Saturday, September 20, 2008

How We Change

People who read my blog know that Saturday is most likely going to have a Psychiatric Saturday post.

I decided to post the topic here today instead, because I think it fits nicely with what some folks are trying to do.

"The Stages of Change Model was originally developed in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s by James Prochaska and Carlo DiClemente at the University of Rhode Island when they were studying how smokers were able to give up their habits or addiction. The SCM model has been applied to a broad range of behaviors including weight loss, injury prevention, overcoming alcohol, and drug problems among others. The idea behind the SCM is that behavior change does not happen in one step. Rather, people tend to progress through different stages on their way to successful change. Also, each of us progresses through the stages at our own rate." Follow this link to find out about all the stages, and then come back to the rest of the post.

I use these stages with people all the time because the concept is just so simple to understand, and helps explain why we have difficulty making changes. If a person came across this blog, and the immediate thought was "Not eat meat?! Are you nuts??!", that person probably would be in precontemplation. But, if they were a friend of Millie's and thought it sounded interesting, they'd be in contemplation. Perhaps you had really high cholesterol, and your doctor told you to make some dietary changes or you'll likely have a heart attack in the next year, that might move you from precontemplation up to preparation or action. As Millie (just as an example) looks through her pantry and decides this may be too hard, too demanding of her time, the benefits don't seem high enough, etc., maintenance wavers and she might slip/fall off the veg-wagon/relapse! But, the good news is that we just re-enter the cycle, and get back on track to maintenance.

The average number of times it takes a smoker to give up cigarettes for good is about 7 serious attempts. I have fallen off the exercise wagon 70 times 7, I swear. I wonder if most people considering vegetarianism, in whatever form, tend to decide they're done, and then never look back.


Scarehaircare said...

This makes sense. I have tried to like exercise for 5 years. I tried many different things. My treadmill gathered dust. Aerobics class made me want to compare myself to everyone else. Exercise videos didn't cut it.

Finally this year I took up running (to the surprise of my family and really surprising to me. Its the very last thing I ever thought I would do.) What made it stick? Running with other newbie runners from my Relief Society. It was non-competitive girl time. I call it cheap therapy.

After 13 weeks of training (starting at couch potato status) I ran my first 5K yesterday. My daddy (on a mission in the DR Congo) still can't believe that I am running. He wants to see it for himself.

Now I've got 3 days/week veggie for me, contemplating on going 4/week (just for myself, if my family joins in I want them to make that decision on their own.)

Lisa said...

I am one of those people who does something for a while and then loses interest. Or gets lazy would be a better description.

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