Monday, May 25, 2009
I’m 47, obese and have been down this “I’m gonna lose weight” road a gajillion times without great success or lasting success. So, the #1 item on my plan is to not act like an insane person by doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. With that said, I’ve laid out my plan below. At the end of the post, you will see all my crazy behaviors I have repeated over and over again in the past that I am committed to NOT REPEATING.
Overall, I think the one thing that sabotages me is I do not plan to fail. What? You ask?? In other words I create the expectation that I will be perfect and I will most certainly not be perfect. The biggest difference in this plan and others I have embarked on is that 1) I’m not setting myself up for failure by having unrealistic expectations and 2) I am planning to fail but I am also planning how to deal with it – so that I can keep on track. It seems to me the “lines” have not served to make the work of art that is my life more beautiful. So, I’m coloring outside the lines.
1. Diet: Concentrate on making healthy food choices that I can live with for the rest of my life. Aim for a weekly average of 1500-1800 calories a day and an average of 25 grams of fiber. Period. Focus on whole foods and foods on the lower end of the glycemic index most of the time. If my friends invite me for pizza – go. Just don’t go crazy and don’t use it as an excuse to “blow it”. Rather see it as an opportunity to make healthy choices and log the food no matter what…. Needs repeating.. log the food no matter what!
8 Week Battle Goal: To have built my arsenal of healthy whole food choices.
Commitment: I commit to making healthy choices that will allow me to have stable energy throughout the day. I commit to logging all my food, everyday, no matter what.
2. Exercise: Do a minimum of 30 minutes of continuous physical exercise the majority of the week. Throughout the day, look for opportunities to get in small increments of exercise (parking out in the “north 40”, taking the stairs, walking instead of driving, riding my bike instead of driving, using TV commercial breaks to get in core exercises, etc.).
8 Week Battle Goal: Have the majority of days walking 10,000 steps and the foundation upon which to start a 5k training plan.
Commitment: I commit to logging my fitness points everyday. I commit to posting my steps everyday.
3. Maintaining focus: I created a “tracker book”. Its purpose is to help me stay on track or get back on track after a failure. It is filled with positive self talk for just about every situation: when I feel like quitting, when I feel like a failure, when I lose my focus, when I feel weak, when I feel unmotivated, etc. Elite athletes have similar mental abilities like their ability to focus and mental toughness. I am set to develop this skill.
8 Week Battle Goal: Grow in my ability to focus, visualize and relax
Commitment: I commit to carrying my “tracker book” with me. I commit to sitting down at the end of each week (on Sunday) to reflect on the previous 7 days. I will write down my successes and own them, revel in them and celebrate them. I will write down what my failures, forgive myself and learn from them. Then I will review my plan and tweek, if needed.
That is my plan. Simple. Basic. Life changing.
Losers live in the past. Winners learn from the past and enjoy working in the present toward the future. – Dennis Waitley
Old, proven unsuccessful ways for me to approach weight loss:
• Typically I do an eating plan that may yield an incredible immediate result but is one I cannot stick to for an extended period of time – much less a lifetime. It sets me up for the either I’m ON or I’m OFF scenario.
• Secondly, when I do go OFF the eating plan by not following it to the “T”, I completely and thoroughly beat myself up with negative self talk. “I’m such a failure, I have no self control, this is why I look like this, I have no will power…” which spirals into “I might as well drive through _____________ (fill in the name of your favorite fast food place) because I’ve already screwed up!... I might was well not workout because I can’t burn off all those calories I just ate anyway… I’ll just take today OFF and start again tomorrow. Unfortunately, my “tomorrow” comes a week, a month or a year later.
• I get set up for focusing on what I can’t have – as if I don’t have a choice. I can’t have this.. mmmm but I really want it.. I can’t go out to eat with friends because there’s nothing on the menu I can eat.. poor me.. I can’t live a “normal” food life.
• The diet is usually so restrictive that all I think about is food – either what I can’t have (as previously stated) or what I’m going to have for the next meal (because I’m so hungry).
• (Now this part is just weird.) I usually tell everyone I know “I’m on a diet. I’m doing the “such and such” diet. Oh, I love it.” On and on. Interestingly, some experts say to do just this – tell people – and it will help you stay accountable. Mmmmmm Not me. I’m an anomaly. It just puts more pressure on me and I already think in the back of my mind “I’m going to fail” and then I start thinking about what they’re going to think when I fail one more time.. again, the spiral thing happens and – I fail. Can you say self-fulfilling prophecy???
• I usually make some grandiose plan that is completely unrealistic for someone who leads as sedentary lifestyle as I lead. I’m going to start training for a marathon or better yet – an Ironman Triathlon!! Huh?? On a “normal” day I walk between 2000-3000 steps – that’s it. I have no base to build on just good intentions.
• I obsess. I chose one thing and become a bit obsessive about it. I may decide to do a triathlon and spend hours pouring over magazines, making spreadsheets of my workouts for the next six months or surfing the web to learn about it – instead of getting off my butt and DOING something.
• I never have a back up plan. If I can’t walk because my feet hurt (heel spurs and plantar faciitis) then I do nothing. I look for excuses (I don’t make them up, thankfully but I do look for them.)
• I have never done what many experts recommend by keeping track where I’m starting, what workout I did, how I felt before working out, how I felt after working out.
Reduce your plan to writing. The moment you complete this, you will have definitely given concrete form to the intangible desire. – Napoleon Hill
Four steps to achievement: Plan purposefully. Prepare prayerfully. Proceed positively. Pursue persistently. – William Arthur Ward
You were born to win but to be a winner, you must plan to win, prepare to win and expect to win. – Zig Ziglar