I find that acknowledging the small decisions I make on a daily base as choices helps me to stay focused on my goals. I can, at this moment, choose to post in this blog, or I can choose to do a short exercise. Reminding myself that I have the choice has helped me break unhealthy habits, and knowing that I'm making a choice to do something less healthy helps me control my actions. For example, I will choose to watch a t.v. show, but I won't mindlessly sit there for 4 hours because I also have to choose to continue sitting and watch the next show, or get up and do something else. Same goes for my ice cream habit lol.
I'll start with a few things that don't work for me. The big one is eating 1200 calories a day. I just can't do it! If I start eating less than 1500 calories a day - especially when I'm exercising a lot - I just get sick and start gaining weight, plus I'm cranky and it leads to binging after 3 or 4 days. I also can't cut things like chocolate out of my life completely, or expect myself to be 100% perfect.
Things that do work: Giving myself one "off" day on all my goals every week. If I don't have to succeed every day, then I don't feel like a failure when I have an off day. I've been doing that since the beginning of this journey and I have to say it's probably been the most helpful toward my mentality of anything I've done. Also, recently I found that eating fewer carbs - though not "low-carb" - and more healthy fat helps to control hunger for me.
And a big one: Determination works far more than motivation for me. I keep going, even when not motivated, even when discouragement has reared its ugly head. I am not in control over motivation or discouragement, which are feelings, but I *am* in control of my own actions, so I will exercise and eat right at least 6 days a week, no matter what I'm feeling. This is how I keep going even when everything is going wrong around me. Determination.
Tracking seems to be an important habit for a lot of us. No matter what weight loss site you go to you will find that tracking is listed as a crucial tool in learning control and discipline. It is one of the most helpful of all practices we can learn!
Ive found that about the only time I can control my wgt is when I use a tracker. It can be a hassle, but it gives me a lot of info. Its amazing how those small bites of things through out a day can really add up. I also graze while I cook. LOL Knowing I have to track, and keeping my notebook on the kitchen counter in plain site really keeps me honest. My other downfall is snacking while TV watching. Having visual reminders and having it as a challenge helps me. Like most guys, Im visual, so this site satisfys that part.
I do like the exercise of the day feature here. On work days formal exercise is very hard due to time constraints. I can usually spend 10 min a day doing just that one exercise. Its always something diff, so also keeps from being bored. Some of them I can even use in my office.
One specific thing that has always worked for me is tracking both food and exercise. When I am regularly tracking (and I haven't been) I stay close to or at target range on my calorie intake and I take a lot of pride in posting my fitness minutes. Taking pride in posting fitness minutes adds up to MORE FITNESS MINUTES which adds up to HEALTHIER ME. If I did this more consistently I would have a lot more progress to show, I am sure! I posted on the short and long term goals thread that tracking is something I am going to become better at again and work on making it a regular healthy habit because it WORKS!
Guilt is a negative and negative affirmations do nothing but hold you back. Remember to forgive yourself and keep on moving forward every time you step backward...eventually we get there as long as we don't give up!
Obviously, I haven't figured out the best formula to lose weight; if I had, I'd already be healthy and thinner. However, here is one thing I have learned doesn't work: GUILT.
Beating myself up and telling myself I am a bad person because my clothes are too tight, I missed a workout, I over-indulged on ice cream, or whatever....that just makes me feel smaller and sadder and less likely to succeed.
If I can't love myself at my current weight/size, then I won't love myself at my goal weight. It all starts with respect, and I have to respect and love myself now if I want to make any progress.
Co-leader of the San Antonio Sparkteam
"Be kinder than necessary, because everyone is fighting some kind of battle."
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