I just finished reading the book Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (I believe it's 'chick-sent-me-high') and I really recommend it. It's about getting into what he calls a 'flow state' or what other people call 'the zone' in everyday life. Basically, the point is to make hard but doable goals, take concrete steps toward those goals, and track your progress. Doing this puts you into a flow state of optimal experience, giving you the high you feel when you finish a long bike ride, complete a hard puzzle, finish making a woodworking project, things like that. There's a lot more to it but the thing I've taken from it is a new approach to getting my weight under control.

Like a lot of people I've struggled with my weight and with food issues. I have a hard time eating one donut, or one piece of candy. I eat 3 donuts and a dozen pieces of candy when they're around. And in our office, candy and donuts always seem to be around. I've struggled with this addictive type behavior but I think I've found a good way to use Flow to get past that. Instead of looking at passing up the candy jar as depriving myself of candy, I intend to look at it as taking a concrete step toward my goal of losing weight. When I work out, that's a step toward the goal. When I go to karate class, that's another step. I haven't figured out a good way of tracking this yet but so far I've been able to avoid the giant bowl of Hershey's Kisses (which is in the middle of the path from my desk to the water cooler!) for a few days, making sure to note to myself that I'm making progress toward my goal each time. Flow is one of those books I'll probably end up buying and reading over again, a pretty rare thing for me. He has a couple of other books on the subject that I might read as well. But even if I don't, this new approach to dieting has me pretty jazzed. It might be just the thing to help. We'll see.

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