Behave Yourself Podcast

40 Episodes

By: Behave Yourself

The podcast that aims to bring the science of human behavior and how you can apply it to your own life and become the happiest, healthiest and most successful version of you.

46. Behave Yourself meets Kelly Killen!
Last Monday at 4:00 AM

Kelly Killen has been a coach and fitness enthusiast since 1999 and a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst since 2009. She is a Certified Wellness Coach holds an advanced diploma in Nutrition. Kelly is also a former pro figure competitor, with over twenty years of experience in figure and physique competition.

Kelly launched KK Wellness Consulting in 2014, serving many clients both in the US and internationally, and her unique combination of professional skills and athletic achievement enables her and her team at KKW to provide their clients a healthy and sustainable long-term solution for weight loss and weight management.


45. Let's Teach You How to TAG!

Teaching with Accoustical Guidance
Developed by theresa mckeon when she was working at a summer dance camp
Theresa McKeon, Joan Orr and Beth Wheeler
Positive Reinforcement
Task Analysis
The stimulus is the click which cues the next behavior in the chain
Only reinforcers the correct behavior
It's either yes you did it or no sound is produced

Tag Point: WOOF
W: What do you want them to do?
O: One behavior
O: Observable
F: Five words or less...

44. Menstrual health

Why talk about this? Well… what do you remember from sex ed classes?!

What is it? Definitions...

What’s ‘normal’ 4 phases of menstrual cycle: 

Menstruation (winter): Day 1 of your cycle is actually the first day of your bleed. Lasts between roughly three and seven days, more for some women. Low energy. Blood pressure likely to be higher. Increase in blood glucose. Period poops

Follicular phase (spring): Around day 5-7 depending on your cycle length. Follicles in your ovaries that contain your eggs star...

43. Habits of Healthy, Happy People

Emily- working on a growth vs fixed mindset
Jo- Prioritising some values over others, allowing Jim to take over the kitchen

So... We've talked about how to break 'bad' habits, how to build new habits and the Self Report Habit Index, but, what habits SHOULD we be working towards?

1) Movement
MANY health benefits, both physical and mental!

So, in terms of habits, we should be aiming to move more! It doesn't need to be marathon running or body building but any kind of...

42. Self Report Habit Index

Connect with Us!
If you have any questions, comments, concerns or topics that you would like us to cover, please reach out to us!
Behave Yourself Podcast (private group)

Disclaimer: While we’re both behaviour analysts and qualified in our respective fields, this podcast is for education and information sharing only and should not be taken as...

41. Did You Plan Ahead?

Did you plan ahead to set yourself up for success? What if you forgot to plan ahead or something didn't go as planned? Do you have a plan for when that happens?

Emily- hitting goals more consistently!
Jo- reading more academic texts!

 Proactive Strategies  are interventions where the goal is to reduce the future probability of the behavior.
Reactive Strategies are interventions which are used only once the behavior occurs. They are consequences (or reactions) to the behavior. The goal is to cut short the behavior, to minimize the damage.

40. What Does this Label Mean?

Do you understand nutrition labels and nutrition research? Most of us don't have high nutrition literacy!

Emily- very busy week!
Jo- thankfully finished hicupping!

Research in England tells us that around half of US and UK adults routinely do not understand health information and have difficulty understanding and utilizing commonly provided types of health information, making health literacy an important mediator of health outcomes

· The Sugar Research Foundation sponsored a literature review written by Harvard University nutrition professors and published in New England Journal of Medicine, which singled out fat and cholesterol a...

39. Q&A: You Asked, We Answered!

Our listeners are wonderful and have great questions! We always want to hear from you and help you apply the principles of behavior analysis to your own health and wellness goals!

Disclaimer: We're not technologically savvy, so this episode was quite an adventure to record!

Q1: How to handle living with someone with very different goals and caloric intakes to you
Q2: How to stay present in social situations when food is a focus when you also have nutrition goals
Q3: what to do when the scale isn't shifting quick ways to get...

