Building Consistency

Thursday, May 10, 2012

On this weight loss journey, the thing I struggle the most with is consistency. I plan my meals and eat according to plan for a while then stop. I work out my 4 days a week for a while then stop. I spark on a daily basis for a few weeks then stop. It seems as if I can't keep things going in the right direction long enough to allow myself to reach my goals. I struggle with being consistent in many areas of my life. I have been this way for as long as I can remember. It's as if I have this mental hurdle that I reach, but cannot get over. I really need to get to the bottom of it, because I know that it is really keeping me from reaching my full potential. It makes me feel inadequate.

I also under-estimate my abilities. I am fearful of stepping out of my comfort zone. Just Tuesday, I realized that I am capable of doing much more physically than I initially thought. My job had a Zumba instructor come in and lead a 30 minute session for all employees willing to participate. I have painful arthritis in my knees, but I decided to give it a go. When we got there, it actually turned out to be a Zumba/African Dance combo. Whew, what a workout! I made it through the whole thing with a few modifications, but no stopping. Although that workout did a number on me, I still completed my planned evening workout, which was a total body strength training circuit and an hour of water aerobics.

I did not have any intentions of going to water aerobics. I was telling myself that the Zumba was all the cardio I could handle and that I just needed to power through the strength training and go home. While strength training, I rationalized that I could go to water aerobics and just modify the exercises if I was too tired to do them full-on. Well, I did the whole hour full-on. I gave it all I had and still managed to go home and make dinner for my daughter. I couldn't believe what I had done and it made me proud. It made me want to push myself to the limit like that every day I workout. Then yesterday, nothing. I guess I could consider sweeping, mopping, vacuuming, and the other housework I completed as exercise, but I still feel bad about not going to water aerobics last night. You see, there's that consistency - or shall I say inconsistency thing that I'm talking about.

In an effort to be more consistent, I am creating a 21 day challenge. I think I heard somewhere that it takes 21 days to develop a habit. So I am starting fresh Monday trying to go 21 consecutive days planning my meals and exercising. I have to plan around family gatherings Memorial Day weekend, but it can be done. I know the menu already, so I just need to plan what foods I can partake in and the ones I need to steer clear of. I will be taking fruit for my dessert and limiting my cocktails. I have the Leslie Sansone 5 Big Miles dvd, so I can get exercise in even if I don't make it to the gym. I have to plan, plan, and plan some more. In the end it will be all worth it. Wish me luck!!!
Share This Post With Others
Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I am inconsistent too and like act1908 said I am either full throttle or not at all. Today is my new start but I messed up had pizza(1slice), tea, and frozen yogurt for lunch. I got with a friend and we agreed we will start tomorrow but I am being mindful still of what i eat the rest of today. I will try the 21 day challenge with you. Starting tomorrow for 21 days I will exercise 30 mins a day and choose fruit or veggie for snacks instead of junk food.
    2993 days ago
    I have the same problem! I have noticed that setting a long-range goal involving an event that requires preparation and ongoing activity seems to help. For example, you could set a goal to walk a 10K for an annual event.
    Personally, I got started teaching line dance and am forced prepare for the classes or they won't go well. I also am looking at a line dance workshop in the fall and know I would need to be physically and mentally ready.

    Also, you could do a search for "consistency" on SparkPeople. There are lots of good ideas there.
    3001 days ago
  • TIFFY0906
    I like your 21 day challenge to help you stay consistent. I would also say put a reward to that. When you complete this challenge you reward yourself with something - it doesn't have to be big as I know that money is tight now days. Maybe something like a pair of earrings or a pair of pants. After you've completed this challenge and rewarded yourself, then set a new challenge.

    I know you can do it.
    3011 days ago
  • ACCT1908
    What a great "aha" moment and I am the SAME way. OMG. I don't "balance" well meaning I am either full throttle, or nothing.

    My suggestion to build consistency is pick one thing physically and one thing nutritionally (small) that you are going to do every single day. I.e work out at least 10 mins. Nothing more if you dno't want to that day. For nutrition make sure you eat at least one veggie and one fruit everyday. Start there so you won't burn out.

    You can do this. Keep logging in and re-lighting your Spark. It works :-)
    3012 days ago
  • no profile photo DONNACOLOGNA
    Wow, first of all, congratulations of "sparking" yourself! It takes a lot of motivation to continue to achieve your goals. Where does it go? Like the commercial...under the bed?

    I find myself talking myself out of workouts all the time. It's been the last two weeks that I've finally found a way to motivate myself. I promised myself that if I get in my three workouts a week, for a month, I'll get myself that ottoman for the living room that I want. It's as a simple as marking an "E" on the calendar that lets me see my progress.

    I can tell you've got yourself going in the right direction. I'm up for the challenge of planning meals, so I can keep going too! I only feed myself, so it's fairly simple. But making sure I have what I need for work is sometimes a challenge. Thanks for spurring me on!

    3012 days ago
  • Add Your Comment to the Blog Post

    Log in to post a comment

    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.