“To be prepared is half the victory.” Miguel De Cervantes
By Jamilee McQuivey
At the start of each year, month, week or day most of us will start “getting in shape”, “eating better”, or “starting a diet”. As I, myself, have struggled with weight I started thinking and asking “what has made myself and many other’s successful?”. I found a common component for those wanting to lose weight, eat healthier, get in shape, etc. It’s preparation!!!!
Abraham Lincoln said, “If I had six hours to chop down a tree, I'd spend the first hour sharpening the ax.” So our question is…”how can I sharpen my axe?”
1) Observe: Watch and journal yourself for a week. Don’t try to eat better. Eat normally and journal it (I’ve kept a couple 3x5 cards in my pocket for convenience and ease). Write down when you feel stressed and what you did to feel better. Write down when you exercised: how long, what you did, how you felt, what you liked/disliked about it, what would make it better. Think about why you want to make these changes. Are they your reasons or someone else’s? Write down what YOU think is important. This Phase is crucial for determining weakness, snags, and goals for long term success.
2) Realistic expectations: Stay away from numbers. “I want to weigh what I did before I got married or became a mother” is not always reasonable or realistic. Your lifestyle is different. Your goals and body have changed. Using phrases like “I will be comfortable with my body this year” or “I will have no fears of swimsuit season this year” will encourage you to really work on all the aspects of health and fitness. Focus on self-concept and acceptance, healthy eating habits, increased energy, less stress, etc. All of these will affect you positively or negatively. YOU CHOOSE!!!
3) Create a plan: Most often it is hard to make wise eating decisions when you are starving, standing in front of the refrigerator, deciding between making yourself a health conscious meal or poppin’ in a microwave pizza. Plan your weekly meals. I mean know what’s for breakfast, lunch AND dinner with 2 snacks. Most everyone focuses on a healthy dinner but by the time they have gotten there they’ve neglected the first two meals and now they are craving, starved, and tired by dinner.
a) make a meal plan
b) shop for the week in advance (this also saves $$$)
c) plan for emergency snack cravings
d) make your meals ahead of time especially if you know your weeks going to
be crazy (on Sat. or Sun.) and freeze them
e.) Cut all of your vegetables and ahead of time and store them in
plastic containers or ready to take baggies for snacking, salads, etc.
f.) Buy a large container for water and make a goal to drink one full one every
3-4 hours. This will reduce cravings, help digestion, etc.
g.)Pack your food (lunch, snacks, ets.) the night before.
h.) find someone who will hold you accountable, give feedback and
i.) determine from your journaling what snags, frustrations, stresses, or
events might happen to deter you from these goals and plan ahead.
Today’s preparation determines tomorrow's achievement
4) Execution: This is when you put everything into practice. This is when you are vulnerable too. Start with one day. Revel in your success then focus on day two. Work your way slowly, creating habits, a way of life. The difference between those who are long-term successful and those who aren’t is simple: One created and lives the lifestyle the other tries it out once a year or month. It’s okay to “fall of the wagon” every once in a while. GET BACK ON!!!
5) re-evaluate when necessary: Feel free to change it up & make it your own. Make it FUN!!