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The Advantage of Short Goals

Sunday, January 08, 2012

That's how I felt when I first started out on SparkPeople. Sure, I wasn't actually obese but it's how I "felt." It was so unlike my normal growing-up and adult years that I just felt out of sorts and kind of tired. You know what I mean.

I discovered healthy cooking, and read lots of interesting articles when I joined this site! But although the weight was coming off, it seemed so far in the distant future that I was discouraged at times.

emoticon I guess it was time for my "ah-ha" moment, when I realized that when it too far on a long-distance goal, it's hard to stay enthused about it. And worse yet, I have the habit, like so many of us, of yo-yo-ing. Lose a pound, feel good, look at the scale the next day, and it's up .2 or .4, doesn't really matter, it's the fact that it's UP that's depressing. It may continue to go up a bit at a time, then there would be the slow .2 drop every day to get it back down. It's a tough life to yo-yo. It's different for these people who stick to the business of eating right and exercising and getting to their goal. Then they go back to their old habits and gain it back, usually plus a little extra. emoticon

These are NOT the types I call yo-yo, because to me yo-yo is more of an almost daily thing, which I suppose is natural. Too much sodium one day, not enough protein the next. Geesh! You have to be very detail oriented to keep track!

But starting out 2012 I did my usual projection, and figured I would take things easy by figuring I could lose a half pound a week. I even wrote about it. But the MAIN GOAL was 125 pounds and it still loomed way - way - WAY in the distant future. I'm a gal without a lot of patience! What to do? I decided to make myself a bunch of "short-term goals." Maybe I went overboard as I decided on writing down my WEEKLY GOALS.

Each Sunday on my calendar I penciled in the new weight I expected to be at. And when Sunday arrived I was able to write in -- with a PEN -- my actual weight which this Sunday happened to be 1.4 POUNDS below goal. Woo-Hoo!

Team-mates! Start making your own SHORT TERM goals, they work so much better that looking at something so far off you don't know if you'll ever get there.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LYNETTEMOM 1/9/2012 3:10PM

    I'm participating in a group using the Beck books and one of the great ideas from her is that your goal should be to lose 5 pounds. Don't look too far ahead, just focus on that milestone. I find it very encouraging. Unfortunately, when I have gained, it has been more than 5 pounds but I just keep plugging at it and it has always come back down. Slow and steady........

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PSMITH3841 1/9/2012 10:11AM

    Congrats on making your goal and then some! emoticon I think you have something with the Short Term Goals..Great idea.

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ARTJAC 1/8/2012 9:55PM

    short term goals are the way to go emoticon

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OLDERDANDRT 1/8/2012 4:55PM

    Great advice! I, too, have been learning this lesson!! My long term goal still seems worlds away, but little goals are going to be such happy times, when met, I'm hoping to meet the big one almost by surprise! hehe
Let's DO this thing!!! emoticon

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VITCHY-VICKI 1/8/2012 1:02PM

    Short term goals is a good idea think I have to do that
Great Blog

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How Do Little Things Count?

Saturday, January 07, 2012

emoticon You want to lose some weight. We've all got that!
emoticon You want to feel healthy and fit. We've got that, too!

We're so eager when we first start a program that we go overboard and try to get it all done in a day, a week, maybe if we're real patient -- a whole month! But do we achieve much? Not usually? OK, the first week we've made ourselves sore to the point of being miserable, we feel deprived because we haven't been eating all our favorite foods, and we're almost ready to give up.

But, on the other hand -- we look at the scale and we've lost a whopping 7 pounds (which is a number I just made up, it could be more or less, but significant). We like the number on the scale, but know we can't keep up the pace much longer.

What to do? Read the articles in Spark, my friend! Does it advise you to go out and kill yourself or deprive yourself? If it does, you show me that article! NO! The truth of the matter is, they advise you to start out slow and small, taking baby steps. If you're used to eating 3000 calories (or more) every day, your body will think you're starving it if you start out at 1200 or 1500 per day! If your idea of exercise is to look around until you find the remote -- think again buddy because when you get on that treadmill, your body is going to blink it's eyes and say OMG! he (she) is trying to commit suicide! Ya! And in a sense you would be.

You can't take an old work horse out who has been used to plodding along in the field in front of a plow to the Race Track and expect it to win! Well, neither can you!

On the healthy side, let's start with your eating habits. Do you drink 8 glasses of water each day. No? Then that can be your first baby step. Make sure you get that water in you. Your idea of a small meal might be a double Whopper with the large fries -- and of course your giant-sized Coke. How about swapping that for a chicken sandwich (hold the mayo) and size it down to a regular fries and Coke. For me, even that would be a BAD meal, but we're talking baby steps here.

Now we'll mention the exercise -- something you need each and every day, but start out small. Let you body get used to it, so start out with something we all know how to do, but in today's world, seldom do. Start walking. If your mail is delivered half a block from your house, don't stop by there when you're coming home with your car -- walk back over and get it. Have a dog? Perfect! Start taking the dog for a walk. If you can keep up with the dog (almost ANY dog) you are doing OK. And the dog likes to sniff and check things out, so you'll have time to catch your breath occasionally. Spend about 30 minutes once or twice a day and both your body and your dog will be much happier.

