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Think Small to Lose Big

Saturday, January 05, 2013

One of the many things I have learned from SP is that it is all well and good to have the big picture goal, but you need to set very specific, small, achievable goals to make the big picture goal happen. Today, I came across this article that echoed that idea and was surprised to find something that was not on my radar.

Specifically, the author listed 8 mini-goals to help you out if your New Year’s Resolution is to lose weight. She suggests that you take them on one at a time. Excellent point, of course. I have tried taking on a lot of goals all at once, and that never worked well for me. I have definitely been more successful with making small goals.

Her 8 Mini-Resolutions are:
Add at least one cup of produce to every meal.
Eat a protein-rich breakfast.
Exercise for 30 minutes a day.
Nix liquid calories (cut out sugary drinks and drink more water).
Brown bag your lunch (i.e. eat more meals at home).
Pull back on starch, like pasta, bread, cereal, potatoes, and rice.
Put your TV on a diet.
Close the kitchen after dinner.

I am not a novice at this, so I was pleased to see that I have already been working on most of these. I have made good progress, especially in terms of drinking more water, eating meals at home, and exercising 30 minutes a day. I am working on eating more produce, more protein (especially at breakfast), and less carbs (as noted in my last blog).

Before I got too caught up in all this self-praise, I noticed one mini-goal that was a new thought entirely for me - the one about put your TV on a diet. Well, not new exactly, but couched in different terms. I have read a lot about the danger of sitting too much, and I have tried to be more aware of and limit the amount of sitting I do. Look carefully and you will see that I don't actually have an action step for limiting the amount of sitting, just a general awareness. I am thinking I need to step that up a bit.

The author in this article cited research that shows that successful losers watch less than 10 hours per week. My immediate reaction is that that doesn’t apply to me. I don’t watch much TV at all. Then again, I didn’t think my eating was really out of control until I started keeping track of it. She suggested limiting it to no more than two hours a day (which is a tad more than 10 hours a week, but still it would be a manageable start). I think I need to look seriously at this. So, this week, I will commit to making sure that I am not watching more than 10 hours of TV a week, and I will commit to getting up during the commercials and do some exercise of some sort. Moving more and sitting less is definitely something in my overall goal, so this is a good specific step to help me work on that. I am wondering if my perception that I don’t watch more 10 hours a week will be accurate…

I am sure the main point the author was making is our level of inactivity (i.e. sitting time). TV isn’t the only culprit. There is also the time spent reading and time spent on the computer. That is unchartered territory for me in so far as actually monitoring actual minutes on those activities, but I have a sneaky suspicion it may be more than 10 hours a week.

I am starting with TV time, however, and then I will move on to assessing the other two factors. Baby steps...

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I liked that article - thanks! Putting my teve on a diet is not upcoming yet, this week I will add a cup of fruit/veg to every meal...
    1931 days ago
    1932 days ago
  • DEBRA0818
    Between the computer, TV and reading, there is a lot of incentive to sit and consume media rather than be active. Must consciously try to get up and move around when pursuing these activities so that at least 10 minutes of every hour is spent in motion.
    1932 days ago
    Activity - or the lack thereof - is also on my New Year's list. Like you, I don't watch much television, but I'm not sure I can give myself as much kudos for that as I'd like to. If you substitute "sitting in front of the computer" for "sitting in front of the TV" - ai yi yi, it doesn't bear contemplating--!
    1932 days ago
    That is really an excellent list, & I think the point about interrupting our sitting is being recognized & investigated more & more. I'm writing this from my stand-up desk, which makes me feel temporarily virtuous. emoticon
    1933 days ago
  • JO88BAKO
    Very good. Thanks for sharing
    1933 days ago
    1933 days ago
    The one I need to work on is closing the kitchen after dinner.
    1933 days ago
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