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Exploring Womanhood > Mind, Body & Soul > Weight Loss & Fitness Channel > Healthy Eating and Weight Loss

Rainbows, Puppies and Children--Reasons to Be Thankful
by Linda Spangle, RN, MA

Have you ever noticed how easy it is to overeat on a day when everything goes wrong? But wait! Eating is NOT the only solution. Instead of letting a bad day pull you down, start focusing on the good things around you and use them to overshadow your challenges.

Here in America, Thanksgiving Day encourages us to remember and celebrate all the things we are grateful for and appreciate. When you're struggling with rainy days and whiny children, brighten your spirits by looking for rainbows instead of clouds.

Find the rainbows

Even in the middle of a really bad time in your life, you can always find a few things to appreciate. Start by watching for positive things that show up when you weren't looking for them. Label these tiny bright spots as rainbows-gifts that slip in quietly, giving you an emotional boost right in the middle of an otherwise difficult day.

Cultivate a sense of gratitude about the simple things that happen in your life. Be thankful each time that your children arrive home safely after school. At bedtime, appreciate your cozy blanket and the way your pillow fluffs up under your head. Pay attention to these rainbows and consider all the ways they help you feel better.

Gratitude journal

Now take this another step and start writing down all the things you are thankful for. Call this your gratitude journal or your rainbow list. Watch for bits of joy, kindness and beauty that cross your path. Keep your notebook handy this week and record all of these special things.

Put your favorite people, events or places on your gratitude list. Include your friends and family members, then add acquaintances such as the friendly neighbor who always waves as you drive past. Think about the subtle rainbows such as the person who delivers your mail during the middle of a snowstorm or the grocery clerk who slips your eggs into a separate bag to protect them from breaking.

Review your blessings

Fill in some of your journal pages with great memories and events from the past. Recall favorite books that give you great insight or music artists who move you to tears. At the end of each day, read from your gratitude journal and celebrate what's good in the world.

Anytime you're tempted to eat away a bad day, get grateful instead. Mentally rehearse your gratitude list during times when you're stuck in traffic or bored with the train ride. You'll discover you can instantly change your attitude as well as your actions by simply ignoring the rain and instead, focusing on the good things in your life.

About the author:
Linda Spangle, RN, MA, is a weight-loss coach specializing in emotional eating, and the author of 100 Days of Weight Loss, a book of daily lessons that helps people stay committed to their diet and exercise plans. Her website is www.weightlossjoy.com.

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