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Thinking Ahead (aka Planning Stage)

Friday, December 30, 2011

A break from the normal "this sucks" blog. *lol*

So I've spent the majority of my time planning lately. I'll be the first to tell you that New Years Resolutions, in their traditional sense, do NOT work. However... (I hate starting sentences with "however") I think planning is extremely important to set yourself up for success. Even if it weren't the first of the year coming up, I'd still be planning and setting myself up for the next month because, yes, I'll admit, I think this month was a total wash. I didn't get much accomplished as far as my weight loss/fitness goals were concerned, and it had little to do with the holidays and more to do with what I just happen to be going through right now. So January 1st or November 1st, I'd be sitting here doing the same thing - planning for a positive, healthy, and successful new month.

That being said, there is a certain air of "fresh start/clean slate" on the upcoming month just because it is a new year (and will mean another birthday in just over a week). So, go on and make those NY Resolutions, I'd say - just make them reasonably. And don't waste today or tomorrow. Yes, I know, you'll "get started" on the first, and if you really want to stick to that, that's fine. But use the next 2 days to set yourself up better. Log everything you eat - yes, even the crap. Log and journal and plan, plan, plan - because it will all help you make a better start out of the upcoming month/year. I haven't had "successful" days this past week, at least not in my regular terms of speaking about the whole "healthy lifestyle" thing. I've eaten crap, and too much of it. But I've logged it all and I've started to get my arse back in gear with cooking every day and I'm taking small walks on all of my breaks at work. Each time I log something, take a walk, plan a meal, cook something new, I'm setting myself up for my "fresh start" on Sunday.

What have I learned?

Well, last night I had the first "Okay, that is ENOUGH!" moment when it came to eating the crap. It's been a LONG time since I've gotten to this point. I felt the effects. And I hated that even more than my "loss of willpower" over the candy floating around my house. Know what I'll be doing tomorrow? CLEAN HOUSE, baby! This stuff is finding it's way out of my life for now because I know I'm having a crap time controlling myself around it. (Just think what would have happened if I had "waited" until January 1st...I would've set myself up for failure right there.)

I've also caught the cooking bug again. (Thank goodness!) I've been making crockpot meals, recipes I've found online or ones I've simply "made up" (a skill I learned this year and really does work wonders). I'm starting to feel that pride again in cooking something I know that I made - something in which I know every single ingredient, down to the last dash of salt. This is what "eating clean" is to me. Eating meals that I've cooked, with simple and controlled ingredients. (We can argue how this isn't exactly what they mean by "clean eating" but what does it matter if it works for me?) I'm starting to use recipes and adapt them to cut down on the calories or fat, increase the amount of veggies in them, and otherwise make them less greasy, more healthy, more filling, and less "guilt-ridden." (I'll let you know when I finally find the holy grail - a great tasting, healthy version of Mac-N-Cheese.)

I'm back to drinking my 8 minimum cups of water a day and have been taking my supplements. All these little things add up. I'm also getting my body used to walks again. Sucks that I have to resort back to this, but I know in my heart that people have lost ALL their weight doing nothing but walking. Hopefully one day I'll be able to go back to my KickArse AmpedUp Workouts, but until then, I will walk and adapt every other exercise to make it work with what I've got. "Do what you do."

I've also taken this time to re-evaluate what 2011 meant to me and have come to feel pretty proud of what I've accomplished. I no longer say, "I ONLY lost 20 pounds." I now say, "I lost 20 pounds this year!" Because I went thorugh a lot of crap, and in the past I know that I would have simply given in and given up and would have to say that I gained those 20 pounds instead of losing them. I like this route better. And I learned a crapton about myself too, which will help me mentally adapt to the next phase of this journey. (Because I now see my journey in parts or phases, and 2011 was part of the in-between phase I usually have. Last time that "phase" lasted 5 years and I gained 50 pounds over those 5 years. This time I hope to look back and remember that it only lasted 1 year and I LOST 20 pounds.)

So, yes, I've been planning. And eagerly awaiting the new year to "unveil" my plan to everyone. *lol* This morning I thought, "How friggin' stupid is that?" THAT is something that doesn't require waiting to do...as starting your healthy lifestyle doesn't require a set date, neither does unveiling my plan - jotting it down, proclaiming it to the "world" so I'm held accountable. So, here it is...in all it's glory. And please keep in mind that I know fully well in my mind that this plan probably will change from time to time, depending on my back/hip issues...so I've given myself back up plans as well.

