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SMARTER goals today!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

As I said, here's the mini-goal action plan:

- continue drinking at least 13 glasses of water each day
- Work out intensely 2 times a week (no more than 60 minutes)
- Get at least 40 minutes of moderate cardio 5 times a week (that includes the 2 intense days above)
- Eat within my calorie range 26 days per month

Then I realised I'd heard (and very much liked) a twist on the S.M.A.R.T. acronym: S.M.A.R.T.E.R ... where E stands for Evaluate and R for Refine. :)

Yesterday, I Evaluated the results from the first six months on SP - today I'm going to Refine yesterday's action plan.

From looking through my Nutrition log, I've already used up the 4 to 5 days of over-calorie allowance. So, I'm going to refine that step to staying within 100 calories above OR below the suggested range - that way, I'll be sure not to get into starvation mode, hopefully, even if I'm feeling desperate. :) And I'm shooting for TWENTY days this month, rather than 26.

The other step I'm refining is the "intense cardio". That's not very specific, either. This morning, at the gym, I decided to do a practice 5k - like the others on Christine's virtual 5k challenge, I'd like to know before-hand how close to my target speed I'll get on Friday. :) Discovered that yes, I can jog for about 15 minutes at 4.5 mph without holding on to the handlebars of the treadmill, but then I have to either slow down or cling on for dear life.

So, revised goal: by the end of July, run for 3o minutes _without_ slowing down or holding on to the handle bars. Steady speed at at least 4.3. That will be about 2.1 miles in the 30-minute time-frame. And that will be excellent cardio if I do it consistently - I could already feel the difference in my heart rate today - it went back to "close to normal" within seconds of slowing down at each 1-minute walk interval (about 10-to-15 minutes apart each time).

And I'm adding ONE more mini goal: Lose ONE pound this week - the scales at the gym say I'm at 211 today, but I've decided I'm only doing ONE official weigh-in per week - so Mondays will be the official weigh-in day - I'm determined to be at 208 by Monday morning! :)

I'll keep evaluating and refining these goals at least once a month from now on - might as well actually make some progress, eh? (See, I _am_ Canadian!)

Here are the newly refined mini-goals and action plan:

- Get down to 208 lbs by Monday, July 14, 2008
- Get down to 206 lbs by Monday, July 21, 2008
- Get down to 204 lbs by Monday, July 28, 2008
- Get down to 202 lbs by Monday, August 4, 2008
- Get down to 199 lbs by Monday, August 11, 2008

-Jog at a steady pace of 4.3 mph for 30 minutes by Sunday, August 3, 2008

Action plan:
- Continue drinking at least 13 8-oz cups of water each day
- Jog for at least two 15-minute intervals at a steady pace each time I'm at the gym. No more than one-minute walk breaks in between.
- Interval train 3 days a week at the gym
- 30 minutes hula hooping every day (short bursts of 5 minutes each, 6 times a day)
- 30 minutes of dancing (hip-hop, Bollywood, ballroom, whatever) every day - again, 5- to 15-minute dance breaks is what I plan.
- Eat within 100 calories of my calorie range 20 days in July

Much more specific. Makes me happier. :) And since I LOVE that cartoon, I'm keeping it up today to remind me! :)


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MRSHONEYC 7/9/2008 10:02PM

    Good blog!

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    wow our goals are similar. I can't wait to be below 199. And I feel like I am always the biggest person in the room. I have started shopping in my closet again. I am in sizes that are somewhat normal. When I get my butt down I will be very slim. I am definitely pear shape. When I am a 18 on the bottom, I am a 14 on the top. I know I should be weight training but every time I try to lose weight and focus on exsersise I get discouraged. I need to get to 199 and then I will weight train. Unfortunately at 56 my worst body part is my flabby underarms and I am not sure there is much I can do for those.
Anyway, I am so glad you looked me up, hope we can become sparkfriends.

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QKDEBB 7/9/2008 11:53AM

    emoticon girl !! You WILL do it. I have confidence in you and may even steal some of your goals, thanks. Happy Wednesday!!

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CHRISTINLO 7/9/2008 11:47AM

    Hey Maya good plan!
Really though harass is too strong of a word. I just persuade them that they are not going to be able to hold that pace. I look at the booty pic every day but I did not put it up on my desk cos well, it might offend someone you know and we are very politically correct here. Anyway I am subconsciously absorbing my visual cue and waiting for the improvements to magically show up!

Just in case that doesn't work the way it is supposed too, I am "working my a$$ off" so to speak, by adding lots of stairs and squats and eating less!

