Sunday, May 3, 2009

Finally...A plan

So here we are at May and I have had very spotty progressive towards my health goals. More of a 2 steps forward, 10 steps back sort of thing. My mental health goals are progressing nicely - which has led me to being ready to work on my physical health. Recently I read this poem:

by Portia Nelson

I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk
I fall in.
I am lost … I am helpless.
It isn’t my fault.
It takes me forever to find a way out.

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don’t see it.
I fall in again.
I can’t believe I am in the same place
but, it isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in … it’s a habit.
my eyes are open
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

I walk down another street.

I realized that I have been stuck in Chapter 3 & sometimes even chapter 2 - but now I feel ready to move on to Chapters 4 & 5 - and I know what my deep holes are.

Deep Hole #1 - Choosing unrealistic goals. I come up with workout plans that are too ambitious too quickly - and therefore I don't stick with it. For instance - why do I have to immediately be running the 5Ks? Why not just walk them a little faster each time - and eventually be running.

Deep Hole #2 - Trying to cut too much out of my diet all at once. I have done low-carb, no sugar, no fat, etc. None of which is realistic.

Deep Hole #3 - Self sabotage and looking for excuses. "I would have exercised...but I was up really late. I'll exercise later. I have too far to go....I will never be able to do this...etc."

Deep Hole (crater, really) #4 - Choosing food as a way to comfort myself when I am sad, had a hard day, when I am alone....I could make this list really long.

So, I think I have finally come up with a plan. One that will work for me, one that will be long lasting, one I can do without spending a lot of money, and one that will help me feel healthier and in control.

Part 1

Put in enough of the good stuff, that there won't be room for the bad stuff. So 5 - 7 servings of fruits and vegetables. I also learned from Denise Druce that you need 10 calories for every pound you want to weigh. (sometimes more if you are exercising a lot.) Now that doesn't mean that I will plummet down to 1250 calories, but rather incrementally move down (same way Weight Watchers does with points) as I reach each weight loss goal. I realize I will be having to track calories and therefore portions - but there are all kinds of freebie sites to help me with this, as well as a 79 cent notepad for my purse.
Part 2

Exercise 5 -6 days a week. No nonsense. No excuses. Just do something almost every day- but not so much that I am incapable of movement the next day. (I tend to push myself so hard that I end up putting off other workouts because I am so incredibly sore.) Push myself enough to get good and sweaty, but still have the energy to keep going the rest of the day.

Part 3

Weigh myself every day. Ignorance in this category is not bliss. Members of the National Weight Loss Registry are most successful when they weigh themselves every day.

Part 4

Take time to engage in positive me time. Not as much TV watching, but rather doing things that make me feel good - not just like a blob. Creating, organizing, writing, being with friends - all things that will remove me from that crater of self-sabotage.

This seems doable and realistic. My results will be slower in coming - but who cares if they can last for life!

If you are interested, there is a really great article at that was helpful in some of my new thinking.


Chris and Jenna Anderson said...

I love this plan! It seems really do able - i might have to copy you somewhat. And i love the poem, i definitely can see myself in there also. Way to go Michelle! I can't wait for Little Gym on Tuesday. See you then!

Tricia said...

Amazing... you're my new coach. i'm so glad to finally have your blog. it's VERY nice to have someone that's going through what i'm going through with all the stuff. you pretty much put all the stuff i've been thinking in my head into words. which definitely helps. thanks!!

michelle said...

Great post, Michelle!

I love the poem. Love it. I think I'll have to print it out and think about what holes I need to avoid and what streets as well.

I've been thinking about what you told me re: putting in so much good stuff that there isn't as much room for bad stuff. That just makes so much sense, I think it might actually work!

I think you're definitely onto something with smaller, doable goals. You go, girl!

michelle said...

p.s. Jessie's best friend once told her that she just doesn't allow herself any excuses. That was a HUGE revelation to me! (one can do that??)

Jill said...

Looking at my habits in terms of that poem makes me feel like an idiot, but that's what I must since I keep doing the same things over and over again.

I need to change in all of these areas.