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1/1 - off
1/2 - 1.5 miles & 30 Day Shred
1/3 - ZumbaLite & ST
1/4 - off
1/5 - ZumbaLite
1/6 - NTC (adapted as needed)
1/7 - 3 miles
1/8 - MY BIRTHDAY!! (off)
1/9 - 2 miles & 30DS
1/10 - ZumbaLite & ST
1/11 - off
1/12 - ZumbaLite
1/13 - NTC
1/14 - 3 miles
1/15 - off
1/16 - 2 miles & 30DS
1/17 - ZumbaLite & ST
1/18 - off
1/19 - ZumbaLite
1/20 - Elliptical & 30DS
1/21 - 4 miles
1/22 - off
1/23 - 2.5 miles & 30DS
1/24 - ZumbaLite & ST
1/25 - off
1/26 - ZumbaLite
1/27 - NTC
1/28 - 4 miles
1/29 - off
1/30 - 2.5 miles & 30DS
1/31 - ZumbaLite & ST

* This schedule allows for 2-3 days of ST per week, plus 5 days of some sort of cardio. I've reclaimed "Zumba" as ZumbaLite to remind me to keep it light...but if Zumba starts messing with me again, I'll have to sub it out for the elliptical machine, and I have no problem with that because they both burn a lot of calories. I'm also going to try 30DS, but I don't think I can do it every single day right now. I may not even be able to finish level one right now, but dangit I vow to at least attempt to do as much as I can of it every single day I've got it scheduled.

* Also, you'll notice I've simply put a mileage number for my old "run" days. If I get back to feeling like I can run (and get the go ahead from the doc) I will try to run part of these. If not, I'll walk it. And on those long days, I'll do what I can - take a break - and then finish my mileage later. Even if that means a LOT of short 15 minute walks (15 minutes seems to be my breaking point right now), that's what it means - that's why I scheduled them on Saturdays!

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emoticon Allowed High Calorie Days

* Jan 2nd - I'll be home from work with the boys and am thinking this might be our one "eat out" day that week

* Jan 8th - My birthday! We will certainly be eating out that day (hopefully) and I have my eye on a vegan chocolate cake with vegan "buttercream" frosting - not because of dietary concerns, but because the best cake/cupcakes I've eaten in my life have been vegan. *shrug* Maybe my body just likes them more...

* Jan 15th & 22nd - Both Sundays, which I think will be my regular HCD, unless there's a special event or something

- Again, this whole "high calorie days" is a tester type thing. When I started losing weight in 2004, I used to think it a horrible idea to weigh in more than once a week. But last year I started weighing in every day and I noticed it takes the sting out of the numbers for me. I feel somehow better about my progress by "checking in" every day, and starting my morning on the scale reminds me that I have a job to do, that I have a goal I'm reaching toward, so I need to be on the ball each and every day. (Now, I'm not promoting this. This works for me. This could be disasterous for you -- some even say it can lead to eating disorders! -- but I gotta do me.) I'm hoping that this "high calorie day" thing will break me from binges that last a week because I've been trying so hard to be "good" for months and I just can't take it any more. I want to "lessen" that feeling of "all or nothing" and know that if I want a friggin' cupcake, I can have one...and it doesn't mean I have to starve all day to do it. I'll have it on my HCD and then move on. I have no clue if this will work, but it won't hurt to try, right?

Other food goals:
emoticon On days not HCD, I need to stick to around 1700-1900 calories. (Haven't found that sweet spot yet, so I'm just going by nutritionist recommendations and what I know about what my body does when I have "successful" weeks.)

emoticon Only eat out 1-2 times per week. This includes special occasions and lunches, so no making special "exceptions" for these. If I grab a Subway sub on Tuesday at lunch, then I've used up one of my "eat out" cards.

emoticon When eating out, be mindful of what you're ordering! Since I know about cooking now, I know a lot of what types of oils, butters, and sauces pack a calorie punch right in the kisser. So I'm going to be mindful of that and try to order wisely.

emoticon Make meals at home. Of course, since we'll be eating out less, that means I'll be cooking at home more. This is why I've been testing out the whole "slow cooker" method of making dinner to see how well that will work into our lives. Right now, it's looking good! I can give myself a "night off" from cooking, while still enjoying a warm home-cooked meal. I think we'll be using our slow cooker 2-4 nights a week in January!

emoticon Make healthy lunches for work. This is something I've been working on. I do not enjoy/get filled up on/like the taste, cost, or sodium in those TV dinner type meals. When I eat these, I end up hungry an hour later. No lie. They can say it's got tons of fiber and whatever else, but my body just soaks it up (or maybe just gets rid of it...TMI?) and I'm hungry again. It just NEVER seems like enough. So I need to keep making my own lunch. Something I KNOW will fill me up and keep me going. Of course, this part has always been lacking for me. If I can make enough food the night before, I can usually swing some leftovers. But I live in a house with 3 males - one is 31 and works stocking shelves all night so needs a TON of energy from his food (=eats a LOT), another is 12 (=eats a LOT! *lol*). (The other one, my 9 year old, is still a picky eater and rarely finishes the scaled down portions I give him anyhow, so I can't totally blame this on him...it's just the oldest 2 in the house hogging the food.) This means that, try as I might, sometimes there just AREN'T any leftovers to be had. So I need healthy, quick lunch alternatives other than the fall-back salad and ham sandwich. (Feel free to give ideas!)

emoticon Get some healthy snacks going! I'm going to limit myself to 2 healthy snacks at work. Of course, I'm here for 10 hours, so the first snack can be small, but the last one needs to carry me through (especially considering I workout after work). I need to make sure to pack things like my homemade peanut butter and other things that might "stick" to me and give me the fuel I need to round out the day.

emoticon Drink at least 8 glasses of water EVERY DAY!

emoticon Take my supplements. (Right now I'm taking B-Stress Complex, Potassium, and Glucosamine. Maybe that will give my body the help it needs to REALLY heal. I'm already feeling a little better after just 3 days of it.)