The number on your scale may not drop as quickly with these little changes, but it will be something you won't notice too much, and you'll be able to adapt to it, and little by little add more little things to your daily routine. You can make little changes like this into a new HEALTHY LIFESTYLE!

Now you've learned how the little things can add up to big changes. But what about the other way around. Perhaps you think you are already living a very healthy lifestyle, but you've got another 10 pounds to lose - maybe more. Start tracking and you may see that what you "imagined" to be all good choices were not so perfect after all. You see those two cookies you ate added another 260 calories one day, the Chef's Salad with Chicken seemed like a really good choice when you went to Chili's for lunch with a girlfriend. IT WASN'T. Looking it up now on the Internet, you find it contained over 1000 calories (uh huh -- you estimated it at 250 calories, didn't you?)

The same way little changes can add up to good results, those little changes that are bad can sabotage our chances of losing those extra pounds.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PSMITH3841 1/9/2012 10:29AM

    Good blog, girlfriend! Baby Steps....those little things you don't even consider.... emoticon

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CATLADY52 1/8/2012 4:11PM

    You hit it right on the nose. Keep reminding me that 'Baby Steps' are the way to go.

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ARTJAC 1/7/2012 11:33PM

    great now we have to put it in practice

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STILLFLYIN 1/7/2012 12:50PM

    Another well thought out and inspiring blog!

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MEME102 1/7/2012 11:34AM

    Loved your blog!! I love babysteps -- my dh who believes that eating only ONE meal a day will help him lose weight -- can't believe I eat 3 meals plus a snack (or 2) and still lose! He also thinks BREAD/POTATOES are the evil of all evils....I'm trying to educate him but in some ways I don't think I'll teach that 'ole dog' new tricks!! :)))
I am the 10 min exerciser -- and somedays I find I can go 30-50 but I always start with the premise you only HAVE to do 10....and mostly its more but if its not I refuse to feel guilty!!

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LIS193 1/7/2012 11:17AM

    Great blog! Baby steps work well for me when it come to exercise but when it comes to eating cold turkey does the trick for me :)

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Thinking over Day 1 of 2012

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Party time is over and it's time to settle down into some serious planning about how to obtain results on all those goals!

As today was Sunday and the gym was closed, I decided it was a "me" day, with the exception of a nice long walk with Amber (trusted Scotty companion) lol
When we finally got around to taking that walk it was "down to" 81F -- not bad for the middle of winter, huh? Granted Phoenix is wonderful in the winter, but it's literally a hot oven in the summer!

I wiped the slate clean and decided to start over. Of course I still have all my friends and preferences, my spark points haven't gone away, nor have the fitness minutes that were earned since I joined. But other things have been wiped out -- I'm starting fresh. Raised the bar a bit on what I want to lose, so now I can no longer say "I only have 10 pounds to go!" Perhaps it will motivate me a bit more -- that and the fact that I know I have to stop the mindless nibbling that I experience nearly each evening. I start off the day really good, a nice healthy, hearty breakfast. Lunch time and I'm still doing good. I take a nap every day, and when I get up I'm sort of hungry, so I'll have a snack, and the ball starts to roll downhill. Dinner comes and goes, and most times I am still OK. But as the evening wears on, I don't know where my willpower and brainpower go -- but I find myself putting things in my mouth that I know will cause the scale to wiggle around, and then go to the same old weight -- maybe even add on a little just to give me a little shove. Some days, even if I don't nibble the scale won't move -- probably knows something I don't know!

This year I will reach my goal. I'm tired of being in the 140's. OK, I'm not obese. I'm only 1.6 away from having a 'normal' BMI. I'm looking for better medical checkups, maybe even throw away the blood pressure and cholesterol med's.
I want to write a success story for ME, instead of just reading about others!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ROBBGIN 1/7/2012 1:26PM

    I feel like you will succeed with your determination. However, I have to agree with you on one thing because I have the same problem. My determination takes a nosedive as the day wears on, especially if I haven't been eating properly. I gained four pounds over two days because I skipped breakfast and lunch and then went with kids to a Chinese buffet on Thursday night. BIG MISTAKE! Hang in there and hope you continue to do well.

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PSMITH3841 1/4/2012 11:42AM

    You can do this, my friend! Here's to a healthier 2012!!! emoticon

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CATLADY52 1/3/2012 5:28PM

    emoticon emoticon

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4_MY_LIFE 1/2/2012 1:42PM

    I too started fresh yesterday. I believe that both of us will make our goal this year!

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LIS193 1/2/2012 12:43PM

    Starting fresh is a great idea! I'm with you getting out of the 140's even if that is in the normal BMI range for me (I'm tall: 5'8") but I felt my best around 136-139.
Let's get rid of those last 10 pounds!

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STILLFLYIN 1/2/2012 12:07PM

    Brand new years with brand new goals are so cool!

