Except for runners in the Boston Marathon ready, set, go only one day of the year is foolishness. So forget January 1st.
Here’s what you can choose to do, whenever:
Be specific. I’ll lose weight. or I’ll lose 3 lbs,.this month. See the difference?
Think small. There’s a reason only 8% of Americans reach their goals.
Think do-able. Want to travel more but don’t have the money or accrued time? Take day trips that are free or low cost.
Schedule it. I’ll spend more time at the gym. or I’ll go to the gym 2x a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays before work.
Keep track. C’mon, did you really do what you said?
Mean it. Permanent change is meant to be life changing.
Kathe Skinner is a Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice where she specializes working with couples looking for change within their relationships. She and her husband David live in Colorado with their two change-aversive cats, Petey and Lucy.
This is the time of year food is on our minds. Not just any food, but rich food, expensive food, once-a-year food. It’s when even the most disciplined among us vow to “wait until after the holidays”.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, half of Americans say they want to lose weight. With only a little time before the festivities begin the chances of being successfully svelte are, well, slim to none.
how to avoid being a holiday butterball:
Start early. Gold’s Gym memberships spike 40% in December and January, while the sad fact is that a hefty 80% of January joins quit within 5 months. If you’re serious about weight loss wait until February to get a membership. Statistics show that’ll improve your chances of success. Even more successful? Stick with the program all year long.
It”s not that the work is hard; the hard work is to keep going,
Dance to your own music. “Dealing effectively with stress” and “emotional regulation” are cited by 92% of 1,328 psychologists as the main reasons for their patients’ failures in weight loss. Emotional eating is a behavior learned in childhood when a sweet snack is an emotionally satisfying way to cope.
Who’s this for, anyway? Are you trying to please a critical parent, spouse, or friend who say you would be more attractive or successful if you lost weight? Putting your health first is, in the first place, about you. Addressing underlying and longstanding messages are part of the mental health component necessary for mental and physical health.
Change defeating habits. While there are lots of reasons for societal obesity, some come from the choices we make every day. Good-for-you meals don’t have to be additive-rich, over-processed ones. Take advantage of federal law that requires calorie counts to be on menus. Buying gasoline and dinner at the same place are not healthy mealtime practice.
Rapid weight loss without healthy changes in diet and exercise is a chocolate-covered promise.
Keep it simple. Changes that are too complicated reduce chances for permanent behavioral alterations. Go easy; start slowly, feeling comfortable and confident to go on. Life changes don’t have to be complicated to work.
You can’t have it all. Even if you could, you can’t have it right now. Reasonable thought often conflicts with desire. Unfortunately, ours is a society used to short attention-spans, immediacy, and instant gratification. True lifestyle changes are accomplished over time, with consistent practice, and lots of patience. That can be a poor fit in an ersatz society.
As tempting as it sounds, having our cake and eating it, too, isn’t realistic. More than genetics alone, successful weight control relies on the sometimes challenging choices we make for a healthy mental and physical life.
Kathe Skinner is a
private practice Marriage & Family Therapist in Colorado Springs where she
lives with her husband and two kitties.
Smart. Educated. A creative problem-solver. So how could somebody so smart be so stupid?
And how could somebody as savvy as me have married him?
My husband and I are part of the 38% of married couples who are mismatched politically. In over 31 years of marriage talking politics is something we’ve learned not to do.
I could explore the reasons for this, but I really don’t care to. I choose to close my eyes to my husband’s stupidity for the sake of marital harmony. And, to be honest, so I can keep believing I made a good choice.
Forget all the communication rules about respecting and understanding and talking calmly. We’ve opted for the Bartender’s Rule: We just don’t talk about it.
Kathe Skinner is a Colorado Marriage & Family therapist in private practice. Both she and her husband, David, are registered Independents who tend to lean in opposite directions. They’ve stayed married for over 31 years by not talking politics.
I’m okay when the price per ounce is noted; it’s when cost is calculated as the price per pound I get annoyed. What if you’re not buying a whole pound? Multiplying by 16 isn’t so easy, I don’t care who you are.
It’s the same when the time changes.
See, I set my clock fifteen minutes ahead to fool myself that I have more time than I really do. Never works, but that’s beside the point.
What’s being asked of me this weekend is to stretch my fifteen minutes by an entire hour and fifteen minutes. Just like at the supermarket, I’m reduced to doing math in my head.
This time-change business is troublesome. For at least two weeks in March or April and again in October or November a muffled question quietly sounds from my side of the bed: what time is it really?
Why doesn’t time do its springing and falling the same date every year?
Does a dentist in a non-change-time town put down two appointment times for patients in a next door town where time does change?
Who came up with this, anyway?
If time is mutable, what time is it . . . really?
To me all this messing around with times and dates doesn’t seem very scientific – it’s a bit contrived, and at the very least not friendly to users like me.
Too bad Einstein’s not around; without doing the math, I think I may have cracked the space-time continuum.
Kathe Skinner is a Colorado Marriage & Family Therapist in private practice who’s about to gain one hour’s sleep. Find her website at www.coupleswhotalk.com and sign up to get her newsletter, a weekly quick-read for parents and partners. It’s free!
As a Marriage & Family Therapist one of the problems I hear most often is about sex — one partner wants more while the other wants less, or none at all.
Sex is the adult version of play. Just as it was when we were kids, there are some people who don’t play well with others. Healthy play — for children and adults — is free of bullying, harassment, threat or harm.
You’re ugly in attitude, behavior. No need to explain that.
You’re not fun. Play is too serious, you keep score, you sulk when you don’t get your way.
You try too hard, you’re uncomfortable, or you just plain don’t know what you’re doing. There are many ways to learn; chose what best fits you.
You don’t try hard enough, not just sexually, but with the business of coupleness. Like housework, bill paying, auto maintenance, parenting, cooking, social life, etc.
It’s not about sex at all. You’re distracted by something else — kids at the bedroom door, pets on the bed, work?
You belong to the Wham Bam School of Love.
You stink — your clothes, your hair, your body, the sheets.
You neglect your body through poor diet, exercise, hygiene, or health.
You could care less about your partner. Enough said.
Your partner has better things to do, I once read that a certain percentage of women were on their cell phones during sex. I don’t remember the percentage but any number is too high.
For over 20 years Kathe Skinner has been a Colorado Springs’ Marriage & Family Therapist in private practice with a specialty in couples work. She and her husband of 31 years live in Colorado where they hold communication retreats for couples.
l to r: Dad, Aunt Mary (visiting), Mom, me, and my sister. Honolulu, Hawaii, 1968
Usually drunk, or trying hard to be, Saturday nights we’d pile into somebody’s car and drive over to the MATS terminal on the military base where many of my friends and I lived. The flight line wasn’t our reason for driving there; as I recall the snack bar had really good fries.
It was 1966, in Hawaii, and the Military Air Transport terminal on Hickam Air Force Base was a stop on the hop from California for soldiers going to Vietnam. Like us, most of them were teenagers.
Most of my friends were kids of military families like mine. Ever since Pearl Harbor the military presence on Oahu’s been pretty beefy so being a military kid – Air Force, Army, Marines, and especially Navy – wasn’t unusual. My life was about protocol and acting appropriately…