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Winning Mental Strategies for Weight Loss

Realistic expectations lead to lasting lifestyle changes.

Talk To Yourself

To do that, substitute positive self-talk for negative self-talk. Come up with your own repertoire, a new vernacular of encouragement. Sometimes I say to myself, "You're having a crappy day, but you go girl. You're doing just fine." Find something that speaks to you, something that's all yours.

I have another patient at high risk for diabetes, her blood sugar and cholesterol levels were terrible, and she was terrified. But that only lasted so long. In the morning she was motivated, but by 3 p.m. she was in an eating trance at the vending machine.

I said, "You've told me about health risks and diabetes, and obviously that's not motivating you enough. Tell me something that really ticks you off." She said, "The other day my mother told me that if I get any bigger, I'm going to have to start shopping at Omar the Tentmaker's. I own this fabulous Armani suit, it's size 12, and I can't fit into it."

So this woman's motivator, when 3 p.m. rolled around and she had a choice of a healthy snack or stupid stuff from the vending machine, wasn't about diabetes or cholesterol -- it was about Armani. If you elect to eat appropriately, then the answer is Armani. If you eat badly, then the answer could only be Omar. By honoring Armani, she's stepping away from diabetes. That's one of Dr. Peeke's "get real" rules. Health is important, but you've got to make it more personal. It may be superficial, but it was worth it to her.

There's No Reaching "It"

Just because you've lost 30 pounds and are at your goal weight doesn't mean you get to sit on your laurels. If you're thinking, "I'm here, now I can be normal," I have a news flash for you. Normal means that you have to work at healthy eating and exercise every day. It does get easier with practice, but you must surrender to the fact that this is necessary to do. There's no negotiation. You just go to another phase of your new lifestyle, and you just get better and better and better.

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Reviewed on January 20, 2004

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If the level is below 70 or you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.

People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.

Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.

However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.

Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.

One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

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