Wednesday, December 06, 2006


I'm still stuck in a limbo of weight loss, and it's been a while since I really thought about why I'm trying to lose weight in the first place. So I decided to do a little re-evaluation of my motivations and get focused before the holidays, which are notorious for weight gain (and not just in my little world).

Why do I want to lose weight?

Because I want to be healthy and live the longest life I possibly can. Because I want to be able to keep up with my future children. Because I want to do what I can now to avoid preventable diseases. More than losing weight, I want to learn to live a healthy lifestyle where food and calories aren't my main concern, but rather enjoying life and living it to the fullest.

What are my goals for the next 6 months?
  1. To reduce my body fat by 5 percentage points (to 28%)
  2. To reduce my BMI to the healthy range by losing 30 pounds (since I've gained a few recently)
  3. To strengthen my body by increasing my weight training to 3 sessions per week
  4. To be able to run a 5K in less than 30 minutes
  5. To build a healthier relationship with food by learning to pay closer attention to my hunger signals
  6. To recognize the power of food to nourish and energize my body
  7. To recognize the lack of power food has over my moods and situations

What are my obstacles?

  1. The habit to eat when I'm bored, stressed, disappointed and angry
  2. Vacation tendancies to overeat, take a break from exercise and eat out of habit or availability rather than necessity
  3. Holidays and special occasions where I'm surrounded by food and treats
  4. Midnight munchies

How can I overcome them or work to improve my response to them?

  1. Find replacement behaviors for when I'm feeling these trigger emotions (i.e. reading, writing, journaling, exercising, yoga, puzzles, etc.)
  2. Practice fitting activity into even the most busy daily schedule; make a conscious effort to focus on hunger signals and to avoid mindless eating.
  3. Treat every day the same way; allow for occassional treats, but focus on nutritional value and satisfaction of foods rather than considering them splurges; remember that I can have anything at anytime and that treats aren't limited to holidays and special occassions, so there's no need to gorge at parties and holiday meals.
  4. Reinforcers for avoiding midnight munchies; punishment for munching after bedtime; special reinforcement for 3 consecutive days without.

What successes have I seen so far?

I'm in the best physical shape I've been in since high school. When I really consider it, I actually enjoy exercise, not because of the weight I lose or the calories I burn, but because I feel more energetic and relaxed, and I can spend some time on myself. I have already lost more than 30 pounds. I enjoy healthy meals, I've found healthy alternatives for some of the worst cravings, and I can treat myself on occassion without going off the deep end.

What has gotten me here? How have I acheived these successes?

Discipline, practice and perseverence. I have learned new habits. I have pushed through discouragement. I have made myself a priority. I have found foods and exercises that improve my mind and body and are enjoyable at the same time.

Why do I feel incapable?

Because I expect myself to be perfect and I never am. Because I've failed before. Because I struggle with the same issues over and over again. Because I often make gains, only to fall back into old routines or make unhealthy decisions that undo the good I've done.

How do I know that I am capable?

Because I've done it. Because I haven't gained back all the I have lost. Because I'm continuing to live a healthier lifestyle despite my struggles and stumbles. Because I'm strong and I have a plan, and where there's a plan and an effort to accomplish that plan, there's eventually success.

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