38. Breaking "Bad" Habits

Summary: Is there a behavior or action that you want to decrease or stop altogether? Learn the beginning steps to breaking a habit!

Habit breaking

What is a habit?

Definition: A routine or practice performed regularly or an automatic response to a specific situation.

Behaviourally - there’s an MO, an SD, the behaviour itself and a consequence (a reinforcer!).

In more common literature – there’s a cue, a routine and a reward

1. Define it
2. When and when does it happen? What’s the cue (SD)?
3. No...

37. How to build a habit

Episode name: How to Build a Habit
Summary: There are many different definitions of what a habit is, but in the end, all we really want to do is learn how to create a habit!
Emily- eating veggies and proteins
Jo- reading more!

Habit building

What is a habit?

Definition: A routine or practice performed regularly or an automatic response to a specific situation.

Behaviourally - there’s an MO, an SD, the behaviour itself and a consequence (a reinforcer!).

In more common literature – ther...

36. What's Grandma Got To Do with It?

Definition: A principle that states that making the opportunity to engage in a high-probability behaviour (i.e. something you are more likely to do) contingent upon the occurrence of a low-probability behaviour (something you are less likely to do) will function as a reinforcer for the low-probability behaviour. In simple terms, you create a "First X, then Y" rule.

1) Identify the behaviour you want to increase
2) Identify a behaviour/consequence that would serve as a reinforcer

More likely to be successful if they're in a similar context, easy to execute

Response deprivation...

35. Stimulus equivalence

In this episode, we talk about stimulus equivalence and how it can relate to our health and fitness behaviours.

Definition: The recognition and understanding of the difference between one thing and another.
Stimulus equivalence = the emergence of accurate responding to untrained and non-reinforced stimulus-stimulus relations following the reinforcement of responses to some stimulus-stimulus relations. Reflexivity, symmetry and transitivity must all be met for stimulus equivalence to said to have occurred.
verbally say "bird dog"- able to select a picture of a person completing a bird-dog exercise--- client can look at the picture...

34. How Do I Choose What to Eat?

How do we discriminate a ‘healthy’ choice over an ‘unhealthy’ choice?

What sounds good?
Allergies – e.g. nuts, gluten
Does it fit my macros / calories?
Is it socially appropriate? E.g. getting out a box of salad at a birthday party might not be!
So… assuming our listeners might want to choose their food based on health…
What is healthy?

First we need to determine our values around health, remembering deep health isn’t just about calories and food:
· Relational
· Physical
· Existential
· Mental
· Emotional
· Environmental

33. You're Not a Cactus, Drink Your Water!!

Do you find yourself saying, I should drink more water? Are you adequately hydrated?

Weekly Behave Yourself Check-in
Emily - Steps have been super low this week, much more sedentary
Jo - steps have been super high so have been working out less and eating more

Why should we drink more water?
Aids in digestion, bowel movements, blood circulation and overall bodily functions
Increases energy
Clearer skin

Human body is made up of about 45-70% water, average 60%
Recommended daily fluid intake: 2.7L/day for females, 3.7...

32. Help! I'm Addicted to Sugar!

Emily: Worked out in a super small space!
Jo - reminding myself that being productive doesn't make me a good person

Definitions – what is sugar?
Sugar is a generic name for sweet tasting, soluble carbohydrates. I could talk for hours about sucrose vs fructose and disaccharides vs monosaccharide but… only nutrition nerds like me would be interested and that’s not what we’re here for!

Why might you want to target sugar eating as a behaviour?
No food or food groups are ‘bad’ or should be completely omitted from...

31. Reinforcement & Punishment: It's Not Buildings and Time-Outs

Weekly Behave Yourself Check-in
Emily - I am here and showed up!
Jo - Prepped for the week with a fridge full of prepped food, clean clothes, etc

Can we change behaviour? How do reinforcers, consequences and punishments play into chaging our own behaviour?

Behavioural definitions
Reinforcement: a stimulus that follows a behaviour that makes that behaviour more likely to occur in future
Punishment: a stimulus that follows a behaviour that makes a behaviour less likely to occur in future.

