Monday, March 31, 2014


What to expect when you're NOT expecting

Under normal circumstances, asking a woman when she is expecting a baby is a happy occasion.  However, if a woman has gained some weight and is not pregnant, it’s her worst nightmare.  This scenario happened to a good friend of mine and was the motivation she needed to lose 30 pounds.  Sometimes we just need a motivator. Here are some helpful hints to help women — and men — to lose those extra pounds:

•  List your reasons to lose weight.  Unless your doctor warned you that there would be dire health consequences if you don’t lose weight, here are some solid reasons we can all appreciate — to feel better, to get healthy, and to feel more energetic, just to name a few.  Whatever your reasons, write them down and post them on the fridge, where you can see them everyday.

•  Reward yourself for achievements.  Whether it’s getting a manicure, downloading some new iTunes, or going to the latest movie, reward yourself for incremental achievements, just not with a pint of double chocolate ice cream or half a pound cake.

•  Buddy up with a fellow dieter.  This is important for support and to share your successes and failures.   Sometimes you won’t feel like exercising or taking that power walk, but if you’ve pre-arranged to meet someone and do it together, you won’t want to disappoint your buddy.

•  Create a diversion.  Too many demands on your time can result in mindless snacking. Take a moment to put on the brakes. Stand up and look out the window, or step outside.  Focus on the view, the weather, and how you feel. Give yourself a few minutes to be in the moment and to assess if you really are hungry.

•  Take it slowly.  Make small changes so you don’t get discouraged.  Last year, I wrote about my husband and his co-worker’s ill-considered food choices when I am working late.  That public exposure was the motivation for both of them to make small changes in their food choices.  Last week, my husband told me instead of peanut butter and jelly on white bread with diet soda they will snack on fresh fruit and cut up veggies with water to drink.  They still admit to occasionally indulging in bologna on potato bread, but these small steps are big victories towards healthier eating. 

These are some strategies to stay motivated – each person needs to find what works for them. One last tip — don’t congratulate a woman on her pregnancy unless you are absolutely sure she is expecting!

Alice Facente is a community health nurse for the Backus Health System. This advice should not replace the advice of your personal healthcare provider. To comment on this column or others, visit the Healthy Living blog at or e-mail Ms. Facente or any of the Healthy Living columnists at

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