Motivation, not magic, is the key to an enduring
weight management program, according to one wellness expert who uses
sounds and rhymes as motivational triggers to foster lifestyle change.
"Only a comprehensive program that addresses the
key issues of motivation and behavioral re-training has any chance of
producing successful results," says British psychologist Dr. Howard J.
Rankin, founder of The Carolina Wellness Retreat, a stress and weight
management center, and author of "Get Motivated Get Smart Get Slim."
"Motivation is the essential ingredient, but no
one ever really tells you how to develop and maintain it," said Rankin,
who uses such sounds as ringing telephones, hair dryers and flushing
toilets, and rhymes such as "Arteries go splat when you fill them with
fat," as motivational prompts.
Rankin has devised the "Motivational Link Method,"
a way of capturing motivation and keeping it firmly in the forefront of
the mind. Using audiotaped exercises, he gets the listener to associate
motivational messages with everyday sounds. In one exercise, for
example, a motivational image of getting moving is paired with the
sound of a car ignition. In another, the image of discarding negative
thoughts is associated with the sound of a flushing toilet.
"Everyday sounds are much more powerful cues than
relaxing music," contends Rankin, who also uses sound effects to
enhance the taped craving control exercises.
In one of these guided exercises, a refrigerator
can be heard opening as the listener practices managing a late night
snack, and the waste disposal is clearly audible as the user is
encouraged to throw the food away.
Rankin also provides motivational phrases on
stickers in his new program. These phrases include: "You don't need
perfection to like your reflection," "Positive thinking prevents you
from sinking," and "An exercise session fights depression."
The program also has a comprehensive 14-day menu plan designed by dietitian Colleen Wracker.
"Weight control is more about your heart and soul
than your stomach," noted Rankin, whose program re-trains people to
effectively manage binging, negative thinking, temptation and social
Address: Rankin & Associates, 10304 South 81st Avenue, Palos Hills, IL 60465-1814; (888) 857-8150.