I'm participating in a private Spark Team (BLC-32) weight loss challenge that runs for 15 weeks from September through December. Among the many team activities are four-day weekend challenges that include fitness, nutrition, and motivation tasks that you can complete to earn points. This weekend we were given a document with "18 Guideposts for Your Personal Journey" and asked to select four per day and journal a response to earn challenge points.
5. Ask why before you ask how. Intention is required to create your compass. Question your choices during this WEC and evaluate your answers.
Letha: I have found questioning and evaluating to be a valuable, if sometimes frustrating, exercise in my journey. In particular, I constantly need to make course corrections to stay in my lane. I have frequent impulses to both eat more then I need which would stop my weight loss progress, or to eat far less to speed up my weight loss which my history shows is not sustainable and leads to binging and long stretches of out of control eating. Inside my lane, I make healthy food choices in a quantity that results in slow consistent losses. Impulses to change things up need to be meticulously examined.
6. Action deflates fear - ALWAYS. What are a couple of areas that you fear and how can you take the power out of them?
Letha: I have a mild case of agoraphobia. I don't work and if I go too many days without getting out of the house I start to get uncomfortable with the idea of getting out and about. I've found the best way to manage this problem is to get out of the house on a regular basis. It's difficult because it counter-intuitive, but it works for me.
I'm trying to think of another example, and I'd have to say it would be walking in open spaces. I have some mobility issues and I'm concerned about falling. Inside my small house I'm never far from a wall or a piece of furniture I can hold on to but when I'm crossing an open space, like walking to the mailbox, I use a cane. Down the road as I continue to make progress toward my health and fitness goals it might be helpful for me to look at how I limit my movements and then challenge myself to break through some of those limits.
7. Recycle. Don't fix what's not broken. Reuse what's worked before. Make a list of the things that have worked before and how can you implement them in your current situation.
Letha: Yea - I have lots of experience with what works for me. Big pots of healthy veggie soup and seated aerobic videos. Occasionally I see elaborate or newfangled recipes I'd like to try but I do best when I keep it simple and consistent. If I had more room in my small house, I'd probably own a bunch of exercise equipment that I don't really need. A pot of soup, a chair, and a video is all I need to lose the next 100 lbs.
8. Trust your intuition. Resist second-guessing. Don't let your stomach make bad choices, resist the lure.
Letha: When I hear the word "intuition" related to health I think of the folks who don't count calories but instead eat intuitively. They listen to their bodies, eat when hungry, and stop eating when full. This works well for lots of folks and it works well for all of the other creatures on the planet.
I have a tremendous capacity for self-deception when it comes to food, so I don't trust my intuition on this topic. I trust the SparkPeople nutrition tracker. When I keep my calories between 1700 - 1900 per day then I lose 1-2 lbs per week. I realize that calorie level will gradually lower as my BMR decreases. I expect to count calories for the rest of my life.
I will be interested to read how other people respond to this question of intuition.