Positive reinforcement (+examples)

30. Why Aren't We Treating Ourselves Like Our Clients?

Weekly Behave Yourself Check-in
Emily - got in 3 strength workouts, despite feeling off track
Jo - Stayed true to my values throughout difficult conversations

How do ethics or morals apply to wanting to change your own health and fitness behaviours? Emily and Jo take a look!

Definition: the branch of knowledge that deals with moral principles.
Definition 2: moral principles that govern a person's behaviour or the conducting of an activity.

Ethics of changing your own behaviour (Modified from medical ethics):


29. Real talk

Episode Name: Real talk

Weekly Behave Yourself Check-in
-Emily: Anxiety gremlins are lurking...
-Jo: One more straw before the camel's back breaks

Just in case anyone was wondering if we're human...
10 months of lockdown is starting to take it's toll
We have a raw and real unstructured chat about life, work, stressors and how we're doing.
We talk about balancing not wanting to overshare or bring others down with wanting to be real and reflect the realities of life.
Having a job in a 'caring profession' brings...

28. Functions of Movement

Why do we workout or move our body? What are the functions of exercise?

Weekly Behave Yourself Check-in
Emily - water & vitamins, but also struggling hard
Jo - fighting fires... badly

Why do we workout? What are the functions that are maintaining your movement behaviors
Social- Seeing friends at the gym, confidence, body image
Tangible- access to winning a competition/race, earn points for free training sesions/rewards, walk to shops to get food items
Biological- Overall health, muscle increase, Mental health
Automatic- muscle pump/toning...

27. Functions of food

Episode Name: Do You Know Why You're Eating That?

Weekly Behave Yourself Check-in
-Emily: Being very domesticated!
-Jo:  Focussing on living heavier weights and stretching out sore muscles

Food has MANY 'functions'; it's so much more than just fuel! It’s everywhere – both in actuality and in the media, pictures, photos, books... It’s endless in it’s variety and ever evolving and creating new delights.

Most of the 'functions' (the 'whys') of food can be placed within some broad categories:

- Biological - Macronutrients, micronutrients, phytonutrients, zoonutrients, minerals...

26. Functions of Behavior: The 'Why' Behind What We Do

We engage in behaviors and those behaviors are either increased or decreased for a reason.
We may want to access something, gain attention or get out of an awkward situation.
So....WTF- What's the function?

Weekly Behave Yourself Check-in
Emily - started to increase vegetables/maintaining vitamins
Jo - Calling myself out on muscle building lies


Look at the environment before and after the behavior
Some/most behaviors have multiple functions
Once you understand the function of...

25. Five More Minutes of Sleep

Do you struggle to fall asleep? Are you waking up at night or very early in the morning?
Let's look at the behavior strategies that you can implement to help improve your sleep hygiene!

Weekly Behave Yourself Check-in
Emily - lost focus on my vegetables
Jo - not behaving eating dairy...

What is sleep?
Sleep problems are a skill deficit
Why poor sleep is problematic
What’s normal?
Stress around smart watches
Elevated heart rate
7 types of rest


24. Movement Series 3: 30 Minute Circuit or 2 Hours on the Elliptical?

If you're looking to lose weight, part of that is nutrition, so head on back to Jo's weigh loss series.
The other component is movement, which may mean just starting to increase your step goal but also increasing your weights during exercise!

Weekly Behave Yourself Check-in

Emily - one month of consistently taking am/pm vitamins
Jo - Planning for school closures with all therapists

Why You need to Lift (and you can keep doing “Cardio”)
You need to lift heavier, progressively to build strength and muscle mass

23. Movement Series 2: "I Don't Want to Get Bulky!"

Learning how to strength train, progressive overload and build muscle can be confusing!
Really, it's actually quite simple but there's so many programs and option out there.

Weekly Behave Yourself Check-in
Emily - training clients, going to clean/chores
Jo - made greens soup

Components of a workout
Resistance strength training, progressive overload
Why you should want to build muscle
Planning of progression

Connect with Us!
If you have any questions, comments, concerns or topics that you would like us to cover...

