Setting a Small Goal to Get Back on Track

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This is how I’m going to feel after I’ve lost 40 pounds!

Last week, I was clearing my computer desktop and came across a photo I had to send in for an online weight loss challenge in late May. The photo needed to show the number on the scale at the start of the challenge and include an item that you could then show yourself holding in a second photo. When I opened the photo last week, I was surprised that the number on the scale then and the number on the scale now are the same. Nope, I didn’t win the challenge, though at least I haven’t gained anything in the last four and a half months. (Sometimes you have to celebrate the teeny tiny wins, right?)

Rather than great big goals that can seem overwhelming, for the next four weeks, I’m going to try to lose a total of five pounds. Just five. Only one and one quarter pounds a week. Seems doable, right?

Since the beginning of this blog, back in December of 2012, I’ve been looking at a goal of 40 pounds, which in hindsight, seemed way too difficult. It was easy to think “I can’t do this! It’s tooooo hard!”

While I’m disheartened that I’ve not lost even one pound, I will acknowledge myself for getting a handle on several bad health habits. I’ve made some great positive changes, including:

  • Increasing my daily activity – counting my steps using my FitBit tracker
  • Drinking more water every day
  • Walking for at least 30 minutes a day, sometimes 60
  • Feeling better about my body as it is
  • Working on shame issues
  • Reading articles and blogs focused on healthy living

Now it’s time to put some small measurable goals in place. In our customer service work, we tell our clients, “You get what you measure.” It’s time for me to set some small, attainable goals that I can measure.

Between now and November 15, I will lose five pounds. Five pounds and that’s it. I’ll report back then.

What about you? What kind of goals have you set for yourself? 

photo credit: thephotographymuse via photopin cc

Walking is the New P90

LJVSince December, I’ve been suffering from piriformis syndrome, a condition that can be roughly described as an ongoing pain in the ass. Basically, the piriformis is a muscle that runs across your rear end, from the outer hip. It’s hard to believe that this little muscle can send you to the ER in an ambulance, though that’s exactly how it started for me in December. After x-rays and an MRI to rule out other causes, I was diagnosed with an unruly butt muscle.

Since then, my piriformis has decided that it likes to cramp continually, one side or the other, causing me continual early morning pain. It’s not fun, though with muscle relaxants and pain killers, I’m able to get it under control most days. Then, fortunately, as the day goes on, it warms up and feels better.

It’s put a huge damper on my exercise program, as every time I feel like I’m back to something resembling normal and can get back to P90 or even yoga, it flares up again. This past week, I’ve decided to go back to basics and just walk for 30 minutes every day. It’s something I can do consistently, it doesn’t seem to cause a flare up and it’s a great way to clear my mind every morning.

It helps that I have my FitBit, too, as I can gauge my activity by steps and stairs. It also helps me realize how few calories a woman my age and weight burns when we’re not active. Yikes!

Sometimes, going back to basics is the best way to get back on track.

What about you? What exercise helps you maintain a consistent level of activity? 

 

Trying the FitBit

fitbitFor my birthday – yes, it was the big 5-0 – I asked my husband for a FitBit One. It’s a tiny little electronic device that helps you track your movement, including the number of steps you take throughout the course of your day and how you sleep. It comes with an account on the FitBit website and it synchs wirelessly through your computer or iPhone.

I clip mine onto my bra strap or put it in a pants pocket, depending on what I’m wearing. After using it for the last four days, I’m actually having fun tracking my food, my activity, my blood pressure and heart rate, and my sleep habits. (Surprise! I’ve never found tracking anything to be fun.)

These first few days, I’ve simply been tracking my normal eating and fitness habits. I’ll use it as a starting point for improvement over the next 90 days to see how it works.

I’m really pleased that my husband got one, too, and seems to be even more interested in using it than I am. We’re enjoying comparing our numbers and trying to figure out how the FitBit knows when we’ve gone up stairs. (Yes, I’ve tried to imitate walking up and down, which looks really goofy, though I can’t fool it.)

I’ll keep you posted on how the FitBit works, since this week, I will be using it to upgrade my activity and nutrition stats.

What about you? Have you ever used an electronic device to help improve your fitness efforts?