Monday, September 17, 2012
I have been tasked with coming up with a plan for attaining success in the next 12 weeks of the Biggest Loser Challenge. I think before I start writing my plan, I need to define success. Will pounds or inches lost be my only markers? Obviously, within the confines of the Biggest "Loser" challenge, that has to be a major component of it, but I mightbe selling myself short if those are my only benchmarks. So I think success for me will be defined as developing consistent healthy habits that encourage and facilitate weight loss.
Whew, now that I've got that out of the way, how am I going to get there? What are the steps that will point me in that direction? Well after reading "The Power of Habit" I know that a habit consists of a cue, routine and reward. I also know that in my own life the hardest habits for me to get into are consistent healthy eating and consistent exercise. To that end, I need to put in place some cues and some rewards to start and end my routines. Here is the experiment that I have begun on developing these habts.
I have started exercising at the same time each night. At 7:00 p.m., I am dressed and ready to go. I'm like a robot! I do it without thinking! My cue is when the clock turns 6:50, I go get changed. My reward is a super good smelling body wash that I only use to de-ick myself after I have sufficiently sweated it out. So far so good, I am consistently exercising 6 nights per week! Surprisingly, the thought of a nice refreshing shower when I am done is enough to get me to do it. Who would have known?!
The next habit of consistent healthy eating is slightly harder. Living with four other people and having to take their appetites and nutrition needs into consideration make it more difficult to be consistent (or at least more difficult to avoid justifying eating more than I should). Here's where I got lucky. My husband is doing TapOut XT which is a P90X like exercise program and it requires a VERY specific diet. Here my husbands most annoying habit, being a stickler for following instructions to the letter, is actually a diet saver for me! For the time being we are all following his eating plan which is heavy on the fruits and veggies, good carbs, lean proteins and good fats. Score! Don't get me wrong I love eating healthfully, but my life is VERY busy and sometimes convenience wins out over health. In order to make this healthy diet happen, my husband and I spent a couple of hours on Sunday, chopping veggies, cooking chicken and turkey bacon, boiling eggs, and cooking beans so we have healthy meals ready to be put together in 1/2 an hour or less. This has worked out well so far, so I plan to continue this practice for the next 12 weeks (and hopefully after that as well). The habit here is being PREPARED!!! The cue is Sunday after we have gone shopping, the routine is prepping for the week, the reward is quick healthy yummy meals that don't require any thinking. Perfect for the weeknight rush to get dinner on the table!
The final part of my plan is getting my family involved in all of it. My kids exercise with me in the evenings, my husband makes sure that I am sticking to the plan and he is brave enough to say "Are you sure you want to eat that?" (even though I sometimes wish I had laser beams coming out of my eyes to shoot him with). When everyone in the house is taking part, it holds me accountable to them. I want my kids to exercise, therefore, I can't skip my workout. I want my hubby to be motivated to eat healthfully, therefore, I need to make sure that I am eating healthfully also. Weight loss is a team effort it seems. And hopefully through this team effort, my squishy abs will become firmer and my butt will get smaller and my confidence that I can do this will increase.
So, bring on the challenge, I'm ready to meet it!