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Vol. 6 No. 6, June 2014 Copyright 2014 by Wolf J. Rinke

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"The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong."

--Mahatma Gandhi

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Early daylight exposure may help your patients lose weight
A recent Northwestern University study involving 54 adults found that the earlier in the day subjects were exposed to bright light, the lower their body mass index (BMI) That was true even when the researchers accounted for activity level, caloric intake, sleep timing, age or season. Researchers concluded: "light is a powerful biological signal and appropriate timing, intensity and duration of exposure may represent a potentially modifiable risk factor for the prevention and management of obesity in modern societies."
ACTION STEPS: Help your patients become more knowledgeable about safe and effective weight loss strategies. When you enter the keyword "weight control" in the search field at you will find 17 different CPE programs on this topic.
Source: KJ. Reid, et al., Timing and Intensity of Light Correlate with Body Weight in Adults, PLoS One, 4/2/14,

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4. Get Off Your Case
By Wolf J. Rinke, PhD, RDN, CSP

Do you have difficulty forgiving yourself, or in today's lingo, get off your case? If so this article will show you how you can quit beating yourself up and instead become your own best friend.
Cognitive therapy or CT, pioneered by psychologists Aaron Beck and Albert Ellis in the 1960s, assumes that maladaptive behaviors and disturbed moods or emotions are the result of inappropriate or irrational thinking patterns, called automatic thoughts. Instead of reacting to the reality of a situation, an individual reacts to his or her own distorted viewpoint of the situation. For example, a person may conclude that she is "worthless" simply because she failed an exam or didn't get a date. Cognitive therapists attempt to make their patients aware of these distorted thinking patterns, or cognitive distortions, and change them—a process termed cognitive restructuring. 

The effects of cognitive therapy are extremely positive. In one study cognitive therapy achieved significant reductions in relapse or recurrence in patients with recurrent major depressive disorders. Another study of substance abuse disorders with schizophrenia found that a program of routine care integrated with motivational interviewing, cognitive therapy, and family or caregiver intervention resulted in significantly greater improvement in patients' general functioning than routine care alone at the end of treatment and 12 months after the beginning of the study.

Cognitive Therapy to the Rescue
CT is based on the idea that our perceptions shape our emotional responses to what is going on in our life. In other words, cognitive therapists believe that "negative thinking patterns—not unconscious conflicts or early life traumas—cause depression, anxiety, and some other mental disorders." And the way to address that is to first become aware of our dysfunctional thinking patterns and then to substitute them with positive and empowering thought processes.
Cognitive therapists have found that thinking negative thoughts is only part of the problem. The major problem is that negative thoughts are almost always accompanied by major distortions, which tend to fall into six major categories: 
1. Exaggerating. You overestimate problems and underestimate your ability to deal with them.
2. Over-generalizing. You take an isolated event and generalize to an entire universe.
3. Personalizing. You think everything revolves around you.
4. Either/or thinking. You see things as mutually exclusive, even when they are not.
5. Jumping to conclusions. You take limited information and predict the future, or make assumptions. 
6. Ignoring the positive. You lock in on something negative to negate all the other positive things.

Become Future Oriented
Experience has taught me that we are often our own worst enemy. It is not what others are saying or doing to us, it is what we are saying and doing to ourselves. What has worked well for me is to become future oriented--to focus more of my mental energy on the here and now, the future, and none on the past. Again, I have not always been that way. I still remember several months after I had gotten my first Mercedes--my first dream machine--I made what I considered an awfully stupid mistake. I was working in the yard, with my new Mercedes in the garage. I needed to wheelbarrow something out of the garage. Instead of pulling the car out, I decided that there was enough room to get through. Of course there wasn't, and so I put a long scratch in the car. Talk about getting on your case and self-flagellation. You should have heard my internal conversations. You would have been surprised, amused, startled, horrified, and aghast. I carried on for quite some time. Isn't that crazy? Now here comes the takeaway: No matter how long I berated myself, the damage simply did not go away!

Answer Two Basic Questions
The next time you get on your case, ask yourself two very basic questions:
1. If I do this long enough, will things get better?
2. If others were doing this, would I admire them?
If the answer to both questions is no, quit doing it! Acknowledge that you are a fallible human being and that all fallible human beings make mistakes. Even the most competent people make mistakes, in fact they make more mistakes.  (It's been said that if you want to double your success rate you have to quadruple your failure rate.) Make a written or mental note of what you learned from the mistake so that you can avoid doing it in the future. Then fix it, correct it, solve it, learn from it, and most importantly, make peace with yourself and get on with your life.

