The Diet Fix Reset (Book Summary)

Day 1: Gear Up

  • Body weight scale for the start and finish of the 10-Day Reset
  • Digital food scale
  • Measuring spoons and cups (maybe 2 sets)
  • Journal or food diarizing app
  • First grocery shop: mostly real foods and minimal processed foods (avoid trans-fat) including solid proteins and complex carbs (i.e. whole grain instead of instant oatmeal)
  • Tupperware and Ziplock bags
  • Comfy exercise clothes and shoes
  • Clean and organized kitchen

Day 2: Diarize

  • Record in real time food and exercise without changing anything
  • Track hunger and cravings as well as any emotions or thoughts related to food
  • At the end of the day, rank from 1 to 10 the “day’s degree of difficulty”
  • Use for data, not judgement, to guide future decisions
  • Keep a food journal for at least 30 days – maybe forever for maintenance – and if you try stopping, start daily weighing to keep it within 3 pounds

Day 3: Banish Hunger Continue reading


Succeed: How We Can Reach Our Goals (Book Summary)

I read this book by Dr. Heidi Grant Halvorson, a social psychologist, because, well, I want to be more successful at reaching my goals – don’t we all? The research discussed here-within supports my objective because willpower is not an innate strength – it a muscle of self-control and perseverance – and therefore it can be improved through exercise and rest, and compensated for with customized incentives.

The cherry on top is that developing self-control in one area improves it in many other areas of your life – cleaning more regularly, for instance, when you get in the habit of exercising regularly – without conscious intention. Resting, by the way, can be as simple as thinking of something uplifting or someone you know with self-control (as long as you don’t imagine simulating it, which exercises self-control when you need to rest). The point is that anyone can succeed, you and me included.

Get Ready

Know thyself. I tend to think in more abstract terms, describing the why of my behaviour, because big-picture and long-term give me a sense of purpose. But thinking in concrete terms is more useful when the behaviour is unfamiliar and complex, or when you need to evaluate feasibility for the near future and take action.

I also tend to believe if I have to work hard at something, I must not be very good at it, and therefore prefer to do things that come naturally to me. This approach can cost me enriching life experiences. At the same time, I’ve always been a fan of self-improvement, secretly practicing basketball for hours and hours because it was something I wanted even while I recognized it was never going to be my forte. Following this incremental theory keeps me improving despite mistakes.

  • Set specific, difficult (but possible) goals so you don’t settle for “good enough” and instead enjoy your accomplishment.
  • Be confident you will succeed but recognize the process will be challenging so you’re prepared to put in the effort required.
  • Just about anything can trigger goal pursuit unconsciously, including cues we set up for ourselves. Simply befriending academically ambitious students, for instance, led me to pursue my desires more directly without realizing the effect at the time.

Get Set

Different outlooks impact many aspects of how we attain goals. For instance, due to my tendency toward conservative preservation (see prevention-focused goals below), I can pick a path and stick to it without procrastinating. But when I have a promotion goal (see below), I’m more exploratory, abstract, creative, and risk-taking. The trick is to set the right goal for the person and situation. If I need speed now, I go for promotion – if I need accuracy and maintenance, I go for prevention.

Continue reading

SMART Health Goals Progress Update

I have now completed 9 days in my checklist of SMART goals for physical and mental health. Although I’m still struggling a lot overall, I’m proud to be doing well with these specific goals. It reminds me I’m capable of improving myself and, just as importantly, I’m able to at the same time experience “failure” without allowing it to take away (too much) from my other qualities and achievements.


My 6 SMART goals for the past 9 days and the 12 more days to come follow:

  1. Protein: I make sure to get 30 g with breakfast every morning, often Greek yogurt with raw vegan protein powder or sometimes a salsa egg wrap. The aim to start my day with satisfaction and long-lasting fuel. Since dairy makes me congested and eggs make me feel queasy, I don’t have much variety here. Still, I’ve met this goal every day.
  2. Exercise: I complete a total of 30 minutes exercise, usually yoga, Tracy Anderson, Pinterest workout videos, or just extra walking. The idea is to build strength and flexibility. I get anxious for these sessions to end but I’ve met the goal even if I had to count bachelorette party belly dancing.
  3. Walk: I walk for at least 30 minutes (about 5,000 steps) daily, usually in 2-4 smaller sessions due to my fatigue. The purpose is to get out, move, be active throughout the day. I can get a bit anxious about the step count because I use my phone so it’s not the most accurate… this is the only one I didn’t fully meet once because I didn’t make enough time for it.
  4. Meditate: I take 10 minutes every day to sit quietly focused on my breath, currently using Headspace to relax without food. I only added this the past 5 days (it was a more general goal earlier) and it’s challenging but I’m making progress.
  5. Write: I spend at least 10 minutes writing down my thoughts and feelings, sometimes on this blog, sometimes in a workbook, to manage my emotions without food. This one is sometimes the easiest, sometimes the hardest because it depends on desire.
  6. Puzzles: I do Lumosity or another stimulating game to engage and entertain myself without food. This isn’t always as fun or as focusing as I’d hoped, but it works and I think it’s good to regularly exercise my brain this way.

I’ve also signed up for a SparkPeople team and StickK commitment to keep accountable, on top of this blog and Twitter. Everything is set up for success!