Behavior or Behaviour?
16858 words

Age and the different responses

When you teach a group where half the participants work with younger kids (under 11 ish) and the other half work with older kids (teens) there is a clear dichotomy in responses around problem behaviour. It all comes back to the issue around the distractor versus the reinforcer.

When asked the question - who would give the child a chocolate biscuit when the child is kicking a door the adults who work with younger children say no as they do not see this as a positive move as it returns to the issues around perception of reinforcement theory [[ discussed here ]]. However the adults who work with the teenagers automatically will give the item as they understand it is safer and they also understand it may not work as either a distractor or therefore a reinforcer.

This leads us to issues with the reinforcement history of a teen originally created, by well wishing carers, in a younger child. I see this a lot - people come to me when the person they care for is in their teens and can no longer be managed as they once had been.

Let us say a child is behaving in a manner that the caregivers find difficult and the carers want to reduce this behaviour, common wisdom says the child needs to be taught not to behave in this manner. For reasons that are fully understandable but that I am unable to get into here, humans want to control others and believe they are doing the right thing by telling a child what that child should do. Understandable and not necessarily incorrect. It is the manner of this teaching that varies considerably.

There are teaching moments that are relevant for the child learning and there are teaching moments that make the adult feel that they are achieving something.

In the end this is not about the giving of the item in the high stress situation, I have written a lot on this [[ elsewhere ]]. It is actually about the fact that when you work with more dangerous or bigger people the idea of refusing to give in, such as sticking to extinction, becomes problematic a post about extinction in toddlers. However in short in behavioral terms you can put some behaviour on extinction that had previously been reinforced. When in the high stress situation withholding an item may or may not be extinction depending on if the item had previously acted as a reinforcer or not. Most of the time this is not a fact but an assumption by the carer, experiencing stress, that dictates the carers response.

So when working with dangerous people we may need to "give in" rather than stand our ground, which would possibly making the situation worse, and afterwards revisit the plan. A plan which should be in place if it was a predictable behaviour.

If however the behaviour has not happened before then, not having a plan, you should do whatever you can to manage using the most reasonable force you can. If the behaviour has not happened before then the item cannot be a reinforcer, it could possibly be a distractor, or not, but cannot be a reinforcer. Well I feel this needs a bit of a side bar. Things can become a reinforcer in one event, however this is less common and at this particular point during an incident you are unable to make the judgement the item will reinforce that behaviour as there is no history or data to suggest this.

I essense I have got off the track I started so I will return to that in the next post - perhaps.

home education forcing kids?

I have posted about home education and wanted to highlight a point from the quote at the top of this post on adult children looking back and thanking you.

At one point my youngest was probably 16ish years old and the Explorer Scouts he was a part of were all going to this awards evening with the scouts from all over the county. This was a big deal and a big event. Prior to me getting ready to take him, a evening I did not personally yearn for, I was informed by my wife that he did not want to go. She, as commonly happened, did not want to force him. Now in real terms I did not relish the idea of going - I was going to be driving 20 odd miles and sitting in a car for 90 mins to 2 hours so he could be in the group. Not my idea of fun from my part. However it is important to understand the positive experiences that come from parenting. And those positive experiences are not always your own positive experience. Part of parenting is the enabling of your offspring having positive experiences.

So I got ready as I normally would and arrived downstairs. I wafted into the kitchen handing him the keys saying, I will see you in the car, I need the loo - lets not be late leaving. During this and the interactions in the house and car as we left he did not mention to me that he did not want to go to this event. He had not wanted to talk to me about it, he had wanted his mother to weigh in knowing she would not want him to feel like he had been forced to do anything.

So we did more than half the trip listening to audio books which was normal when at the end of a chapter I paused it and mentioned that mum implied to me you did not want to go tonight.

We spoke about

  • fear
  • positive risks
  • experiences
  • feeling comfortable to say when you do not want to do something
  • thebalance around the discomfort of telling me he did not want to go vrs the discomfort of going
  • the discomfort being really discomfort but anxiety or perhaps even apathy?

On return

A rather interesting thing happened when my son returned to the car. We spoke about the night and he had enjoyed meeting someone new who was in the queue in front of him while they were waiting to go on stage. It was not someone, to my knowledge, he has met since and he certainly did not want to go back to ask for contact details.

Nonetheless he had had an incredibly positive experience as an introvert putting himself in, with anticipation, an uncomfortable situation.

