Weekly Check-In: Week 30

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I successfully completed week 1 of my 12 week plan this past week! Yay! The goal this week is to complete week 2. I am feeling in control and motivated. I am really glad to be back at the gym. It’s brought my energy levels and mood right back up.

I spent yesterday on the campaign trail walking a good part of the main streets of the ridings and I was sore afterwards, but not as much as I would have been prior to my trying to get back in shape.

This week is also the first week that I’ve had this odd dual vision of my physical self. I am very happy and somewhat blow away by the changes in my body. How much stronger I feel, the jaw line in my face much more pronounced, a significant reduction in my bell, butt and thighs. There is definitely a dramatic physical difference between size 20 and size 14. At the same time this weekend was the first time in a long time where I’ve been walking around and still ‘feeling fat’. So, I find myself both proud of myself for my accomplishments thus far, and motivated to keep going because I definitely do not feel as though I am done yet.

I asked my online motivation group to talk about their mental / emotional and /or spiritual strategies for successful health and fitness goals.

THis was my answer:

Beginning 31 weeks ago is the first time I decided to really focus on the mental and emotional side of health and fitness in a bid to finally be successful at my health and fitness goals which I have tried to achieve many times previous but have generally failed.

I always blamed that failure on a lack of willpower. However when I assessed my patterns I discovered it was less a lack of willpower and more a lack of realistic expectations. Despite telling myself that I wasn’t being unrealistic I couldn’t help thinking I should loose weight and size faster, like I was giving up things and I would get frustrated, negative and quit.

Strategy 1: Slow & Steady Wins the Race

Uh, not that this is a race. A marathon may be a better analogy and it’s with myself. In my prior attempts I had immediately dropped my calories to 1,500 (or lower) knocked myself out at the gym for a few hours every day and quickly burnt out.

This time, I forced myself to take it slow. I figured out how many calories I was eating on average, then slowly slowly slowly reduced them 100 calories on average per week. Same method for the work outs starting with only 30 min once a week until I reached 2 hours 4 times a week and not more than that.

Goal: To ease myself into good habits, to let them develop, let myself make mistakes and not let it be the end of the plan, just a delay of a week or a day until I reached my mini-goal.

Result: I think it worked, I lost six sizes much to my surprise and even when I ‘binge’ now it’s less than my previous average daily intake. I am also letting go of the all-or-nothing mentality.

Strategy 2: Consistency is Key

I used to always have a few great days, one or two ‘meh’ days and maybe one I’d rather not talk about. I felt like I had put so much energy in on the great days I’d have trouble understanding why I wasn’t getting results. I’d try to tell myself that one day one bad day didn’t matter, but realistically when that one bad day was really bad and it happened every 5 days I was sabotaging myself.

I first had to decide what I could realistically maintain as a diet level. Then agree that this ‘diet’ was a calorie based diet and not a food restriction. I can have any foods if they fit into the daily calories.

Now I just work on building the consistency.

Goal: To reward myself for recording accurate achievements towards a consistency goal, not a weight loss goal. In doing this, if I am no loosing weight I should be able to look back at my consistency and see why.

Strategy 3: Listen to My Body

Over so many failed diets I had become very detached from my body and how it speaks to me. I know that I should not be tired, achy, gassy, bloated, crampy, low-energy, depressed, moody all the time.

The only way I could think to achieve this goal was to throw out the scale. As long as success was measured by a number on a scale that did not take into consideration natural body fluctuations, growth periods, and muscle mass then I could not focus on what my body was doing.

Loosing the scale quickly made me focus on results like increased energy, positive mood swings, better digestion, and natural whole food cravings (not junk cravings)

Result: My body does talk to me very loudly and I can now see dramatic differences in my mood, digestion, sleep and energy levels when I am eating and exercising right as compared to when I am not.

The weekly numbers

Week 12 Q2 – September 14 – September 20, 2008
Overall: 67%
Household: 86%
Health & Beauty: 95%
Finance: 71%
Career: 76%
Entertainment: 0%

Running Weekly Average
Overall: 43%
Household: 64%
Health & Beauty: 50%
Finance: 35%
Career: 31%
Entertainment: 40%

Quarter 1:
April 2008 – June 2008
Overall: 55%
Household: 75%
Health & Beauty: 62%
Finance: 46%
Career: 36%
Entertainment: 53%

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