I didn’t grow up with computer games like my kids.
But in the months before my father passed 3 years ago there were countless hours spent in ERs, surgical waiting areas and hospital rooms. My ability to tolerate the unique mix of boredom, grief, tenderness and terror was made possible by a little game I could play on my phone.
I was saved by Candy Crush.
The sprinkle bombs and striped candy, leveling up and do-overs, competition among “friends” and the perfect combination of skill and luck kept me coming back for more.
There was relief in those colorful sweets.
And no added calories!
My dependence on Candy Crush subsided after I processed the loss. At some point distraction and escape started to feel like a waste of time rather than a safe waiting room for the new normal.
Bye-bye, Candy Friend.
Then COVID-19 hit and we all had a new normal.
This unusual set of circumstances made me susceptible to my old playmate’s siren song. All it took was a casual mention in a magazine article and the Candy Crush area of my brain reactivated.
I found the app in my phone (buried but discoverable) and within moments the blinking colored lights, exclamation points and promises of prizes hooked me in.
It was fun to be reunited, at first.
But after having to ask my husband to repeat part of a conversation and losing almost 45 minutes of precious sleep playing at bedtime, I realized I had a problem.
I had to nip this sucker in the bud.
Back it went to the app mess on my phone.
Realizing the inevitability early made it easier to change my behavior, before it became an entrenched habit much harder to break.
It’s better to nip a problem in the bud, when it’s small.
Always easier, requiring less time and effort.
That’s especially true for Weight Loss Maintenance.
Dealing with 1-2 pounds of weight gain is infinitely easier than dealing with 10-12.
One week of tweaking versus 8-10 weeks. Huge difference!
So the secret to maintaining a stable weight is knowing when you’ve starting to gain some weight and doing something about it right away.
If you just keep doing that every week—checking in to see if you’re gaining and doing something about it if you are—your weight will be stable forevermore.
Now if only that came with colorful flashing lights . . .
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