I let him explain the interesting exchange he experienced with this person. Afterwhich I was itching to say "told you so!" yet I managed to subdue some of that mentioning how he felt before going in. He acknowledged this and I thought I will leave that and discuss with his monther and him together. Yet in the last few hundred metres before the house he said - "Dad, I want to say thank you for making me go tonight".

At that I pointed out I did not make him and if at ANY point he had said flatly he did not want to go - I would have never forced him.

On many other occassions, where I wanted to force him to do something for his own good, I had to deal with my own emotion as I respected his refusal. Which leads to a post on liberal parenting and the adult childs response, sometime.

Adult children

In her book - Get out of my life, Suzanne Franks mentions what a parent may get out of all this in the end. I started to wonder if I had attained this level of accomplishment? And so I decided to write this small post and ask for comment from my boys, who are now aged 19 and 24 for those who do not know.

There is a pleasant irony to all this. If parents can hang on through the teenage years, they may get all that they ever wanted at the end of the process: an adult child who genuinely likes and respects you and is at ease with you; a person genuinely considerate of others and, amazingly, considerate of you; a grown child who now appreciates all that you have done for him or her.

We all change over time

I have learned a lot from my boys over the years through many hundreds of thousands of small interactions in their lives. As I write this it sounds a lot however in a book I am reading called The Nuture Effect Anthony Biglan quotes research by Betty Hart and Todd Risley where the estimation was that depending on certain circumstances children may hear between 10 million and 30 million words from parents in the first three years of life! Has this changed since smartphones? - I digress - that is another post.

None of us are the same people we were 2 years ago or 10 years ago. Imagine the difference before and after kids! I feel comforted that both my boys have established themselves as mature adults despite having to put up with me and the mothers... (another post perhaps). In terms of me, I have changed immeasurably in the last couple of decades and wanted to share two ways I have changed as a result of things that my boys taught me.

Oldest

When my oldest was aged 15 he saw me in the kitchen acquiesce to my wife's wishes on some subject as she left the room. I have no idea what the subject was now however I remember turning to the observing son and expecting him to make some comment about me giving in or about who wore the trousers in the household. He surprised me by responding before I spoke with the phrase "happy wife - happy life" which he had not heard in my household.

This was actually a phrase that was not familiar to me and I loved the fact he had responded in such a completely different manner to my expectations. I teach a lot about assumptions and perception as these colour and dictate your responses if you are not noticing them.

This interaction had two effects on me. Firstly that the phrase in itself showed an understanding and maturity I had not expected. As someone who had been married for years he summed up something I had not thought of in one simple phrase. What is the cost of having your own way?

Secondly, we have an inbuilt defensive negativity which we all need to curb or at least keep an eye on ((another post)). I could have launched into a diatribe defending why I had capitulated, even discussed the phrase from work I do - "strategic capitulation", however more often than we think people are not perceiving the interactions the same way as you believe they are. "The meaning of my communication is the response I get!" however perception is a post for another time. He opened my eyes that day and I have I learnt a lot from my son as he grew up, I still do, and this event is embedded in my mind.

I am sure I have posted in Hanlon's Razor...

Youngest

My youngest and I had talked a number of times in months leading to this event on subjects such as - it takes 21 days to form a habit - like writing a blog :-). And positive psychology conversations such as about the changes that happen in brain chemistry when someone writes a "what went well" diary for 21 days, creating changes in their brain becoming more optimistic. Both of these things are behavioural in nature and should be considered valuable points of discussion, however applying these things to yourself seems somewhat different (another post I feel).

And so at 18 years old, my youngest was politely listening to me in the kitchen spout on about me knowing how to lose weight and how I needed more days in a row on diet before a day off. So quietly and slowly - he challenged me - to 21 days without a day off. I have subsequently written about 51 days. I learnt a lot from that one event and continue to learn from him on a regular basis.

However

The important issue here is have I created healthy adults who fit the target in the quote at the top of the post? Well, I will not post this till they have seen it and if they want to comment or stop me it won't get posted! - not in this format.....

Sleep & Getting up early

One of the things that are commonly said is that those famous people who achieve great things are usually early risers. I have always found that when I can get up at a reasonable time in the am the day has more in terms of achievement. I also feel better. When working away I have got into the habit of arriving at the venue 90 mins or more early, even on days when I do not need the set up time. This lets me get some work done and frankly I feel much better and sleep much better.

