If You Choose To Accept It

As a Scorpio, I’m astrologically inclined to take an all-or-nothing approach to life. I’m either wildly passionate about something or completely half-assed.  This extremism always gets me into trouble, especially when it comes to losing weight.  If you go hell-for-leather at 110%, you’re soon likely to crash because you can’t maintain the pace, then wind up reacquainting yourself with a litre of ice cream and a spoon.

My new strategy is the Mini Mission.  I’m setting four MM’s each week.  This appeals to my competitive streak — I get a rush from focusing on something and madly persuing it.  But these tasks are very small, subtle changes to my lifestyle, which means they’re not so wildly different that my body will keel over from shock, especially after a couple of months of inactivity.  They’re more like ‘behaviour adjustments’.

Making the MM’s small also means I won’t get overwhelmed by the big picture, that is, the 20-ish kilos I still have to lose.  I can just bury myself in these little tasks, addressing all my eating and exercise issues chunk by chunk at the micro level. Hopefully I’ll slowly build up some confidence and a sense of achievement.  My theory is if I can achieve these wee MM’s, they will start to become everyday habits.  Then I just add more MM’s the next week, and the cumulative effect should be a healthier, fitter me.

Everyone else has been setting various forms of MM’s forever, but the concept is new to me.  I’ve never been so specific before, nor have I had MM’s small enough to achieve in a week.  I’ve always had vague goals like "bust my ass at the gym so I can get into those pants by 10th April", or unrealistic, scale-focused goals like "lose 0.5kg a week so I weigh xx kilos by yy date."  Now that I have given this thing a name, and I’ve written them down on paper in anal-retentive fashion, I feel all fired up to achieve them.

Last week’s Mini Missions were:

1.  Keep a food and exercise diary
2.  Do not use lifts
3.  Eat breakfast
4.  Drink 2 litres of water per day

And here’s how I went…

1.  Keep a food and exercise diary
I had my little Personal Diet Planner 2004 from the January issue of Slimming magazine rotting away in the drawer. It has a week to a page with columns for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and calories/fat.  I scrapped the cals/fat column and changed that to Exercise. I religiously wrote in every little thing, including the Tunnock’s Tea Cake on Wednesday night (won’t do that again – hydrogenated vegetable oil ahoy!) and the blobs of cheese nicked while cooking. It really started to sink in how much extra food I was putting away, and by the end of the week I was much more vigilant.

2.  Do not use lifts
I thought three flights of stairs at work were not much, but I’m up and down those puppies at least a half dozen times a day. I’d been using the lift (elevator) for a couple of months, so last week was a helluva shock to the quads. Now I’m using flimsy premises to prowl round the office more often, just to get in a few extra steps. I could shred those two pieces of paper at the shredder beside my desk, but it’s more beneficial (and time wasting) to walk to the shredder on the ground floor!

3.  Eat breakfast
I’d gotten into a habit of waking too late to have brekkie at home, meaning I’d end up going to the staff canteen for a bacon roll, Kit Kat or wedge of chocolate cake. Nasty! I managed good breakfasts all last week, mostly porridge and fruit, or a banana and a handful of nuts on the bus if running late.

4.  Drink 2 litres of water per day
I was inspired by The Boy and the bottle of water that seems to be superglued to his hand.  I’m drinking a small glass of water before every meal as well as getting through a few half-litre bottles at work. 

I think I’ve been getting a little too obsessed though.  I read somewhere that you know you’ve drunk enough water if your urine is a "pale straw colour with no discernable smell".  So it’s been a sad case of pee, wipe, jump up, spin round and peer down the bowl to examine my handiwork.  Then wishing I had a piece of straw handy to do a colour comparison.  I have not, however, gone so far to get down on my knees and sniff at the bowl.

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10 thoughts on “If You Choose To Accept It

  1. Go dietgirl! I can really relate to you MM theory – I also give myself unrealistic goals…and I think what your doing is VERY motivating 🙂
    I weigh exactly as much as you do – so I feel like I can really relate to you. The water thing is tough, but I feel much better when I actually make my water goal…and my skin is clearing up nicely!
    Good luck to you, don’t give up – you’ve come this far, you can do it. You’re truly an inspiration!

  2. I’m thinking that I need to take a similar approach (smaller, specific, attainable goals), so I’m glad to see that it’s working for you.

  3. OMG DG, you have me laughing out loud here. I sure hope you NEVER get down on all fours to smell the toilet!!!!

    I pee clear by 2-3pm – that is about 6 cups of water. I also have 2 cups of coffee before I dive into the water. I then have 6 cups at home. I have a water bottle that holds 3 cups, so yeah I drink four of these a day.

    I too have started mini goals. Never thought of micro goals but they sound cool. As for using the “lift” (elevator here in Canada), I too am on the third floor and they just unlocked the stairwells (they used to only be unlocked during fire alarms etc, for security reasons) a week or so ago and I keep meaning to “take the stairs”. It’s only twice a day, I need to do it. Except going down, my knees can’t take it, especially when I’m in heels.

    I use FITDAY to keep track of my food during the weekdays and count in my head during the weekends.

    Have I told you I love the fact that you are posting more? Yay!

  4. I’ve heard the “clear pee” theory, as well. I have also heard that, since we shed our fat via urine and it shows up as a dark color, having dark urine is OK as long as it isn’t foamy or cloudy (which indicates too much sugar).

    The bright-yellow canary color after taking B vitamins is kind of scary.

  5. Is it not possible for you to have a stack of something healthy at work which you could have for breakfast so you do not have to risk going to the cantina?

  6. I’m one of those people who carries a water bottle with them everywhere. I also have a big insulated cup that I keep at work; we have an ice machine and filtered water so that also makes it easier.

  7. good idea, Ive never thought about goals like that. Going to think about it.

    I use a program where I put in what i eat every day and excersise and it calculates how many calories Ive been eating and have left as well as the vitamines, carbs and proteins. Its really good and I can look back and see how Ive been doing.

    I start by putting in my current weight and then what weight I want to optain and in how many weeks then it calculates how many calories I can eat per day. If I excersise then I get to eat more which is very inspirering. I dont have to turn down a dinner or a cake but it means I have to get busy and do something to burn it off.

    Works fine for me so far.

    I think its so inspiering to read your page though and am a regular reader.

  8. Luckily, my entire vet school class invested in these 32-ounce (really 40, if you fill them all the way up) Nalgene bottles. 80% of my class has one with them at all times. Peer pressure can be a good thing in this case!