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Planning for Success: Mental Rehearsal and the Idea of "More"

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Tomorrow I leave for a girls trip to Chicago for 4 days. CHICAGO. Known for a lot of things, not to mention FOOD. I've planned the activities of the trip including going to a couple of shows.. do the architecture tour by boat.. Navy Pier.. shopping on the Magnificent Mile (Michigan Ave) and also in a more off the beaten path "hip" part of town.. fireworks over the lake on Saturday night... riding the "L"... an italian festival called "Fiesta Pasta Vino"... ouch.. yeah, it's going to be a challenge.

So, in order to ensure my success over this trip and stay in line with my ZipLine goal..


I'm not overly concerned about exercise... I'll have my 3rd CrossFit workout and 4th workout for the week tonight (400+ minutes already)... I've called ahead and the hotel we're staying in has a gym with cardio equipment, weight machines AND free weights... I have 3 workout plans for the 4 days I'll be there... so I can "play" my day off at my pleasure... I may workout Thursday, Saturday and Sunday or any combination of 3 out of 4 days. PLUS I'll be walking all over the city. So, I have a plan...

My next step was to think what could interfere with my plan??
1. The first thing that came to my mind (especially with all the walking) was for my already strained achilles tendon to flair-up again. My treatment is 1) alternating hot and cold 2)ibuprofen and 3) stretching. So, in order to prevent and/or treat it I need to figure out how to get hot and cold packs at the hotel. I thought about asking the kitchen to let me keep some ice packs in their freezer but then remembered they make those "chemical" cold packs and I already have the "hand warmer" chemical thingees for the heat from the winter... I will pack these for the trip and each night I will preempt a worsening of my injury by continuing my treatment.
2. The second thing is filling the time with so much of Chicago that I just don't make time for my strength training. So, I have already discussed this as a priority for me with my friends and asked them to support me in getting er done. They're great friends and of course they agreed. However, in the past, I would have never asked for their help.. I would have assumed I was imposing or making my problem their problem.. but now? Forget about it! They're my FRIENDS!! They want me to succeed and I have learned that I NEED help.. and I know how to ask for it now.

*sigh*.. now the potentially HUGE problem...

The really hard part. THE FOOD. It's not reasonable for me to bring my own food - so planning is essential. But how can I plan when I have no idea where we'll be eating????... so, this is what I did.. I mentally rehearsed what I would order in every restaurant type I could think of.. a Tapas restaurant... or at the Italian Festival... or a Chinese restaurant... but come on we all know we're going to go for deep dish pizza - it's CHICAGO - for heaven sakes... this was a tough one.. but I *rehearsed in my mind* politely ordering a salad loaded with veggies (cuz I know they will have veggies) asking the waiter for about 6oz of plain chicken (cuz I know they will have chicken!) YES! I can make my way of eating work about 95% of the time.. I'm letting go of perfection.. this is about getting it right no less that 80% of the time..

I gave a lot of thought to whether I wanted to "cheat" or "go off" my way of eating (very strict Paleo) for a meal, or a day or the entire trip.. I gave myself permission to do whatever I wanted.. I just needed to decide what I wanted... but I really just want to make this trip about everything BUT food and I don't want to go backwards.. for a couple of reasons, first I've been eating this way for so long I think it would SHOCK my system to suddenly have a bunch of grains and sugar.. I think it would literally make me sick and I'd end up not having a good time because I'm sure even the next day I would feel sluggish... However, I have decided I will have "bites" here and there - it is after all, vacation. I don't think a bite will make me sick (or crave) or impact my energy level. So, I'm good with my decision and my plan.

This whole thing is a mental game... I think if I was going into this already feeling deprived or like I'm missing something, my plan would be completely different... but I'm not feeling that way.. I feel like I'm on a roll.. like I have momentum pushing me.. the planning just feeds my inner fire to meet my goals... passing up a bowl of pasta with a side of bread doesn't make me feel "less".. it makes me feel "MORE", much more, more powerful, more in control, more disciplined, more of the person I am becoming.. more unbroken. As long as I'm feeling "more", I will stick to my plan

I don't know if I'll have time to check in or not while I'm gone.. I'm an early riser but I'm not sure how early my traveling buddies will get up.. so I'll probably have time in the am to catch up with everyone..

65 Days til Africa
14lbs til my ZipLine Goal
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • SUGAR0814
    Hate you got sick but it looks like you had a great time! emoticon with planning ahead! emoticon
    1804 days ago
    I know you're having a blast...Chicago is my kind of town!

    You'll be fine.
    1806 days ago
    Great Plan!!
    1807 days ago
    I hope the weather is as beautiful for you as it was when I left yesterday (clear sky, 70 degrees, cool breeze). Your plan sounds wonderful and is sure to make you successful on your trip. Can't wait to hear all about it when you return.

