Stay The Course – Week 5 Recommitment

           

     If you read this blog daily, you may notice that there are some things about Sundays that are a bit repetitive. That’s no accident, you know.  Part of our success  is rooted in keeping our goals and the steps that will get us to them very present in ours mind. Thus, we revisit them at least once a week.

     We are now entering week 5 of the new year and I am beginning to see all around me that this is a crucial time. During week 4 of  the new year, as I’ve chatted with friends from our Slimdown With Sandee Facebook group and read the blogs and articles  written by others across the world-wide web, I began to see a theme. This is a weeding out time. Around the end of month one we begin to see what we’re really made of.

     Fellow blogger, Mandy of Staying on Course talks about “Dealing With The Motivation Drop” around the end of month one. See if her sentiments sound familiar.

“It’s inevitable.

You know the moment I’m talking about – when, despite doing well for however long on your eating well and being active goal, you lose any motivation. You get rebellion in its place. Instead of choosing the apple for a snack, you brazenly pick up a chocolate bar a the checkout, knowing that you don’t really need or want it but darn it, you deserve it. You go out for dinner and you deserve to order the massive pasta dish, or chips on the side, or dessert. You’ve been working hard, you deserve it.

And so begins the back slide (no, not backside, although that grows too). You wake up after a big night of eating out and you’re still stuffed, but instead of listening to your body, you keep eating. And who wants to work out on a stuffed belly? Not you, so you take a day off. After all, you deserve it.

Soon enough, you misplace your gym card and your hand weights in front of the TV are gathering dust. Your treat meals go back to being your regular meals and any pretext of deserving it goes out the window.

This usually happens for me after a month because I start seeing scale results quickly as I drop water weight, then start ignoring the scale and focussing on my clothes, which fit so much better. I feel great! So obviously, I lose motivation.

Wha?

Yeah, that makes no sense to me either. Surely when I’m doing well I should be hella motivated? You’d think but alas not. This is the time I have to fight to stay on track, to convince myself that I deserve better than junk food and sitting on the couch, that my body deserves to be active and fed well. Last week was not a good week eating-wise (other than the fact I ate lots of yummy food) and I ended up sitting more than moving, but it’s okay. This week will be better because I’m not letting the motivation drop Have any more of my energy.

I’m trying to focus on following through more this year and actually doing all the things I think of. Like making more friends and going out more. Like exercising more and writing more. Focusing my efforts instead of surfing the web or flicking channels while propped up on the couch. Television can wait. My health can’t.”

     “Staying the course” is the key. Were you only into the weight loss program when it was new and shiny? Was weight loss for you like for so many others, “So January!” or are YOU, like Mandy and me, ready to recommit for the long haul?

     People come into weight loss endeavors excited and optimistic. The first week the weight seems to fly off as we lose those “water weight” pounds. Weeks two and three often offer big rewards as we are still enjoying the “newness” of our big plans – new books to read, new foods to eat, new exercise routines.  Folks are vowing to  lose 100 lbs this year by running 5 miles every day, living on 1000 calories, eating no carbs, and so on…. but in time these unrealistic steps lose their luster, real life sets in, and we begin to gravitate toward our old ways if we aren’t careful. The scales begin to slow a bit in their decline and some of us might even see a pound or two appear to creep back up on us. If our “to do” list is too long, we will begin to feel too much pressure to perform and be discouraged. If it’s too short we begin to feel over confident and over estimate the results of our efforts. If we had decided we were going to run a marathon but are out of breath walking around the block we might stop all together rather than re-writing the plan. If one bum weigh in, missed workout, or double dessert day threw you off track are you ready to get back on? Decide now. Are you going to succeed? If you are ready to change your body and your life RECOMMIT. Take out your Inspiration Journal, evaluate your goal, and comitt to the change you know is possible. Put it in writing. Revisit it often. Commitment means working the plan even when it’s hard, frustrating, or complicated. If you are only willing to work for better health when it’s “convenient”, you aren’t ready yet.

      I AM READY.

