Big Choices and Little Choices

No Snacks, no sweets, no seconds. Except on Days that start with S. Too simple for you? Simple is why it works. Look here for questions, introductions, support, success stories.

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JWL
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Big Choices and Little Choices

Post by JWL » Sun Aug 21, 2005 1:15 am

I've been thinking about what I will call "big choices" and "little choices," and how they can be useful in making habit changes.

A "big choice" is a fundamental choice that is overarching; eg, "from now on I will do the No-S diet and shovelglove."

A "little choice" is a mundane, everyday choice that must be made over and over, ie, "it's a No-S day so I won't eat that ice cream today."

It seems to me that we can make all the "big choices" that we want, but unless we make a lot of "little choices" to back it up it doesn't mean anything. Conversely, the more little choices we make in congruence with the big choices, the stronger the big choices become. That's why as we get into a new big choice, it gets easier to stick to.

One thing we must caution against: keep the "big choices" from being too far-fetched or unattainable. That's where neurosis can creep in: a neurotic will continually eat him/herself up with guilt for not being able to conform to "big choices"; the neurotic will feel weak and constantly like a failure. So the "big choices" must be healthy and attainable; something that the everyday systems stuff definitely seems to be.
JWL[.|@]Freakwitch[.]net

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gratefuldeb67
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Post by gratefuldeb67 » Sun Aug 21, 2005 5:18 am

I feel very neurotic now Jameswitch!!!! :lol:

Liked your ideas :)
Hope your enjoying your weekend dude!!!
Make good choices!

Peace,
8) Deb

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peetie
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Post by peetie » Sun Aug 21, 2005 1:26 pm

Yes, in psychology they call it successive approximations to the goal. In plain English.....baby steps so you don't feel so overwhelmed.

One foot in front of the other and suddenly you look back and are amazed how far you've come!

Peetie

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Lethaltoenails
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Post by Lethaltoenails » Mon Aug 22, 2005 6:44 pm

Brilliant - the distinctions between the big idea and the small steps necessary to do what it takes to get the big idea done. It's all in the details. Sometimes changing habits can be so hard that you have to take it minute by minute, or in this case meal by meal or bite by bite. Sometimes the food talks to you. Learning to ignore it and to NOT let it control that moment takes time and patience.

I experienced some of this this past weekend when I sent away some of the entree I had ordered. It was very hard not to just keep eating until the plate was empty. I still was a little overfull - and I could just imagine how much fuller and more uncomfortable I would have felt had I kept eating... but that knowledge has not stopped me before, but it did this weekend - and guess what, I did not die for sending food back, and the police did not arrest me and my dead mother did not come back from the grave to haunt me for "wasting food" - so yes, Freakwitch - small steps applied continuously can climb a mountain.

I can't wait to discover what my next small choice will be today!

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Jammin' Jan
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Post by Jammin' Jan » Mon Aug 22, 2005 8:45 pm

Freakwitch, you are absolutely right on. I know we are talking about food here, but this applies to every aspect of life. No-S is a good discipline for life, I think, because of what you are saying.

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reinhard
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Post by reinhard » Tue Aug 23, 2005 2:33 pm

Bravo. Thank you, James. This is definitely home page mention worthy.

Big choices should give direction and space to little choices. It's basically internal delegation. Too many people don't see the distinction and make lots of doomed "big-little" choices, too ambitious and too specific, too big and too little at the same time.

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JWL
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Post by JWL » Tue Aug 23, 2005 4:31 pm

To follow up a bit, I think the main reason No-S is so successful is because it is itself a "big choice," but it provides a simple framework from which to make "little choices." With No-S, the rules about when and how much to eat are clear; it's very difficult for even the most skilled rationalizer (I include myself here, heh) to wiggle out of it. When you stick to it, it's clear, when you violate the rules, it's clear.

This phenomenon is part of what I've referred to as an "eating algorithm," in that it is a very simple, 14-word algorithm that improves one's relationship to food. One no longer overeats, and one is also free to enjoy the food eaten without any guilt at all.
JWL[.|@]Freakwitch[.]net

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Jammin' Jan
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Post by Jammin' Jan » Tue Aug 23, 2005 4:46 pm

This phenomenon is part of what I've referred to as an "eating algorithm," in that it is a very simple, 14-word algorithm that improves one's relationship to food. One no longer overeats, and one is also free to enjoy the food eaten without any guilt at all.

That's it, perfectly stated.

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ClickBeetle
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Post by ClickBeetle » Wed Aug 24, 2005 12:15 am

Some thinking regarding the macro & micro scales --

I've been thinking a lot about Reinhard's (hopefully) upcoming book :)
and it seems to me that the 3-page explanation of No-S could come with a kind of "Commentators on the Acts," or the "Talmud" that goes with the "Torah," so to speak. Basically, this would be some degree of explication and interpretation -- iterations -- variations on the theme -- that you could apply to the basic rules expressed in their stripped-down simplicity.