22. Movement Series 1: Just Start Moving!

Emily takes the lead on the movement series to chat about the basic components of exercise and movement!
Do you feel overwhelmed with starting a workout routine? Maybe you aren't sure what type of workouts are best to do. Take a listen!

Weekly Behave Yourself Check-in
Emily - running and yoga
Jo - no set workouts for a week intentionally

Baseline - where are you currently
Toning vs bulking vs fat loss vs endurance etc
Functional fitness first
Basic movement patterns
Cardiovascular training
Performance training...

20. Weight loss series 2: How to create a calorie deficit

Weekly Behave Yourself Check-in
Emily: Sunday morning madness!
Jo: Not deep diving into the peanut butter when Christmas was cancelled

How to create a calorie deficit - eat less, move more?
Tracking methods
Non-tracking methods
Can you out train a bad diet?
How to be in a calorie deficit WELL

Connect with Us!
If you have any questions, comments, concerns or topics that you would like us to cover, please reach out to us!
Behave Yourself Podcast (private group)

21. Weight loss series 3: Deep health while honouring CICO

Weekly Behave Yourself Check-in
Emily: Vitamins consistently for 2 weeks
Jo: Reevaluating my values and goals for Christmas

What is deep health? Mental, environmental, emotional, physical, relational,
What's the BEST diet?
How to choose a diet.
Diets shouldn't be life-long.
Who SHOULDN'T be trying to lose weight
Important takeaways for losing weight well:
- Protein
- Vegetables and fruit
- Processed food vs non-processed food
- Sleep

Connect with Us!
If you have any questions, comments, concerns or topics that you would...

19. Weight loss series: 1. What is weight loss and definitions

Weekly Behave Yourself Check-in
-Emily: not snoozing alarm
-Jo: affirming future peaceful Christmas times!

This episode covers the basic science of weight (fat!) loss and where to start.

Why are we doing a series about weight loss?
What is weight loss?
Why talk about this?
Who should/could have weight loss as a goal?
Measuring weight/fat loss
How to lose weight/fat?
Calories in - food
What is a calorie?
What’s a calorie deficit?
How to create a calorie deficit?
Calories ou...

18. I'm just not motivated

Weekly Behave Yourself Check-in
Emily - Taking vitamins morning and night
Jo - Identified a new 'red' food and am working on mindful eating

In this episode, we look at what motivation is and how to hit your goals with (or without!) feeling motivated!

Behavioural definitions of motivating operations
Police terminology: MO- modus operandi or Method of Operation
Behavior Analytic Terminology- MO- Motivating Operation

I'm just not motivated for... what? Are your goals trule value-based?

Function of the Behavior
ex: client cancelled the session- found out...

17. Is Comparison the Thief of Joy?

Do you find yourself comparing your progress, fitness, health, or other behaviors to someone else's photo or language?
We're showing you how we approach this from a behavior analytic lens and some awesome (and unplanned) examples of comparison!

Weekly Behave Yourself Check-in
Emily - Exercise/Movement goal
Jo - making lots of Christms treats without endless spoon licks

Behaviourally, comparison is… stimulus equivalence within multiple relational frames using multiple contextual cues.
Why touch on this? It gives us a behavior-analytic foundation for how we ‘compare’ things from arbitrary to non-arbitrary relations betwee...

16. Do You Remember Your 2020 Resolutions?

Ready to get started on changing your behaviors...? Oh just kidding it's the middle of December, so you'll either have to wait until Monday or January 1st to start fresh.
Jo and I chat about goal setting and making a plan that will actually be realistic and last past February!

Weekly Behave Yourself Check-in:
Emily - drinking more water successfully!
Jo - identified anxiety triggers and journalled more

Do you remember your NY resolutions from last year?
Did you have a plan?
How long did it last?
Big long...

15. One drink and I Iose Control around Food

Listener question: I have no control around food after drinking booze and giving up booze isn't an option for me. What can I do?

Weekly Behave Yourself Check-in
-Emily- hitting water and veggie goal even during Birthday week!
-Jo: Birthday week too and she enjoyed peanut buttery chocolate!

