How do we cheat ourselves? Others cheat us surely we would never cheat ourselves!!!
We often cheat ourselves when we are not honest with what we are eating and what we are doing. We would never lie to others but we often lie to ourselves. We climb on the scale to see something we are not happy with and our first response is “BUT I ate all the right things, I stayed within my points…….” Did you? Really?
Check yourself and see if during the last week you might be guilty of…
- Not measuring our portions
- Not weighing our foods
- Not tracking our snacks
- Not tracking our meals
- Not drinking enough water
- Not getting in the healthy food checks
- Not exercising/moving each day
- Not choosing to be happy and focus on the positive things in our life
- Not being accountable
- Not being honest with myself (you will not lie to others but you will lie to yourself)
Self-Honesty is another foundation of leading a healthier lifestyle. You might choose to enter that huge chocolate fudge brownie, that extra bite of potatoes, that sip of a milk shake, that extra handful of nuts but in the end your body knows exactly what you did and will respond accordingly. Ignoring that you skipped all your workouts this week will not make the truth go away nor will it help you with that extra indulgence you had at lunch today. If it didn’t happen, it didn’t happen but if it happened, it happened and your body keeps a very accurate record even if you do not or do not choose to!
Remember, the only person you are hurting by ignoring or refusing to acknowledge your lack of activity or over indulgence in holiday candy is yourself. When you climb on that scale, you end up frustrated and just can’t understand why you didn’t lose anything this past week or why you gained two pounds ask yourself if you tracked every lick, nibble, sip, and bite during the last week and how much activity you did each day.
For example, I went to battle with some holiday candy last night and some of it won and most of it got tossed into the garbage! Will I expect to lose this week, probably not, but I can say I did up my activity over this last week so I am hoping that might balance out my candy indulgence last night. And if I end up gaining, it is my own fault for not tossing that candy into to trash sooner! (and even for buying it to begin with!)
This is supplemental material for the June 4, 2014 Issue of Weights & Balances
SETTING SMART WEIGHT LOSS GOALS: What are SMART Goals? Let’s Review.
- Specific vs General (I want to lose a ton of weight vs. I want to lose 25 lbs.)
- Measurable (tracking progress/scale/measurements/charting)
- Accountable (keep a food journal/paper or online, write down everything you eat for the day)
- Realistic (nothing overwhelming/easily obtainable)
- Timeframe (e.g. six months to lose 30 lbs. /might need to adjust time frame, be flexible!)
Things to remember when setting your goals:
- On a healthy weight loss plan, you will be losing between .5 to 2 lbs. a week. Too fast is not healthy!
- Choose a definite start date and don’t put it off. Consider vacation plans, school demands, work demands, relationship issues. You might need to resolve some things before starting.
- Set short-term and long-term goals and write them down. Putting goals in writing makes them more “real.”
- Focus on the journey (process) not the destination (outcome). Changing your daily process is what makes for good outcomes!
- Know there will be setbacks. Try to pre-plan for those setbacks, such as a party, wedding, vacation, etc. Brainstorm ideas and set specific strategies to overcome setbacks.
- Be willing to change your goals as you progress. You might find you can expand your goals or find you might have some new goals with your new lifestyle. Such as I want to be able to run a 5K, be able to wear a bikini on vacation, a new dress for my daughter’s wedding, wear a smaller belt, run a marathon, etc.
- Eliminate these words “always” “never” “every” “must”
- Do it for you! Do not try to please others or impress others! It’s YOUR health, it is about YOU!
- Reward yourself for the small victories! These are foundations to long-term success. I have been buying clothes in a smaller size as my “inspiration” to keep going to reach the next size smaller. Now I am on the lookout for a “goal” outfit that I would like to wear.
- Don’t fall into the “trap” of advertisements that claim great losses in short period of time!
- Try stating your goals in a positive way. Eliminate “negative” words such as: never, ever, every, won’t, etc.
