Daily Doses – Stepping Stones Week 6

    

     I am very excited that we have a number of new guys and gals with us in the Slimdown With Sandee Support Group this week. Welcome! I’ve made some additional notes to try to help new readers catch up on what we’ve learned so far. If you’ve been with me from the beginning, please excuse any repetition.

     It’s ever so important that each week we are re-evaluating our goals, our efforts, and our progress. If we don’t weekly or even daily stay mindful of what we are working to accomplish and how we will achieve our goals, we will soon find that our plans have fallen by the wayside. For me this week held some real reminders of that.

     This week had its successes. On “Weigh In Wednesday” I was excited to see a 2.6 lb drop on the scales making my total weight lost for the month of January 10 pounds. Since I have a goal of 40 lbs this year, I am 1/4 of the way to my goal weight. That bring my total weight lost to date to 64.8 pounds. I was very excited to celebrate this success. Yay me!

Me at my heaviest 232 lbs and now at 167.2 lbs. Think the 64.8 lbs made a difference?

       As I evaluate my “Stepping Stones”  to see how things are progressing, this drop in weight indicates to me that I am doing something right. I am well ahead of my goal according to the estimations on the Weight Tracker tool. Another week makes me more confident that the goal is reasonable. So the goal will continue to remain the same as it was from 01/01/2012.

 
     As I review my action steps I see that the adherence this weeks plans has not been as close as before. There are a couple of areas I need to improve. The action steps read: “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 include at least two combined toning and cardio exercise session. I will officially weigh in once this week, marking my progress on the Weight Tracker tool.”
 
     Before this week I had not gone over my goal caloric intake even by 1 calories since the year began. This week my calorie intake ranged from 1235 calories on the low side  to 1996 calories on the high side.  Two days in a row I was over goal. The first by 396 calories the next by 84 calories. Why the faltering? I could make lots of excuses but it really comes down to poor planning. 
 
     Sunday, when I was over by 396 calories I attended a pot-luck and instead of deciding ahead of time to eat only the dish I brough and knew the calories for, I was winging it. I didn’t splurge but I ate several things I was guessing at and I guessed wrong. This isn’t a tragedy. An occasional day over won’t kill the plan but proper planning could have prevented this. I had been so proud of my “winning streak”. This felt like a horrible failure.
 
      The real problem is that the next day I went over again. This was beginning to look like a trend. I was more hungry than usual on Monday, perhaps because of Sundays choices. I have noticed from my own food journaling that on days that I have lots of sugar (or even an over abundance of sugar substitutes or naturally sweet things) I have cravings and desire still more sweets. I ate several things at the potluck on Sunday that were either artificially sweetened of had a high fruit or sugar content. I ate salads with sweet dressings, low cal dessert, and fresh fruit. None of this alone is a problem, but as someone with an insulin resistance issue, this overdose of sweet seems to have led to cravings. Because of the cravings I got sidetracked from Monday’s menu and was winging it a bit too much before I realized I had exceeded my calories. Lesson re-learned! For me, sweet things only in small doses and accompanied by enough protein. Also, if I’m going to waiver from the menu (which is fine) I need to calculate the calories before consuming the food. The trend bothered me, so I pulled it back together and the rest of the week was true to my calorie goals.
 
 
     Exercise was a bit harder this week as well.  I didn’t do any physical activity until Wednesday when I got in an intense “30 Day Shread” circuit training workout. This met the requirement for 1 of my two toning sessions so when Thursday arrived I still had 8 miles that needed to be walked by the end of the week and another toning session to get in. Having these clear exercise requirements before me really helped me stay on track. Thursday I killed two birds with one stone by doing a 3 mile “Walk Away Your Waistline” workout with toning bands. Friday I put in 5 miles on the treadmill. The fitness goals got off to  a slow start but I accomplished all I had committed to and it feels so good!
 
     In reviewing the “To-Do List” I see that I did everything I set out to do, except for the 2nd week in a row I failed to get 8 hours of sleep nightly. This has been a life long struggle. I just seem to need more hours in the day to get everything done. I will continue to work on this.
 
     As I look back over the blog entries for this week  I have some additions to make to my plan. There is one really fun and creative project to add to my “to-do list” for week 6. The bath beads for my “Pounds Lost” and “Pounds to Lose”  jars (see MileStone Marker) have already shipped. I have the jars and the stickers. Can’t wait to get them set up. 
 
     My dairy and grape fruit intake goals need to be accounted for. I don’t think these are musts, but much like the fish oil capsules, they offer the possibility of some added weight loss and have other great health benefits so I’m gonna add them to the mix. If you haven’t already shadowed a thin friend add that to your “to-do’s” (see Pretend To Be Thin ). You might be amazed what you learn about “skinny behavior”, food, and yourself just from sharing a meal.
 
  
     While rummaging in my basement this week looking for something else I unearthed a little spiral bound book that I had forgotten about. I believe I received it as a “freebie” from some online promotion a few years back.  It’s called “The Best Life Diet Journal”. I’ve never been on “The Best Life Diet”. I’ve never read the book or researched its principles, but I love the way this little journal is set up. It has inspired me to break my “Stepping-Stones” down further. I’m a list maker and I love marking things off the list. The things on my “To-Do List”  that say “every day this week” seem less rewarding because I have to wait until I have completed all the days before I can have the pleasure of making my check mark and feeling the sense of accomplishment that accompanies it. Silly? Yeah, maybe, but I take the gratification where I get it. So, in order to have the daily pleasure of celebrating my accomplishments, I will mark daily behaviors in my daily log. My “Stepping-Stone”s now consist of  Goal, Action Steps, To Do List, and revised Daily Log.
 

Goal: “To weigh 135 lbs by 12/31/2012. (That is a loss of approximately 40 lb in 1 year

Action Steps: 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 include at least two combined toning and cardio exercise session. I will officially weigh in once this week, marking my progress on the Weight Tracker tool.”

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. Speed Walk a Total of 8 Miles

7.  2 or More Toning/Cardio Sessions (10 Ways to Increase Your Metabolism)

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

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

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

11. Create next Stepping Stones Sheet

12.  Make MileStone Marker Jars (See MileStone Markers)

 

     Just a note or two about the Daily Log. Yours may be similar to mine, but probably won’t be exactly the same. I do not recommend daily weigh in and this is a part of my log research purposes only. Missed a few blog posts? Wonder why Omega 3, Dairy, and Grapefruit? Check out Go Fish!, Got Milk?, and Did Your Mama Do The Grapefruit Diet? Why daily affirmations? See Think Yourself Thin. Why aromatherapy? See Slimdown With Scents.  When you chose your “Stepping Stones” make sure you put them in print and keep them near by. Your sucess depends on it.

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