Weight Loss Essentials: Part 1 of 5
Goals are essential. If you feel stuck, if you feel bored, if you feel ambitious, if you want to feel just a little bit different, you need to set a goal.
And most important of all, KEEP IT!
A goal is a dream with a deadline and a plan.
Last week I talked about 5 essential things that you need to do to loose weight.
Having a goal was the first thing on the list.
It’d be great to be one of the blessed people who don’t have to think about loosing weight, but we live in reality. We have to work a little harder, dig a little deeper, and stop eating crap if we want to loose weight or even just get a bit healthier.
The classic goal planning model is the SMART method.
- Action Oriented
So let’s break it down using my most challenging New Years Resolution.
No more drive through meals.
SPECIFIC: What is your area of focus? What do you want to achieve?
I started with the broad goal of improving my nutrition, but that’s not very focused, so I began asking myself questions about what specifically was the most important thing I could do to help improve my nutrition.
- meal planning
- measuring portions
- sticking to the weekly food budget (over budget = too much/not the right food)
- following my PCOS diet guidelines
Still a bit broad. So I asked myself, “Is there one thing that influences all of these bigger things?”
-Eating too many drive through meals in the car-
Drive through is never on my meal plan, not in my PCOS guidelines, and definitely not in appropriate portion sizes.
Plus it’s just expensive, both financially and to my well being.
MEANINGFUL: Why is this goal important for you?
Try to think of powerful reasons that have true meaning, not things like I’d look good in this dress or I’d like a hotter boyfriend.
(Although I am motivated by clothing ‘rewards’. But these are short term ‘gold stars’ to keep me on track, not so full of deeper meaning.)
*Most drive through meals are made up of the addictive three: salt, fat, and the bad types of carbs (there are good ones!). These three ingredients are running rampage over my health.
*Overeating unhealthy foods triggered my PCOS, which in turn triggered all it’s wonderful side effects.
*Poor nutrition has been holding me back from my health and fitness goals. Not meeting my health and fitness goals has limited my progress in dressage and curbed my jumping practice.
ACTION ORIENTED: What steps will/can you take to achieve your goal?
Make a plan that you can carry out. Don’t limit yourself. Try to push yourself 10% beyond what you think your can do. Then, when you reach that 10% and see just what you can achieve, try for 10% more.
My goal is ambitious since I’m still eating a drive through meal at least five days a week. Going from 5 (or more) to 0 is going to be tough. I have very specific actions that I’m going to try my best to follow so that I can keep my goal’s and reasons in sight.
- Make a meal plan for every meal, every day of the week
- Grocery shop within my weekly food budget for only food that is on the meal plan
- Prep food for the week ahead of time in ‘single serving’ or ‘single meal’ portions so I can grab and go
- Don’t keep extra cash in the car so I’m not tempted to just stop by for a ‘quick snack’
- Keep a food journal with me at all times and use it so I can remind myself not to eat crappy foods
REALISTIC: How do you know that you can achieve this goal?
On October 1st I went cold turkey off pop because I realized it was becoming an addiction. I’d been meaning to stop drinking as much pop as I had been since January of 2015. Since weaning myself off of it like a baby didn’t work, I decided to cut out pop altogether.
I honestly never thought I’d be able to do it, but so far I have (2 months, 24 days clean). Because I considered it a food addiction I treated it like a more widely accepted drug addiction and my mantras became:
Don’t fall off the wagon.
Don’t make yourself go back to Day 0 again.
You’ve made it this far, keep going.
I also had a great support group in my Beachbody family and immediate role models, I’ve never caught one of the other girls at work drinking pop and they all look great.
So find any reason that makes you believe that you can achieve. Get yourself a rewards system, join a support group, or find a role model.
Whatever works for you, do it!
( If you’d like information about food addiction check out Pamela Peeke’s informative and well researched book The Hunger Fix. )
TIMELY: When do you want to achieve this goal?
Remember, a goal without a deadline is a dream floating in the sky.
Give yourself a hard date, some measurable benchmark that you can use to prove to yourself that you’re on the right track.
Set a deadline for your overall goal but, if it helps you, set intermediate deadlines too.
You don’t eat a whole pie all at once, you do it a bite at a time.
Just trying to do everything at ones sounds simple but is overwhelming for all but 2 people, who I haven’t met yet.
Give yourself simple tasks with deadlines so you can see the progress you’re making, one bite at a time.
I’m starting my goal on January 1st 2016, classic New Years Resolution style. By January 1st 2017 I want to be fast food free.
I know that I can’t avoid eating out entirely so I’ve given myself intermediate steps and rules.
For the first six months, until June 30th, I can have two cheat meals per month, but, I have to get out of the car and actually walk into the restaurant. I also have to make a healthier choice than I have been making. No more two cheeseburgers, pie, and fries for me.
If it’s for a business meeting/event or family related it’s okay, but I can’t forget about portion control and writing down what I eat… Or making healthier choices.
If after 6/30/16 I find myself desirous of some salty fatness, I have to look up the nutrition information online before I go to the restaurant.
If I still want to go to the restaurant I have to recite the reasons that fast food is bad for me and why I wanted to stop eating it in the first place.
If I still want to eat after that, I’m going to smack myself on the head and walk back out the door.
**BONUS: Give yourself a reward system**
I’m easily motivated by even the slightest possibility of rewards so, if on 1/1/17 I have been successfully fast food free for the last six months I’m going to buy myself a new camera. A nice camera. With a really nice lens.
Other people start rewards jars, putting in some change or a dollar whenever they resist temptation and stick to their goals. Then at the end of a period of time they take that money out and buy themselves something special.
Whatever works for you, do it.
So I have a detailed plan, actionable intentions, and rewards in place, this should be easy right? #not #beingrealistic
Want some help planning your goals or getting healthier?
Starting January 4th I’m hosting a FREE New Year New You goal setting workshop through Facebook, join the group by clicking here.
As always I have monthly weight loss/health and fitness accountability groups going so just message me through the Facebook page if you’d like to join. (It’s like online Weight Watchers, but better 😉 )