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Detect patterns through journaling and calendar notes
The notes you enter on SparkPeople or in a written journal will help you detect habits or patterns that can be improved. This will allow you to change patterns that thwart your progress, strengthen those that move you closer to goal, and develop options for any that trip you up. The calendar is useful because you can anticpate upcoming events and put alternatives into place.
Premenstrual cravings are common, and if you know you like sweets or salty items you can have healthy options on hand. Holidays, vacations and meetings can be planned. Seasonal trends can be addressed (I realize I made excuses when it rained not to go out, so I substitute indoor exercise.)
Realize that as you get older, especially after menopause, your metabolism and food needs change. Most people gain about a pound a year between the ages of forty-five and fifty-five, and this is a common pattern as we age and do not adjust caloric intake to declining energy needs. Like me, you may need to consume fewer calories and perhaps exercise more to maintain. Yes, it stinks but it's worth doing!
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