Thursday, July 18, 2013

Avoiding potholes

Being on a weight loss journey is like a road trip.  There will be lots of curves, hills and grand mountains to climb as we make our way toward our goal and sometimes we'll even be coasting. But no matter where we are in the journey - the beginning, middle or end - there always seems to be potholes along the way.

Conquering the curves, hills and mountains can make us feel AMAZING - like we can really do this!  But how we handle those potholes might be even more important than conquering those huge challenges.  They may seem small and insignificant when planning the journey, but if you hit one the wrong way, it can ruin your whole trip.

See, I'm thinking those bumps and potholes are like the small challenges we face daily in a journey to be fit and healthy.  Sometimes we can see these obstacles coming and then easily and smoothly avoid getting off track.  But take your eyes off the road for just a few seconds, hit that pothole, and suddenly you're in a tail spin.

So, how do we avoid what is inevitably going to happen?  How do we keep 100% focused on the goal and NEVER EVER take our eyes off the road?  Simple.  We can't.  Potholes happen.  All we can do is hope it didn't do too much damage and just keep going.  That's important - JUST KEEP GOING - no matter what.

Obviously, if the wheel went out of alignment (injury) or the tire went flat (food setback), you'd pull over, right?  But the important thing to remember is that it can be fixed.  Call for help.  Fix the flat.  But DON'T GIVE UP ON YOUR JOURNEY.  Get right back on your way.  I don't know where I saw this - probably fb, but it's so true - "Giving up on your goal because of one setback is like slashing your other three tires because you have a flat."  This is NOT an all or nothing journey!!

How I'm planning to avoid potholes:

  1. Write down my goals and review them often - I don't need to go into the research that's been done on this, right?
  2. Be realistic - slow progress, in the right direction, is ok because it's still progress
  3. Plan ahead - pick one day a week to plan meals/shop AND be sure to plan exercise
  4. Have a free day - I have one day a week where I eat whatever I want and don't do any exercise - only one day.  Any cravings I have during the week are put off until this day.  Then, if I even remember the craving, I eat it =D
  5. Don't dwell on past mistakes.  I'm not going to beat myself up for having a setback - no matter now long it lasts.  Get back on track NOW, it's not too late.  Take things one choice at a time.
  6. Push myself - everyday, I want to do at least ONE thing better than I did the day before.  If I can gain an extra .1 mile of speed on the treadmill, another pound on a dumbbell, another glass of water or just one better choice than yesterday, then I am one more step closer to my goal
  7. Don't try to change everything at once - I'm all for baby steps - I've just gotta make sure the baby grows (see #6).  It takes at least 2 weeks for humans to form a habit - pick one realistic thing from each "area of fitness" and do it for 2 weeks.  Then add another for 2 weeks, rinse and repeat.  For me, in the beginning, it was:  Get 8,000 steps (physical goal), drink at least 64oz of water (water intake goal), and don't eat out (but if I do, I can ONLY eat at Subway).
  8. Connect with people who are where I am on this journey - who knows the crap we're going through better than us?  Plus, we might see a "pothole" that someone else can't!!  (ok, have I totally worn out this road trip analogy now?)  I am always looking out for bloggers who are on this journey - I love reading stories and seeing new recipes and meeting new people.  So, if you're doing this too, let me know!!
  9. Connect with people who are where I want to be on this journey- who knows the crap ahead better than them?  It is so amazing to see what others have done and how they're doing now.  I enjoy reading about these journeys and I learn so much.  Thanks to you all and I look forward to being one of you!
  10. Encourage others often - it's just a really cool thing to do

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