There are many reasons why this is a better plan however I have with some thought, 20 or 30 years too late, worked out about rationalising this in my own head.

We all need to have resources in life, and one of mine would be that at the end of every day I watch an episode of a box set or a film. This is actually a future resource that assists me to cope with more stress in the day. I will have other posts about how resources work [add a link here when done].

The cycle that I have fallen into over a long number of years and with the interactions with other members of the household was not assisting my productivity. I would sit with others and have dinner, at the time that suited them, ending up in front of the TV watching some drivel that meant I was spending time with them, which was positive for them but not productive for me.

Later when various members of the household were snoring or off in their own rooms, I used to get stuck into code or a course I was (am) taking. This meant I was productive late at night and frankly feeling horrible about getting up in the mornings. I would work late into the night and sometimes, at one point in my life, several times a year just miss out on sleep completely.

We have to couple this with my historic inability to sleep. Several members of this household are able to hit the pillow and drop to sleep instantly, something my wife has always had a skill set for, but this is not my experience. Throughout my teens, through till I quit being employed and started my own company, I had major sleep issues.

When I wrote the first draft of this I was up early at 3.20 am feeling good and productive. Working this way round seems to end up with me achieving more. One reason I may be able to achieve this is I am on holiday from some of the normal daily tasks I have. However, as I return to this draft I have flipped life on its head as again I could not sleep so I am now working on this post at nearly 3.05 am because I have not been able to sleep and not because I slept well enough to feel great as I did 2 days ago.

One of the guys I am working on a project with gets up at 4.30 am every morning. He is senior in an education establishment and he feels it works for him to get several hours head start on the rest of the staff and pupils.

Bx

The routine of sleeping well has a positive effect on all aspects of my life - I need to do some behavioural work on this to achieve more in line with my values in life. Watching a film or sharing a glass of wine with my wife is a great positive when they actually act as a Resource. However, when the routine becomes simply a drain on time, more needs doing. It is a predictable problem - so we need a plan. Perhaps the 21 days may come into play :-) However, I did do more than 21 days early before the xmas break as I was working away so much. I need to plan this within the family home and change my behaviour here.

Step 1 - going to bed now...


www

The dog was still unsettled however when my wife got up - I slept :-)

100days - well sort of, and other things (www)

The 100 day challenge? What on earth are you talking about? That seems like a stupid thing to consider. Well - I posted yesterday, and I was reading about it on listed.to...

So I am not going to take the 100 day challenge however i am going to consider the idea of posting something 100 times before I reach my next birthday and this should be considered day 2.

The mere fact I am considering this couples in with the post I did yesterday on the subject of procrastination - a subject I know needs more discussion in behavioural terms.

However I wanted this theme to be about behaviour and habit - therefore I am connected to changing my behaviour in certain areas. I have already written about weight so how about I write about some of the other behavioural areas that interest me?

I am not sure anyone will be impressed however if I can get a few posts out there then I will be content with some progress prior to my next birthday.

So in behavioural terms they say it takes 21 days to form a habit. This is something which seems from my experience that you can maintain it however if or when you break it it does seem hard to get it back. I am sure this is related to subject matter and consistency. If you brush your teeth for years you don't have a probelm getting back to that if you miss a day.

In healthy eating terms I posted about 21 days which became 51 days quite easily and judging by my xmas excess was turned into 100 with a few days off without real concern.

However

Any day off causes several days of concern or effort which is related to the effects the change in diet has on my body which I will write about further another time.


WWW

I will also add a gratitude section where I can. And those who are thinking you are only interested in behavioural (bx) terms this is relevant to behaviour change too. It will all come out at some point.

I would therefore like to recognise the gratitude I have to my wife as we enjoy a few days off together. This is something we very rarely do and in the lockdown we are experiencing is just us together at home without anyone else in the house and without going to work. It is bliss and she is marvellous. I am so happy to finally have some time together - thank you for arranging this and generally being so wonderful.

Procrastination

"Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of" - Benjamin Franklin

I have spent my life trying to get too much done - too many lists and lists of lists everywhere. So much so that ACT has helped me realise that I actually use, the need to provide more efficient ways of being productive for me and my small team, as a way of procrastinating from the actual work.

