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Switch Points - What a Concept!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

At today’s WW meeting, the leader talked about the switch points on train tracks, whereby three inches of steel determines which direction a train goes. To illustrate her point, she said that one time a train employee hit the wrong button and switched the direction of a train, taking it 1500 miles in the wrong direction.

She likened that to our goal to develop and maintain a healthy lifestyle and weight. We all know what we need to do to get there, but then things come up. We are faced with decisions – switch points – everyday that can take us in the direction we want to go or take us way off-track. Little decisions, just like that little piece of steel, make the difference. Exercise today…or not. Stay within calorie/point range today…or not. Choosing to eat healthy snacks…or not. Sticking with your plan when eating out…or not. Sticking with healthy choices when unhealthy choices are an option…or not. Sticking with your shopping list that has foods to support your healthy choices…or not. Drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day…or not. Getting back on track quickly once you have gotten yourself offtrack..or not.

I hadn’t thought about those daily choices as being “switch points”, but I think that it makes for a very strong visual reminder. I find this a powerful way of looking at the importance of my choices and where I want to go. It also emphasizes – as did the WW weekly magazine distributed at the meetings - the point that YOU are the boss of you. Sometimes I forget that and don’t acknowledge that it is MY choice what I buy at the store, what I eat at home or in a restaurant, whether or not I track what I eat, how much water I drink, and whether I exercise today or not. I have been known to make excuses (it was too hot, it just called my name, etc.) that absolve me of responsibility, and that has definitely slowed down my progress. This switch point idea helps me put that key point - I am responsible and I do have a choice - in the front and center of my mind - another tool in my healthy lifestyle toolbox to help me get where I want go.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    That's just an excellent image--I know it will stick with me.

    2336 days ago
    emoticon emoticon
    2343 days ago
    Great visual!
    2346 days ago
    emoticon Luv! Luv! Luv! just love this analogy & that we are the boss of us... if we choose, even if it be to take a scenic route for a moment, we can own & make the choice, and then enjoy it guilt free. And when we feel refreshed back on the more direct route, eh? Thanks for sharing this, I find it incredibly helpful as well :)
    2348 days ago
  • MINDA31807
    That is a great visual. Thanks for sharing!
    2349 days ago
  • DEBRA0818
    I have found it is always better if I use the active voice to describe my choices -- I drank water, I exercised, I ate on plan, rather than the passive voice of the cheeseburger got me, sloth strikes again or that Diet Coke just had my name on it. Active voice = the right choice!

    n> emoticon
    2349 days ago
    Great blog...thanks for sharing!

    2349 days ago
    emoticon blog! I really like the switch point illustration to show how easily we can derail our progress/goals by making the wrong choice. Keeping this visual in our minds at all time will certainly help to keep us on track although, as Melli said. even with the visual in mind we sometimes opt for turn the switch and then play regrets later on.
    2349 days ago
    What a great concept!! Thanks for sharing that great idea!! A new visual to help keep me "on track". emoticon emoticon
    2349 days ago
    Yea... the trouble is remembering AT THAT MOMENT that you're the boss. Or that losing weight is MORE important to you than that chocolate eclair or that double cheeseburger! Because AT THAT MOMENT I can actually give careful thought to it, and DECIDE that the cheeseburger wins! And still cuss myself for it later! Temptation is truly an EVIL thing! But I DO like that "switch point" visual! I wonder how many times I've just knocked myself a mile off track... and how they have added up over the years to those 1500 miles! OY! emoticon
    2349 days ago
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