Weight loss support with a spiritual element. I will keep you posted on my journey in the hopes that you will join me in becoming the person God wants you to be. Don't worry about being religious. Come as you are.




Thursday, April 7, 2011

Reinforcement

There is negative reinforcement and there is positive reinforcement.

In a perfect world, we hear something once, record it in our brain, and never need to hear it again. Well, I don't know where you're living, but my world is far from perfect. I occasionally have doubts, fears, and disappointments in my life. During those times I need "shots of inspiration" to reinforce, to encourage, and to motivate.
What are some ways to reinforce what you believe, or to help you stay positive? Again, it's a very personal thing, but for me good books, "feel good" movies, music, prayer, exercise, and spending quality time with a positive friend can all make a difference. One of the keys, however, is not to wait until you get "down" to act. You need to make the time to reinforce on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. Understanding the need is a first step. A proactive plan, however, is necessary to make reinforcement happen.

Positive reinforcement is more pleasant of course. My father used negative reinforcement quite effectively for correcting behavior. I will have to say it was effective. He didn't have to discipline us much but we knew he would and a couple of his behavior modification sessions were quite convincing.
Reinforcement is either a reward or a punishment to cause some behavior to continue or stop. Let's look at weighing ourselves. We want some positive reinforcement through a loss. Of course we weigh in the morning stark naked after going to the bathroom. We shave our eyebrows and take off our nail polish. At Weight Watchers or somewhere else like the doctor's we go to the bathroom, wear shoes that can be taken off, no jewelry or belts. I heard of a woman taking out her dentures. We wear the same outfit every time. Bad news can be negative reinforcement; we want that to stop so we know we had better clean up our act or it will happen again (young lady). Good news can mean that this past week of sticking to the plan will continue. Any of you have one of those kids that you could beat half to death and they still continue the bad behavior? Were any of you that child? Were you the risk taker in school who got into trouble all the time? For some people, it's worth it to break the rules because of the fun factor. However, being overweight has no fun factor. If we were rebellious and had the "you can't tell me what to do" attitude would that be a reason for rebelling against the rules we have to follow to lose weight?

If you are journaling or scrapbooking, why not get some of those colored stars and each day where you did everything right you would get a gold star. If it was "one of those days" perhaps a skull/crossbones or some other means of indicating a bad day could be used. How about a severed finger?

If you will go to http://debwillbethin.blogspot.com and read yesterday's post she has her method of reinforcement - stringing beads!!  It's a really cute idea.

Anyway - what positive reinforcement can you give yourself for having a plan and sticking to it and therefore reaching your goals? I have seen some bloggers with a list of rewards for every 10 or 25 or whatever pounds lost. The rewards got more substantial as the goal weight neared.

4 comments:

  1. This is a great post! I live for positive reinforcement and have been lucky to have it my entire life from my parents, friends, family and now my husband. I need to give this some thought and put something into practice.

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  2. Yes, my mother was awesome with the negative reinforcements. It's a good idea to come up with some positive reinforcements. I'd say no to the severed finger, though!

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  3. LOL!!No severed fingers!!

    Positive reinforcement is a good idea. If we didn't get it in early life, we can work to get it in early adulthood, in our late 20's on up, from friends, partners, and ourselves. Yes, we can do it for ourselves, as you pointed out. A book we've been wanting to read; a movie we've been wanting to see; a bouquet of flowers for your table or desk, something just for you.

    That's a great idea, Myra. Thanks for sharing it.

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  4. Tina - thank you for the compliment. Hope to see you around and reading your comments.

    Maria - can't understand why the severed finger thing doesn't appeal to you ;-)

    FF - thanks, as always, you are so complimentary. I am glad to see you back in circulation. You know I worry when I don't hear from you for a while.

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