Saturday, May 12, 2007

Discovering goals and learning new habits

I came into this effort with only one idea - lose weight. The how was uncertain. All I knew was that it would be complex. Yes, I had a road map - Jenny Craig - but I don't have a success record to look back to, no memory of what I did once upon a time that resulted in weight loss and long term keeping it off. The big questions I had to answer during this first month was "What are my goals and what do I need to do to get there?" It's taken me all month to get through the maze of challenges below to get some of the answers.

1. Learn to plan.
2. Learn to think ahead.
3. Be prepared.
4. Slow down.
5. Savor.
6. Reprioritize.
7. Do what's right
8. Don't seek approval.
9. Break free

I didn't have any of this on my first Jenny day. It's taken me a month of self-awareness and evaluating my action to get here. So before I go any farther into this maze, here are the Stats for my first month. I've lost 12.2 lbs. and 19.5 inches.

Into the Maze

Food wasn't planned. It was day to day. Meal to meal. Snack to snack. Shopping was terrible. Storage of fresh foods worse. If it was easy, easy was the way to go. Now food preparation and easy isn't a bad thing, it just the definition of what is easy. Easy for me has been peanut butter and toast or a bowl of cereal. Redefining easy needed to involve planning.

Have food available. Have travel-friendly foods for work. Take food OUT OF THE FREEZER. At the end of this first month, I've planned better for Kris and Don, had everything I need for me, but am still failing to thaw ahead of time. I need to put together a strategy. Since I brush each night before I go to bed, I think a post-it on the bathroom mirror might be in order. Mission accomplished. I now have a strategy for developing the TAKE IT OUT OF THE FREEZER habit.

Think ahead means looking at my meal plan for the week and checking the fridge and pantry. Make a list. Buy for a week. Store perishable properly and they will last for the week. Saves money and trips to the store. Check. Got it.

Be prepared relates back to 1 and 2. If I have accomplished these habits than I will be prepared. See how it is all intertwined like a Maze?

I need to slow down. I need to eat slowly. I need to savor. Food should not be hurried. I needed to learn how to enjoy food, take pleasure in it, understand that a little good enjoyment goes a long way.

Reprioritizing my actions may have a "huh?" factor attached to it but doing things in such a way as to accomplish a goal, whether it's a project or weigh loss, is definitely a habit that encompasses much of the above. Reprioritizing slows me down. Makes me plan. Encourages me to look ahead to the end result.

For example:

Taking this out of the realm of food, consider projects that go unfinished in your life. I certainly have an abundance of these. What is my latest project? Crocheting. I love doing this. But, like many projects (read that THE KITCHEN - more about that down the line) I can see this heading into the unfinished zone. How to avoid this? Like with all such things with me, it started out with a mental tug-of-war and a compulsion to spend money without thinking it through - PLANNING towards the goal, if you will.

I'm working on a project that involves the used of Paton's Canadiania Aran color yarn. I have several granny squares ready to block and connect but less than half a skein of this particular yarn left for connecting. Biene found the yarn at a store in Oakdale. My first impulse was to go to Oakdale after weighing in today to pick up the needed skeins. But after some careful thought, I decided to wait for two reasons -

1.) With Don's eye surgeries, he's lost a lot of work time and with no sick leave benefits, that equals loss of income. We really can't afford anymore this month, and;

2.) If I get the yarn now, I'll just keep on making squares and be no closer to completing the project.

So, I reprioritized. What really needed to be done to accomplish the goal of blocking and connecting the squares I already have? Easy solution. Wait to get the needed yarn. In other words, have patience. The blanket will be completed eventually but lets complete the first part of it first before going on to the next phase. It's the same with weight loss. Learn the plan, get comfortable with it. Don't look too far into the future. The amount of weight I have to lose is right up there with the size of the blanket I'm making. It's going to take TIME.

When I reprioritize by thinking things through, I end up doing the right thing and that feels good. And more than that, I don't let myself be influenced by anything outside of myself. My decisions are completely me accomplished. I'm not seeking anyone else's approval by making a certain decision or choice. This is FREEING.


Daisy Lupin said...

Well done you, I do admire the way you are thinking. I feel I could do with some of that style of thinking myself.

Wanda said...

Great post Annie. I hope a lot of people read it....because this is for all of us....thank you for taking the time to live it, digest it, work it and then share it.
I'm very proud of your progress!!

Susie said...

Congrats on your weight loss and progress so far!
Happy Mother's Day!!

Gypsy Purple said... have inspired me so much...well done!!!

I need to go through this myself...went out and bought Dr Phil`s .."the ultimate weight solution"...I`ve read through a few chapters and this is dynamite...I might not use the diet plan...but the rest is might want to look at this

Gypsy Purple said...

A very very blessed Mothers Day to you Annie..

Mary Timme said...

What a beautiful post, Annie. I'm so proud for and of you. I had to laugh at another post from Bad Liz where she commented and said she was easily influenced by what she sees and that is why her hips are the size they are. I think it is about being kind to yourself and taking the time and effort to actually do the work, the thinking through and then realizing you are worth the effort. Good for you. And! Happy Mother's Day!

paris parfait said...

Good for you Annie! So glad you're enjoying success and taking care of YOU! xo

Bimbimbie said...

Bravo Annie

breaking old habits and creating new ones takes a lot of mental energy. From what I'm reading you have lots to get you through that maze. Congratulations on your early achievements Annie

tongue in cheek said...

Change is not easy, even if you desire it to happen. Changing food habits takes full commitment, I can see you are giving it your all.
One step at a time.

Post its that is a good idea.

I am wishing you good luck and standing by your side cheering you on!!

I hope you had a beautiful Mother's Day.