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VITCHY-VICKI 1/2/2012 8:32AM

    Me too I want to write that I made my goal this year
So we will do it together
I have one more party today but will exercise before I go and really will try to be good
WE will make 2012 our year to see our goal

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ARTJAC 1/1/2012 11:49PM

    emoticon emoticon

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JOANN1212 1/1/2012 11:32PM


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The Highlights of MY Year!

Saturday, December 31, 2011

emoticon My personal highlights for 2011 -- most happy, and one sad!
This is the year I had someone in my life, and we set the wedding date of 1-11-11. Who could forget that?
Our day! 1-11-11
Then following that was our trip to Peru for a month, and here we are hiking in Machu Picchu

This is the summer that we decided to try our hand at growing flowers at our home in the mountains, Yarnell, AZ
Once fall came and we spent more time in our Glendale, AZ home, we planned a trip to New Mexico and some archaeological sites not far from us.
Scariest experience was being abducted by aliens in Roswell, NM! lol
Carlsbad Caverns had some interesting scenery, but quite hard to capture on film.
The ruins at Mesa Verde, Colorado was what we viewed the last day of our trip.
Next trip was to Mexico City, a place that George loves, and I was able to meet his friends:

The last thing that happened this year was a sad one. My brother-in-law passed away on Christmas Eve! We will all miss Charles. He was a man of God, and also a talented artist.
Most exciting thing on the horizon of 2012 is getting granite counters installed. Jan. 9th is the date for that. Can hardly wait!
So as I'm waiting around for midnight to make it official, Happy New Year to All emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PSMITH3841 1/4/2012 11:40AM

    Such a wonderful year for you and your Husband, filled with love and adventure, to have it end with such a sad event. So sorry for your loss. emoticon Penny

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ARTJAC 1/3/2012 10:39PM

    lovely photos looks like you had a great time and good weather happy new year to you both hope youre counters look nice after they are fitted jacque

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STILLFLYIN 1/1/2012 11:20AM

    2011 was a hugely eventful year for you. 2012 may not have so many "big" events, but I hope you have pleasure every day in some way.

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VITCHY-VICKI 1/1/2012 8:07AM

    emoticonPictures you look so happy
emoticonto hear about your Bother in law but he is having Christmas with God how wonderful
emoticonHappy New Year make 2012 your year to shine
Thanks for being my DWI sparks friend

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HEALTHYMOM12 12/31/2011 8:35PM

    I love the pictures and the alien abduction one is great. I'm so sorry about your brother in law. My brother in law passed away November 2010. Here is to a happier 2012 for all. God bless!

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With Pen in Hand . . . .

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

This is not one of those inspirational stories where you read about the person losing 100 or 200 or more pounds. True, on a 'before' and 'after' photo you would see a difference, but not the type of changes you see on 'Biggest Loser.' Nevertheless, it was not easy for me to lose the weight that I lost. I have faced same of the same challenges that we all face. I have had to make changes (permanent ones) in the way I eat and even in my outlook on life.

Now I'm down to that last 10 pounds that you read is so hard to take off. I tend to agree with that statement whole heartedly. Last year I had that same 10 pounds to lose, and it's still hanging on to me like we were best buddies!

"Eve, it's time to stop fooling yourself." It's time to make a plan and stick with it. So even though this is close to the beginning of 2012, they are NOT New Year's Resolutions. I say that because they've always been broken in the past, so I don't look at it that way. Instead these are promises to ME. Goals, true, but even more they are promises to myself and if you can't keep a promise (even to yourself) you're pretty far gone. I have pencilled them in on my calendar, just 1/2 pound loss by each and every Sunday. On May 6th I will be at my goal and I can move further if desired, or just maintain, but I WILL GET THERE!

Join me in my half pound per week challenge. If "I" can do it, I know "you" can do it. Let's get rid of 1/2 a pound a week, that's approximately 2 pounds a month. I know it will call for me to boost up what I'm already doing, adding some things, cutting out others..... it will be exciting. I'm going to look at it as a challenge against myself -- maybe I can even beat the May 6th goal and get there sooner!
emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PSMITH3841 12/30/2011 4:27PM

    I'm with you on this Goal...1/2lb a week IS doable (is that even a word? Why doesn't it look right?)! Count me in! emoticon

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VITCHY-VICKI 12/28/2011 7:58AM

    Good Luck kido I know you can do it
I am with you no promises but will say I will try
This year is go or bust
I will kick your butt if you kick mine
emoticon more like WE can do this together

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ARTJAC 12/28/2011 12:36AM

    emoticoni would love to join you but i will be having back surgery early next yearso i will be out of action for a few weeks so i will keep doing the same as i am doing now until then jacque

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OLDERDANDRT 12/27/2011 7:37PM

    emoticon emoticonI'm with you! emoticon emoticon

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4_MY_LIFE 12/27/2011 1:45PM

    I don't do resolutions, the name just makes them so easy to be broken. Good luck with your goal! I know you can do it. emoticon

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