New Plan Number 333,200 (April 21, 2009)
Time for a “new” plan and restart number three hundred thirty-three thousand two hundred — slight exaggeration, but that’s what it feels like and, yikes, that also happens to be just the number of calories I need to burn off in order to achieve my goal weight!
In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve been really struggling (that’s putting it nicely) since Thanksgiving – yes, that’s 4.5 months! For the past month or two, I’ve been staying on track for a week or two, then gradually doing worse until I was completely derailed, and then recommitting again and sticking with that for a week or so, and so the cycle continues. And it has resulted in a 5-10 pound gain! Yikes, and I’m seriously trying to lose a lot. I won’t if I keep it up like this. So we have established the fact that we need a new plan because the current one just isn’t working (or more likely I’m just not implementing it). That begs a few obvious questions:
- Why wasn’t the last plan working? What was wrong with it (or the implementer of it)?
- What’s the new plan that truly does work (or that I’m truly able to implement)?
- How’s this new plan going to be different from the previous 330,000+ plans?
What went wrong with the last plan?
Well, that question isn’t as easy to answer as it sounds, but there are a few things I can point out that I do know:
- It wasn’t that I didn’t know what to do – eat fewer calories, burn more calories through exercise, you lose weight. Pretty simple.
- I kept losing momentum because I got completely derailed so many times. It’s hard to reverse the strong negative momentum, and it gets harder each time.
- I let many outside circumstances derail me: eating at a friend’s house, going out to eat, oversleeping, food set before at work, going out of town, the fear of upcoming challenges, being too busy for exercise, etc.
- I was trying to make it too easy – I didn’t want to put a lot of time and effort into meal planning, grocery shopping, cooking, exercising, and blogging.
- I was beginning to lose confidence that I truly would reach my goal.
What’s the new plan?
I have thought about this quite a bit (including last night while I was eating ice cream – yes, ice cream – how can you eat ice cream and make your weight loss plan at the same time?), and I think it’s time for me to go back and review the basics. These are things I know well and have probably talked about on this blog many times before. What are the important principles to achieving this goal or any other?
- I am in this for the long-haul. That may seem obvious, but it’s so easy to lose sight of that. It’s so easy to be anxious to see that scale drop and to fit in the next smaller pair of jeans and my favorite sweater that I just need lose five pounds to fit into (that’s now turned into 10 pounds). It is far more important to permanently change bad habits than it is even to drop a few pounds. It doesn’t matter what the scale says today or what size jeans I’m wearing – it matters that I don’t feel like I need to eat dessert after every meal, that I learn to say “no” when someone asks me to go out for some ice cream, that I learn to exercise regularly and “enjoy” it.
- This isn’t all-or-nothing I would put this at the top of the list as to why I’m not at my goal weight right now. It’s so hard to shake that mentality, but I think I have made progress, and am ready to keep on making progress. I won’t elaborate because this is probably my most frequently blogged about topic. It never ever makes sense to eat a bowl of ice cream for dinner just because you ate one for lunch. Or to skip a workout today because you skipped a workout yesterday. Yet that’s what I tend to do all too often. It’s like saying, “I don’t have time to clean the entire house, so I’m not even going to clean up the kitchen, which I do have time to do.” or “If I can’t make an A in this class, I may as well make an F, when I really could get a C.” It is ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS better to do something in the right direction, even if it’s small and even if I made two million other bad choices. One bad choice is NEVER a reason for making another.
- This isn’t supposed to be easy. It will take lots of time, effort, energy, and hard work, and that’s a good thing. Enough said.
How is this different from the last plans?
That’s easy: it’s not! It’s not different. The right things to do then are still the right things to do now. My body still needs to consume fewer calories than it burns in order to lose weight. I still need to change my habits and my attitudes. And I will still mess up. I will still make mistakes. There will still be more occasions where I do thrown in the towel. But the key is what I do about it.
All that being said, my plan for this week is to blog daily, exercise on wed/fri/sat. And I’m seriously toying with the idea of getting on the scale tomorrow morning and not weighing again for another four weeks. What do you think?