PRITIKIN PROGRAM TO STAY FIT AND SLIM: EMOTIONAL SETBACKS AND "SLIPS"
Relaxation techniques will be of special importance during the first three months or so that you're on the Pritikin program, because that's the time your emotional reactions are likely to be heightened, as they generally will be whenever you undergo any profound change, whether good or bad. What we don't want you to do is capsize - start a backslide from the nutrition and exercise program you've begun for yourself because you're reacting badly to something your boss said, or something your child just did!
One businessman, George D., couldn't understand why he'd regained 15 of the 30 pounds he'd originally lost on the Pritikin program - until he really thought about it. He had gone through a divorce, suffered from business reversals, and discovered that his daughter was experimenting with drugs - all within the same year! At first he berated himself for "not having handled things better." But then he began to focus on what he had continued to do: He was still exercising, which he knew was good for him, and some of his diet was on track - but pressures had triggered a backslide in his eating habits (he just wasn't focusing on the doughnuts he grabbed when the coffee trolley rolled by).
He began to see, though, that with only a few simple adjustments he could resume the healthy regimen he'd started - he didn't have to give the whole thing up because it was "all too much." He was renewing his commitment - as you can do at any time - but he wasn't starting at square one! What George also saw was that a considerable number of the difficulties he'd had to deal with were not of his making, and that the guilt that had made him so miserable and had driven him off track wasn't even appropriate! Moreover, he learned that there's no need to react to emotional setbacks with negative behavior, and he's better prepared now for the next challenge that comes along.
That's the kind of balanced approach that the right thinking can bring you. We don't promise you'll never suffer another disappointment in your life - we just urge you to make the nutritional and exercise program you're on such second nature that you won't derail when the ride gets bumpy. And by maintaining your good eating and exercise habits, you'll be able to handle life's events better - another way to stay healthy.