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Who Is Shaping Behavior?

  • Main Ideas

    Learning Objective


    Behavioral Objective


    Key Thought


  • Main Ideas

    Learning Objective


    Behavioral Objective


    Key Thought



Well... "They" are!

// * [Define "They" | Environment] * [Brands, marketing, subliminal advertisers, ect] * [ie: "$1 Cravings Menu""] * //

Do you agree with a lot of the marketing out there? There was a big sign as I was checking out at the grocery store, you know how they've got their bait there in the checkout aisle for us to make spontaneous purchases, and this big banner read, "Enjoy more madness." And so, you get a king-size candy bar and 32 ounces of high fructose, corn syrup (soda) for $2. Imagine the destruction that that $2 investment is creating. Madness.


Product = Joy, Happiness, Security


Super Cheap = Super Consumption


We will constantly tell you that NOW is the time to use our product

They are everywhere.

Environmental Support

Okay, let's go through another example here. We have Dan who's a 55-year-old diabetic, somewhere obese, and high blood pressure. In March, he had blood pressures ranging in the 220 to 300 range and by June he had gotten them down into the 160s. That's a tremendous reduction and risk, a substantial improvement in health. And within a few months after that he got it down into the 100 to 120 range. Over that time he had a 30-pound weight loss and what Mark did to make those changes anyone can do and they just follow some simple principles. It took some time and persistence and feedback. One of the things for diabetics is they can do food journaling as an example to discover what foods are making their blood sugar go substantially higher than they might think their blood sugar would go when they eat it; simple feedback mechanisms. So instead of saying waiting for a blood test, like a hemoglobin A1c, which is done about every three to six months by most doctors to tell you how your blood sugar is being managed on average. He can do this daily several times a day, can check it after meals and write his foods down, and then discover very quickly what foods are really the most troublesome foods for him.

This [*image of vending machine*] illustrates the kind of support that Mark had in his environment and this is common in the manufacturing workspace. Basically, these types of things that are in our environment all the time, vending machines, kiosks with bad food, or synthetic food, are supporting our bad behavior. They're getting the money and we're reaping the consequences.

This kind of negative environmental support caused Mark to fall back from the progress he had made and got to the point where he said he was exhausted, his blood sugar's were terrible and he wanted to get serious about this again because he felt like something bad was going to happen to him.

So I just suggested that he restarted what had worked for him before and he got his blood sugar's down by about 100 points within a couple of weeks, lost 10 pounds. Then they had food day at work. And he said, cakes and cookies were everywhere. He had blood sugar that was over 300 and he felt terrible. So what's the true cost of these little indiscretions that we do? And what I've discovered is that when I start with an indiscretion, that pattern, it seems like I started that ball rolling and suddenly I find myself not just buying say a gallon of my addiction, which is mint chip ice cream, Friday night after work. I did it the next week and then I did it Friday and ate it Friday and Saturday, or we all did and then Sunday, I'm getting another one. And then next thing, you know, 5 to ten gallons of ice cream is moving through my house and it's shocking, but it happened.

Lifestyle Life Cycle

// * [Visual /?/ Diagram] * //

So here's a visual diagram of kind of what's going on here. Down here, at the very end. We have these chronic diseases, which have a very long feedback cycle, right? You don't develop a chronic disease overnight. In fact, it can set up for 10 or 20 years. But these are things like obesity, diabetes, high blood, pressure, high cholesterol and other more serious consequences like heart attack and stroke, dementia, fatigue, etcetera. And the upstream from these symptoms and diagnosis is the physiology that's going on where you have a lot of chronic inflammation, oxidative stress, immune system dysfunction. And a lot of this revolves around how the gut is being affected by the chronically poor food choices.

This physiology is set up by what we call our lifestyle. The lifestyle is the invisible day-to-day things that we do and repeats every day over long periods of time. How we live our life. Lifestyle is broken down into small behaviors. The things we do repetitively and invisibly, you could call these our habits. Those habits are generated in the mind, like me thinking I needed a cinnamon roll, maybe not being aware of that, and then suddenly I've built a habit or a behavior of going to a certain place and eating a certain thing and then over time that gets embedded invisibly in the way that I live. You can look at my checkbook and see what my habits are.

But it all starts in the mind. And the mind is influenced by the senses. Touch, smell, sight, hearing and, also, my own mind generated thoughts: How do I think about things? How do I think about my workday for instance? Is my workday boring and depressing or is it challenging and exhilarating? Or is it my choice in how I perceive my workday and how that thinking might translate into negative or positive behaviors?

For example, if I'm choosing to believe that my work day is challenging and exciting and exhilarating than I want to perform well, and so I can't run around with brain fog, low energy and pain. I need to rest and therefore, feed my body in a manner that promotes energy while being and such.

Fallacies of Human Nature

There are some other things in our human nature that, when we're aware of them, can help us to not be a victim of our own mind and thinking. We need to understand that the human brain does 3 things with information: it often distorts information, it often deletes key pieces of information and it often generalizes information.

This could be very helpful in terms of if you think back in the day when we lived in environments where food was scarce, where there might have been people groups around us who wanted to hurt us or take our land or our tents, or our wives, or our children or us as slaves. And so, the brain being able to look at something or see a general pattern and identify it as threatening or non-threatening was very key. So how do we use those skills that are native to our human nature and thinking to promote our progress toward making decisions that lead to Better Health and robust physiology?

Distorting is commonly found in the idea that we have an idea. We have a project or something, "I want to build a wellness course," and the idea that it won't take that long because your brain really can condense a lot of things into sort of a feeling and you can almost imagine that the project is done. "It won't take that long." But in truth the rational mind would say "Well it's going to have to go through these steps and each step takes a certain amount of work effort and requires a certain amount of time" and then you lay that out and you realize "Oh, this is a big project."

Deletion "Is it won't be that hard." Generalization is when we say "they," or "everybody" are "always"

fresh avocado sliced into halves fresh avocado sliced into halves

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The Activities section contains easy and fun, personal activities that enhance learning and encourage participation and discussion. Activities help to turn the knowledge acquired from the Read, Watch and Quiz sections into personal actions that over time become sustainable, healthier lifestyle behaviors.

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