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How I quit the donut, 24 years and counting.

health, nutrition, self care, sugar, Uncategorized, weight, weight loss, wellness

Consistently I am asked this question, so I decided to write about it.  24 years ago I recognized I ‘really’ liked donuts, and I could eat a lot of them.  When the morning arrived I stood in front of my closet trying to find something to wear to work, then realizing nothing fit anymore.  I called in sick to work because I felt and was sick.  After crying for a few minutes, it came over me like a storm.  This was it, this was my last straw moment, and today was the day to do something!  So I dried my tears, put on my big girl panties and sought help.

I had to realize that donuts were not my friend, they were not my therapist, and they certainly weren’t helping anything.  I began to dig deep, “what benefit am I receiving from this sugary delight?”  I began to journal about when and where I would eat donuts, along with my emotions.   I recognized boredom and stress were fuel to my donut fire. I stopped eating them immediately, because I was ready to.

The longer I did without them, the better I felt.  My motivation machine was ON and there was no turning it off now.  It was all about action.

Almost 20 years ago, two well-known alcoholism researchers, Carlo C. DiClemente and J. O. Prochaska, introduced a five-stage model of change to help professionals understand their clients with addiction problems and motivate them to change. Their model is based not on abstract theories but on their personal observations of how people went about modifying problem behaviors such as smoking, overeating and problem drinking.

The six stages of the model are:

  • precontemplation
  • contemplation
  • determination
  • action
  • maintenance
  • termination

Gold, M. (2016). Stages of Change. Psych Central

Understanding your readiness to change by being familiar with the six-stage model of change can help you choose treatments that are right for you.

Nothing succeeds like success. I implemented a good plan, I was beginning to see it work and experiencing it working over time, as well as making adjustments along the way. The many things that hiding in a donut may have taken from me began to be restored, along with hope and self-confidence and continued determination not to eat one.

Today I understand when we eat something loaded with sugar; your taste buds, your gut and your brain all take notice.  This activation of your reward system is not unlike how bodies process addictive substances such as alcohol or nicotine.  An overload of sugar spikes dopamine levels and leaves you craving more.

So what’s the magic potion you ask?

This is my recipe:

  • My last straw moment prompted determination and plan preparation.
  • Commitment to change with appropriate skills.
  • Success reducing my sugar urge propelled continued achievement.
  • Continuing to educate myself and adjust plans to maintain long term sustained change, bye bye donut.

Here are some Tips:

  • Out of sight is usually not out of mind
  • Make lower calorie choices when possible
  • Our environment is toxic – unhealthy food is highly accessible
  • Don’t let yourself get too hungry
  • Try a cravings journal
  • Smart carbs to the rescue – whole grains, beans, fruits, vegetables
  • Take care of yourself, in a non-food way

I have successfully managed my weight health and sugar craving for almost 25 years now.

As you travel the ELM path, I will join with you to explore your challenges and cravings.  We will discover your strengths for determination and preparation, as well as what might get in the way.  We will create an action plan with small, sustainable goals, and prepare for long term maintained change.

I look forward to hearing about your donut!

Be well!

Kelle Greeson, LPCC CWC

ELM Mental Wellness, owner

 

 

How to find lifelong health through our work.

Uncategorized

The occupational dimension of wellness recognizes personal satisfaction and enrichment in our life through work. At the core is our attitude about the work we do. Occupational Wellness includes, contributing our unique gifts, skills, and talents to work that is both personally meaningful and rewarding.

You’ll convey your values through your involvement in activities that are gratifying for you. The choice of profession, job satisfaction, career ambitions, and personal performance are all important components of your work path.

It is better to choose a career which is consistent with our personal values, interests, and beliefs than to select onethat is unrewarding to us.

It is better to develop functional, transferable skillsthrough structured involvement opportunities than to remain inactive and uninvolved.

 

Quick Tips to improve your Occupational Wellness today:

 

Take a break!

Taking breaks actually improves job performance, and it also helps reduce overall work stress. Just a few five-minute breaks scattered throughout the day can help strengthen mental focus and clarity. Get up from your desk, stretch, chat with a coworker and walk around the office for a minute. Do a short meditation to clear your mind and refocus your energies.

 

Make a list, and be realistic.

Use simple time management techniques to reduce stress and improve your ability to get work done. One simple time management tool that will help you keep track of daily tasks is the to-do list. Place items on the list in order of importance, and make sure to give yourself some breathing room.

 

Organize your workspace.

A clean, neat and organized workspace makes it much easier to keep track of everything that is going on, reducing feelings of anxiety. If you can’t find something you need or you’re sitting in a big pile of clutter, you’re much more likely to feel frustrated and overwhelmed. Instead, take the time to regularly clear your workspace for maximum usage and minimum annoyance.

 

Take a class.

If you’re considering changing careers, or if you just want to sharpen your skills for your current job, signing up for a class is a great place to start. Learning more about what you’re doing will help you feel more comfortable and effective at work, and it may land you a promotion. The more you explore your dreams in the classroom, the more freedom you’ll have to move in the direction of your dreams in real life!

 

Set mini-goals.

Everyone has big dreams and aspirations, but setting mini-goals at work will help you get through your days. When you set a mini-goal like, “I’m going to finish these reports by noon,” you turn work into a game. Sure, you’ll still need to focus on quality, but these benchmarks are just for fun and motivation. If you don’t finish the reports by noon, it’s no harm, no foul. If you make it, it’ll be like winning a race.

