It’s been almost 2 weeks since I lost focus. The whole process of getting back to calorie counting has proved harder than I anticipated. I began in serious earnest the day after Thanksgiving. Writing this over the last few days held my attention until I felt relatively certain that I was out of the woods.
Last week’s newsletter focused on my recent difficulties. I posted it on Facebook, and received a lot of wonderful support, which motivated me for the morning. I wanted to start off on a positive note. So I got all clean and sparkly and made out a plan for my day, not something I always do! I didn’t want to be crazy busy, I just wanted the day to flow nicely. And it did go well, but the following day was a struggle.
Lately I have been bouncing between extremes. At times I am on task and fully committed. At other times, I am hopelessly bankrupt of focus. I asked my Dad, “How do you retrain a mind”? I thought his overall wisdom, as well as his military experience might lend some light to my situation. He said, “You need to reward good behavior, punish bad behavior, and then, you need repetition”. So I began mulling that whole idea over, along with some ideas for a working strategy:
- I have been pretty negligent when it comes to taking care of my personal needs. I put off going to the doctor, stay up half the night, skip baths, etc; a bad behavior which supplies it’s own built in punishment. I am resolving to improve this area of my life. Regularly attending to my daily needs, whatever they may be, will reinforce my ability to keep counting calories. The two ideas have a synergetic relationship, so this needs to be a high priority of each day. It may be obvious to most, but often escapes me; the final vestiges of my old depression years. The desire to live at a normal weight, is nothing more than a desire to take better care of oneself. It stands to reason that expanding on the idea will support the mission.
- Flexibility is a hallmark of calorie counting and that energy should be tapped as needed. My narrow-minded attitude is not working lately. I am adding a range to my daily calorie allowance. Instead of a rigid 1500 calories per day; my requirement to maintain a weight of 120, which has worked well for losing weight up to now, I will allow myself to increase my intake up to a maintenance level as needed. The holidays are here, I have many, many irons in the fire, and I just can’t hold onto that narrow focus. My goal is to avoid gaining weight throughout the holidays, and this may allow me to lose some too. I figured out the amount of calories I can increase to, by tinkering around with this healthy weight calculator . This plan will allow another 700 calories per day; the most flexibility I can afford. I may not need them everyday, but they will be available. Which will make all the difference!
I’m unwilling to miss the holidays in order to lose a few more pounds this season. My passion is in living a rich, full life, and delicious holiday food is part of that. This is a lifestyle change, and I will always need to do what is necessary to succeed through the holidays, or any situation. Which will call for some flexibility. Yes, there is some re-training required on my part, but not to the point of being unrealistic. Learning how to maintain during the holidays will be a very valuable skill to acquire. And when life returns to normal, so will my ability to focus on losing weight. This is something I can live with.