Comment edited on: 7/9/2008 11:53:26 AM

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LIKEAMORPHO 7/9/2008 10:22AM

    Looks like you've got yourself a good plan for the month! I'm going to be working on some specific goals as well -- I think you're right in that the more specific they are, and having them laid out in front of you really does help foster that stick-to-it-iveness that is integral to success! You can do it!!

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S.M.A.R.T. Goals - _my_ goals revisited

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Today I was reviewing the art of goal-setting for a seminar I'm planning. And it struck me that I should be applying some of those techniques to the weight issue as well (I tend to treat my health as something I can always count upon) ...

Goals, to be successful, MUST be written down. - Check.
They should be SMART - i.e., they should be SPECIFIC, Measurable, Action-based, Realistic and Time-Bound.

How did I do when I set up my weight target back in January?
S: 127 pounds is the goal weight. Pretty darned specific, if you ask me.
M: 127 pounds IS measurable. Just use a scale. Preferably the same one each time.
A: Hmmm - the "action plan" was something like: lose 2 pounds a week.
R: Realistic? Well, I'd given myself until October 31st to achieve the weight-loss ... that's 81 pounds, over just over 42 weeks. Which works out to JUST over 2 pounds a week. Not so bad.
T: Time bound? Yep, as I said, until October 31st!

So, where did I go wrong? If you look at the SMART list above, you'll see exactly where - ACTION-BASED. I said I could lose 2 pounds a week, but hadn't specified what specific actions I would consistently take to get to that (very achievable) goal.

I wound up taking the same 10 pounds off and back on and off and back on and off and ... well, you know! So, how've I done? I probably HAVE actually lost 2 pounds each week - the problem is that there hasn't been a NET loss (I'm actually ONE pound heavier today than when I started). And yet I've taken off 10 pounds several times now: shooting up to 213 or 214 several times, and then inching my way back to 204 or 205. The loss comes fairly easily each time I focus on what I'm eating, but the gain comes equally easily each time I take my eyes off the goal even for a little bit.

Anyway, the 6-month mark is time to re-evaluate. What I'm doing ISN'T working for me in terms of results on the scale - I'm definitely getting a lot more exercise than before, I've learned to hula hoop, and I've got a bunch of new friends. And my diet is a LOT cleaner than it used to be (yes, I know, I let the occasional no-no slip in - way too often).

I'm thinking it may be the size of my goal that makes it seem like something unachievable. So, for now, instead of focusing on the big, final goal of getting to 127, I'm going to aim a LOT smaller.

From today's weight of 209, I'm going to be at 206 by the end of this week, and I'm going to maintain it until the end of next week. Yes, lower is fine, but I won't let it go ABOVE - that means, if I have to eat ultra-low calorie one day to make up for a splurge the previous day, I'll be doing that. All the research says that an occasional day of even fasting will not send your body into starvation mode. And if it _does_, at this point I'm beginning to think it might actually be worth it. ;)

And the other thing I'm committing to is to NOT overdo the exercise. That's my other big mistake - I keep going at it SO hard that within a few days, my body gets exhausted and I no longer want to even see the gym. Especially that my friend, the doctor's-office-type manual scales, lives there. :)

So, here's the mini-goal action plan:

- continue drinking at least 13 glasses of water each day
- Work out intensely 2 times a week (no more than 60 minutes)
- Get at least 40 minutes of moderate cardio 5 times a week (that includes the 2 intense days above)
- Eat within my calorie range 26 days per month

That's it. It's a simple plan. I take no supplements or vitamins - I eat plenty of vegetables and some fruit, so I'm not worried about missing out on nutrients.

Wish me luck - I need to assume responsibility for what I do to this one-and-only body I have. :)


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ALIAGOGO 7/9/2008 8:51AM

    (cute cartoon!) Wow, these are very tidy and specific, I might have to swipe this idea... it sounds so freakin' intelligent!
Occam's razor in action! : "all other things being equal, the simplest solution is the best." Go girl, you've got the plan, now work it!

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AUGAUG 7/9/2008 8:02AM

I enjoyed reading your blog, too (thank you for stopping by mine). I like your new goals, and hope that you will reward yourself each week as you accomplish these things. I wish you perseverance in your personal health as well as in your career--you may be amazed when the former goes well, parts of the latter may fall into place in new ways.
Aug emoticon

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MAMAVONZWEI 7/8/2008 9:47PM

    Great cartoon! I wish you luck on your smaller goals. You can do it!

emoticon emoticon

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BD4557 7/8/2008 9:27PM

    WOW. It sounds like you are really getting serious now. You can do it!! Don't wait until old age when all sorts of things happen and you can't do all the exercise you can now. Would love to see you with the hula hoop.

