This is a guest post by a good friend of mine who wishes to publish this anonymously.
MAKE A PLAN AND STICK TO IT
Is your weight or health a problem that needs addressing? Do you want to be healthier, lower cholesterol, lower your risk of heart disease, stroke and cancer, get rid of that belly, and get rid of all the worry over health issues? Do you want to lose weight, have more energy, feel better, be more active, do more, be more productive and be sharper mentally; in short do you want to be happy? If so, you need a PLAN.
All diets work if you are committed. But then you return to your life and the problem is back. Solving a problem requires thought. Who knows you, your problem and your life as well as you do? Not all the diet planners out there. We can learn from their strategies and although we all share many of the same traits, your combination of needs is unique. One size does NOT fit all.
You need to MAKE A PLAN THAT SUITS YOU AND THAT YOU CAN LIVE WITH. You know you can’t have it all. You can’t eat everything you want and still have all those things listed above, good health, long life and freedom from health worries. YOU NEED TO MAKE SOME FIRM DECISIONS AND STICK TO THEM LIKE YOUR LIFE DEPENDS ON IT, BECAUSE IT DOES. YOU CAN DO IT. I know you can because I am doing it. It is a work in progress, always will be and I am loving it.
You can live, feel well, think, remember, walk without pain, have restful sleep, satisfy your hunger and enjoy this incredible world by just giving up a FEW things, and by being committed to and focused on a FEW SMALL CHANGES in your life.
Think of it VISUALLY. Set YOUR PERIMETERS. Create the SPACE wherein your life and health are secure and you are pleased with yourself. Decide on the BOUNDARIES OR BOARDERS beyond which you will not go, beyond which you know and feel your health and life are in jeopardy. In the jumble that is life, this space will always be unmovable steady ground you can rely on.
Is sugar an issue? Does it affect you like a drug? Does it reduce or eliminate your desire for nutritious, less processed foods like vegetables and whole grains? If you find it extremely difficult or impossible to limit sweets and deserts, if sugar is something you cannot control, if it is an address or a place that controls you, DON’T GO THERE. DON’T LET IT GET INTO YOUR HEAD. DON’T LOOK AT IT AT THE CHECKOUT COUNTERS. CERTAINLY TURN OFF ITS COMMERCIALS, SKIP THE BAKING RECIPES IN THE “DECOR” MAGAZINES, AND FOR LIFE’S SAKE REFUSE TO EVEN REMEMBER THE EXPERIENCE OF PROCESSED SUGAR. MOVE ON. YOU CAN. Make that barrier strong. It will protect you.
The SUGAR thing is mine, the #1 point in my plan, the barrier I don’t cross.
The other points or signposts in my plan are:
#2 TRANS FATS (UNHEALTHY FATS – FRIES ETC) – NO WAY. I stay away from there.
#3 SATURATED FATS (DAIRY ETC) AND WHITE FLOUR – boundaries I cross with caution.
#4 HEALTHY FATS (OLIVE OIL, NUTS), WHOLE GRAINS AND PORTION SIZES – have flexible boarders.
#5 EXERCISE – YES, definitely an essential piece of my “rock”, my safe space. A 40-60 minute walk, 6 days/week, that’s -200 to -300 calories a day.
#6 CALORIES – I count them, roughly, in units of 50 or 100, 200 etc. Lots of portions can be estimated this way eg 1 slice of bread, 100 c. It gives me a close estimate and that’s all I need. I do some guessing but I also read labels. I pay attention. I Tally during the day & I keep a daily journal. I eat between 1200 & 1900 calories a day. It’s flexible. I estimate I’m loosing a little over a pound a week.
#7 LATE NIGHT EATING – only if the hunger will keep me awake, and then only something small.
#8 ADEQUATE SLEEP – YES, another essential piece of my rock – 8 hours a night.
#9 PACING MYSELF – YES, I watch the time I spend on things. I avoid exhaustion & I try not to get sick.
#10 USING A SCALE TO TRACK MY WEIGHT – Definitely NOT in my plan or my safe space, too much pressure. Instead I look in the mirror & see my clothes getting loose.
#11 THINKING ABOUT FOOD – having to shop for and plan meals can be a minefield, a dangerous and distracting place that requires vigilance and focus. I block thoughts and memories of foods I have trouble limiting.
#12 PRACTICING PATIENCE – YES, YES, YES.
But this is MY PLAN, a slow non-spartan plan that I can do. What can YOU do? What do you and your life require? Decide on a PLAN THAT INCLUDES REAL CHANGES BUT ONE THAT YOU THINK YOU CAN STICK WITH. EVEN SMALL CHANGES, CONSISTENTLY HELD TO, WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE. Make REAL changes and you will have real results. AND BE PATIENT.
