The Power of Self Awareness and Small Successes




To kick off our sessions this week, I asked everyone to share what it was like to get in touch with their fullness the past week and to share in what way they had success in reaching their other goal. In addition to the goal of tracking fullness, each person had set a second goal for themselves in another area of health or fitness improvement.

Focusing on Fullness Leads to Insights and Changes
Everyone had a different experience in becoming aware of when they got full and what fullness felt like to them. For some, they weren’t really sure when it was they got full. It felt abstract and wasn’t as simple as one would think to get in touch with fullness. For others, they realized fullness was too familiar a feeling but knowing the stages of becoming full was less easy to identify.

Some said the awareness of becoming full helped them to cut back on what they were eating, and for the first time it was effortless to eat less. Just being aware changed their behavior around overeating. A number of them also recognized that they could cut back their portions by giving themselves smaller amounts to begin with (like ½ a sandwich, using smaller bowls or plates, serving less food), knowing they could always go and get more when they got hungry again. They then tried that and found they felt so much better. There were a few people who were inspired to change other behaviors related to their eating, such as cutting back the amount of wine they were drinking or stopping before they ate out of emotional reasons. What is amazing is that they did all this effortlessly, simply by observing how they felt, and that was my point. No one forced them to change; they wanted to make changes because it felt better.

Read more about their insights about fullness.

Tools to Stay Conscious around Food
To help everyone remain conscious while they ate, I introduced them to the hunger scale that you see here. This is a visual gauge to help them notice the levels of hunger they feel whenever they eat. I also introduced them to a Discovery Food Journal, which is available on the contest website for anyone to download. This journal is nothing like the food journals they had seen before. Instead of having them track the foods they eat, I asked them to track each meal and snack by identifying where they were on the hunger scale each time they began and stopped eating. They also have a place to observe any thoughts or feelings that might arise when they eat, as well as any new insights or strategies they come up with.



Having a Small Success Leads to Greater Motivation
Next the participants shared what went well in reaching the goals they set for themselves in one other area of improvement they are working on. I specifically asked them to focus on their successes, so they could see what they had achieved rather than focusing on what they hadn’t accomplished. By focusing on success, you build your self-confidence in your ability to succeed and you increase your motivation to do more. And that is just what they experienced.

Read more about what they did and what they learned.

See What the Participants Have to Say
Find out what the group participants have to say about their own personal experience by viewing the comments to this post. Please feel free to add your own comments as you follow along.

To make your own changes and participate on your own or in a group, check out the contest website for details and tool.

Have a healthy and active week,

Back to Contest page

  • Maureen

    I’m surprised at the impact of simply removing value judgements (good vs. bad), and just being mindful. I’m realizing that much of my unhealthy eating has resulted from not really paying attention to whether or not I’m truly hungry or already full, and recognizing that labelling particular foods as “bad” has helped make me want them all the more. It’s very exciting to look at what (for me) has been a life-long problem in new ways. I realize I still have a long road ahead, but the path is not carved in stone, and I’m starting to believe I have many options.

  • Heather

    It is wonderful to learn how to set realistic goals. The small successes really inspire me to do more and help me to feel like I have accomplished something. Taking the judgement out of the process has also been extremely helpful. I am more likely now to look at the things I have accomplished.

  • Bobbi

    We are keeping a fitness journal and a food journal this week. The technique we are using for journaling is much different than what I have used ever done in the past. Keeping mindful of what and when I am eating as well as when I am full seems to keep me from reaching for another helping. I find myself wanting to cook healthier foods and portioning my plate size because I now knowing if I am still hungry I can have more. The fitness journal is my challenge, as I really have never had a regular fitness plan in my entire life. I want to be healthy and know that putting fitness in my routine will be good for me – the journal asks us to set goals for the week and then record our actual fitness. Setting attainable goals is key for not only meeting my goals but most importantly keeping a positive attitude. It is baby steps that will keep me going to truly change my lifestyle. At this point I am really positive and motivated.

  • Heather H

    The food journal and looking at what makes a balanced meal has been really helpful. It is getting easier to look at my meal and evaluate if it is balanced. I am also much more aware of how I feel when I eat balanced meals and snacks. I have been challenged with wanting to reduce soda in my diet. I have been experimenting with alternatives such as seltzer which feels good since I am also getting my water intake this way.

Alice Greene
Healthy Lifestyle Success Coach


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