Sunday, January 4, 2009

My 2009 Goal: I Will Lose Weight

Last month I attended a work meeting in Chicago and a large portion of one day was sitting in on a workshop that I thought was going to be about sales and how to deal with it in the current economy. Luckily for me, it turned out it was only a little bit focused on that and a lot focused on personal goal setting.

My job is very much about giving giving giving to other people. And I'm totally fine with that. I'm about to celebrate five years of being with the same company and seven years of being in the same line of work and I still feel so very fortunate to be able to do it for a living. I still love love love what I do and I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. So it was a pleasant surprise when the session turned out to be just as much for our personal well being.

The task was simple. Set a goal. And your goal isn't something flimsy, like "I want to..." You need to set a strong goal. So I started mine out to be "I will lose weight." Nice and strong and direct.

After you set your goal, your next step is to write out the benefits once you meet your goal. The idea is that the benefits list will help you keep going when things go rough and that it helps motivate you along the way.

So the benefits of losing weight (we know they're endless) for me are:
I'll feel better about my appearance
I'll wear nicer clothing
I'll have more energy
It'll be easier for me to work out
I won't be embarrassed by my appearance
I won't be afraid to go to the doctor
I won't be embarrassed to see people I haven't seen in a while
I won't feel anxious every time I see my family
I won't blame everything on my weight
I'll try surfing
I'll feel lighter
I'll feel more confident
I'll feel healthier
I'll save money
I'll eat healthier foods
I won't be overweight
I won't feel as anxious
I won't be afraid in social situations or feel judged
I won't have problems sleeping
I'll feel incredibly proud of myself for overcoming this challenge and meeting this goal
I'll be more excited to start each day
I'll live a more balanced life
I'll be closer to being ready to start my own family

After this, you come up with the obstacles that may get in the way of you reaching your goal. And for each obstacle, you list action items and other things that you can do to make the obstacle not be a challenge. So here goes:

1. I've tried this before.
1.1- Identify all the reasons why losing weight hasn't been successful in the past.
1.2- Make a list of all the ways I've tried to lose weight before.
1.3- Find quotes about trying again and put them up in places I need to see them.

2. Me getting in my own way.
2.1- Write down a daily intention to keep my goal of losing weight top of mind.
2.2- Check in with myself regularly about my commitment and willingness to see this through the ups and downs, the successes and the setbacks.
2.3- Surround myself with positive words and images.

3. Going out to eat.
3.1- Significantly reduce the amount of times I eat out.
3.2- Look at eating out only at places where I can make healthful food choices.
3.3- Say no when friends suggest going out to eat.
3.4- Cook more at home.
3.5- Invite friends over instead of going out to eat.
3.6- Tell friends I'm trying to lose weight and get them on board.

4. Not eating enough/regularly throughout the day.
4.1- Write down what I eat.
4.2- Eat breakfast everyday.
4.3- Have food in the house I can eat.
4.4- Ask Steve to help out with the shopping.
4.5- Shop with Steve.
4.6- Plant snack food in my car and in my bag so I'm never without food.

5. Not having food in the house.
5.1- Go shopping more often.
5.2- Walk to the store- it's right next door!
5.3- Go shopping with Steve- make it fun.
5.4- Make lists for the store.
5.5- Pull out recipes I want to make and stock the fridge/cabinets with ingredients.
5.6- Plan meals with Steve and shop accordingly.

6. Having unhealthy foods in the house.
6.1- Eliminate unhealthy food in the apartment.
6.2- Throw anything out that's already in the apartment.
6.3- Bake less.
6.4- Tell Steve to bring not so great food to school to get it out of the apartment.

7. Traveling.
7.1- Reduce travel when possible since it throws me off my game.
7.2- Pack snacks so I don't eat shit box on the plane or bad food at the airport.
7.3- Allow for some deviation from the perfect plan while traveling.
7.4- Aim to workout more while traveling to help balance out unavoidable/unplanned food situations.

8. Drinking
8.1- Significantly reduce drinking and amount I drink when I'm out.
8.2- Eat before I go out.
8.3- Drink water and eat when I come home to keep me from eating crap.
8.4- Don't get drunk.

