Tuesday, November 22, 2011
I've been working towards my Accounting degree online. This past week I started my Personal Finance class. It brings up the concept of Opportunity Cost and how it pertains to your finances. Basically Opportunity Cost is what you give up when you take advantage of an opportunity. Here's an example. When you put Money into a savings account, you lose the opportunity to spend the money now on something you want. Conversely if you spend the money now, you lose the interest that would have been earned on the money. Each opportunity has a cost. This can also be stated by the better known "Every action has an equal and opposite reaction."
Would you believe this concept slapped me in the face not on a financial level, but on a weight level. When I choose an unhealthy snack, I lose the benefits I would have received from the healthy snack. When I choose to get up and run, I lose the extra time to sleep or getting a little extra work or studying done. The main thing that I realized is that I don't think about the Opportunity Costs of my choices at all. This is where the self sabotage comes into play. There's a quote that I've heard that basically states that not making a decision is making a decision. You're choosing to do nothing.
So by not thinking of the Opportunity Cost and how it's affecting my weight, I'm really doing nothing and letting the costs pile up on me, all the while feeling like I have no power and no control.
I can be organized and have fantastic plans, but until I get my head in the game and make the decisions that have the lowest negative opportunity cost, I will forever stand still and choose to do nothing. In effect sabotaging myself! It's time for me to seriously think about the costs of my choices and to make mindful decisions and to get my head in the game.
I intend to do this in a very basic and easy way. Think before I act and ask myself 2 questions: 1) What is the healthiest choice I can make? 2) What is the Opportunity Cost?
My goal is to stay present and on track and make the healthiest choices that will lead to a more fit and healthier me.
Sunday, November 06, 2011
My last three blogs have talked about the process I've been going through to figure out the right plan for me to achieve my fitness and weight loss goals. I've talked about what my end result would be, what some of my mid-range goals are, I've decluttered my surroundings, my life and my thinking. I've talked about the notebooks I've gone through from past attempts and some motivation to help me get where I want to go. I talked about going to www.mvm.com and creating pictures of me at my goal. Here's one of those pics:
This past week I took the time to put it all together into a plan that works for me. First I worked on my Nutrition. I realized that the reason I've never been able to keep my previous weight losses off is because I've always chosen a plan that was too restrictive for me. I've never been a person who falls to peer pressure. The more someone tried to get me to follow the crowd, the more I've turned the other way. If a plan tells me I can't eat something, I want it more. So I had to create a plan that allowed everything. If everything is allowed then I won't feel pressured and the urge to fight back and eat whatever I want. Having said that, there have to be boundaries, I know I can't eat a pint of ice cream, but I can eat 1/2 cup and savor it. So I came up with some guidelines that are loose, but healthy and easy to follow.
My Nutrition Guidelines:
1) Drink eight glasses of water per day.
2) Eat at least 5 servings of fruits & veggies per day.
3) Choose lean protein and complex carbs at every meal.
4) Snacks should be a fruit or veggies paired with a lean protein (nuts, hummus, nut butter, etc.)
5) Eat fish twice a week - Salmon, tuna, etc. wild caught is preferable, battered is not!
6) Keep calories around 1600 per day. No day will be a perfect 1600, but most days will be close.
7) Nothing is off limits, just plan it into your day.
8) Cookie Friday! (Okay I stole this from the blog Carrots n Cake by Tina Haulpert - she makes a big healthy cookie every Friday as a treat for herself. They are full of healthy ingredients and are delicious. Her theory is, if you know you're getting a big cookie later, it's easier to say no to temptation now.)
I feel that these guidelines give me structure, but are fluid enough to allow me to roll with everyday real life.
Next it was my fitness plan. I actually have two. I run outside three days per week. I only have about three weeks left in my running season. I live in Western PA and the Monday after Thanksgiving is Hunting Season. I run on a wooded trail and refuse to become an unidentified target for an eager hunter. When Hunting Season is over, it's usually too cold and damp to run comfortably outside any more. So I have a Running Program and then after Thanksgiving I'm switching over to a Strength Program.
Monday - Running
Tuesday - Strength
Wednesday - Running
Thursday - Strength & Yoga
Friday - Running
Saturday - REST
Sunday - Yoga for Runners
Monday - Strength / Upper Body
Tuesday - Strength / Lower Body
Wednesday - Cardio & Yoga
Thursday - Strength / Upper Body
Friday - Strength / Lower Body
Saturday - REST
Sunday - Spinning & Yoga for Runners
I decided that during the winter when I'm not running I really need to do something that keeps my running muscles active. Spinning is very close to the same movement and will help my muscles retain the memory of running. I also want to keep the Yoga for Runners in my program to keep those muscles loose and ready to go when tax season is over and I can start running again.
I really feel encouraged by these plans. I know I can achieve the goals I've set for myself (see previous blog). The most important thing I've done is take the scale out of the equation. I will weigh myself once a week, but only as a way of keeping track of where I'm at. I feel this plan will move with me. It's my plan, so I can change what's not working in midstream and not feel like I've failed.
