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But then it probably got harder to maintain. Most likely, you found yourself thinking about food all the time. You started to feel desperate, and even foods that never appealed to you before were suddenly calling out to you. What diet plans don't tell you is that biology lies behind that drive to break your diet. This is an active skill you can learn. Your days are filled with positives to offset the negatives, and today we're going to show you how to find the ones that are already there as well as how to create new ones. Today is a day to take a pause and look at the bigger picture. What nourishes you? What depletes you? At meQuilibirum, we refer to the positives as lifts and the negatives as drags. Typical drags include things like conflicts at work, being strapped financially, loneliness, feeling like there aren't enough hours in the day, clutter, having difficulty balancing competing demands, and feeling out of control at home or in your social life. On the flip side, traditional lifts are things like having a network of people who are supportive and caring, a clutter-free environment, enjoying spending time with your family, and having activities and endeavors that are engaging and fulfilling. To boost your resilience, we're not just going to clean up the bad; We don't typically do very good accounting on what's happening in our lives. Children from such homes tended to show better social adjustment during their later school years and also greater increases in I. Some of the effects of active participation of group members in a relatively self-directing training group have been reported by the writer (70). Marked changes in attitudes toward others, increased understandings of self, and increased clarity of goals were reported by these group members as products of their group experience. These studies are representative of an increasing number that strongly suggest that the opportunity for group members to participate is a necessary condition for the growth of a group. But will not the members of an organization usurp power from the leaders? How can those with less training, less intelligence, and fewer skills make adequate decisions for a group?

Are not the leaders better qualified to decide on broad policy matters? These are some of the questions that are frequently asked, not coincidentally, by those who are in a position of leadership in a group. Our own experience would be that group members may usurp power, but it is only as a reaction against the perceived threat of the power of their leaders. When the source of threat is removed, our experience has been that the problem actually becomes one of how to get the members to take more responsibility, not less. It's not your lack of willpower that derails you. Your body's physiologic mechanisms underpin every one of the symptoms you've felt. Even your taste buds are affected when you diet, as your leptin drop inspires you to find a wider than usual range of foods appealing. Biology can be powerful, and no matter how much willpower you think you have, it may be no match for the biological mechanisms triggered by your diet. If you gave in and went off your diet, don't blame yourself. It doesn't mean you're a glutton or a weakling. In fact, most dieters show extraordinary self-restraint, persistence, and determination. You didn't fail; Maybe you had great willpower. I was at times a great dieter, able to just say no despite my gnawing hunger. We're not evenhanded in what we pay attention to. As a species, we are much more primed to scan for the bad than for the good. It's a deeply wired survival mechanism. Thousands of years ago, you didn't get taken out of the gene pool if you were blindsided by something good; A rainbow on the horizon, however beautiful, wasn't going to save your life. This leads us to magnify the bad and minimize the good, which is a one-way ticket to burnout.

How can you strike a balance between the lifts and drags in your daily life? The plan is to weed through your schedule and formulate an action plan to ditch the drudge that can go, reframe what can't, and load up a little more on the good stuff so that your days can feel more meaningful and enjoyable again. The Four Corners of Balance Before we take action, let's look at the four elements that are needed to recalibrate the balance of good and bad events. We probably tend to underestimate how much of human behavior is behavior in reaction to the perceived threat of authority -- and how little of human behavior is self-initiated. To understand how strong are the external stimuli to the usual kind of group behavior, we have only to observe the initial frustration and dependence of groups that are put on their own by their leaders. This dependence was illustrated in the first session with a group of high school problem children. After the leader had explained that they were being given the opportunity to meet once a week to talk about whatever they wanted to, the group found it difficult to begin, as illustrated in the following verbatim excerpt from the recorded interview: B: Gonna waste a lotta wire dat way. Leader: Hm? B: Gonna waste a lotta wire dat way. Leader: You're worried about -- that nobody's -- that we have long pauses, hmm? T: No station identification either. Leader (laughing): During the pause, hm? I even found that after a while hunger signals dissipated and dieting got easier. There was physiology behind that, too, as my body turned off the appetite signals rather than waste the energy if I was ignoring them anyway. So your willpower is fine. But that still doesn't mean you're going to lose weight if you diet. To compensate, your body could slow your metabolism, burning fewer calories over time. This explains why some people actually gain weight in response to cutting those calories.

And that anxiety that triggered you to break your diet? What you thought of as emotional eating was more likely a response to a normal biologic regulatory drive. Bottom line: Diets. Or maybe another way of saying this is that diets do work, remarkably well, triggering your internal weight management system to kick into gear and protect your precious energy stores. The Four Corners of Balance Ditch the drudge Reframe the required Add in the good stuff Do active accounting DITCH THE DRUDGE Walk the dog. Drive to work. Write your daily report. Sit through a meeting. B: Corn, corn. B: Trouble is, you should give us something definite to talk on. This way we will get all mixed up. Nobody wants no -- nobody knows what to talk about. Give us a definite point. Leader: It's kind of uncomfortable to just be free to talk about anything you want to.

You'd almost want me to tell you what to talk about. G: Well, just give us a point to talk about. Just place somethin' in front of us. You can't whittle without a piece of wood in your hand. Don't fall for the hype about exercise as a means to sustained weight loss, either. Research shows that while we can influence our size in small ways, for most of us, our size doesn't change dramatically when we engage in regular exercise. Steven Blair, an exercise physiologist who has served as president of the American College of Sports Medicine, the American Academy of Kinesiology and Physical Education, and the National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity, likes to say, I was short, fat, and bald when I started running, but after running nearly every day for more than thirty years and covering about seventy thousand miles . I am still short, fat, and bald. Blair's extensive study of the research leads to the inevitable conclusion that one's conscious mind can rarely outwit hypothalamic control. Your body is enormously powerful and successful in managing your weight, thanks largely to the hypothalamus. So don't fight it. Revel in it. You can relax about eating and enjoy your food. Let your body do what it does best. Make dinner. Pay the bills. Let's face it: some of life's to-do's aren't that much fun. Sometimes, our schedules are stressful not because of the quantity of events but because of the quality. Day after day filled with the same routine tasks can wear us down and ultimately feel as stressful as pressure-packed ones. We don't want to shirk our long list of responsibilities, and the idea of adding in anything more--even if it's positive and fulfilling--feels even more stressful.