Weight Loss Support - Applying success in other areas to weight loss
I've been trying to figure out what's going on with me, why I'm not being more successful with weight loss on a fundamental motivation level. I've been successful with other challenges in my life, things that took discipline and long-term investment. So, I should be able to apply those techniques to weight loss. But I don't know that I thought about the techniques that I was using. It was more "I'm going to do this," then I did it.
Have any of you applied techniques used successfully in other areas of your life to weight loss? How did you do it?
08-01-2009, 12:22 PM
I actually sat down and did the same thing - tried to realize why I couldn't succeed in this area of my life while I've been so successful in other areas.
Some of my discoveries.
1. I'm tenacious (dog on bone tenacious) about accomplishing tasks. I devote TIME and ENERGY and ATTENTION to the project. I make a commitment to the project and stick to that commitment.
2. I gather all the resources I will need to be successful.
3. I research, and educate myself about the topic.
4. I plan, plan, plan.
5. I make lists.
6. I constantly evaluate my progress and tweak my plan as I go along based upon the evaluation results.
7. I seek out others that have knowledge about the topic.
8. I prepare my family for the project. Let them know that I may need to devote time and attention and resources to the project - but that I must make the project a PRIORITY for a period of time.
Yup - did ALL of those things with my weight loss. I DID treat this journey just like another project. And, that is probably why I succeeded this time :)
1. I stuck tenaciously to my plan. I made a commitment to weight loss.
2. I bought a scale (food and body). I read books. I bought on-plan foods. I bought Fitday PC, handweights and workout DVDs. I bought a Wii and fitness "games". Added in resistance bands, a fitness ball, more DVDs, etc.
3. I read books. I searched the web before deciding on a weight loss plan. (how I found 3FC)
4. I planned my exercise and my food daily and weekly and even monthly. I planned ahead for events and knew exactly how they would fit into my plan.
5. I kept track of everything in Fitday. Entered my food BEFORE I ate, entered my exercise, tracked my weight.
6. I reviewed my logs, kept reading and educating myself and tweaked my plan as I went along.
7. I joined 3FC :)
8. I brought my family on board with my plan. I refused to feel guilty when I spent time making my journey a PRIORITY in my life. Even if other things suffered (house cleaning being a big one ;)) They knew that I was committed to spending a year making weight loss a priority for me. That my plan WOULD take precedence over many other activities in my life. That they WOULD need to be part of my plan, supportive of my plan, and do whatever necessary to assist me with becoming healthier.
08-01-2009, 09:15 PM
COUNTING DOWN gives great advice as usual!
But my first thought reading your post was...are you trying too hard? Are you planning to be successful and when you fail you give up? I was wondering if maybe the steps you were taking on this journey were too big to begin with...thinking maybe "baby" steps would lead to larger successes.
My weight loss...or lack of ;)...is all basic stuff...less calories in...more calories out...over a period of time.
My success is easy...but also easy to fail...by being lazy.
When I set my goal to lose one pound at a time...and focused on just that one pound...I could achieve my goal!
I've been wondering if I'm so focused on the process that it sidetracks me from the goal.
With other goals, I decided I was going to do something, and I kept that goal in mind. I didn't keep tiny, detailed accounts of my progress, like I do now with weight and exercise. I kept generally track of major steps, but I had a constant mental tally of what I had left to do. I had an idea of when I wanted to have it done by, but I weighed decisions along the way in terms of how it would affect the timeline. Not whether it would affect the outcome, because I had determined that I would reach the goal, period. If I needed information to help make the process easier or speed up the timeline, I gathered it. The same with support. Otherwise, I didn't waste time on the process, if it was working. If I faced a decision that would affect the timeline of accomplishing my goal, I weighed whether what I was getting was worth it to make it longer to accomplish my goal.
I didn't think about making a lifestyle change. The change in lifestyle came as a result of being in pursuit of the goal.
I wonder if it is possible to apply that technique to weight loss?
08-02-2009, 02:50 PM
Funny you should ask... (Warning, numbers geek response ahead)
When I was in my mid-thirties I set myself a goal of paying off my mortgage by the time I was 40 by paying ahead on the principal. I had a bit of a setback when I took out a home-equity loan to do a major remodel but still got it paid off before I turned 41.
What kept me on track was keeping a spreadsheet that recalculated the total interest I would be paying on the mortage with every extra principal payment. I could see that even extra $30 one month knocked $1000's off the grand total so would go ahead with the $30 even though seemed like a drop in the bucket for that particular month.
The weight loss program I've designed for myself is the same kind of numbers-tracking thing that shows me every little bit moves me closer toward my final goal. So even though a 30 minute walk burns what appears to be a tiny amount toward the 3500 calorie deficit needed to lose a pound, I take the walk anyway as it increases that deficit more than skipping the walk entirely.
That sounds like a pretty cool spreadsheet. Something designed to work for you.
One of the goals I set for myself was paying off my student loans and other debt, including car, as quickly as was reasonable. I always knew how much I owed and my minimum payment. To translate, if I "save" or "earn" 36 calories a day, it will take me 20 years to pay off my calorie debt to get to my goal weight. I have potentially unlimited capacity to run up more debt, through eating, but only so much "earning" capacity to get rid of the debt through exercise and restraint.