actions for your thoughts, movements, feelings, and all the physical process that takes place in your body. These actions are a combination of electrical impulses or chemical transmission by substances called neurotransmitters. It is these neurotransmitters that interest us from a nutritional point of view.
Neurotransmitters are found in the synaptic vesicles (sacs) on the axon terminal section of the neuron. There have been hundreds of neurotransmitters identified each having different functions and tailored to fit at a receptor site of specific cells that are to receive their information or designated excitatory or inhibitory actions.
Answers to the questions posed above can be directly linked into specific neurotransmitter and hormonal substances, or the imbalances of them. Imbalances can occur from several different factors such as genetics, disease or illnesses, stress, drugs, alcoholism, or smoking. But most often overlooked is nutritionally. Poor nutrition can have a direct impact on many of the neurotransmitters because they are formed from their respective precursors, which are often amino acids. If you are not eating correctly, you can cause a mild or severe imbalance.
Have you ever gone more than a few hours without eating, and notice some irritability, mood change or difficulty in concentrating? This is a temporary mild imbalance. If poor nutrition habits are prolonged, it can lead to other deeper, more severe imbalances. This is why the brain has several mechanisms to get you to eat. Although we are discussing it from a nutritional perspective, please keep in mind that there are several major disorders which etiology is unknown. Don’t falsely think they’re all nutrition related or corrected through improving dietary intake.
In future blog posts, we will discuss several neurotransmitters that are extremely important in governing who you are. The way you think, feel, remember, respond and project your self can be linked to these substances. Remember to like us on Facebook and twitter.
The human mind is a very powerful tool. The statement has been made, “If the mind can conceive and believe, than the body can achieve”. This concept is true. To obtain anything in your life, you must believe you can. We all have the inner strength to take control, and create our paths. Some people may never believe this to be true, while others accept the challenge and embrace it. Success is an attitude. Success is a state of mind. It is easily available to all who want it, believe they can have it, and follow the necessary path to achieve it.
There are many books written about mental attitude, and the powers of positive thinking. A positive mental attitude is the foundation for everything in your life. The most often noted key words in most of these books are desire, determination, perseverance, and focus. Success than, cannot be attributed to fate, but to your own application of the above principles. Mark Fisher sums it up very well in his book, “ The Millionaires Path”. Fisher states,“ You may have reached that critical point that will change your life. No matter how old you are or what circumstances you may be in, all you have to do is be alert and receptive and believe. Know that it is possible to start from scratch as so many others have done and achieve your loftiest goals. It’s just a matter of believing it is possible and becoming determined to create the life you desire”.
Mark T. Cuatt