As an example

I run a company providing training and consultancy. As the foundation training is certified with the UK body in the field there are certain criteria which change year on year around the data you collect from customers and their participants (some of which are independent of an employer). I started the company in 2013 and as a side project, I have built my own online admin system so a trainer can log in and upload all the information - leading to the system spitting out the PDFs for reports, certificates, including submitting to a printer to have card glossy certificates posted directly. Generally collecting all the information needed (inc. trainer - CPD log, doc compliance etc.) to spit data out to the assessor of the certifying body in the format needed.

I have even designed the ability for anyone who optionally puts their email address (GDPR compliant) on the registration form to be able to access and download their own PDF certificate online. The administrator for a customer can log in and see all the reports and notes from any training including downloading a spreadsheet of those inside the annual certificate window and those just outside. They can download their own certificates for their staff and order the glossy prints just like an in-service associate trainer is able to do.

However

This in itself is a side project, I have never intended to sell it, I built this as an ongoing project doing all the coding from the database up. As an example, every year I know that at Xmas break I will have enough time to get into the guts of the code and achieve a task that has been waiting. One of the things my Advisor (in my head) does is think up ways I can make it all more efficient. However, this is all a distraction.

Acceptance and Commitment Training (Therapy) has many foundations with loads of research behind it. I am not here to tell you loads on that as you will find more on the Psychological Flexibility 4 all site however the one key procrastination area has been this realisation that sourcing the most efficient system for productivity has reduced productivity over a long number of years.

I do not mean the building of my admin system which I call backoffice and gives me an enormous sense of achievement or accomplishment. It certainly reduces the admin considerably for each and every type of training we deliver.

I actually mean the number of hours I spend looking at things such as apps for project management and getting control of todo lists. This is the real procrastination beast not, in my case, social media.

It also does not hamper my ability to deliver the income-producing activity such as delivering training however I gave up marketing years ago as the company is fine on word of mouth.

The procrastination is around the books I want to read, the constant courses I am a participant on, etc. Even writing this at 4 am is a distraction from the task that woke me up early, but again I get some positives out of this too.

;tldr

In behavioural terms, we all find things to do that become more urgent in our heads when we have tasks todo. The thought actually doing a task creates uncomfortable thoughts, sensations and emotions. We do things to short term relieve this tension that may not be in line with the longer-term progress of our values and goals. - It was an old story in education when we had an assignment to write we managed to get a clear desk and all the laundry and housework done instead of starting the assignment!

My Advisor is telling me that searching for better ways to run todo lists is like "governance" and also that I will post more on procrastination - as there is so much more to discuss, however - I think I shall put that off till another time! :-)

When you have things to do and you know you should be doing them - what do you find to do instead?

51 days

My son challenged me to do 21 days - Ha!

It is amazing how daunting these things seem at the start and how easy they seem when looking backwards.

My wife just made toast and as I had had a drink (tipple) and it was late I suddenly thought I could do with some toast. Then it made me think of the fact I really do not need toast and actually am not really craving it. I am even writing about it now, just after it happened and still thinking about it.

The project started on August 9th - this was the start of the 21 days which was to culminate with me going off to work August 31st bank holiday as I was working in London for the first 9 days of September.

Today is September 30th so that means I probably have done around 52 days however I did have 2 chicken kievs one evening as that is all I could find and I fancied a change.

The idea was not doing anything specific or cutting anything specific out of my life - it was to simply stop having days off. Historically I have always known how to lose weight however I have a difficulty sticking to this.

I am now 10 kilos lighter and have taken over a digit of the BMI which is now under 33.

And so I suppose the question relates to how is this possible in this short time? Well, the point about all these things is to do with consistency and understanding procrastination. I did not change my diet particularly and I did not eat particularly less. I was doing more exercise in August but not in September where I was doing more work.

The one thing I changed was that moment where someone offers you one biscuit or bit of cake and says - "go on, just this once!" In my past as some readers will relate to, I would have decided if a day off was appropriate and made that day my day off, getting more goodies on the way home for the evening.

Doing more work around ACT and actually focussing on ACT exercises for myself rather than my normal role assisting others has made a huge difference. Services on this I do around psychological flexibility @ pf4.uk.

And so the query is do I have a goal, not really, I have something approaching a goal however it is not written down and blasted from the rooftops as a normal goal setting guru would suggest.

Instead I am working on those moments where the Advisor in my head suggests "one won't hurt!" and noticing that all is connected to a slippery slope.