I'm ready to go on this journey, I've got my map & GPS and I'm even looking forward to a few unexpected side trips of discovery as well. I'll be sure to send postcards (okay blogs) home so everyone can see where I've been and what I'm doing!
If you want to ride along, there's room in the Jeep!
Wednesday, November 02, 2011
During my Decluttering-palooza last month, I came across 9 different notebooks I had kept that dealt with my weight loss over the years. That's right 9! There were notebooks centered around various weight loss books I had read. Bob Harper's Are You Ready? Jillian Michaels' Master Your Metabolism, Geneen Roth's Women Food and God, 2 notebooks devoted to Weight Watchers information and 1 Notebook that was a mish-mash of magazine clippings. I also had 2 binders full of pages of recipes, workouts & motivation torn from magazines. Is it any wonder why my thoughts have been so scattered?
I decided to take all this information and go through it to see just what I had there. First I went through the magazine pages. I got rid of the ones that I knew I would never look at again. The rest were separated into piles for Strength Training Workouts, Yoga Routines, Running information, Recipes, Motivation and other Workout Routines. I bought some binder folders on clearance in different colors and gave each pile it's own folder. Now when I'm looking for a certain article I know exactly where it is.
Next I got myself a very pretty silk covered journal and went through those 9 notebooks and transferred any information that I thought I wanted to keep to the new journal. 3 hours later, I only used about 10 pages of the new journal. There was so little of that information that applied or even interested me. As a matter of fact, a lot of the info was the "Let's look at your past and see why you're overweight" variety from books by Bob Harper, Geneen Roth, etc. Here's what I learned from that. You can write about it, you can analyze it, you can think deep thoughts about it, but until you get off your ass and do something about it, it pretty much means nothing!!! So I'm putting together my plan that will get me off my ass and doing something about it!!
I also found some serious motivation. First I picked up a copy of "The Skinny Rules" The first rule is believe that you can do it. That one hit home, especially when I found in middle of all this clutter a print out from My Virtual Model (link below). So I jumped on the computer & started playing. I recreated my model to be the me I want to get to and then I dressed her in running gear, casual clothes, a little black dress and even a bikini. I printed out every one of those images and laminated them (yes, I'm just that anal!) It's like having a snap shot of the future. Seeing my destination makes if feel so much more possible!
I'm making tons of progress and I intend to have my Workout and Nutrition plans in place by the end of the week. For the first time ever, I feel like I'm on the right path because I'm the one building the road!
Friday, October 21, 2011
A couple months ago I read the book "It's All Too Much" by Peter Walsh. He's that clutter guy you saw on Oprah last season. Anyway, there was something he said that made total sense to me and sparked me to get the clutter out of my life. He tells his clients to create a vision of the life they want for themselves before they do anything. Then when they are going through their clutter they are to ask themselves if the items they have will help them get to their vision. If not, it needs to go. As soon as I finished the book, I started thinking about all the stuff I have. I am by no means a hoarder, but I have a lot of stuff in storage that I haven't gone through in years. When my last semester ended, I waded into my stuff in storage like a woman possessed. Every box was cut open and every item was unwrapped, evaluated and put into 1 of 3 piles. Keep, Yard sale or Donate. When I was done, my number of boxes was cut in half and I have enough stuff for a really good yard sale next spring. It was very cathartic to go through all this stuff and only keep what I would want to take to my dream house (someday there will be a dream house!) I felt lighter and unburdened.
I decided to kick the clutter to the curb in every aspect of my life as well. My everyday living spaces have been cleaned up and decluttered. The house is more open, roomier and brighter. If I listen closely I swear I can hear an angelic choir faintly singing in the background as the sunlight shines through the windows!
I've gone through my clothes, my greeting cards, my books and DVD's. There's so much stuff that really means nothing to me. Next I moved onto my computer, my email files are bare bones, my programs only have what I need in them and as for facebook, all posers, creepers and frienemies have been unfriended. I know who my friends are and I don't need facebook to find them!
I've gone through my health & fitness plans as well. I've been working on my scattered thoughts on this matter lately and I'm starting to see the light. I have solid goals in place and I'm working towards a nutrition plan. I have a few more things I needs to research and put in place before I feel like I'm on my way.
I know what you're thinking. "Wow, she's got it together." Yeah, I thought that too, until I had a mini freak out today. It occurred to me that without the clutter and the scattered thinking, what would I do with my down time. I'm not someone who likes not having something to do. I need a to-do list with a running total. Not having something that needs to be done, throws me. But somewhere in the middle of the freak out - as I was looking at the cloudless sky - it occurred to me...my slate is as clean as this cloudless sky, what I put on it is up to me. This is a great time for a new beginning, to start over and go in any direction I want to go. So I'm taking deep breaths and thinking deep thoughts of where I want to go and what I want to do with my clean slate. It's a little scary and very exciting all at once.
I'll keep you all posted and show you my slate just as soon as I start writing on it!
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