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Every day counts (in a good way!)

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

I love math. Math is awesome because numbers don't lie. The only problem with math is numbers are concrete and life is not. For years I have used math to map out my gameplan and anticipate where I would be at X stage or month or year if I did so much of X and lost X consistently. My calculations never accounted for days that don't go as planned, illness (physical as well as mental), the weight stall on the scale when muscle replaces fat, water retention, relationships, sleep, and well, basically, life.

I have been mentally calculating my goal weight for a long time. My first memory is when I was 13. I bought a pair of pants that were a size too small on purpose and then wrapped them up in a box that I was to open after so many workouts accomplished over a month or two. I never did fit in them properly. When I was 18 I put a tiny slip of paper at the bottom of a vitamin container (300 tablets) that said, "You did it! Goal weight!". I would have a vitamin after every workout and figured after 300 workouts I would have definitely reached my goal. I worked out multiple times a day sometimes and kept adding more requirements for what an acceptable workout was, I never got to the bottom of the bottle. When I was 26 the math became more mental and I would calculate pounds per week multiplied by months until...(insert next big event). I used to walk the industrial blocks around my job in Irvine every day for lunch and can remember trying to get to a certain weight by my cousin's wedding. I never met the weight goal and I missed my cousin's wedding something I still deeply regret. I continued this thinking for the next almost 20 years.

In every case, I NEVER met my goal. Here I am over 30 years later and I still stand in the shower and "map" out a game plan for Easter if its Fall, Christmas in July, the 4th of July in January etc... the time frames usually get longer as now I have so much more weight to lose and I want to be "realistic" right?

I have decided today that I will no longer use math to set myself up for failure. The further I am from my healthy weight range the bigger the math has to be and it gets so far into the future. Add to that a struggle with "all or nothing" type thinking and one scoop of ice cream easily turns into two because I can "start tomorrow" there are still 249 days left to meet this goal (this will happen repeatedly because of course I need every day to be perfect), then halfway through, I can adjust the math and hopefully lose 2 pounds/week for the next 10 weeks....okay make that 10 pounds/week for 4 weeks...Heck, I'll lose 20 pounds next week and still be on track!

I have already had to shut down the dialogue multiple times in the last two days because I started exercising again and during a great workout the little voice comes back that says, "If you keep this up times X times per week, over X amount of months you can be at X". It steals the joy of my workout in progress because all of a sudden it becomes only one of thousands I will need to accomplish my set goal instead of the victory it is for today. I got up and exercised, that is huge right now! That mentality minimizes and belittles all of my "today" efforts in exchange for a lofty future achievement. No More. I also realize that I don't do mini workouts because that mental dialogue has always said, "If you don't have time for at LEAST 45 minutes, there is no point." Lies....

I am going to make an effort every day but I only have TODAY to work with. That's it. It's really wonderful too, I get to make the best of this great day and I get to choose or correct or rest or do whatever depending on how I slept, what interruptions come my way, how I am feeling, what things are most important etc...

Thanks for reading:)
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  • no profile photo INCH_BY_INCH
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    581 days ago
    Carrilu: Our brain keeps us from achieving many things and from enjoying the journey! I remember, when reading articles to help my sleep, that one writer said, "When we skip a meal because we aren't hungry, we don't go, "OMIGOSH! I skipped a meal, what will happen to me!!!!" But if we miss most of a night of sleep, we WORRY about missing sleep. So silly! We should just get on with it, live life and sleep when we can! Worrying about it never cured anything.

    Same with healthy living. Yes, be prepared... but don't be a slave to it so that you waste precious minutes of your time beating yourself up. Live your live, Enjoy your life and do the best you can.


    McDougall Plan Coleader
    581 days ago

    Comment edited on: 11/14/2019 9:54:36 AM
    Queen, this is one of the most brilliant things I’ve read. I went through a similar mental journey—hel—I’m still on it. But so much changed once I made that switch in my head. 🙌🏾
    581 days ago
    581 days ago
    It’ll happen when it happens. I’m tired of chasing the 100 lb. loss in a year. The number is 1. One choice at a time.
    581 days ago
    CARRILU, this is such a good new realization! I think you've figured out a way to enjoy the moment without being so overburdened by achieving results, as so many of us have been for so many years. I remember going to a wonderful pastor for counseling once, a long time ago when my children were toddlers, and she said, "Let's just have a silent prayer for a moment," and during that silent prayer, as we were holding hands, I was thinking about lots of different things, and near the top, as always, was "God, help me lose thirty pounds." And then she prayed aloud, "And help us, Lord, not to be so goal-oriented but to rejoice in life and your creation." And I thought, "Is she a mind-reader?"

    Anyway, I know what you mean by having thoughts of goals interfere with living in the moment, as you mentioned with regard to your workouts. It takes effort to undo decades of being a slave to these mental habits, but we can do it!

    One day at a time!
    581 days ago
    582 days ago
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