I am also reinforcing in my day to day routine that I am actually less hungry and have little need for the sugar hits of old. Indeed at my point in life I should perhaps consider the bigger play, to quote a politician - "Don't be fat in your 50's!" - well I say roll on 50 - I will be ready for you, no bother.

21 days

There is an old adage that it takes 21 days to form a habit. Well, my son has put me to the following task and I thought it would be interesting to blog a few times as I go.

I am technically obese and have been since I was a small child. Not so small :-)

My BMI throughout lockdown has run just under 34 which puts me in the obese category. To get down to the overweight category I would have to have a BMI of below 30.

There has only been one time in my life I have achieved this and it was short-lived and related a lot to lifestyle. At the time I spent three and a half months in a campervan with my wife and 2 yr old, driving from Perth to Sydney round the coast with little money and 2 bikes. At the end of that trip when I flew back to the UK I had a BMI of 29.6 if memory serves. However, in this time I cycled every day with a child on my bike and had so small an existence I have to start drinking coffee for my afternoon snack as my wife told me there was nothing else :-(
We were actually, however vaguely following some sort of planned diet.

And so even when about 3 years ago I lost 17 kilos I have not managed to sustain this level for the longer term. I have never gone back that far though.

Roll forward to today and having had the same weight consistently throughout lockdown I am unable to blame the travelling for work that I do as part of my inability to lose weight. Even though when I travel I take my own food which I have done for years.

Then my son, who I have been teaching on and off about behavioural concepts and who has seen me taking visual data on other things on a whiteboard, asks me if I can do 21 days in a row without a day off.

Therefore even though I am in no way competitive, about most things, it is in line with my aims and values, in the past I habitually take a day off every so often.

Therefore as a person who is into working with public and private Behavioural events I know, I should be taking data. We are a few days in so back to the whiteboard, we go and "the game is afoot Watson"!

Enough with the weight thing

how come?

So I have blogged about weight and elsewhere I have blogged about a year of data collection which I did around weight. However in recent past a Netflix film, called Game Changers, took us on a journey about the virtues of a plant based diet. Just to stress we do not mean vegan - we mean plant based.

I rejoiced in a new way of thinking and was very happy with my health - but - the big change is I have put a load of weight on. So is this healthier or not?

During this pandemic I am now faced with the issue that I have spent some time doing exercise daily with my son and was unable to maintain any weight loss. Agh I hear you say but you have turned it into muscle. Well prior to this I would regularly be able to do 20 press ups and 30 sit ups (or my version of) this means I was not some person who did nothing. However when I lost the weight in the year of data collection I did so without any exercise above my normal small amount. In fact I probably did less.

Therefore why is it when I have this new impetus to eat a plant based diet, do I seem to not be able to loose any?

Roll on new data collection - we are in lock down so no going to eat out. I can take data on exactly what I eat and for how many days in a row.

Wish I could find the year of data collection blog post - seems to have disappeared in a domain move.

Highlights in Lock down

real world experience

I have discussed elsewhere the support needed for an individual to maintain and develop a supportive relationship for those they support.

I have experience of this from both sides of the coin however the last few weeks has placed a spotlight on the training we deliver around this.

I am incredibly glad my wife has had the training. [side note - due to lock down she is socially distanced from us and does not live in the house - discussed elsewhere]

As a trained person apart from the fact she understands what offloading is, when her natural need to take over discussing her emotion - I only have to point out who is meant to be offloading and she remembers the role at that point. Realistically I am the only one providing care.

Critics will of course will be annoyed with the sparse information however we have had many posts in other areas about supporting people in the role of carer.

The real world experience is getting to have the experience without a day off for many many weeks now. The conversations in my garden with my wife are an invaluable resource.

In terms of behaviour the point here is that those with better support networks, networks who understand what offloading is, are better able to support and care for individuals. All relationships include stress. And stress has a transactional nature.

"Anger is a form of energy. It cannot be destroyed, merely converted. In the case of humans anger transfers from one person to another." - MC.

I do feel for those who are in more difficult circumstances than us.

Circle of Influence

I have been ranting on for years about "circle of influence" to anyone who would engage me in a conversation, well almost. However it always astonishes me how people are so affected by situations that are well beyond their control. I ended up in a long conversation 20+ years ago with a man who was adamant that the team he supported, I believe this was football, had to win at the weekend. Apparently football is the one with the spherical ball :-)

I questioned this in various ways. He elaborated that if his team won he had a great weekend and if they lost he was devastated and found himself depressed for days.

