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The Diet Survivor’s Handbook: 60 Lessons in Eating Acceptance and Self-Care

NEW LESSON: SPRING 2010

A little humor goes a long way. Make sure there is plenty of room for laughter in your life.

Did you hear the one about the woman who walked into a restaurant with a sign that said, "breakfast anytime?" She ordered French toast during the Renaissance! Did that get a chuckle out of you? We hope so! A good laugh is important. Humor actually contributes to your physical and emotional health.

Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, which help to block pain and produce a sense of well-being. Laughter also causes a significant decrease in cortisol and adrenalin; high amounts of these stress hormones can weaken the immune system. Furthermore, laughter raises levels of disease-fighting proteins, infection-fighting Y-cells and B-cells that produce disease-destroying antibodies. Laughter stimulates the circulatory system because it increases breathing, the use of oxygen, and heart rate, bringing healthful lymphatic fluids to diseased areas and temporarily reducing blood pressure. A good belly laugh leads to muscle relaxation and frequent belly laughter clears the lungs of more air than they take in, providing a cleansing effect similar to deep breathing. Who knew that having fun could be so good for your health!

Humor is also emotionally healing. Where is the humor in your process with food and weight? No matter how difficult something might be, finding ways to laugh relieves tension and boosts the spirit.

Seek humor in your life. Rent a funny movie. Go to a comedy club. Read a humorous book. Although you are engaged in serious work, laugh with yourself along the way.

Activity: Laugh out loud (LOL)

To: The Diet Survivor
From:
The Wisdom of Yogi Berra

On perseverance:

Never give up.
Because it ain't over 'til it's over.

On choices:

During the years ahead,
When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

On trusting yourself:

Don't follow the crowd
Because nobody goes there anymore; it's too crowded.

On mindfulness:

Stay alert - you can observe a lot by watching.

On direction:

If you don't know where you are going,
You will wind up somewhere else.

On listening to your hunger:

You better cut the pizza into four pieces
because I'm not hungry enough to eat six.

I am thankful for laugher, except when milk comes out of my nose.
– Woody Allen