Antecedent strategies:
- "Pre-game" the party/drinking - eat a meal with protein, veggies and 350-500g calories MINIMUM. This will 'line your stomach', limit your hunger and reduce your MO for binging later.
- Drink plenty of water...

14. How to Stay Sane Throughout the Holidays

The holidays can be a challenging time to either start new goals or stay on track with current goals. So often we hear clients and others say that they just need to get through the holidays and then they'll focus on their health and fitness goals. Guess CAN start and stay on track with your goals as the holidays approach!

Weekly Behave Yourself Check-in
Emily - Water and veggie goals are on track
Jo - Daily tick list and sticking to it, even while working from home

Definitions: Christmas day... or...

13. Listener questions!

Weekly Behave Yourself Check-in
Emily- working out consistently
Jo - Christmas presents all bought!

How do I find motivation?
Do I go for ALL my goals or just pick one or two?
How do I start as a BA in health and fitness?
Non-food rewards for reaching my goal

Connect with Us!
If you have any questions, comments, concerns or topics that you would like us to cover, please reach out to us!
Behave Yourself Community + Resources

12. Modelling - who's watching, who are you watching?

Weekly Behave Yourself Check-in
-Emily: drinking more water
-Jo: continuining to track calorie intake to return to maintenance to ensure no yo-yo dieting

"Modelling can effectively prompt behaviours...for learners who have already learned some component behaviours required for imitation" (Cooper et al)

Who's watching you? Spouses, children, friends, parents, fellow gym goers
Can be good for when others "won't take good advice"
Who might you want to model behaviour to and why?

- Jim and exercise
- Jo's parents and healthy eating

11. I Don't Even Know what My Goals Should Be!

If you're not sure what you should set as a goal or if you have 10 different behaviors that you want to change, you may feel lost or overwhelmed! We're going to help you narrow down and identify your goals and which ones to work on first.

Weekly Behave Yourself Check-in- What We're Thankful For!
Em - Health and jobs during the pandemic
Jo - Work phone vs personal phone and boundaries

If I don't know what my goals/behaviours should be, what do I do?
- BAs look for 'socially significant/valid...

ATTENTION! December dedicators!

Interrupting your usual podcasting schedule for a quick announcement! We know 2020 has been HARD and we want our listeners to go into the holidays feeling their best this year! So... We've set up a free accountability and support group for building healthy habits throughout December.  In this group , we'll set weekly goals, fun challenges and enjoy connecting with you all in the run up to the holidays, Christmas, and into the New Year!

How to Join:
Search 'Behave Yourself Podcast' on Facebook or go to

9. Get to know Emily!

By popular demand (ok, ok, one listener request...), we had a lot of fun getting to know more about Emily!

Weekly Behave Yourself Check-in
-Emily: Getting up with her alarm successfully
-Jo: Attended a UK-SBA conference

- Where she lives, her hobbies, her husband, etc.
- How she got into ABA, qualifications etc
- Her background in exercise, health and fitness
- How she came to apply ABA to health
- Her current role and passions
- Her goals
- Favourite quote


10. Get to know Jo!

We spent the last episode getting to know Emily, so in this episode we take a deep dive into all things Jo!

Where she lives, her hobbies, her husband, etc.
How she got into ABA, qualifications etc
Her background in exercise, health and fitness
How she came to apply ABA to health
Her current role and passions
Her goals
Favourite quote

Connect with Us!
If you have any questions, comments, concerns or topics that you would like us to cover, please reach out to us!

Turning Emotional Goals into Defined Targets for Behavior Change

Many times we hear others say, "I want to eat healthier or exercise more". Maybe you've said, "I want to be a better spouse/friend".
All of these are great for a broad first draft. During this episode we'll help you get more specific and define your goals.
Just like data collection, you need to have a clearly defined goal to know when you've achieved that goal.
Weekly Behave Yourself Check-in
-Emily: Starting a new workout plan + stretching afterwards
-Jo: Reached her goal for her fat loss phase and back to eating lots of...