How can this be so? It connects to the issues around your advisor (inner voice) and negativity. The outcomes for this man in itself leads to domestic violence questions - if a team wins, does the alcohol induced mood for love lead to an increase in domestic violence or if the team looses does the depression and need to blame lead to more domestic violence?

More on a different post on that.

However I am side tracked. This was about circle of influence. I grew up in a part of the world that had civil unrest leading to the local news being about acts of terrorism and the killing of innocent and not innocent people in my local community. However my parents had shielded me from an early age and I had a quite privileged upbringing. Therefore later in life while my parents spiralled back and forth gaining information from many news outlets I had taken little interest in the news as it was not something I was going to have influence over.

Hurricane Katrina caused an awful situation for that part of the world. With this and other situations my parents with Sky TV switched from CNN to BBC News 24 to Al Jazeera to Fox News - so they could see if they could get the balance of the bias of information.

I was saddened by the news of what was happening at the time however I have a life to get on with - in the now. This moment is me working on living and I do not feel I can have any influence over events that are happening in a far away place. More importantly I do not feel that I should let the events that are happening in a far away place have an emotional impact on myself or my ability to carry out the job of caring for my family.

My parents however became fully immersed in the news reporters portrayal of the events. We know that drama and trauma sells - this has an evolutionary route and is hard wired into the human brain. So the reporters make the drama real and the emotion is transferred to the viewer. This really hit me when at one point I was in the room for a matter of minutes and the terrible things people were experiencing was heart wrenching and eye watering in a couple of minutes. My parents were spending their days living this emotional disaster, a world away causing huge emotional impact in my living room.

I am an emotional person and can cry at the drop of a hat so going into that room and exposing myself to the trauma of these events hampered my day considerably. Can I assist when the TV puts on those eye watering emotional pleas? Yes I can - however this is purely in a monetary manner. I am not in a position to fly to somewhere such as Africa to assist with the distribution of my donated £10.

Therefore I use the term "circle of influence". I do not watch the news - I am nearly 50 yrs old and never really have done. I prefer to put my energy into the things I can actually assist with. I have people in my community I can assist. I have skills around working with people and their behaviour that I can assist people with.

RECENT INTERJECTION about the news - the first thing I took an interest in was after the Brexit vote had occurred and the only other thing I have really taken an interest in was the first 5 of the daily Coronavirus news briefings from Downing Street.

I find the extended real world an emotional drain and therefore can have more of an effect on the environment that is closer to home. Work within your circle of influence and you will find that this circle of influence will grow if you can add value to those around you. Add value and your circle of influence will grow as others witness your ability to add value. If you choose to spend your time being up with all the songs, styles, news and celebrities you are a consumer who is not adding value in that time space.

Put your emotional energy and time into your own circle of influence. It will pay off in the longer run.

Lockdown 4 weeks in.

I am fully aware a lot of people are going through a serious and concerning time. Obviously there are many tragedies unfolding in the lives of you the reader or someone you know. The amount of trauma that is happening in all areas of the world - writing this feels that I am being petty.

I am in a position that may not be unique but has elements that may not be current for anyone else in the country, probably.

While in real terms our lock-down experience is not a tale of wow - we are in good shape, certainly as I write this. We are luckier than most of the population as we have chosen to live in a cheaper part of the country so we do have some nature around us to enjoy.

My wife is returning to nursing and as such we are lucky enough to have a holiday cottage for her to live in so that as a nurse she is not bringing contamination into our home. I will post about some of the reasons to be isolated from her in another post.

We have now not been within 3 metres or more of my wife in 4 weeks. This is the extent of our hardship however after the 4 weeks our minor annoyance seems petty compared to others who are really struggling and for that I feel saddened that even on a minor income I feel privileged to live here and cannot do more for those who are in more difficult circumstances.

Please stay safe everyone and find someone to talk to if times are hard.

More Weight ?

More musing in weight gain / loss

I have blogged on this before and it is almost a year later.
https://listed.to/@bx/2766/loosing-weight

So the results are not good so far. I decided there was no point going to the Doc for a weigh in on my birthday as I had not managed to shift the weight.

I rationalised this as having had a very stressful few months leading to my birthday however while this was true it is not about that alone.

