Assess For Success


     Did you start working your weight-loss plan on January 1st? If so you and I have both been moving toward our 2012 goal  for an entire week now. How’s it going for you?

 If you didn’t start on the 1st, it’s ok. It’s never too late to begin. Make sure you start by defining clearly what your goals are and how you will achieve them.

     I hope you are writing down your goals in very specific terms. Go back to your “Inspiration Journal” and read what you have written there.  This is what I find in my journal that outlines mine so far.

         On December 30th ( “Say Hello to My Little Friend“),   I used tools from to pick a weight goal that was right for me.  Believing that I could realistically loose 40 lbs  in a year( 3.33 lbs a month) I set my goal weight for 135 lbs by 12/31/2012. Reviewing my current weight using theWeight Tracker tool It seems that I am ahead of the game, thus this goal seems realistic. Check!

     On December 31(New YOU Eve Assignment) I wrote my goals declaration.  “My goal for 2012 is to lose an additional 40 lbs while helping my entire family become healthier, stronger, and more fit. I will achieve this through planning  reduced calorie, high nutrition, easy prep and delicious meals and snacks.  In addition I will continue to exercise regularly adding even more fun and diverse workouts to the mix, some that we can all enjoy together. I will journal to stay motivated and focused. I plan to track my eating habits and exercise closely so that I can celebrate accomplishment and work on problem areas. I will have an official weigh in once a week. I desire to reach my goal so that my family and I can be our healthiest, happiest selves as I believe God created us to be. I want us to be full of vitality and strength, that we may face each day ready to meet what lies before us. ”

     On January 1st (No Excuse New Year) I entered my starting weight in the “Weight Tracker” tool and resolved to weigh in at least once a week, entering those numbers in the Weight Tracker at each weigh-in. So far I have weighed in every day. This isn’t necessary, and can be counter productive if you are easily discouraged by fluctuation. This works for me, but is not  for everyone. Weight Tracking – Check!

     On January 2nd (Eat Fabulous Foods) I used SparkPeople to help determine the right number of calories to eat daily in order to reach my goal. I set my goal at 1300-1600 calories. I also established that part of my plan is to use SparkPeople’s Nutrition Guide weekly to create daily menus for my family with this calorie goal in mind. I added extra healthy snack options that my husband can enjoy to bring the total calories up to his goal range.  I also began to keep a list of the actual foods eaten and calories for each in my Inspiration Journal in order to be able to track progress. This week I did create a weeks worth of menus, have eaten between 12500 and 1600 calories each day, and have have logged all foods and their calories in my journal. Check! These goals are realistic for me.

     On January 3rd I Stocked the “New Me” Pantry. I purchased most of the items needed to make meals for the entire month, filling fridge, freezer and shelves. I have resolved to go shopping one day each week for the items needed to refurbish the supplies. I will pick up items like fresh fruit, milk, fresh veggies and anything we have used up and need more of for the weeks menus.  I will also keep my eyes open for fun new things to try. Based on my schedule and proximity to the grocery this goal is quite realistic for me. Check!

    On January 4th (Move Me) I spent some time thinking about what activities I enjoy and how to implement them into my routine. I decided that speed walking will be my primary “goal exercise” because this is something that I can fit into my everyday schedule –  whenever and wherever. I set my goal at  a minimum of 4 days per week, a minimum of 8 miles . This can be done as 2 miles a day, or split up other ways to accomplished the same result. This goal will increase and change as time goes on. I may even find myself jogging eventually. In addition I have decided to make sure to look for opportunities to exercise for recreation where ever the schedule allows. I LOVE Zumba! On my former schedule I religiously attended classes twice a week. I would like to get back to that. For now I look forward to opportunities to attend local classes and special events as time allows. I also am going to make opportunities to hike and swim as the warm weather returns. I use to lift weights and really enjoyed it. In time I want to add toning and Zumba toning back into my routine. One step at a time, however. For now the beginning exercise goal is 4 days speed walking a minimum of 8 miles. This has been the hardest goal to keep. I haven’t worked the exercise in before work every day as I’d hoped and some days getting in one mile was a time crunch, but this has been a particularly busy week. This goal may be tougher to maintain but is reasonable. I have walked 6 days this week for a total of 9 miles, in stops and starts. I will keep this goal as is for another week and hopefully be able to increase it soon to encompass other activities. Realist goal? Yes, challenging but realistic. Check!

