How Do You Get to Carnegie Hall?
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
At the beginning of this month, I went back to the Fast Break Start. I blogged that I was back and I was going to show my daughter-in-law, who had made fun of me for re-gaining 10 pounds and warned that they wouldn't let me sit on their couch if I re-gained the other 50 pounds I had lost. I got some wonderful, sympathetic, motivating comments from my fellow Sparkers.
A week later, I had a cheat day with wine and cheese and potato chips (my worst trigger foods). Still more motivation was received from my fellow Sparkers. You guys never give up on me, even when I give up on myself.
The truth is, though, when I went back to 1st week of Fast Break, I really didn't do it. I didn't re-read the steps, I didn't re-read the emails I started getting-those great starter emails that make you feel like Chris Downey is following you around (stalking?) and KNOWS what you're going through!
Last weekend, I walked 6-7K and I was so proud. But this weekend just past? Sigh, more cheating, more wine, more cheese, more chips. I'm back up to 186.
That does it! This morning, I read the first week fast break rules:
Do You Know What You Are Eating?
Can you count? Good. Because if you know that 300 calories are more than 250, and that 4 grams of fat are less than 6, you’ll do just fine with the SparkDiet.
You may have guessed by now that tracking calories and other nutritional info is a large part of the SparkDiet. Why? Because weight loss in any form comes down to simply burning more calories than you take in. Even fad diets wouldn’t have some short-term success if this weren’t true.
Do you know how many calories you had for lunch? For dinner last night? The SparkPeople menu planner and nutrition tracker tool is an easy way to find out if you’re reaching the calorie goals that will open up the doors to weight loss. If you’re not used to keeping track of your calories or food, now is the right time to practice.
You could guess or estimate. But dieting-by-guessing is like buying a car over the phone –- you never know if you’re making decisions on good information. By tracking at least during Stage 1 and Stage 2, you’ll have more ammo for choices down the road.
This is especially important in the age of exploding portion sizes. (Did you know that the average fast food hamburger grew 23% from 1977 to 1997?) It’s so easy to fool ourselves, and tracking doesn’t lie.
Begin practicing with the food tracker right now, starting with today’s menu. Start to build the habit of tracking your food after every meal or at the end of every day. Look up some of your favorites and see how they stack up. You can also input your own foods and save them for easy access later on.
Don’t worry about meeting your actual calorie goals every day yet. Save that for Stage 2. Think of this as practice, as a learning opportunity. Education is the foundation of a healthy lifestyle, and having a good understanding of what you’re putting in your body is one of the smartest things you can do.
And that's all I'm going to do this week, practice! I'm going to track my food this week-that's all. If I go over, I will. No wine, cheese, or potato chips for THIS WEEK. That's how I started Spark way back in 2008, and that's how I'm going to do it this time. Oh, and I'll keep going to Curves. That's already a habit, and I don't want to stop that.
That's my plan for THIS WEEK. Next week, I'll add a little more.
Not for my daughter in law, not for my grandchildren, who I hope to see grow up, not even for my fellow Sparkers who really care about me.
I'm doing it for ME. I deserve it!
How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, Practice, Practice!
An old joke, but a good one. And appropriate in this case.