Sunday, April 6, 2008

Looking at the Big Picture

I recently added a new tab to my file. I wanted to see how many weeks I was actually successful at meeting my two goals: to eat less, and to exercise more. This past week was a slight disappointment because I had no good excuse, like a holiday or a fun party, for my lack of restraint. It turns out, exactly half of my 14 weeks have been similar disappointments. However, I have still averaged 1614 calories over these weeks, and I have rarely exhibited enough self discipline to stick with anything for 14 weeks. I think I could do better, but I suppose I could do a lot worse.
For kicks, I visited my old fit day calender. For starters, it appears I managed to stick to the program for almost 3 weeks from late January 2007 to mid February so I have made definite progress in program longevity. I averaged 1792 calories in those 3 weeks. Compared to my last 14 weeks, in which my highest average was 1680 calories, I am not doing too badly. I have also averaged 4 times at the gym per week this year, and in those 3 weeks, it appears I lost interest in logging in the activities.
Looking at the big picture is interesting, and, in my case, gratifying - though not as gratifying as my recent trip to TJ Maxx, in which every pair of pants in my size fit. I haven't officially gone down a size, because I was never willing to admit a larger size last fall, though I should have. (I did try on one pair of capris in the next smallest size - while they did not fit well by any stretch of the fabric or strategic lighting, I was able to forcibly connect the button and zip up the fly.)
But, looking at the big picture in the beginning is overwhelming, and probably why most diets ultimately fail. I have taken a lot of good advice from "You - On A Diet" which suggests that weight loss is extremely personal, based on a person's habits, lifestyle, social standing (i.e. amount of money), and metabolism. To paraphrase, what works for me probably will not work for you, but I think it might be useful for me to focus in on the little picture (for me), and show you the process behind the progress. I find that focusing weekly on one goal (while keeping the over all goals in mind) has been my key - it keeps me from being intimidated by the daunting task at hand, and it keeps me interested for more than 3 weeks at a time. So, over the next few days, I will share some of my personal mini-goals, based on my past behaviors and inadequacies.
Looking at this week, it appears I will need to revisit a mini-goal: limiting my coffee intake.

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