I'm so impressed with my U.S. Senator, Claire McCaskill! No, she has not figured out how to get the economy moving again or balance the federal budget or earn my approval by voting the right way (i.e., MY way) on a particular issue.
What she HAS done is lose 50 pounds in 6 months through a sensible program of healthy eating and exercise, according to the New York Times. She hired a personal trainer and committed herself to walking uphill 2 miles per day with her "new BFF...Mr. Treadmill." She focused on a healthy eating plan of protein and veggies. She controlled her portions. She made a decision to "divorce" bread and pasta but hoped they could be friends again someday.
And she used Twitter to create this success story.
McCaskill initiated her plan by announcing on Twitter in May 2011 that, "I'm tired of looking and feeling fat. Maybe talking about it publicly will keep me on track as I try to be more disciplined. Off to the gym." She has frankly acknowledged that another major motivator was cultivating the energy for her upcoming 2012 re-election campaign.
So why did McCaskill's plan work so well? Consciously or unconsciously, she utilized proven strategies for her shape-up program. These included:
Here, in a CBS interview, McCaskill tells her successful weight loss story in her own witty way:
What obstacles might McCaskill encounter that could derail her? If she's thinking of her program as a "diet" rather than as a "lifelong healthy eating program," she could become one of the 95% of dieters who regain their lost weight within two years. Making decisions--personal and political-- could consume some of her willpower. Lack of sleep could also sap her stores of willpower.
But for now, McCaskill is holding her own. She looks and feels more vital, and that vitality alone is a powerful reward for changing. I'm betting on Claire!
In fact, I'm so eager to hear the next chapters of McCaskill's story that I actually overcame my doubts about Twitter and joined up. I'm now a follower and a member of "Team Claire." Check out my Twitter handle below.
So, readers, would any of Claire's techniques work for you?
(c) Meg Selig
Selig, M. Changepower! 37 Secrets to Habit Change Success (2009). NY: Routledge.
Baumeister, R. & Tierney, J. Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength (2011). NY: Penguin.
Norcross, JC, Mrykalo, MS, & Blagys, MD. "Auld lang syne: success predictors, change processes, and self-reported outcomes of New Year's resolvers and nonresolvers." J. Clinical Psychology, 2002, Apr; 58 (4): 397-405.