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MRSHONEYC 7/8/2008 9:22PM

    Okay, I'm not going to wish you 'luck' --- I'm going to wish you PERSEVERANCE.
Print out your list - make 2 or 3 copies - post it on the fridge, bathroom (across from the toilet so you have READING material! LOL) and on the mirror.
SO now you've went and blogged it ... YOU ARE COMMITTED!

Good blog!

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NATTSO78 7/8/2008 8:09PM

  I'm so glad I subscribed to your blog - it really is very informative! I can understand the slipping off the track of your goals & watching the scale go up - But keep your eyes on the prize! We all can totally lose weight if our goals are specific (like you said) and we challenge our thoughts to stop sabotaging our efforts. We will prevail!!!

Thanks Maya!


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CHRISTINLO 7/8/2008 6:28PM

    emoticon I think this is a great plan. Just be consistent with your plan and you will lose the weight. You can do it!
Don't forget our 5K!

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QKDEBB 7/8/2008 3:59PM

    I will wish you luck but I don't think you need have a plan, you have the tools, and you are determined. I am confident that you will reach your goals but maybe like me, you may need to be a bit more flexible on the when, LOL. The fact that we keep trying is progress in and of itself and we may need to release control of exactly how it happens, just keep the faith that it will.

You rock Maya !!! emoticon

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Pussy cat, pussy cat, where have you BEEN?

Monday, July 07, 2008

Where, indeed? Well, I took an unexpected break from the "normal routine" - Saturday started off _very_ well, with a great workout at the gym, and a healthy breakfast. And plans to be on guard the rest of the weekend - and then I got lured by a promise of curried fish. :) And let's just say the rest of the weekend kinda followed that trend - BIG lunch and BIG dinner on Saturday, and all day Sunday at the image consultation I'd signed up for a few weeks ago.

NO Spark time at all over the weekend, other than logging my food and exercise retro-actively today!

Well, the image consultation did bring ONE thing to my notice: over the past 2 years since I've last worn my "good" suit, I've gained several lumps! And the suit was the only outfit I packed, so that's what I wore. Humiliating? Sure. But it also served as a great visual reminder of what I want to change - my "normal" clothes do fit, so I don't look like a series of sausage links, which really was what I looked like all day on Sunday. :)

But hey, now I know my colour palette - I'm apparently a "true winter", as, apparently, is every other person of any shade darker than nordic white. (Well, at the consultation, about half of us were declared "true winter" ... which, to me, sounds odd - until I realised that hey, that's the percentage of warmer-toned skin colours in the room!)

What did that mean to me? Not a whole lot - I _will_ definitely be able to shop "better" and to put together a mix'n'match wardrobe - however, I've no intention of shopping right now. :)

I've missed SP over the past couple of days, but it also brought home to me just how much time I've been spending on here - not necessarily a healthy amount, let's just say. :) If I spent more time being active and less on the computer ... you get where I'm going with this, I think.

Anyway, today, I decided, would be a rest day - so I just read a couple of SP articles and posted a couple of times. Didn't pursue every single blog post, amazingly. DID manage to get a little work done. Went to another seminar this evening (post-dinner).

Tomorrow, back to the gym - I didn't like what the mirror said this weekend. :) No. It didn't motivate me where food was concerned.

- Maya

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

QKDEBB 7/8/2008 3:33PM

    Curried Fish, yuuummmm!! Hope you enjoyed it.

Toss, burn or shred the old suit when you are ready to redo your wardrobe, you deserve some beautiful new clothes as you reach your goals.

I know I am not buying anything and making do with a few hand me downs as I move down sizes for the time being. Of course, I haven't moved down a size in a while now so I better get on the ball......

Hey, I am going to try and beat you in the virtual 5k, that's not why I picked my time, but we will see


Today I couldn't even wear my gym shoes on the treadmill because of a big fat blister on the back of my heel from mowing this weekend. See I have an excuse already in case i fail miserably on Friday.

Take care emoticon

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LISHALEIGH 7/8/2008 12:06PM

    Hey thanks for the comments on my blog! Good blog by the way. I'd be interested in seeing what season I am.