    I loved running along the river in the early morning...really made me excited to get up early and do what I needed to do. I did great on my eating until the last day and then I splurged. It was really hard to get enough to eat while staying on low carb, so I was just too hungry by the last day.

    14 pounds to go for the zipline! Whoo Hoo!
    1807 days ago
    oh sweet. I can't wait to hear how the trip went. (with pictures?)

    Your plan sounds strong to me. I know you can do this. Smart girl for ensuring you'll have a good time on the trip and after the trip.
    1807 days ago
    Have a great time! Chicago will be awesome!
    1807 days ago
    I am sooooooo excited for you. I love Chicago !

    When I went to New Orleans I got up extra early to do my work outs. I was not particularly "good" about my eating or my drinking especially ( it is a town that is all about partying after all ! ). At the end thought the only thing I really gained was all water weight which was easy enough to get rid of.

    With your determination I know you will do fine. Don't beat yourself up too much and have FUN !
    1808 days ago
    1808 days ago
    Have a blast Annie! You have worked hard and you deserve this time to have fun. I know you will make the right decisions because you have done so from start to now.

    Take pics and give us a blog update when you get home. Will miss you but know that you are doing well.
    1808 days ago
    Wow! Only 14 more pounds to go! this is great for you. Now with Chi-town happening, here is an idea: eat like a thin person - think like a thin person. I've observed thin people and they are not obsessed with food! Whoa - their conversations are not all about food, they are not eating one meal and thinking about the next one (or planning for it), and they definitely think about anything else except food. So think like a thinny first, then eat like a thinny next. you have already got the tools and plans in your "skinny head" so just do it! Have a bite or two of deep-dish pizza, not the whole slice. and remind yourself to share food with others by asking them if they want a taste of yours and get rid of the excess that way. or better still, place 1/2 your food in a container and take it to the hotel and stick it in the refrigerator. this is what I do at restaurants, that way I'm not tempted to overeat. have fun and enjoy your trip - you deserve it! emoticon
    1808 days ago
    You are so all over this, you'll do great! The first thing is the mental part and you've got it. So here's a few reminders;

    - Hope you have a smartphone. download Tripadvisor or Urban Spoon...look at the menus online before you get to the restaurant so you know what to order ahead of time.
    - I like to splurge on good stuff when I'm in these situations. Get the most expensive steak on the menu. Order the shrimp or lobster....don't skimp on price, go exotic & go for quality so you don't feel deprived.
    - No one meal is going to break you. If you do bread or pizza, do it with abandon, then get right back on that paleo horse....and eat it too!
    - don't go ugly good day 1 & 2.....ease up and do what you like on day 3, go crazy on day 4!
    - drink a lot of water!
    - have a good breakfast plan....most hotels have high carb crap....find a good diner & get some eggs & bacon to start your helps decrease cravings later at lunch & dinner


    1808 days ago

    Comment edited on: 6/12/2013 9:00:12 PM
  • JUNEAU2010
    Great plan! HAVE FUN!
    1808 days ago
  • SUGAR0814
    Have fun! Sounds like you have a great plan! emoticon
    1809 days ago
    Woohooo!!! You are set for success!!! And you're gonna rock it!

    I love that you are finding the strength to ask for what you need. That is an amazing accomplishment in itself. So excited for you!!!

    Oh, and HAVE FUN!!!
    1809 days ago
    Planning is half the battle so you have raised your commitment to succeed.
    I pack healthy snacks in my suitcase when travelling. Homemade granola, nuts, natural turkey jerky, protein shake, low sugar protein bars, and those packages of tuna - things I can stick in my purse to augment the purchased food. I have a protein shake for breakfast with a piece of fruit (cutting calories to min) and fore go the hotel breakfast fare. Limit the alcohol to 1 glass of wine - still a splurge but not a huge calorie impact. I carry a water bottle wherever I go to make sure that thirst isn't driving me to be hungry. Tracking on SP your food as you go also helps to keep your attention on the affect of what you've eaten so that you can make wise choices at the end of your day.

    Have a great trip!
    1809 days ago
    You are so smart. It took me YEARS to figure out how to plan ahead like that. I'd be very careful about the tasting though. Watch out for sugar and alcohol, my particular problems, they make me very sick now. However, that's probably just me.
    Good luck, fill us in when you get back.
    1809 days ago
    Sounds like a great plan and a wonderful trip. Have fun!
    1809 days ago
    Love Chicago!! It sounds like you have a great plan, good for you. Have a fantastic time emoticon
    1809 days ago
    Sounds like a fun trip and a good plan. Have a great time!
    1809 days ago
    Woohoo! Look at you trashing that Zipline goal!! Only 14 more pounds! I am duly impressed with all your planning. You have this nailed and will have a FABULOUS time without even falling off plan!
    1809 days ago
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