     It’s time to revisit my goal. The goal? “To weigh 135 lbs by 12/31/2012. (That is a loss of approximately 40 lb in 1 year). As I view my progress does that goal still seem realistic? According to the Weight Tracker  I am still on track with my progress even with no additional poundage loss to report on Wednesday last. I weighed in at 169.8. If I was 172.4 I would be on target, so I am still ahead of the game. I believe my goal to be quite realistic and very attainable.  The goal stands as is.

     The action steps for last week read as follows. “I will continue to limit my daily caloric intake to 1600 calories, focusing on good nutrition in my choices. I will continue to speed walk no less than 8 miles during the week and included at least one combined toning and cardio exercise session. I will officially weigh in once this week, marking my progress on the Weight Tracker tool.”

     My action steps seem to be working well. My highest calorie intake day was 1600 calories and my lowest for the week was 1215. My original plan was 1300-1600. I find that I am often satisfied on less than 1300 calories so I shoot for no less than 1200 (which is still a safe calorie intake) and no greater than 1600. The nutrition is fundamental. I eat lots of veggies, fruit, lean meat, low-fat dairy, and whole grain. I attended two Zumba classes and walked 10.5 miles this week, so I more than met my 8 mile goal. I did a Leslie Sansone 3-mile Walk Away Your Waistline workout with toning bands that allowed me to tone while I walk and a one of my Zumba Fitness With Angel classes was a Toning Class. It felt really good  so I am doubling my toning requirements for next week. The scales didn’t show the progress on Wednesday, but when I went to put on clothes for church my hubby and daughter told me they didn’t fit. I don’t measure inches like I should but I know over the course of the last 4 weeks I have dropped a size. I had to buy a couple of new suits this week to get me through until the next drop. I am now proudly sporting size 12. Yay me! The action steps are very do-able and are getting results. These will remain the same except for the extra toning session.

     I successfully did everything on my To-Do List except 8 hours of sleep every night. I struggle with this. I have always been a night owl but with the new work schedule if I don’t force myself to bed early, 8 hours just isn’t happening. Often I find that I get really involved in a project or interested in a movie and don’t want to go to bed. Other times I really put in the effort but my body doesn’t want to cooperate . I’m also a mom and wife so sometimes the needs of others make it complicated. I will keep this on my list and will continue to try to improve. I am already successfully using camomile tea and lavender oil to help me get sleepy. I probably need to turn off the tv, computer, and my brain a little earlier this week and see how that goes.

     As I look back over the last weeks Inspiration Journal and blog entries I find that it might be helpful for me to officially add times of affirmation and aromatherapy to the To-Do list. Maybe I need to schedule a day of rest as well so I don’t fail to make the time for “down-time”. I already have a few servings of fish as part of my weekly menu plans and have the Omega-3 tablets on the To-Do List starting last week, so my To-Do List for Week 5 looks like this –

To-Do List:

1. Plan Weekly Menu (See Plan To Eat Fabulous Foods.)

2. Grocery Shop (See Stocking The “New Me” Pantry.)

3. Refill Snack Basket (See The Real Food Fight .)

4. Weigh In (See Weigh In Wednesday.)

5. Organize Outfits and Gear (See Get Your Rear In Gear.)

6. Rehearse Daily Affirmations (See Think Yourself Thin.)

7. Enjoy Energizing Aromas Before Workouts and Meals (See Slimdown With Scents.)

8. Speed Walk a Total of 8 Miles

9.  2 or More Toning/Cardio Sessions (10 Ways to Increase Your Metabolism)

10. Take 2000 mg Omega 3 Daily (See Go Fish.)

11. 8 Hours of Sleep Nightly. (Breaking The Barrier)

12. Track Exercise in Miles or Minutes Daily.

13. Keep a  Daily Food Log with Calorie Counts.

14. Enjoy a Rest Day. (See Balance.)

15. Grade Last Weeks Efforts (See A for Effort.)

16. Assess Past Week’s Efforts (See Assess for Success.)

17. Create next Stepping Stones Sheet

     Now it’s your turn. Get your goal in front of you. Clearly outline your primary action steps for the week. Make a to-do list that you can look at daily to make sure you are getting everything you need to succeed. Make a plan. Make a commitment. Stay the course.

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