One thing this board has shown is that people come up with their own "take" on No-S, their own coping strategies, and their own way of implementing it and incorporating it into their daily routine depending on individual schedules, preferences, habits, strengths, weaknesses, and needs.

For example, I'm the fiber freak. Another person has diabetes, so he adds a small mid-afternoon meal if he needs it. Some people balk at two slices of cucumber as a "snack". Others say a few crackers are OK if you take it out of your dinner "plate". Some people add in a calorie reduction or healthy eating goal. Others continue to eat fast food on a regular basis, but only at mealtimes. And a hundred other variations.

The trick is that, for all successful "big choice" No-S'ers, a path is found that works for them at that "little choices" level. And one big benefit of the board and the exchange of info that goes on here is sharing ideas and approaches so that everyone optimizes their chances of finding those workable "micro-" decisions, after they've made the "macro" decision of following the No-S basics.

This is why, though I appreciate Reinhard's word-thrift and sincerity in rejecting the typical 300-page-diet book approach, I don't really think the No-S book ought to be quite the "pamphlet" that it could be. Frankly, Reinhard could build a solid, substantive appendix or "implementation guide" out of just the commentary on this board -- perhaps dividing it into topics (appetite management; mini-meals; role of exercise in supplementing the diet) -- or perhaps structuring it sort of like a FAQ -- or some other structure.

Given Reinhard's history of and dedication to selflessness with the No-S Diet so far, perhaps one approach would be to sell a short (pamphlet) version of the diet for a dollar. You pay your dollar, you get the diet "secret" -- and that means pretty much nobody has to go without the benefit of this great information.

Meanwhile, for those of us who have a bit more money to spend, or just love to consume information for information's sake, or who don't feel like it's a real diet unless we have a 200-page book in hand, or for whom more words = more inspiration, or whatever, we could pay 7.95 or 12.95 or so for the whole "implementation guide" in paperback. Totally optional, and still a bargain, while Reinhard begins to see a return from his original thinking and hard work.

Finally, for those for whom the community effort is a major factor in achieving successful implementation, there could be an online community where you pay $5 or $10 a month to be placed in a group of oh, say, thirty to fifty people participating in a bulletin board like this one. An unlimited number of groups could be added to the master website, ensuring "scalability," as they say these days in the marketing world. The size of the individual claques or groups should be small enough to ensure familiarity -- but large enough to ensure that, on average, a variety and diversity of approaches and outlooks, health needs and preferences, would be represented.

Just think of the consequences: "Everyone" would be doing No-S -- in the cost-effective way that works for them; Reinhard would get justifiably rich; the country will save eleventy-squillion dollars on health care costs; and we will all stop fighting and feuding over quibbles, 'cause we feel so darned happy in our new clothes!

(Plus, everyone here on the board will retire young, having run out and bought stock in sledgehammer manufacturing companies on a hot tip back in 2005!!! )
Chance favors the prepared. - Louis Pasteur

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peetie
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Post by peetie » Wed Aug 24, 2005 2:24 am

Wow, C.B., what a well thought out post you have here. And lots of great ideas.

The thing that sings to me most about this board and this approach is the absence of a "one size fits all" mentallity. That we get the basics explained to us in all its simplicity, and then we tweak it to fit our individual selves. And by sharing what we have "tweaked" it saves a lot of time.....we don't have to figure out every possible configuration ourselves. We can learn from eachother.

I do miss having a book in my hand though....so I'm with you in eager anticipation of one!

Peetie

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Post by Prodigalsun » Wed Aug 24, 2005 1:41 pm

"(Plus, everyone here on the board will retire young, having run out and bought stock in sledgehammer manufacturing companies on a hot tip back in 2005!!! )"

No no no, The No S Foundation for Wellness will have to launch it's own line of ShovelGloves. I envision them with ridged handhold areas on the elegant maple shafts (for the SG Classic) or neoprene covered plastic ones for the starter set. Perhaps a single shaft, with a threaded end for putting on heavier SG weights. The cover for the SG Classic metal head will be Alpaca wool, knitted by 8 year olds in Malaysia (remember, smaller fingers mean smaller stitches!). The plastic ones will have foam covered weights in hot pink. Each SG will retail for 99.95 (or 124,95 for the Classic) and come with 8lb, 10lb, 12lb, and 16lb heads.

Why let Home Depot or Loews cash in on the newest fitness craze to sweep the nation?
Last edited by Prodigalsun on Wed Aug 24, 2005 2:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
--

Starting Weight: 275
Current: 269
Goal: 190


"I shovel well, I shovel very very well."

Prodigalsun

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ClickBeetle
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Post by ClickBeetle » Wed Aug 24, 2005 1:56 pm

No 8-year-olds ... aagh! (I know you're kidding!)