Okay, so this month my rewards are based off my exercise, because we've discovered that exercise keeps me motivated. If I find this is making other areas (like eating right) slide because I have that "well, if I just workout..." mentality, we'll switch things up. My rewards are on a sliding scale, trying to get me toward consistency without demanding immediate perfection.

There are 22 workouts scheduled in January 2012.
If I complete....I get.
22/22 - A full makeover - new outfit, haircut and color, mani, pedi.
20/22 - Haircut and new clothes
18/22 - Haircut and a new pair of jeans/pants
16/22 - Haircut and a new shirt
15/22 - Haircut

(I need a friggin' haircut! *lol* For serious. I will be SO mad at myself if I don't make it to the lower level ... *lol* But I have faith in myself that I will. I'm already "shopping" for my new outfit. The only thing scaring me is that pedicure...I've never had one and I have REALLY ticklish feet.)


emoticon At least 1 "daytrip" or weekend excursion with the family. I've got my eye on Ohio Caverns for January, but if we can't swing that even a movie and lunch day on a Sunday could work wonders!

emoticon Get crafty! I think engaging my creative side helps me too...plus, when you have a hobby you spend time doing something other than thinking about food! *lol* I'm thinking I'll either knit myself a pretty scarf (I LOVE scarves and hats...and I don't know how to knit hats yet...) or I'll get together my recipes into a family recipe book. Other crafty ideas I've had: frame a picture of my own, scrapbook my journey thus far, a new coupon organizing system, paint the living room and do house repairs (even that can be "crafty" for me).

So there it is. The plan for a new month, a new year on the calendar, a new year in my life. I'll be turning 31 and I want to start off the year on the right foot. As for NY resolutions and all that? I've decided I'd like to lose 52 pounds in 2012. That's all I got. That's my goal. One pound a week. That's totally doable...and will put me around the 250 range, which is super close to the gym-set goal for me of 230. Oh, and I'd like to get into some new (smaller sized) clothes for sure! I'm ready to save up and go shopping again! *lol* (I love buying new clothes when I know I might go down a size...makes it more fun to shop and see the progress of my hard work reflected in the mirror!)

So what's your take on NY resolutions? Are you making any? If not, are you planning for next month or just "flying by the seat of your pants" into January?
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Love your plans!! I need to clean the crap out of my fridge...(chocolate covered chex mix and such).

    Love that you caught the cooking bug again...everything sounds great!!
    3414 days ago
    Some great plans. You're totally right that COOKING is key! OMG, totally the biggest help to nutrition is having somebody cook for us or do it ourselves. Hard to do on a tight schedule but NUTRITION is #1 (at least for my body) and sadly, I always lack there a bit.
    3414 days ago
  • JEREMY723
    You have a great plan that I know you've spent a lot of time thinking about and writing. Wishing you all the best in January and the rest of 2012!
    3415 days ago
  • ERIN1128
    Awesome planning! I love that you always, always pick yourself back up, it's - I know, you hate this word, LOL! - inspiring!!
    3415 days ago
  • ERIN1128
    Awesome planning! I love that you always, always pick yourself back up, it's - I know, you hate this word, LOL! - inspiring!!
    3415 days ago
  • no profile photo CD8041482
    emoticon planning & Have a Happy new Year
    3415 days ago
  • IONA72
    You have put a lot of effort in already, you deserve success. I too was waiting for New Year to update my page, but like you, decided why wait? Today is day one of the new me.
    Good luck on the journey emoticon
    3415 days ago
    That's some serious planning!! I have no doubt in my mind that you will kill all of your plans!!!

    HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!! Here we gooooooo!!!!!!
    3415 days ago
    Planning is crucial! I think you will do emoticon
    3415 days ago
  • no profile photo CD1223914
    I will make my resolutions on 1/3/2012 and I think they work for some people.
    3415 days ago
    Your plan looks awesome!! I love that you left your mileage in so you can ramp back into running as you're feeling better. I am totally rooting for 22/22 so you can get the works reward! I'll set myself a reminder to wish you a happy b-day - mine is 2 days before - go goats!
    3415 days ago
    You amazing planning ahead woman!!!

    For the lunches/leftovers issue, what about packing up your lunch before dinner (i.e. before the ravening hordes have gotten to whatever delicious thing you've made)? Stash it in a tub in the fridge and then they can scrape the pan without sacrificing your lunch. Alternatively, make a couple of things on the weekend *only* for lunches (a pot of chili or stew, etc.) and decant into lunch portions straightaway and freeze them.
    3415 days ago
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