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ALIAGOGO 7/8/2008 9:28AM

    Good luck, girlie, go kick up some sparks at the gym!
emoticon emoticon

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MRSHONEYC 7/8/2008 12:10AM

    You go to some strange seminars!!!!
I think I'm an Autumn. I prefer 'earth tones' and lately I've been drawn to the sages!

Good blog!

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Nothing much to say!

Friday, July 04, 2008

Today was a GREAT day. Got to the gym in the morning, did intervals on the treadmill, followed by some time on the elliptical. Sweated buckets.

Decided that maybe I was trying too hard on my hoop - decided to do a hundred twirls each "break", even if I dropped the hoop several times during that hundred. Wound up with a total of around 300 twirls. And the longest stretch was 25. :)

_And_ my newly-engaged friends came over to visit, so I had fun taking them to lunch and then shopping ... downtown Toronto is one of the most fun places to be! Even though we ate out, I managed to stay in control: got half my entree packed and brought it home for dinner, and only ate a couple of spoonfuls of my dessert.

All in all, a _very_ good day, all round. No work, but then, that's what you do when you've got family visiting (these friends _are_ like family to me!)

Now, I have a pineapple waiting for me, but am not in the mood to cut it up. Tomorrow. :)

And here's looking forward to more twirling of that hoop, too! :)

- Maya

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

QKDEBB 7/7/2008 12:39PM

    Glad you had fun with the company. We played this weekend on a friend's Wii Fit and I did some virtual hula hooping, too funny. My dds were laughing their little butts off at my efforts, we had a blast !! I actually got sweaty so I imagine you must be working even harder with the real thing. Maybe all that shaking will shake your metabolism into higher gear for you. Happy Happy Monday, have a great week. Deb

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ALIAGOGO 7/6/2008 8:31AM

    Great job! Especially on the eating out... that's a tough one, but what fun.

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MRSHONEYC 7/5/2008 12:38AM

    Thats great that you had COMPANY!!! You needed that, I think!

Good blog!

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It's out of my system ...

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Finally. :) That bout of "down" lasted a fair bit longer than normal - and it's only now that the sun is actually hitting my eyes through the window that I'm realising what a waste of a day _that_ was. Well, make it two days.

And the funniest part is, it didn't have to be. Yesterday, when I weighed in, the scale was acting wonky: 3 different numbers when I weighed 3 times: 203, 205 and 208. So, I picked 205.5 as a decent number to update my ticker to.

And then I proceeded to eat. And eat. And try to hula, but couldn't get past 20 twirls, no matter how many times I picked up the hoop. Which really didn't help the "down" mood. :)

Of course, today the darned scale thinks 210 to 212 is my correct weight. Sigh. You may have noticed the ticker got updated. I'm picking the smallest number - so there. :)

The good news is that, even though I didn't eat a whole lot of veggies today, I at least didn't go over my calorie range - and I still drank water. Hopefully the next week will be one of better directions, not just wallowing. :)

The other good news is that I read a couple of books and just chilled out - in some ways it's good there's no family or friends nearby - I get to do precisely what I want about 90% of the time.

And then I wonder why I don't do _more_ things I want to do - after all, there's no reason NOT to!

Anyway, I'm now officially out of my funk. Watch out, SP, I'm going to be even more bubbly and perky than normal! :)

Oh, yeah, I'm at 30 consecutive twirls today - which is still way higher than my original goal of 10 by the 4th.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

QKDEBB 7/7/2008 12:35PM

    Hi Maya, Glad you were able to shake off the blues. I just caught up on your blogs and am very impressed with your hoop progress, WTG !! My scale and yours are doing some similar things right now, up down 5-6 lbs almost daily. I have slacked off on my program so I have no one to blame but me. fear not friend, we will get there, we are just moving at our own pace. Thanks for trying to keep track of me while my computer situation continues !! emoticon

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ALIAGOGO 7/4/2008 7:59AM

    go Hula Queen!
good de-funking (don't let any seventies bands hear you say you got rid of the funk, though, haha) and WTG on the veg! you shook off that fog no problem, back to being fab!

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MRSHONEYC 7/3/2008 10:48PM

    I'm sure the scale went UP because you had a MAJOR splurge! What were you eating??? Carbs and sodium??? On the good note, today you had TONS of veggies - and you cant REALLY go over when you have fruits and veggies!!!
Glad you're out of that VERY short funk!

Good blog!

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PARIS2009 7/3/2008 7:02PM

  Nice recovery from your funky spell - on to feeling *good!*

This road is long and full of twists & turns. Keep holding on
and you'll get to the end eventually - you can do it!!!

Take care,

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