How about sustainably harvested maple from Vermont; recycled plastic and steel; and living wages for rehabilitated ex-cons? :)

Better yet if the manufacturing is done on work-release by former CEOs convicted on stock fraud.
Chance favors the prepared. - Louis Pasteur

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gratefuldeb67
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Post by gratefuldeb67 » Wed Aug 24, 2005 2:00 pm

Ha ha ha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Prodigal, you politcally incorrect guy!!!
That made me laugh...
But please, wait till they are nine okay????
8) Deb

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Prodigalsun
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Post by Prodigalsun » Wed Aug 24, 2005 2:33 pm

ClickBeetle wrote:No 8-year-olds ... aagh! (I know you're kidding!)

How about sustainably harvested maple from Vermont; recycled plastic and steel; and living wages for rehabilitated ex-cons? :)

Better yet if the manufacturing is done on work-release by former CEOs convicted on stock fraud.
Even Better! Yes, we can even name them after the CEOs:

The Michael Milken Maul (slogan: Put down the Junk Bonds and the Junk Food, and start Shugging!)
The Kenneth Lay Lever (You'll warm up so much from this, you won't need to buy overpriced energy from Enron)
The Martha Stewart Sledge (Shovelgloving - It's a good thing, at least better than turning tricks in a women's prison just to score some Marzipan).
--

Starting Weight: 275
Current: 269
Goal: 190


"I shovel well, I shovel very very well."

Prodigalsun

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ClickBeetle
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Post by ClickBeetle » Wed Aug 24, 2005 2:51 pm

Aww, I like Martha . :shock: .. she got a worse rap than she deserved ... let's pick on Richard Scrushy. (He has no style, anyway!)
Chance favors the prepared. - Louis Pasteur

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gratefuldeb67
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Post by gratefuldeb67 » Wed Aug 24, 2005 3:10 pm

Ah!!!!!!! LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Prodigal you are a pisser!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Those are all great future products! LOL......
Peace and Love,
8) Deb

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Post by BrightAngel » Sun May 18, 2008 12:44 pm

JWL wrote:To follow up a bit, I think the main reason No-S is so successful is because it is itself a "big choice," but it provides a simple framework from which to make "little choices." With No-S, the rules about when and how much to eat are clear; it's very difficult for even the most skilled rationalizer (I include myself here, heh) to wiggle out of it. When you stick to it, it's clear, when you violate the rules, it's clear.

This phenomenon is part of what I've referred to as an "eating algorithm," in that it is a very simple, 14-word algorithm that improves one's relationship to food. One no longer overeats, and one is also free to enjoy the food eaten without any guilt at all.
I like this kind of "big choice" and "little choices" thinking. :idea:
BrightAngel - (Dr. Collins)
See: DietHobby. com

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Re: Big Choices and Little Choices

Post by BrightAngel » Sun May 18, 2008 1:25 pm

JWL wrote:I've been thinking about what I will call "big choices" and "little choices," and how they can be useful in making habit changes.

A "big choice" is a fundamental choice that is overarching; eg, "from now on I will do the No-S diet and shovelglove."

A "little choice" is a mundane, everyday choice that must be made over and over, ie, "it's a No-S day so I won't eat that ice cream today."

It seems to me that we can make all the "big choices" that we want, but unless we make a lot of "little choices" to back it up it doesn't mean anything. Conversely, the more little choices we make in congruence with the big choices, the stronger the big choices become. That's why as we get into a new big choice, it gets easier to stick to.
Today is an S day.
I still have some little choices to make,
but there are less of them than there are on N days.
AND, I'm VERY MUCH HOPING that once HABIT kicks in,
a great many of those "little choices" will become routine and mostly unconscious behaviour,
like my automatic morning choices to: brush my teeth, put on clean clothes, and make my bed.
BrightAngel - (Dr. Collins)
See: DietHobby. com

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Post by blueskighs » Sun May 18, 2008 3:46 pm

With No-S, the rules about when and how much to eat are clear; it's very difficult for even the most skilled rationalizer (I include myself here, heh) to wiggle out of it. When you stick to it, it's clear, when you violate the rules, it's clear.
I LOVE THIS ABOUT NO S! ... having plotted my way to self-destruction through many circuitous though convincing rationalizations (at least to myself :D ) many times! For me with No S the jig is up.

Blueskighs
www.nosdiet.blogspot.com Where I blog daily about my No S journey

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Post by kccc » Sun May 18, 2008 6:37 pm

At a conference I was attending last week, a paper referred in passing to a categorization of interventions in social work (I am not a social worker, nor was the conference about that... just the project being researched touched on it.)

It was a useful categorization. One dimension dealt with scale: Micro, Mezzo, and Macro. A complementary dimension dealt with (can't think of the proper word. Time? Chronology?) essentially categorized as "proactive" and "reactive" (different words used, but that was the gist).

I can so see this in a 3x2 matrix, that creates a basic framework for looking at a LOT of things. I particularly like the question "What do proactive strategies look like at each level?"

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