ClickerSolutions Training Articles

R+ for Weight Loss

I credit my first dog, a dobie cross, with helping me break out of a vicious cycle of overeating/gaining weight when I was in my late teens/early twenties.

It was long before I'd ever heard of clicker training. The dog, Brett, was a handful, too! I never really learned how to manage her well. But I did get a bit better as we went along.

A key turning point was a dream I had in which she would turn colors depending on what I said to her. When I told her she was a bad dog, she turned black. When I told her she was a good dog, she'd turn white.

I realized that the dream was showing me that my behavior was influencing my dog's. I concentrated on praising her when she did something I wanted her to do, and tried to refrain from corrections. Things got a whole lot easier, needless to say!

Anyway, around the same time, I also recognized that I really punished myself, verbally, for eating foods that I thought I should be avoiding. I had become a serious binge eater, used to stuff myself with junk until I felt sick, and gained far more than the "freshman ten" my first year of college!

I decided that I deserved the same treatment as my dog. So I resolved to stop putting myself down when I ate junk, and instead to start fully relishing the good foods I ate. I cultivated my interest in cooking etc. When I ate candy or something like that, I just shrugged. When I ate "right" I "stroked" myself a lot, emphasizing to myself that I have great eating habits, etc.

The change was gradual, but permanent. After 15 years & a baby, I have no problems with weight at all. I would say I've really gotten in touch with my inner signals about being hungry & full, since I "turned off" all that inner noise that used to get in the way. So eating, weight, dieting etc. is a complete non-issue for me. Can't say I miss it :-)

If I were to give advice to someone, I would say, look for the tiniest spark of pleasure in doing something you know is good for you. If you want to exercise more, look for something like a touch of anticipation when you put your running shoes on. Or a feeling of accomplishment when you finish your workout. Then dwell on that. Savor it. Remind yourself that this is solid evidence of how much excersize is part of what you *truly* are. And if you "mess up" -- such as skip a workout -- ignore it completely. Trust that by nurturing the good stuff, the "weeds" will get crowded out.

Kirsten and Laykey
copyright 2000


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