4 Observations From the First 45 Days of a New Me

September 14, 2007 · 2 comments

I started this weight loss journey on August 1st, 45 days ago.  What follows are 4 simple observations, in no certain order.

A journal is important, a public one even more so
I would be willing to bet that one of the common tips dietitians give their new patients is to keep a food journal and I agree that this is an important component to starting a solid weight loss plan.  The journal will expose where you are overeating and help you develop plans to improve.  In my post Paring Down at Noodles & Company  I described how I discovered, once I started keeping track of my calories, that my normal meal there was over 2,000 calories.  Forcing myself to log my calories (I use The Daily Plate) was an important first step for me.

But the biggest factor in my sticking with this plan for 45 days longer than I had been able to stick to any plan in years (that’s right, I hadn’t even been able to stay 1 day on a diet since around 2001) was my starting this blog and writing daily about my ups and downs, building graphs to show progress and unbelievably to me, actually posting pictures.  That I have an audience to this part of my life is very important to me and it has been easier to make good decisions knowing that.  It’s a huge leap to take but I am really glad I did it.

Buy a good pair of properly fitted shoes
In Five Easy Steps to a New Pair of Shoes I described how I bought a great fitting pair of shoes (I ended up buying a second pair as well).  The key for me was to get my width right – I am a EE Wide.  The last pair of running shoes I bought before utilizing this method gave me blisters on my very first walk with them, and of course I didn’t go out walking again.  With these new shoes not only am I getting in my cardio workouts comfortably but I bought the second pair so that I could wear them outside.  I have found that simply wearing running shoes as I run my errands makes me feel fitter.

It’s all about making good decisions
As I wrote in Losing Weight is Like Playing Poker it’s not the results that you should focus on it is the decisions you make.  There will be weeks where you think you did everything right and you still gain weight and there will be weeks where you think you really pigged out yet you lost weight.  If you focus on making good decisions the results will come in time.  When I visit Noodles now I have the choice to decide between my old 2,000 calories meal or my new 500 calorie one.  I know that the smaller meal will satisfy me so the choice should be easy.  I know I feel better when I exercise so the choice to sit on the couch or get in a run should be easy.  It isn’t always so, however, which is why it is so important to remember that it boils down to good decision making. 

Get on a continuous improvement program 
What worked for me was to ease into my diet and exercise programs.  In I am a Boiled Frog I described how I made small incremental improvements, whether it was reducing my normal intake at restaurants I frequented, weights I lifted or miles I walked.  If I had tried to go cold turkey with my eating, for example, I don’t know that I could have been successful.  I failed miserably the first day I tried to follow my running plan and I am now doing about 40 minutes a day of Strength Training, which is just amazing to me.  By easing into the plan and then slowly adding weights and exercises I was able to build up to a program that gives me a good sweat and makes my muscles ache in a good way.  In a year I should be amazed with how far I can run, how much weight I can lift and hopefully how much weight I have lost.

None of these 4 observations are particulary radical I suppose but they represent to me the core of my early success.  It’s important that I remember that for the next 45 days and beyond as I work toward my ultimate goal of getting back into shape.

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{ 2 comments }

GroovyBabe September 14, 2007 at 7:52 am

All great steps to not only changing your weight but more importantly your attitude to weightloss and your lifestyle. Good for you! It’s great to see so much positivity oozing out!

john September 15, 2007 at 1:03 pm

“But the biggest factor in my sticking with this plan for 45 days longer than I had been able to stick to any plan in years (that’s right, I hadn’t even been able to stay 1 day on a diet since around 2001) was my starting this blog and writing daily about my ups and downs,”

You hit the nail on the head. I think I wouldn’t have given up long ago if several thousand people hadn’t taken the time to visit my blog almost 50,000 time since February of 2007. My readers keep me motivate if that out of nothing else I would feel ashamed to drop out.

That and my goal of competing on Ninja Warrior. That is powerful motivation too.

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