Goal Update

At the start of this year, I decided to make monthly goals.  I did make some progress on them, but will repeat them for February.

The first goal was to cook more food at home and make freezer meals for future use.  I did reasonably well on this.  In my post setting my January goals, I said I had made some turky chili and some chicken/bean/rice wraps in a large batch.  I had then frozen individual servings.  That was a good start, but I indicated I needed to do more.  And, didn’t do any more of that type of cooking for the rest of the month.  We did eat more at home because I decided to only eat out once on the weekend instead of twice every weekend.  That was adding too many extra calories and making it harder during the week, particularly when we sometimes needed to eat out during the week when we were out and about far from home.  By only eating out once on most weekends, it has helped to make the rest of the week easier.

The second goal was to rejoin the YMCA and start strength training again.  I did rejoin the Y, but haven’t done anything with it.  January was a terrible month on activity.  There were some reasons for some of this.  January was a rough month for us and our pets.  Our 14 1/2 year old dog died.  That was expected as something that was going to soon happen, but was still hard.  Then, our cat who was being treated for lymphoma had come out of remission and by the end of the month he was gone.  And, finally, one of our other cats (the one I showed in the Christmas tree) had to have major surgery to have all of her teeth removed (to treat gingivostomatitis).  Her recovery has gone very well, but it was all very stressful.  During this time, I really just wanted to mostly be home with my pets and didn’t have a lot of energy to think about working out.

For February, the plan is to continue on with the goals I had for January.  I will do more cooking and will actually start using the Y.

Dining Out Makes It Harder

I love to eat out.

It isn’t just the food.  When I go out to eat with my husband it is often a good time to leisurely talk without the interruptions of everyday life. And, yes, I like the food.  I get a lot of pleasure from the food that I eat out.  Sure, I can make some things at home that I like.  But, eating out is overall better most of the time.  I only order food that I really enjoy, so I do love it. [Read more…]

2017 Goals (January Anyway)

It is that time of year again.  Goals.  I’ve not really done well with goal setting since the start of this blog.  This is my 4th go at it.  And, I’m not really happy with how I set goals in past years.

The first year was 2014 soon after I started this blog.  That year I had huge list of goals and then set monthly interim goals.  That was sort of OK, but I had a leg injury during the year that made many of my goals impossible or inappropriate.  But, I felt sort of locked into them since they were annual goals.

So for 2015, I decided to do quarterly goals recognizing that a year is a long time and stuff happens.  I also reduced my total number of goals.  Even so, I felt I still had too many goals.  I do better if I focus on 1 or 2 things at a time.

And, that leads to 2016.  I set 2 annual goals — improve body composition and live a healthy lifestyle in terms of food and activity.  I then chose 2 actions that I intended to work on to progress on the annual goals – increase the number of calories burned daily and cook more real food at home and eat out less.  I planned to update the actions throughout the year.  But, then I had plastic surgery and that derailed all that.  I think my problem was I had forgotten that annual goals were really not a good idea.

Where does that leave me for 2017?  This year I do remember that annual goals don’t work for me.  I certainly have aspirations of things that I would like to see happen during this year.  But, I also think that goals should be behavior oriented.  That is a true goal to me is a behavioral goal not simply a wished for result.  Trying to set a goal for the whole year is unlikely to be a good behavioral goal.

I think I was on the right track in 2015 when I did quarterly goals.  But, I really think even quarterly is too long a period for me.  And, I think I was right in 2016 to want to focus on a couple of things at a time.  I do better when I do that.

And, that leads to 2017.  Instead of annual goals, I am going to have monthly goals to work on 2 or 3 things.  As I start consistently doing something from a behavioral standpoint I will change the goal.  If it is something that I have now made a routine habit, I will still do the action but remove the goal from the next month.  If it is something that I am making progress on, but want to do with greater intensity I will change the goal (for example, if I had a goal to strength train twice a week and achieved that I might make a new goal to train 3 times a week).

With that my January goals are:

  1.  Cook more food at home and make freezer meals for future use.  A couple of years ago I really started working on reducing my eating of processed foods.  And, I started cooking more at home.  I didn’t do as much as I wanted but I was going in the right direction. But, over this last year with the surgery I got out of the habit of cooking.  And, I went back to eating more frozen foods and eating out a lot.  This year I want to cook more.  I don’t like to have to spend a lot of time cooking when I am hungry right then so making batches of things and freezing them for some meals works well for me.
  2. Rejoin the YMCA and start strength training again.  I was regularly going to the Y before I had surgery.  I worked with a personal trainer on strength training twice a week for almost a year.  And, then, I couldn’t do that type of exercise for months.  I can now do some strength training and need to get back to it.  I dropped my Y membership when I wasn’t able to use it.  I want to rejoin and start going at least a couple of times a week.

I have started out with a little progress on the food part.  On Wednesday, I made my Turkey 3 bean chili and froze several extra batches.  And, then a made chicken/bean/rice burritos and froze those as well.  These make good healthy meals that I can heat up quickly.  I still need to do more, but it is a good start.  I haven’t done the Y yet.  I actually went in to rejoin in late December, but they said they were about to have a special where there would not be a joining fee so I decided to wait to join.  I’ll probably go by there this weekend to rejoin.

[For those who might wonder… No, I am not going to set a weight loss goal for 2017.  While I am at my Weight Watchers goal weight I do actually want to lose a few pounds.  In short, I don’t set weight loss goals because weight loss isn’t a behavior.  I talked about this at length in this post.]

 

The Perils of Faulty Planning

So, not exactly the best day:

 

So, Tuesday was not exactly the best day.  In fact, I think it is probably the highest point day I’ve had.  92 SmartPoints used, putting me at negative 119 for the week!  And, that is with my points set at maintenance level!

How did this happen?  I usually do well in the time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s.  I am usually very vigilant because I know this is a dangerous time of the year foodwise and often do well because of my vigilance.  And, actually, I was doing well right up until Christmas.

And, then it unraveled.  Christmas itself was a high point day, but that was really OK.  If things had stopped there.  But, then I overate Monday and then Tuesday was the worst of all.  So what went wrong? [Read more…]

The Eating Season Begins

It is that time of year.  The eating season begins.  Ok, I mean the holiday season. In the United States, Thanksgiving is this upcoming Thursday and then it is seemingly never ending food challenges until the New Year.

Thanksgiving food 2015

Last year, I posted my tips for eating during the holidays.  I won’t repeat those tips, but do suggest checking out that post if you are looking for ideas.

As many of you know from my earlier posts, I have been struggling and off track some the past few months.  I am finally getting back in gear.  Last week I did well.  I still was a little higher on calories per day than I wanted to be, but I was over 200 calories a day less than the week before.  So, I will call that a win.  The week was often frustrating as there wasn’t much movement on the scale.  But, Sunday morning, I weighed myself at home and was done 1.7 pounds from the day before.  Go figure.

I really didn’t do anything wonderful Saturday.  I actually ate out at Panera.  My overall calorie co [Read more…]