Thinking about the resources I have for coping with my stress one of these is biscuits. There are many other vices - I am not the sort to blog about how great life is when most of us out there are more into reality as our own lives do not reflect that of our FB friends thread...

Therefore I need to consider resources and those resources that assist me that can still work inline with my longer term values.

And so here I am one year later thinking about the fact that I have not managed this whole thing as well as I could.

And so self management beckons - I will return to the weigh in and have therefore purchased a set of scales that transfers the data to my phone and does its own graphing.

This is not a tech blog so I am not going into the detail however I am hoping when I have some data points that the system will let me export the data to a more usable format.

One last point for the americans - the word data is plural - yes we agree with the american reader who will say we need to write "those data" however as the word is already plural we can just say "the data" - just like we would say "the cars", "the sheep", "the water", "the rice" - can you imagine saying a bowl of those rice? you would say the rice. This is a post for another time.

Gutters and more

A house transformed

A number of years ago we looked into getting insulation - who hasn't. However due to the nature of our old building we were unable to have internal wall insulation so we looked into, you guessed it, external wall insulation.

My wife explained to me that this would mean the house would end up being wrapped in a woolly blanket like a duvet. I am not sure my wife accepts that I can have a conversation at a higher level than a 4 year old however that is a thought for another day.

Now frankly years ago when I worked for a living we had no possibility of affording it so it would go on the long finger of hope.

Well this number of many years later we got the guys back out to quote and were pleased to see the quote had not gone up substantially which it could well have.

And so through a process that did take a while we ended up with scaffolding all around our house. Hence the title of this post, I will at some point run through the details of the process and experience of the external wall insulation, however for now I am obsessed about the guttering.

For some reason people have a habit of putting guttering flat. This has always puzzled me so recently when we got a local tradesman out to fix the facia and soffits we asked him to check on the guttering, we would provide more if needed, and to rehang them all as his immense skill level suggested he would be good at.

While he did finish the job and get paid it was only because of the scaffolding that I have been places in the situation where I can accurately see how the gutters are. Due to the fact that the lower end of the gutter may need the down pipe to be cut down a couple of centimetres, to alter the level and therefore flow, it appears the local tradesman could not take this time to reduce the down pipes to alter the level. Therefore it appears he has rehung all the gutters in exactly the same place.

Thankfully the scaffolding around the entire property has not just meant that I have been able to rehang - ALL of them, but also that I have been able to replace 2 of the long 4m sections that had bowed and were pooling in sections. All the tradesman had to do was mention this fact and I would have purchased the new materials forth with.

We live at the top of a hill overlooking a valley to the other side around 3.5 miles away. I have also now been to the top of the roof of the house and taken some photos in the sun. Something I always wanted to do.

Once in a while having scaffolding around the whole property is a great thing.

Revelations in Training

Making Choices

Standing in front of a group today I got them to the point of understanding that their choices are effected by the resources they have to manage those thoughts feelings and situations that are constantly in the background, sometimes in the foreground.

I used an example of my choices and actions around my eating at a conference that happened two days ago.

The choices where I had the resources to make sensible decisions involved me being up early enough (by 7 if local accommodation) to have breakfast, heat a bowl of mince, bung that in a food flask for later. Therefore at the conference I had the ability without issue (this part I have done many times) to not notice the buffet and to network through the lunch break.

That was a great analogy for the group however it does seem to make me sound big headed and full of shit.

So it is important to mention the other half of the story as I am too big for this to be the only thing I do.

It takes me a good few hours to drive home - at least 4 from there and more if I take a break, which I would need. So by the time it gets to early evening it does not matter that I have eaten the flask of food and not touched the buffet. By this point I am tired.

So I stop for the loo and inevitably end up wandering around a Tesco or some such place that sells calories on tap. This part of the day I am in a different situation, my energy is low and I still have to drive for a few hours. So I end up with drinks and cookies and chocolate, well, a mix of stuff that is inappropriate for my healthy, my body is a temple, type of diet.

In short when I have less resources to assist with the situations, feelings and emotions - I make poor choices given the choice point.


I thought this was well laid out in my head so when I stopped at a Tesco on the way home from this training I thought I would not indulge in loads of badness......

As I have not sorted out my resources I ended up spending money on clothes and other things I perhaps needed less than it seemed at the time, new frying pan?

By the time I had wracked up a substantial bill I had actually reduced my resources further and still purchased some badness for the journey home.......

Progress is being made - I will update in the future.