9. Stress
9.1- Breathe, meditate.
9.2- Stretch.
9.3- Workout, do yoga, take Clancy for a walk.
9.4- Talk or write about why I'm stressed and figure out how to make myself feel better without food.
9.5- Write in my food journal or blog.
9.6- Sit on the couch and watch TV, read a magazine, a book or relax/do "nothing."

10. Working too much.
10.1- Make a commitment to not work more than 8hrs/day when possible.
10.1a- When I do have to work long days, take a lunch and other breaks to keep me sane/take care of myself.
10.2- Put lunch on my calendar everyday and don't move it for work unless absolutely necessary.
10.3- Turn off my work computer every night.
10.4- Don't volunteer to work every holiday- enjoy it!
10.5- Use old vacation days and plan for the time off now.
10.6- Delegate more.
10.7- Don't eat at my desk.
10.8- Say no more often (to more than just work!)
10.9- Remove work email from iPhone unless it's convenient for me.
10.10- Don't work on the weekends if I'm bored or feel like I have nothing better to do.
10.11- Can I have a computer free day on the weekends?

11. Getting lazy/losing focus.
11.1- Write down what I eat.
11.2- Determine if I step on the scale or not.
11.3- Find an accountability partner.
11.4- Look into OA meetings.
11.5- Commit to going to more meetings until I find one that works for me and go more often.
11.6- Write down a daily intention.
11.7- Check-in with myself about my goals and commitment level.

12. A lack of structure or accountability.
12.1- Go to OA meetings.
12.2- Write down what I eat.
12.3- Write down a daily intention.
12.4- Chart my progress.
12.5- Determine how I'll measure success.
12.6- If I weigh myself, where do I do it? Who does it? Do I see the number on the scale? How frequently do I do it?
12.7- Write more on my blog.

13. Using food as a reward system.
13.1- Make a list of all the other ways I can reward myself without food.
13.2- Start taking care of myself in other ways so food isn't the only thing I do to "treat" myself.
13.3- Re frame how I use food- as an opportunity to nourish my body, to provide myself with energy to get through the day.

14. Other people.
14.1- Say no if it's going to interfere with my ability to eat well, treat myself/my body healthfully or if it'll make myself feel bad later.
14.2 Offer to make dinner at my place.
14.3- Meet up with people after I've eaten dinner.
14.4- Bring food I know I can eat if going over to other people's homes.
14.5- Suggest to do things that don't involve food.
14.6- Tell people what i"m doing so they can support me, help me, get on board, etc.

15. Eliminating certain foods.
15.1- Make a list of the foods that set me off.
15.2- Make a commitment to reduce the frequency with which I eat these foods.
15.3- Don't eliminate foods all together so I don't go bat shit crazy when I eat them or am around them.
15.4- Don't judge myself when I do eat them.
15.5- Be honest with myself that I may need to say no to some foods for a while to help me lose weight.

16. Eating a last supper/hoo haa.
16.1- Make my commitment to losing weight an ongoing effort so I don't feel the need to freak out on food.
16.2- Make a conscious effort to not overeat.
16.3- Keep in check the foods I eat in a single day and balance out the types of food I eat.

17. Getting disappointed by not seeing results quickly enough.
17.1- Don't let the scale dictate whether I'm successful or not. Make a list of what doesn't show up on the scale.
17.2- Make a list of ways I know I'll be on the right path with weight loss so it's not only about the scale.
17.3- Make a list each week of the successes I've had. Remind myself what's working and what I'm doing well.
17.4- Be realistic with myself that it's not always going to be perfect. There will be setbacks and that's okay.
17.5- Set mini-goals to keep me on track, feel successful and move me in the right direction.

Wow, that's a lot, right? It's hard for me to even digest all of that and to know where exactly to go from here. My next step is to set deadlines for some of these items and to complete action items that can be taken care of right away.

For right now, it's Sunday and every Sunday I'm going to be writing out my goals for the week. So to kick it off, here are my goals for week 1:

1. Weigh myself and record it so I can start charting my progress.
2. Work out at least three times.
3. Attempt to start running again.
4. No going out to eat during week 1- not for a single meal.
5. Write down all the food I eat in the same day I eat it.

I'll check-in throughout the week on all of this, and I will give a full report on how I did with these goals next Sunday.


Rebecca January 6, 2009 at 4:21 AM  

I have to say, you are one of the most beautiful people I "sort of" but feel I absolutely know. I wish you luck on your journey!

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