The Do It Now Mentality
Friday, November 24, 2017
Yesterday was Thanksgiving and it was my Day 4 of this re-start. I decided that starting and giving myself a free pass on the holiday was better than waiting until today to start. As I reSparked, I laid out some ground rules for myself for the early phase of reSpark and the upcoming holiday season. First and foremost, I would live by Flylady's wise teachings: Progress, not Perfection! and Do It Now!
I decided to go ahead and start (Do It Now) because I knew if I put it off several outcomes were likely:
1-I would continue to eat in a manner that adds to my body mass for those intermediate days
2-The risk of me NOT re-starting would increase
3-I would likely overeat by an even greater margin on the holiday if I was holding off on making the commitment to return to my healthier habits
I reminded myself that Progress is the goal and that Perfection is a myth. I would go ahead and start so that Progress could begin. I would have an imperfect day on the holiday, and I would do so guilt-free. Because of Progress. So I started. And I made progress. I'm rusty, but the habits are returning. And I had a wonderful Thanksgiving and had a +859 calorie day. But it wasn't a +1500 day, and that is Progress.
Tracking, for me, has always been both a burden and a blessing. When I track honestly and habitually, I have success. When I allow myself to succumb to the seductive voice of my inner child that says: "if you don't track that, you will have a perfect day", not so much. DUH.
Who am I trying to impress with this "perfect" log? It's a lie, anyway, so how perfect is it? Am I going to turn it in like an assignment? NO. Am I going to print a picture of it to hang on my fridge? NO. This food diary is for ME. No one else. Lying on it is soooo ridiculous, as almost all the lies we tell ourselves are. I'm tracking for me, and the food went in whether I track it or not. It's a tool. Not an evaluation. But that inner voice/inner child is strong inside me, and I had to be stern with it. I had to take a firm hand. I had to have a rule and it had to be straightforward and simple.
Track everything in real time.
This, I knew from my past success on SparkPeople, would result in several positive outcomes. Tracking in real time forces me and my inner child to own food choices. That looks something like this:
Me: "Hey, I'm hungry and it's time for a snack."
IC: "Woo-hoo! Oreos! Cheese! Both!"
Me: "Sure. We can do that. Let's get out the phone and put those in the log. Then I'll get a napkin and we will have a snack."
IC: "But the log won't be pretty."
Me: "No, but that's the rule."
IC: "I like the log to look pretty."
Me: "Then we have to make a different choice."
IC: "Ok. Keep the cheese and change the Oreos to an apple."
Yep. I'm 50 and often led around by my inner 8-year-old.
Tracking in real time also forces me to be more mindful as I eat. This is another problem area for me. As an (almost) empty nester, I eat two meals and one snack a day alone most days of the week. So I eat while checking my phone for emails or social media updates. Or while reading the paper or a book. Or while watching the news. Always distracted from the real task at hand: eating. Tracking in real time as I start my meal or snack forces me to spend at least some time focusing on the food. On the upcoming act of consuming it. It's a little speed bump for my distraction habit. And on days when I'm really successful, I track then slide my phone out of reach and change the tv to a music channel and truly focus on eating.
So, Happy Progress!