TGIF!! Who doesn’t love Fridays?
For me, that use to mean only eight more hours before my 7:00 AM weigh in at Weight Watchers. After that, I could relax and enjoy my weekend.
Seriously, that was my thought pattern. Now, that is not to say that I went hog-wild on Saturdays and Sundays, but one of the first things out the window was my tracking. This was replaced by a lot of “guesstimating” and recall testing on Monday mornings as I tried to bring my tracker up to date.
Guess what? My weight loss, which had been pretty consistent, came to a screeching halt.
Clearly, I had to adjust my approach.
A Life Changed Creates Life Changes
As an example, Kimi and I signed up for the HCA 8K training team. The team meets at 7:30AM on Saturday mornings. My normal Weight Watcher’s weigh-in location is across town from where the 8K group meets. In order to avoid being rushed, I decided to change my weigh-in to Tuesday mornings.
No big deal, right?
Really, it should not have been a big deal. But as I have mentioned, the weekends had become… shall we say, a little flexible in my food tracking.
If this was a movie, now would be the time to cue the ominous and menacing music.
Weigh In Wackiness
Another week of excellent tracking followed by a weekend of kinda, sorta, maybe tracking followed.
My next Tuesday meeting with the scale had me standing firm at 223. This does not make me happy.
What can I say? I like to see my work pay off.
Despite these two weeks standing pat, I can sometimes be rather hard-headed. So again, I made no changes to my weekend tracking, and to my complete astonishment, the scale rewarded me at our next meeting with a whopping 5.2 lbs lost.
I SO had this figured out and was making it work. Why change anything? In fact, I probably started tracking less than ever on the weekends.
What’s the line from the movie JAWS? “Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water…”
Yes, just when I thought I had it all figured out, I started recording a series of yo-yo weeks. Lose a pound then gain a pound. Clearly, an adjustment needed to be made.
Write It, Eat It, and Own It
It was time for me to find a solution to this up and down nonsense. After carefully going back through my weekly tracking, it became very obvious that I simply had to start tracking on the weekends… in real time, not in “catch up mode.”
Yes, I was bummed, but the time had come to stop playing footloose and fancy free and take back the control I had given up.
I cannot even guess how many times Bobbi, my Weight Watchers leader, has said, “Only track on the weeks you want to lose weight.”
If Bobbi says it, then it is truth.
I decided that I would pre-track my weekends on Friday nights, then make any adjustments on Monday mornings, if needed. This way, I already knew what my food plan was for the weekend and all I had to do was follow it. Kind of like having a GPS to better weight loss success.
It was a simple plan for sure, but often it’s a simple solution to a complex problem that works best.
Winning and Winning Big
With this new strategy in place, I met Kimi on the roof top Saturday morning for our 8K training run. I was a little full of myself with the knowledge that, this weekend, I truly was IN,ON and COMMITTED.
I boldly stepped on the scale the following Tuesday and received for my hard work….
A loss of 1.2 lbs!
Pretty darn good, if I do say so myself. And I do.
They say find a plan that works and stick with it, so I repeated the process of recording my weekend food on Friday nights and running with the training team on Saturday mornings.
Operation Pre-Track, Week 2 resulted in a 3 lb loss.
This meant for the first time in a very long time I had successfully recorded losses for 2 weeks in a row for a total of 4.2 lbs. WHOOOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOO!!
Stacking the Deck in My Favor
Having a plan is great. Following it is what I find to be the part that creates actual results.
Because I had already decided what I would eat over the weekend, anything outside of that plan became a glaringly conscious choice to go off-plan.
This is where my personality works in my favor. Once I have picked a path, I tend to stick with it, veering off into detours never-so-often. On the flip side, going with the flow can often mean making choices that may work for the current social situation, but aren’t necessarily aligned with my personal goals.
Pre-tracking means that I can think through those weekend and social situations, make choices that work for me and still not be a royal pain at the party delicately saying, “Oh, I’m so sorry, I can’t eat that.”
It’s all part of what Bobbi calls, “managing our weight for life.” It’s not just about reaching and maintaining goal weight. It’s also about living our lives in a way that works for each of us and those around us.
I can’t say I’ve got it all figured out, but the pre-tracking is working for now. I’m sure I’ll continue to get better at it, because as you know, I’m NOT DONE YET.
PS – I recently came across the following quotes about running, but am sharing it with you today because it applies to any journey you choose to start.
“The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.”
John Bingham, www.waddle-on.com