Monday, March 23, 2009

Mini Goals

Today I want to talk about goals. Sure, I want to wear a size 4. Sure, I want to look smoking hot. Blah, blah, blah. When you are obese, you don't see yourself as thin. You see yourself as disgustingly fat, and seeing your end goal is impossible. It's frustrating, counter productive and if you keep thinking of how much weight you have to lose, you will fall down into a pit of despair and not even try. I know this. I have been there.

But then one day I read about small goals. I am not talking 25 pounds as a small goal. Think smaller. Tiny baby step goals. TINY! When you break your weight loss, your exercise and your diet into little smaller chunks, it's much easier to focus and to wrap your brain around it. I've been doing little tiny baby steps for awhile now, and they add up. I am down 55 pounds. Had I started with "I am going to lose 50 pounds" I never would have done it!

Let's focus on the three main areas - your weight loss, your exercise and your diet, and find small manageable goals within each one.

Let's start with weight loss. Everyone has a different opinion on the scale, and personally, I think you should weigh yourself every single day. People who say "Only weigh once a week" are probably skinny people. For all of us that are overweight, we know that it is all too easy to have a really bad week and pack on five pounds or more! If you weigh yourself every single day, granted, maybe there is some water weight involved, but it keeps you honest and helps you stay on track. Did you eat pizza last night and the scale is up 3 pounds today? Then let your small goal for the day be to eat clean, workout a little longer, and not let that 3 pounds spiral out of control.

What do you weigh right now? For me, I am hovering bouncing back around 180 for a bit now. My goal right now is to get below 175. Note that I am not looking at a HUGE goal. I am not looking at the weight I want to be forever. I am focusing on the weight I want to be VERY soon. I remember not all that long ago that my big goal was to be able to stand on the scale with all my clothes on and be under 200. Obviously I can do that now, and it feels great. I adjust my mini goals as needed. Sometimes it's just a matter of wanting to lose half a pound.

We are going on vacation next week, and I am pretty nervous. I won't be doing my workouts every day, but I will be walking at the amusement parks a lot. I will be eating out a lot, so that makes me nervous too. My weight goal for vacation is to not go above 185. That's five pounds above where I am now. If I can get back from vacation and be under 185, I will be thrilled. 185 is my magic 50 pound number, so this is very important to me.

By setting small weight loss goals and limits for yourself, you eventually will accomplish the bigger goals. Now let's look at exercise mini goals. If you tell yourself, "I am going to work out for 2 hours every day for the next three weeks" chances are you will crash and burn. Take it one day at a time. One workout at a time. I have days where I even take it one song at a time. One mile at a time. One minute at a time.

Plan and prepare are key to success. The night before, make sure you set out your workout clothes, and pack your gym bag. It's so much easier to fail if you do not plan. It's easier to NOT go to the gym, right? But if all your things are sitting out, well, it's just plain easier. Now, let's say you are on the treadmill. I know I can't run five miles, but I know I can run 1 minute. Maybe starting out you can only run ten seconds. Maybe you are stronger and can run for one song on your Ipod. Figure out what works for you to break it down into manageable pieces that you can accomplish.

I used to be only able to walk on the treadmill for 20 minutes at about 3 mph when I started. Now I can do 45 minutes with 2 minute intervals of jogging at 5.2 mph and walking at 4 mph! That's a big difference. But it didn't happen overnight. I built up slowly. Reevaluate your goals as often as you need to do so.

Now let's talk about food. Again, planning is so key. You aren't going to go from existing on McDonalds to eating sprouts overnight. By going WAY overboard, most people set themselves up to fail. Make small goals, small changes. Maybe your goal today is to get rid of five things from your pantry that aren't healthy. Your goal for tomorrow could be to clean your fridge. You can take your food goals in steps. For instance, you could go from full fat salad dressing to light salad dressing to fat free salad dressing to dressing on the side and only dipping your fork into it, to no dressing, just a spritz of oil/vinegar. You could go from 3 slices of cheese on a sandwich down to 2, down to one, down to low fat, down to 1/2 a slice of low fat down to none.

Cutting cheese WAY down in my diet was a huge deal. Cheese was my favorite, and I never thought I could live with out it. I used to put cheese on EVERYTHING! Sandwiches, soups, salads, on vegetables, and more. It was just on everything. I cut to one slice. I changed to low fat. I broke it down. I told myself I would have one sandwich without cheese, and then next time I could have one with it. Funny, I never went back. I told myself one day, "No cheese on your broccoli today." And I never went back. Little by little I cut it out. I do still eat it but very rarely, maybe once every week or two. I do still enjoy a nice piece of pizza here and there, but I don't eat it multiple times a day like I used to do.

So, to wrap up, break it down. Small, manageable goals! You can do this. We are all in this together!!!

Love, laughter and light,
Mrs. ChildFun

1 comment:

  1. Great advice Jenny, and some that I need to take -- I tend to go overboard -- with anything and everything I take on.