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Weight Control

Everyday Sound, Rhymes Can Be Motivators in Weight Management

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 pressure.

Address: Rankin & Associates, 10304 South 81st Avenue, Palos Hills, IL 60465-1814; (888) 857-8150.

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