Tuesday, January 29, 2013
For reasons not related to this blog I have been researching crime and prisons.
First let me assure you that neither I nor any member of my family has ever been in prison.
However, dieters have some things in common with those people attempting to leave behind the behavior that landed them in prison.
Recidivism – “the tendency to relapse into a previous condition or mode of behavior” (Webster)
Approximately 68% of prisoners released were rearrested within 3 years (varies by state and type of crime)
Once at goal weight, 70 to 95% of dieters will be back to their old selves within 3 years. (research data varies here also)
So what characteristics do “career criminals” share with career (yo-yo) dieters other than recidivism - the act of a person repeating an undesirable behavior after they have either experienced negative consequences of that behavior, or have been treated or trained to extinguish that behavior (Wikipedia)
The process of losing the weight at times may seem equivalent to time in prison, bound by shackels of our own making. As a person in maintenance, I’m currently more interested in what happens once goal weight is reached (sentence served or released on parole).
I was reading about programs to help career criminals change their lives.
Many of the successful tactics mirror the lifestyle changes needed to make healthy weight permanent.
Meaningful work, education and training
We know that higher income levels correlate with lower obesity rates.
Nutrition information and education helps people make better food choices also.
Mental health treatment
Recognition and counseling for any unhealthy relationship with food helps to maintain a healthy weight.
Attitude and Associates
Believe positive change is possible.
Avoid people and places likely to lead you back to old destructive habits.
Associate with people who support your goals (like Sparkpeople)
Report in-person with a parole officer regularly.
I realize that I do this every morning when I step on the scale. Sometimes my parole officer (scale) approves of me and sometimes not, but this is how I get an honest, no-nonsense assessment of the direction I’m headed before I’ve gone too far down the wrong path and end up back in prison.
I want to avoid being a negative statistic and intend to do all I can to avoid it.