Examples of rewards: (for #9)
- Treat yourself to a manicure/pedicure
- Relax with a massage
- Freshen up with a haircut or blowout
- Splurge on jewelry
- Get fitted for a new bra (you may need to be re-sized after losing some weight)
- Invest in new workout gear, sneakers or a yoga mat
- Buy a book you’ve been wanting to read
- Enroll in a new group fitness class
- Spend some time downloading new music (or old favorites)
- Sleep in at least one day on the weekend
Examples of Unrealistic/Realistic Goals:
|Unrealistic Goals (negative)||Realistic Goals (positive)|
|I’ll never eat more than 1,000 calories every day.||I will eat one more serving of fruits and vegetables each day.|
|Starting tomorrow, I’m going to begin walking two hours every day.||I’ll walk for 20 minutes four times this week. Log your accomplishment! Reward yourself for achieving your goal!|
|I’m going to bake cookies for the bake sale, and I won’t eat or taste any.||I’ll buy cookies for the bake sale and drop them off at the school on my way home from the grocery store. Give yourself a cheer after you drop them off, yay you!|
|I’m going to lose ten pounds before my class reunion next month.||I’m going to eat smaller portions and take a 15-minute walk four times a week so that I’ll feel healthier, more fit, and confident at the class reunion.|
|I am going to eat only one meal a day||Eating smaller “meals” of low-fat/low-calorie foods throughout the day. This will keep me from getting too hungry at any time during the day.|
|I will never ever snack (eat after 8pm, etc.)||I am going to eat more healthy snacks such as fruits, vegetables, and drinking water. When I am hungry after (a certain time) I will drink a glass of water/brush my teeth, etc.|
Although the exact number of calories you need to burn in excess may vary slightly, a 1.5 pound weekly loss means burning about 5000 calories more than you take in. To put that number into perspective, burning 5000 calories is like a 130 pound female doing 15 hours of aerobics!
The first five pounds came off so fast, so easy! Then reality sets in and we have a small loss or no loss at all. Right behind reality often comes its twin, discouragement.
I read this statement on “The Doctor’s” website about feeling discouraged,” Every moment presents a new opportunity for change. The past moment no longer exists; forward motion is the only path I can take.” I like this statement, we have to learn on our journey at each feeling of discouragement helps us to make a change/adjustment that we need to make to keep going! If you never face any discouragement, then you will not know how to handle it when it comes along. And it will come!
There are some strategies you can incorporate to help you not become discouraged.
- Take the long-term view – do not expect to “wake up” skinny one day, you didn’t gain it overnight and you are not going to lose it overnight.
- Get a diet buddy— Find a friend to encourage you and support you as you are both on your journey is a win-win for both people. Remember one small thing, it is not a competition, you are only competing with yourself NOT your friend! Share your struggles, recipes, frustrations, etc. with your diet pal. Programs such as Weight Watchers have weekly meetings for encouragement. There are online support groups as well. I found a couple of fabulous groups on Facebook which focus Weight Watchers and have found wonderful support and encouragement there.
- Allow yourself some treats – failure and discouragement will come quickly if you do not allow yourself a treat now and again. I have found a few things I like as “treats” and try to allow myself to have them within reason.
- Be realistic – Two pounds a week maximum is considered healthy weight loss anything over that and you risk many health complications. Know that you will not lose the same each and every week. It could be more or less; just keep moving forward so the scale can keep moving downward. If you are not a contestant on the “Biggest Looser” chances are you are not going to lose 14 lbs a week! Just for the record, even they do NOT lose that much in one week! The show is edited and contrary to what we see on TV, there are often 3 weeks or so between their weigh-ins!
- Small Steps – Set some small short-term goals. In my journey, I set 5 lb. goals and focused ONLY on the five pounds in front of me. Otherwise, I would have been very discouraged, overwhelmed and not kept going! The more you weigh, the more you can lose each week. If you are not extremely overweight, you can expect your weight loss to be more like half a pound a week than the two pounds a week spectrum!
- Avoid Comparisons – lose weight for your health not to emulate a celebrity, or friend. Just because Angelina Jolie weighs 110 lbs. (not saying she does, just an example!) does not mean that you should! Talk with your primary care physician to determine what is right for you and your body type.
- Do not weigh daily while trying to lose! Checking your progress is great but daily weighing can lead to frustration, discouragement and a great deal of anger! Weighing yourself once a week is recommended to check on progress. Don’t stress over not reaching your weekly goal one week. Sometimes our bodies just have minds of their own, especially us women’s bodies!
- Variety – Try to incorporate one new food, spice or recipe each week so that you are not eating the same things over and over again! Food boredom can lead to discouragement and a feeling of deprivation.
- Avoid negative weight loss messages –Talk to yourself only in positive uplifting terms! Avoid words such as; lazy, weak-willed, pathetic, messy, and sloppy, a cow, helpless, trashy, etc. If you do not treat you nice, why would you expect others to treat you nicely? Give yourself a pat on the back with each success you have! Keep a positive attitude!
One of my personal goals is to keep a healthy lifestyle and to learn as much as I can from this process so I am not prone to have to repeat it on this large of a scale!