 

Occupational wellness is also the ability to achieve a balance between work and leisure in a way that promotes health, a sense of personal satisfaction and is (for most people) financially rewarding. Our attitude and ability to effectively deal with work, school, and career goals greatly affect wellness, performance, interactions with others and overall success.

On the ELM Mental Wellness path, you’ll be able to look at the larger picture, make decisions, take actions and take responsibility for your choices. Staying focused on achieving a proper balance between the dimensions of wellness (includes all aspects of your life) will serve you well. Good health, attitude, relationships, personal satisfaction and proper balance help you produce and project your best performance.

 

 

Be well,

Kelle Greeson, LPCC, CWC

How social connections support your health?

emotion, health, mental health, positive thinking, relationships, stress, therapy, Uncategorized, wellness

Are we losing our ability to connect?

Quite simple, Social Wellness refers to your relationships with others.

It encompasses the idea of having positive interactions with others since we are all social beings. It involves developing and building close bonds of friendship and intimacy, practicing empathy and effective listening, as well as caring for others and for the common good.

While we have numerous technologies connecting us to friends, family and people across the country, we find ourselves more and more alone and lonely. Take a moment to observe people in coffee shops or restaurants.  Many times conversations are happening over cell phones, between one person who is present and another at the other end of the phone, rather than among the people sitting together. Our behaviors suggest using the technology is primary and having the conversation is secondary.  These observations are not intended to criticize technology, but rather to suggest a more mindful use of this tool.  Important connections happen electronically and technology can be very useful.  It is remarkable the power of a few characters to make you feel connected.  Technology isn’t the only force contributing to a disconnection among people.  Our culture encourages individualism and distraction from the present moment, materialism, and results rather than progress.  We seem to be focused on the relatively insignificant aspects of our lives rather than our happiness, relationships, and well being.

Our social health is affected by social history, cultural values, open-mindedness, and knowledge of healthy relationships.

Social Wellness Facts

  • Socially isolated people are more susceptible to illness and have a death rate two to three times higher than those who are not socially isolated.
  • People who maintain their social network and support systems do better under stress.
  • Approximately 20 percent of Americans feel lonely and isolated during their free time.
  • Touching, stroking, and hugging can improve health.
  • Laughter really is good medicine.
  • Cholesterol levels go up when human companionship is lacking.
  • Warm, close friendships cause higher levels of immunoglobulin A (an antibody that helps keep away respiratory infections and cavities).
  • A strong social network can create a good mood and enhance self-esteem.

 

Social support is thought to impact physical and mental well being in several different ways.  Social support provides an individual with a route to receiving psychological and material resources.  These resources exist in three categories: instrumental (money or services), informational (advice or important information), and emotional (empathy, caring, trust, and reassurance).  Being a part of a community offers various social relationships that provide many different emotional benefits, i.e. experiencing stress-buffering due to sense of belonging.  Relationships provide identification with social roles, promote positive psychological conditions such as purpose, meaning, a sense of identity and self-worth.

In my profession of counseling, I work with individuals on a daily basis struggling to connect with others and have meaningful relationships.  Here are some guidelines:

Social Wellness Tips

1.Articulate your thoughts both in public and personal conversations.

2.Think before you speak.

3.Volunteer in your community.

4.Make others feel important, while being genuine.

5.Get to know your personal needs and pursue things and people who nurture those needs.

6.Join a club or organization that interests you.

7.Visit neighbors and friends.

8.Contact and make a specific effort to talk to the people who are supportive in your life.

9.Ask questions, and refrain from doing all the talking.

10.Send “Thank You” notes for kind deeds done in your favor.

11.Allow others to care for you.

12.Balance your social life with your personal life.

 

 

As you travel the ELM Mental Wellness path, you’ll become more aware of your importance in society as well as the impact you have on multiple environments. You’ll take an active part in improving our world by encouraging healthier living and initiating better communication with those around you.You’ll actively seek ways to preserve the beauty and balance of nature along the pathway as you discover the power to make willful choices to enhance personal relationships and important friendships, and build a better living space and community.

I can help you grow your social wellness by developing:

  • comfort with expressing yourself
  • supportive and fulfilling relationships
  • Attitude towards your relationships (and your willingness to ask for help)
  • Peer acceptance, close bonds and social skills (like assertiveness or conflict resolution)
  • The ability to accept others for being different

 

It is better to contribute to the common welfare of our

community than to think only of ourselves.

 

It is better to live in harmony with others and our

environment than to live in conflict with them.

What Wellness Can Teach You about Quality and Longevity of Life

health, mental health, therapy, Uncategorized, wellness

Have you thought about how long you will live, how you want to live, and how healthy and spirited your life will be while living it?

Initiating a Wellness Lifestyle can be challenging, but finding the right information, the right support and resource can help you get there.

I’m Kelle Greeson, Psychotherapist, Certified Wellness Counselor, and member of the National Wellness Institute.  Over the next 6 months I will introduce you to the Interdependent Model of Wellness (referred to as the 6 Dimensions of Wellness).  Each month will include one dimension to highlight: The definition and description, what are some setbacks or factors that get in the way, suggestions to apply for improvement including a checklist to print, and local resource (s).

A person is more than one’s body.  Wellness is an active process through which people become aware of, and make choices toward, a more successful existence.  My hope is to help you begin to recognize and address yourself as whole person.


ELM Mental Wellness provides in depth assessment, goal setting and treatment plan, intervention application, encouragement and support to achieve and complete plan.  We all need help managing the ups and downs of life every once in a while. Being aware and taking care of your mental and physical health needs can help you better understand yourself (and others!) and feel your best.