Obesity and Eating Disorders
Stages of Change
I am going to be sending out ongoing information each week for those who requested help with their “food out of control” and “out of control eating.” This will also be printed to my website each Wednesday or Thursday, www.drsherrybaker.com/. I would recommend that you print each section out and study it to better understand all the dynamics at play when it comes to obesity and eating disorders. The first in this series helps you determine exactly where you are in your decision to make changes in your life.
Stages of Change: (This is our famous model we use when we see clients aren’t making any progress. It helps us see their motivation level or lack of motivation.) There are six distinct stages everyone is in when it comes to making major life changes.
Stage One: Pre-contemplation: I don’t have any problem. I like myself just as I am so get off my back. Let’s talk about something else, please. Pass the donuts. This is denial.
Stage Two: Contemplation: Well, I might have a problem. No, I don’t think I have a problem. Well, maybe at that I do. However, I am not ready to do anything about it. All the things I would have to change are just too hard. This is uncertainty.
Stage Three: Preparation: Okay, I will join a self-help support group. I will write down everything I eat each day and call an accountability partner, but first I must get an accountable partner. I will get all the junk food out of the house. This is just the talk stage. All talk but no walk.
Stage Four: Action: I found the support group went three times and made a commitment to attend each Tuesday evening. I have my first twenty days of food written down, and each day I called it in to my accountability partner. I have no junk food left in the house and my mate has promised not to bring any home. This is the walk of action.
Stage Five: Maintenance: I have now continued to keep my commitments for a full year. I have added weighing myself once a week and reported it to my accountability partner. My physician wants me to lose 15 more pounds to be where I should be for my age and height. This is the ideal place to live daily.
Stage Six: Relapse: I know where I went wrong! I hit my goal weight and held it for one year, then I quite going to the meetings, stopped calling my accountability partner and stopped weighing myself. Slowly, we both brought junk food back into the house. I now weigh more than when I started!
What stage are you in? Have you ever been in stage five? If so, for how long? E-mail and let me know. firstname.lastname@example.org