Never set your expectations too high. For example, I am going to lose 30 lbs in a month. Clearly, this is an impossible expectation with doom written all over it. However, I put out a very reasonable expectation, 7 lbs in 7 weeks. This would undoubtedly be a healthy method-1 lb per week. Yes? Of course the answer is yes, but in my brain, deep within it’s coffee soaked crevices, I had an alternate plan. I figured since 1 lb a week seemed soooo simple, then, I would probably lose more than that, hailing me as the goddess of weight loss.
My alternate plan was very convincing in my brain, even though my realistic plan was the one I set forth on paper. Now, I know you have all done this. It’s what we do. We set forth, ready to forge ahead and kick butt, and while we are full of this motivational hyperactivity, our expectations soar, and we think we can conquer the world, and ultimately disregard the realistic foundation put into place that eventually gets us to the point where we want to be.
I’m not saying you can’t shoot for something better, but it’s like that commercial of the overweight man who weights himself before stepping on the treadmill , runs for 30 seconds, and then gets frustrated when he weighs himself again and the number is still the same. I bet he had an alternate plan in his head too.
Sigh. Okay, true confessions. Last week wasn’t bad. I skipped a workout, but worked out 4x that week. Yes, sometimes life gets in the way, and for the most part I dealt with life and worked out, but sometimes your body just says, “Nuh uh! Not happenin' today.” Therefore, I indulged my muscles and took a break. I stepped on the scale this past Tuesday, thinking I was going to be pleased. If the scale could talk here is how it would have responded to me after my initial weigh in.
Me: "Seriously?" "Not even one pound?"
Scale: "Are you talkin’ to me?"
Me: "I can’t believe I cannot even take off one blessed pound." I was so careful this week.
Scale: "Didn’t you have a cheat day last Friday?"
Me: Yes, but, I built that in.
Scale: "Yes, but you only really started to pay attention that Tuesday, what did you expect?"
Me: "I don’t know at least half a pound?"
Scale: "Really?" (Might I add the scale sounds really snarky)
Me: You suck.
Scale: "Hey, don’t hate the messenger, I just report the facts."
Me: 'I’ll be back."
Scale: Bring it.
There you have it. One week down, and I lost NOTHING! My alternate plan was 2lbs. for my first week out. I told my alternate plan to take a hike. It was sabotaging my efforts and playing tricks with my psyche.
Point #1-The shorts that prompted me to do this, are definitely looser. They no longer strain against my waist and the thighs feel less tight. Progress. The other thing is, I wasn’t happy with my Tuesday weigh in, so I weighed in again today, and lo and behold, 1 ½ lbs. are shed. Yeah, me. The scale now reads 136. Victory is mine.
Point #2-I’m not an overweight person. For the record, I am at a healthy weight by government standards, by personal standards however, my goals involve finding a comfort level that makes me happy. I’m not looking to shrink to a size 2, but rather, to be in the size I am supposed to be, comfortably. No alternate plans, this is really what I strive for.
Point #3-I feel better. I really do. Last Friday’s cheat made me keenly aware of what it means to feel positively awful. I wasn’t planning to cheat last Friday. In fact, I was stellar the entire day, until I got to the grocery store, and the cookie samples sent me into a dizzying, vortex of shame. Let’s just say, I made quite a few excuses, to return to the bakery aisle and when I got there, I shamefully made it seem like I hadn’t been there before.
I had my act down (because I have done this before). First, I tentatively approach the samples and make a face as if to say, “Wow, I didn’t know these were here, I think I will try one (yeah right, like 6 of them), while looking at the ingredients as if I was going to buy them. I think the woman in the cheese dept. was totally on to me. This initial cheat led me down the path of unrighteousness at home as well. Don’t ask, don’t tell, but it wasn’t pretty. That night, I felt as if I was 6 months pregnant; loaded down, uncomfortable, bloated and full. I swore I felt something moving in there, probably just a load of junk trying to get through my intestinal tract. The good news is that I couldn’t wait to start fresh again the next day!
Point #4-If I can motivate just one person, I’m so happy that it was my husband, who is riding my diet coat tails and has joined fornces with me. Normally, he and I are like a seesaw. When he’s good, I’m bad and vice versa. Now we are in this together, and it’s so much better when you and your spouse are on board together.
My final observation is that I have listed way more good than bad or ugly. Therefore, I am definitely onto something and I look forward to the changes ahead. There is always time to join me, hop on board and start your own challenge. I look forward to hearing from you.