SETTLE BACK AND RELAX. DON’T LOOK FOR RESULTS. LET THEM FIND YOU, SURPRISE YOU. THEY WILL HAPPEN. JUST LET THEM COME. Be confident and at peace in the knowledge that you have made REAL changes, CHANGES YOU CAN LIVE WITH. DON’T STRESS OVER THE RATE OR PACE OF THE RESULTS. KEEP IN MIND that REAL changes have got to produce real results. Don’t think in terms of days.Think in terms of weeks and months and years. You have the rest of your life to enjoy the security and freedom from anxiety that will accompany you on this adventure.
One last thing. DON’T EVER ALLOW YOURSELF TO FEEL SORRY FOR YOURSELF. It will sabotage you.You are not being deprived. These are YOUR decisions. YOU are CHOOSING to live, to get up each day, rested, lighter, satisfied with yourself and ready to go, rewards to which NO chips or fries or desert binge can begin to compare. There will be no need for a vacation FROM or a reward FOR keeping to your plan because your plan IS the thing you needed and wanted most in this world. It will keep you here as long as possible.
It’s really as simple as that. If YOU have a problem THINK AND DECIDE on YOUR solution. MAKE A PLAN AND STICK TO IT. Keep to the plan and it will hold you up. It will carry you. You will see and feel results and your life will be better and longer.
This is how I set up my plan, how I started. This is what I wrote down for myself:
THE PLAN: THE ANSWER TO – “I NEED A PLAN” (BECAUSE WITHOUT ONE MY LIFE IS CHAOS AND I DON’T STAND A CHANCE OF CHANGING IT)
YES OR DAILY:
3 OLIVE OIL & VINEGAR & SPICE HOMEMADE SALAD DRESSING
4 LOTS OF VEG (AVOCADO, LOTS OF GREENS)
5 LEAN PROTEIN (FISH)
6 DECAF COFFEE
7 RICE MILK
8 MORE WATER
9 TOMATO SAUCE
YES / BUT OCCASIONALLY OR RARELY &/OR LIMITED PORTION:
1 SLICE WHOLE GRAIN BREAD
2 WHOLE GRAIN PASTA
3 HAMBURGER WITH BUN
4 CHEESE, MILK
5 ONE SLICE PIZZA
6 FRIED FISH (OLIVE OIL)
8 BAKED POTATO
9 GRILLED CHEESE (OLIVE OIL)
10 HOMEMADE CRAPES
11 LEAN HAM &/OR BACON
12 OJ, CRANBERRY JUICE
14 CHOCOLATE RICE MILK(IN COFFEE, 1/DAY TREAT)
16 RED WINE (1/4 CUP A DAY)
17 HONEY (TEA) MOLASSES(BBQ SAUCE)
NO, NO, NO:
1 PURE REFINED SUGAR,CANDY,CAKE ETC
2 TRANS FATS (FRIES)
5 SALAD DRESSING
6 DIET SODA
1 CUT PORTIONS IN HALF TO START
2 HAVE MORE IF NECESSARY TO SATISFY HUNGER
3 EAT PROTEIN OR NUTS TO SATISFY HUNGER
4 GET ENOUGH SLEEP (8 HOURS/NIGHT)
5 PACE YOURSELF DURING THE DAY-DON’T GET EXHAUSTED
6 DO THE WALK NO MATTER WHAT, DO YOUR BEST, PUT IN THE TIME
7 KEEP DAILY TRACK OF CALORIES, EXERCISE & SLEEP
8 DON’T FEEL SORRY FOR YOURSELF
9 REVIEW THIS PLAN OFTEN
10 BE PATIENT. THIS IS FOR LIFE. YOU HAVE THE REST OF YOUR LIFE TO SEE RESULTS. (BY THE TIME YOU DIE YOU’LL BE LIKE BENJAMIN BUTTON)
11 KEEP ALIVE THE MEMORY OF HOW YOU LOOKED AND FELT BEFORE YOU MADE THE CHANGES
12 RECOGNIZE THAT EVEN THE SMALL CHANGES ARE ACHIEVEMENTS. DON’T MINIMIZE THEM. VALUE THEM.
After 2 and 3 weeks on my plan I THOUGHT I was beginning to see changes in myself. I decided to be calm and patient and I wanted to continue because I was feeling better and walking easier (belly not weighing me down as much). At 4 weeks the results were definitely not imagined. My clothes were looser. I was looking better.
Stuff happens: parties, entertaining, restaurants, paying bills, taxes, work, family obligations. I need a plan, a structure that helps me stay on course. Maybe a plan would help you too. I also need to review, to keep my eye on the plan so I don’t drift off course.
One thing I find really helpful is to start a meal with a hot cup of coffee, delicious. Life is good. Good luck.
- The Secrets to a Healthy Life by K. Stone. This is an ebook by Life Learning Today author, K. Stone, on healthy living that details the easiest way to lose weight covering diet, exercise and much more.
- The Truth About Six Pack Abs – a total fitness and nutrition program targeted at losing belly fat. Included is a 21 day trial offer, a Free Mini-Course, and a 100% money back guarantee. Highly recommended.
Want to share your story, thoughts, or question? All comments big and small are very welcomed!