Change is a process that starts in your mind. Few people like change because it takes us out of our comfort zones. Changing your lifestyle to incorporate healthy eating and activity takes energy which people who have tried to make changes before may not have in abundance. Understanding the change process and then how to kickstart your mind to be our ally in the change process is the fundamental skill we are developing together.
The stages in the change processes are:
- Relapse or Termination
In the PRECONTEMPLATION stage you are not even thinking about change and do not think you have a problem. You think that the messages about obesity or health issues do not apply to you and are exaggerations. You mind is likely to be in a state of:
RELUCTANCE – you have a lack of knowledge of how to change or you just don’t want to think about change;
REBELLIOUS – you are resistant to anyone telling you what to do;
RESIGNED – you have given up the possibility of change and overwhelmed by the thought of going through it again;
RATIONALISING – you have loads of reasons why your eating is not a problem for you…it might be for others but not for you.
You are willing to consider the possibility that there is a problem which needs your attention but you are a fence sitting. You are interested in learning about habits and how to change them. You know that overeating is an issue for you but you are unable to make the decision to change. You need to weigh up the pros and cons of making a change.
PREPARATION TO ACTION/DETERMINATION
In this stage, you will have made a decision to change your relationship with food. Having weighed up the pros and cons you decide to make a change. You are ready and committed to take action. You need to make a REALISTIC PLAN which includes learning new skills or building in new activities. You need to anticipate problems and pitfalls and decide how you will deal with them.
You are now ready to put your plan into action. You make a public commitment to change your relationship with food. This enables you to get the support that you will need. You will start the plan and see it working and make adjustments as you progress. You will have the joy of compliments, new clothes, and a great feelings of health, wellbeing and SUCCESS.
This is the stage where you keep the changed habits going over a period of time. This is normally three to six months. Your new healthy lifestyle and activity routines are now part of your daily life and seem ‘normal’ now. Once this stage is reached, you are less likely to return to the old habits.
RELAPSE OR TERMINATION
The possibility of relapse (return to previous habits) is always there. You may try to ‘test’ yourself by dropping out of your plan and goals. EVERYONE lapse or relapses at some time but the trick is to LEARN from the relapse. A relapse is a good way to strengthen determination.
Ultimately you want to reach termination of the plan, where you find that your lifestyle and relationship with food is healthy and balanced and you feel successful and positive.
Extracted from https://sphweb.bumc.bu.edu/otlt/mph-modules/sb/behavioralchangetheories/BehavioralChangeTheories6.html#:~:text=The%20TTM%20posits%20that%20individuals,change%20for%20health%2Drelated%20behaviors