     On January 7th (Get Your Rear In Gear), I determined that I needed to set aside time one day a week to make sure my equipment and clothing was in check so I would always be ready to workout. I keep most of my equipment together so aside from having to find the sun screen that had gotten “borrowed” from my swim bag and needing to replenish used towels and water bottle my gear was pretty much in place. Laundry is done almost daily, so making sure the workout clothing is clean and in place is not that different from the chores of any other day. This is definitely realistic. Check!

     The goals above are realistic plans that I can maintain for the long haul in order to be successful in my weight-loss journey. In looking back over what I have accomplished over the last week I feel certain of that. Have my goals always been realistic and achievable? NO!

     When I began this journey about 60 lbs ago, I originally set out to lose 112 lbs in 12 months by eating 1000 calories a day and walking 4 miles a day. I use to eat and move this way in high school and thought this was the plan for me. I didn’t want to move small and eat normally. I wanted to be “superwoman”. I didn’t want to “Sweat to the Oldies”, I wanted to do Pilates and workout extreme. Those light-weight plans were for “old folks” and  “fat” people, I thought to myself. Guess what? I soon found out I wasn’t 120 lbs and age 16, anymore. At 232 lbs and in my mid thirties I was soon very frustrated by the “old way of thinking”. I eventually tried “Sweating to the Oldies” and it about killed me. 

     In order to successfully loose the 50 lbs that I DID loose, I had to modify my plans to something more realistic. Otherwise, I would simply have ended up throwing the plans away all together, as I had done with so many “diets” before.

     Thus I began again. This time determined to do 15 minutes twice a day on the treadmill. I began to eat 1200 – 1500 calories daily. Soon the weight began to come off and the energy levels rose. In the course of about 4 months I lost 50 lbs. I found success!

     Then I got greedy and unrealistic. I was doing 4 and 5 miles  and  eating 1000 calories or fewer everyday.  This was too much change too fast. I couldn’t keep up this kind of activity and deprivation and live normally. Thus, the 50 lbs was all that was lost.

     I have, however, maintained the weight loss for over a year (and slowly lost a little more) by living by certain principles I learned along the way. I exercise regularly and eat with intention. I’ve already made permanent life changes. Now I’m ready to finish this thing THE RIGHT WAY and bring you with me.

     In your Inspiration Journal entry for January 8th take a few minutes to write out renewed goals, amended action steps, and a new to do list for this week. Taking into account what is and isn’t working for you so far. Be sure to be realistic. This isn’t a race. It has to be sustainable and enjoyable.

     Below are my current Goal and Action Steps and To Do List for the coming week.

Goal: To weigh 135 lbs by 12/31/2012 (a loss of approx. 40 lbs in 1 year)

     Action Steps for the week of 01/08/2012: I will continue to eat nutritious meals and take in between 1300 and 1600 calories a day. I will speed walk at least 4 days a week for no less than 1 mile a day and 8 miles  in a weeks time. I will weigh in at least one day a week and mark my progress on the “Weight Tracker”. By 12/31/2012 I will weigh no more than 135 lbs.

To Do List for the week of 01/08/2012:

1. Plan Weekly Menu (On Sunday)

2. Grocery Shop For Nutritious Foods (On Monday)

3. Weigh In (on Wednesday)

4. Organize Outfits and Gear (On Saturday)

5. Speed Walk 1 mile or more (4 days a week)

6.Track Exercis in miles and/or minuites (4 days a week)

7. Keep Journal of Calories (Everyday)

8. Evaluate action steps

9. Make a to-do list for next week

     After you have finished writing your goals, actions steps, and to do list,  tear out or copy this page from your Inspiration Journal. Post it where you will see it every day! This isn’t a dream, it’s a plan. Work it! Make it work for you!





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