Tuesday, July 30, 2013
As I look back over my very long journey I can see that I spent years of traveling my driveway! I would anticipate the journey to "Health & Fitness". I would think about how wonderful the destination (goal weight) would be, plan my route (set a weight loss goal and choose a diet to follow), buy my travel clothes (workout gear, DVD's, EQ) and pack the car (buy the healthy foods). One would think with that preparation I would zoom down the driveway, up the street and be hours down the interstate highway but sadly I would never make it out of the driveway.
My life was decades of backing up and down the driveway NEVER making it far from "home". Sometimes I wouldn't even get the car STARTED. I had many a "diet" that lasted less than a day! I would have good intentions the night before (usually following some event of crazy eating, some shopping trip of n0thing fitting or some comment made by another). I would wake up ready to "do something" and before the day had ended I would have found myself eating out of range and never getting around to that exercise I had planned.
A few times I got to the end of the driveway (losing a few pounds) only to rest on my laurels and find myself back in the garage before I knew it! That was the typical pattern. Lose 5-10 and pull it back into the garage. That DRIVEWAY has seen hundreds of pounds lost and gained!
This yo/yo pattern is hard to break but NOT impossible. What does push us past that comfortable driveway and get us onto the open road? Here are a few things that helped me in my personal trek:
1) Set an achievable goal beyond the driveway. It doesn't have to be your ULTIMATE goal just one slightly beyond the driveway. Let's say you have started many diets and successfully gotten to 212. That's the curb of your driveway so set your achievable goal for 209. That's only 3 pounds beyond, into a new decade and well over that curb.
2) Make it a priority. Pursue it with fervor like you did your high school crush. What we do for love! Well LOVE yourself!
3) Cut the cord. You can't get out of the driveway if the front bumper is attached to the house. You have to realize that some things will have to "fall away" to have success. Maybe that's cutting out desserts for a few weeks. Perhaps it's giving up your drive thru meals. It might mean tossing the chips, candy, cookies, ice cream, etc. That's right.. I just said "TOSS". Don't fall into the trap of "I paid for it so I don't want to waste it." You will WAIST it if you don't get it out of the house!
4) Understand that to achieve this goal you will have to move your car a distance. That's EXERCISE. Until I established a DAILY fitness habit I kept going up and down the driveway. Now it's routine. I always get a minimum of daily cardio.
5) Set up a reward (not food) for getting to this first waypoint. Make it something you truly won't do for yourself in ordinary circumstances. It has to entice you to stay the course.
6) Enlist an accountability partner. This needs to be someone that cares about you as a person but will also ask those tough questions. How was your weight loss this week? Did you go to the gym?
7) Keep an accurate travel log. TRACK your food and fitness. Also write/journal/blog about your specific path. What were you doing when you ate that 1/2 a bag of chips (watching TV? at a party?) Once we identify the obstacles in our path we can set a course around them.
8) VISUALIZE the goal. If all you are seeing is the driveway you may have to use imagery to see your waypoint. Remind yourself that the view on the driveway is not what you WANT, then go for what you WANT.
9) Leave the excuses at home. I was good at finding excuses for many years, I don't feel well, I am too busy, I am too sad, I don't have the right food in my pantry, the journey is too long, etc. Leave all those behind and get in your little car and back it on out of the driveway and go! The biggest obstacle is actually just moving your foot onto the gas.
10) Take the wheel. You must take ownership of your journey. Only YOU can do the "work". Would you really hit the gas and careen down the driveway without steering?
My driveway has ruts where I spent many years going back and forth. Getting out of that rut and over the curb took great effort but oh how it's been worth it.