Cure Perfectionitis
A preventive measure that will help you get off your case is giving up perfectionism. Again for me, that was easier said than done. Being brought up with the belief that anything worth doing is worth doing right made me into a "crippled" perfectionist. Crippled, because doing everything perfectly results in perfectionism, and nutrition professionals who are afflicted with this dreaded disease tend to accomplish less than those who are not. I still remember the first few professional articles I ever wrote. It took forever because they had to be perfect. After the first dozen, I began to catch on. What I noticed was that the editor or the reviewers made my perfect articles even more perfect. (How is that possible?) Then I began to experiment. Instead of sending in perfect articles, I submitted articles that were well-written but had not been fine-tuned. What I found was that there was absolutely no correlation between how perfect I felt the original article was and the number of changes suggested by the reviewers. That taught me that it is more important to do the right things right than to do all things right.

I am now convinced that being a perfectionist is extremely counterproductive and sets you up for perpetual failure and disappointment and consequent negative feelings. Life, people, and nature are extremely imperfect; you could even call them messy. (Like to get into this--read all about "Chaos Theory.") If you can accept that premise--which took me only about 40 years to do--then being a perfectionist is unrealistic, even unnatural. "Murphy" was on to something when he conceived his pessimistic "laws." Everything does seem to go wrong when you least expect it (otherwise it would not bother us and we would not notice it), people do let you down and disappoint you, and the weather does not cooperate when you need it to. We live in an imperfect world. Conducting yourself as if you live in a perfect world will certainly set you up for some major disappointments, stress, and maybe even illness. The solution is to accept imperfection as the normal order of things; expect the best while at the same time preparing for the worst and you will master the art of getting off your case. As a result, you will enhance your positive attitude and live a healthier and more productive life.

Source: W. J. Rinke, "Develop a Positive Attitude: Live a Healthier and More Productive Life," accredited CPE program, approved for 10 CPEUs, available at

"Winning Management: Taking Team Performance to the Next Level."
Sep. 24, 14. Philadelphia, PA. Chairperson: Joe DeBenedetto,
This full day seminar may be open to you if your company is a member of the Institute of Management Studies (IMS). Contact the chairperson for specifics.
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Jack decided to go skiing with his buddy, Bob. They loaded up Jack's minivan and headed north. After driving for a few hours, they got caught in a terrible blizzard. They pulled into a nearby farm and asked the attractive lady who answered the door if they could spend the night.
            "I realize its terrible weather out there and I have this huge house all to myself, but I'm recently widowed," she explained. "I'm afraid the neighbors will talk if I let you stay in my house."
            "Don't worry," Jack said. "We'll be happy to sleep in the barn. And if the weather breaks, we'll be gone at first light."
            The lady agreed, and the two men found their way to the barn and settled in for the night. Come morning, the weather had cleared, and they got on their way. They enjoyed a great weekend of skiing.
            About nine months later, Jack got an unexpected letter from an attorney. It took him a few minutes to figure it out, but he finally determined that it was from the attorney of that attractive widow he had met on the ski trip with Bob. He dropped in on his friend Bob and asked, "Bob, do you remember that good-looking widow from the farm we stayed at on our ski holiday up north?"
            "Yes, I do."
            "Did you happen to get up in the middle of the night, go up to the house, and pay her a visit?"
            "Yes," Bob said, a little embarrassed about being found out. "I have to admit that I did."
            "And did you happen to use my name instead of telling her your name?"
            Bob's face turned red and he said, "Yeah, sorry, buddy. I'm afraid I did. Why do you ask?"
"She just died and left me everything."

Dr. Wolf J. Rinke, RDN, CSP is the president of Wolf Rinke Associates--an accredited provider of easy to use CPE self-study programs for nutrition professionals since 1990 available at He is also a highly effective management consultant and executive coach who specializes in building peak performance organizations, teams and individuals, and an author of numerous CPE home study courses, audio/video programs as well as several best selling management, leadership and self-development books including Make it a Winning Life--Success Strategies for Life, Love and Business. In addition he is an internationally recognized keynote speaker and seminar leader who delivers customized presentations that combine story telling, humor and motivation with specific "how to" action strategies that participants can apply immediately to improve their personal and professional lives. Preview a demo at or call 800-828-9653.
If you have questions, or would like him to address a specific issue or topic in this eNewsletter please e-mail him at

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