Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Yesterday:Workout Buddies; Today: Track Before Eating

Yesterday's goal was to workout at lunch with some co-workers, and, umm, well, by golly... I thought it would be at least a week before I had to fess up to coming up short.  It hasn't even been 24 hours!  But, one of the ground rules is NO LYING.  (More ground rules at the bottom of this post.)

So, honest to goodness, I didn't work out.  See, what happened was, I left my clothes in the car.  And then what happened was, my friend sent me an email at 10:30, suggesting we catch up on each other's vacations over lunch.  And... I hesitated.  I really did.  But, well, I went with her to Pei Wei.

Oh, it gets worse.  You know that workout at the gym that I always do on Mondays?  Well, see, what happened was, my cat is limping since we got back from vacation, and I called the vet.  They said I could bring her in for a 5pm appointment, and, well, I chose to get my kitty some medical attention rather than sweating at the gym.

OH...it gets worse.  The cat did not limp at the vet.  She did not whimper when prodded, did not protest when poked, and only mildly flicked her ears when the vet tried to make her walk by using a laser pointer.  I left with some glucosamine supplements and a business card so I can take a video recording of the behavior, IF, in fact I am not delusional about the whole thing and just enjoy forking over $60 for kitty laser tag.

So, life got in the way of my plans.  This happens ALL THE TIME, and I promise, though I hadn't expected to address this aspect so quickly, I did expect to address this.  It brings me to another ground rule: THINK POSITIVE.  This was not a failure, but a conscious priority shift that I do not regret.  I will throw this goal into the rotation again soon, but I find it is better to pick a different goal rather than try one that didn't work right away.
TODAY'S GOAL:  Track Before Eating

On the Weight Watchers Plan, each food is assigned points, and members are assigned a certain number of points to eat each day.  Other plans require accountability in different ways, and, if you are weight watching on your own, you should probably count calories.  There are a TON of websites out there devoted to this, and you could probably try a different one each day.  But, the one I used before Weight Watchers was called Fit Day (Click here).  Others may have suggestions for this.  Please add to the comments section.

The good news is, there are lots of ways to track and lots of apps, spreadsheets, plans, and websites devoted to this.  I have even heard pen and paper works.  The bad news is, you've got to track.  I wish it were not true, but it is.  Tracking makes one mindful and accountable, and is the best way to commit to a weight loss or weight management goal.

I've been out of control with snacking lately, and by the time I am done shoveling it all in, I can't remember what I had.  I can tell you, its too embarrassing to list, and any attempt at a list would most certainly have omissions.  So, I'm going to track BEFORE I shovel it in.  But, for today, I have no goal with regards to the number of points I consume.  If I'm hungry, I'll look up the points value, measure out what I want, and commence shoveling.  Wish me luck!


I'm picking a goal, small or large, easy or challenging, to help me keep my health in the foreground of my consciousness.  I have been most successful in my overall goals when I focus on the small things.  When I am successful with JUST ONE THING, I find joy, because, at least I did one thing well that day.  When I come up short on the one small thing, I find forgiveness, because, it was just a tiny task and only one aspect of my day.

Here are a few guidelines for this little scheme o mine.

1.  The Goal Must BE POSITIVE.  For instance, suppose my goal is not to eat one of the Klondike bars in my freezer that day.  AAANCH (how do you type the sound of a buzzer?) This means of stating said goal is in violation of rule number one.  A goal of eating a lovely peach for dessert instead of a Klondike bar is much better.

2.  NO LYING.  I don't think explanation is needed for this one, but it is a rule because it is really hard to follow!  Its amazing how many times you will manipulate reality in your own mind before you will suck it up and admit you fell short.

3.  THINK POSITIVE.  Again, no explanation needed, but its also hard to follow if you are really and truly following Rule Number Two.  When life prevents you from meeting your goal, follow the three A's: Assess; Accept or Adjust.  Think about it for a second.  Why didn't you meet your goal?  Was it a one time event?  Was your goal silly, stupid, or just plain boring?  Was it unrealistic?  Can it be broken into a smaller step?  These are all things I will walk you through when I fall short on my goals.  (For instance, today:  It was a lack of commitment to the goal, and a conscious decision to do something else.  I accept that this happened, and I plan to adjust by emailing my workout buddies first thing in the morning, so I will be more committed to following through next time.)

4.  BE ACCOUNTABLE.  Without writing down my goal, I am only kind of maybe gonna meet it.  Or maybe I'll change my goal six or seven times, and then sort of kind of forget what it was.  Blogging, of course, is an option for holding yourself accountable, but I've had success emailing someone, emailing myself, and writing it down on a post it note and putting the note where I can see it.  Heck, post your goal in the comments - even if you want to do the same goal as me.  But, you've got to make it yours by writing (or typing) it.

5.  BE REALISTIC.  Look at the day ahead and what it has in store for you.  Do you have a picnic or party to attend?  A lunch meeting? Visiting a friend or relative or airport or grocery store?  Look for any and all challenges associated with these events.  Many times, there are many challenges to choose from, such as an after work dinner meeting that keeps you out of the gym and in the open bar line before eating a meal complete with pre-served dessert.  Some times, its just a boring old day.  OK, so you know the challenges and then you freak for a second, and then you pick one thing that you CAN do.  I CAN drink diet soda instead of three beers and a glass of wine.  I CAN skip the dinner roll.  I cannot skip the dessert.  I cannot leave half my plate uneaten.  I cannot get up super early and burn the calories before work.  These things I know.  The goal should be something you are motivated to do, and you will do it.  If you're not up for skipping the drinks and the dinner roll and the dessert, skip one, enjoy the others, and be proud that you were able to do that ONE THING.

6.  CHANGE THE GOAL DAILY.  This is really more of a guideline than a rule.  However, I personally find that doing the same goal for two whole days in a row, even if I enjoy the results, is boring.  I have a short attention span.

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