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Master The 5 Must-Do's Of Dieting

From eDiets - The online diet, fitness, and healthy living resource

The summer issue of Spirituality and Health magazine arrived at my home this week. This is my first experience with the magazine and I found it stimulating. In fact it provoked the idea for this article. I hope you find this information as useful as I have.

Matthew Cross (wonderful name) wrote an article about Hoshin -- I have applied his sentiments to the issue of weight loss. His work can be useful for looking at any area of your life, but I couldn’t resist the obvious application to our favorite subject.

Hoshin is a practice inspired by Edwards Deming, the Total Quality Management guru. It helps corporate teams “break through apparent chaos to find a hidden higher order and direction.” Cross has taken that system and applied it to the life and issues of an individual.

In Cross’ system the participant is asked to look at eight important areas of her/his life: Health, Love Life, Spiritual, Work, Life Purpose, Family, Financial, Joy and Fun. Each area can be rated on a satisfaction scale of 1 (low) to 10 (perfect). Then a question is formulated based on any area that the participant chooses. For this purpose, I have chosen health in the form of weight loss.

“What are the key issues that must be addressed in order for me to achieve/enjoy great success/fulfillment in my weight loss goals?

After writing the question, we are instructed to write "five diverse answers to our focus question." Cross suggests that we "test each answer with our heart." If the answer does not lift or inspire or move us in any way, we can drop it and substitute another more effective one.

Why don’t you try it right now? Assume that the question above is yours. Now see if you can write five useful and/or meaningful answers to it. Each answer begins with the words “I must” as in, "if I am going to achieve success in my weight goals, I must...

1. I must-------------------------------
2. I must-------------------------------
3. I must-------------------------------
4. I must-------------------------------
5. I must-------------------------------

Once you have your list of five answers, you will need to arrange them in order of importance. Cross then goes into a rather complicated process that I will not explore here, but the essence of it is this: Look at how each answer is related to every other answer. As you explore the relationships between answers you will probably discover that your priority list was not accurate. Some answers are now seen in a better light and need to be placed higher in importance.

Now forget about Cross and Hoshin for a moment and look at YOU. I assume that you made a list of five answers. If you did not do that yet, then consider making a copy of this article and do the exercise later. It will be worth your effort particularly if you are serious about your weight loss.

Here is a clue and a suggestion for a successful list of answers to the “I must” above. Make seven answers. Two of them should be “eat differently” and exercise more.” That will get the obvious out of the way. Now give the list some serious and creative thought.

Look deep inside yourself and discover what your heart is telling you to do. I am certain you will be inspired. If you are not inspired, you have the wrong answers! There are at least five great answers that will make a substantial contribution to your weight loss goals and you have ALL of them in your own heart.

In my experience, most weight-challenged persons do not look deep enough for the real answers to their weight loss difficulties. They tend to look to the “experts” for guidance and neglect their own inner wisdom. Now, I love experts (of course) but even we can be wrong sometimes. Ultimately, you have to be the final authority regarding what works for you.

So I encourage you to spend some quality time searching for your own particular answers to the five “I musts” above. You will probably be both surprised and inspired. Then make a plan to act on each answer in a way that makes a difference in your life and weight loss.

Inspiration combined with meaningful action is a life-changing combination. Your long-term weight loss will be one of the many gifts that arise out of your efforts.

Matthew Anderson, D. Min., is a counselor, organizational consultant and seminar leader. He lives and works in Boca Raton, Florida. To ask Dr. Anderson a question, write him at eDieters can also join Dr. Anderson for his weekly chat each Tuesday at noon.

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