#8 of The Top Ten! THE PLAN
Although creating a personalized weight loss plan, specific to your needs sounds time consuming and tedious, it will actually save you a lot of time in the future. Committing to a gym when you actually prefer a small studio environment or that you can’t stand the thought of eating grapefruit every morning after the fact, won’t help you get to your weight loss goals any faster. If you don’t like most of what you are doing it simply won’t happen. It’s very tempting to just jump on any weight loss train and hope for the best, but if you can create a plan that is tailored to your personality, wants and needs you will thank yourself for it in the end.
Making these choices for yourself now isn’t just a good idea though. You are 80% more likely to stick to a written, specific program and have a measurable amount of success if you do create a plan. If you’ve been following each of my blogs you probably have compiled enough data to get a really great weight loss plan together now..
To begin, write down everything that is relevant to you, your current height, weight, age and then look up your ideal weight for your height from a reliable source like MedicalNewsToday.com or the National Institute of Health website: www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/lose_wt/BMI/bmi_tbl.pdf
Then bring all of your notes out from the past seven blogs about how to create your perfect plan and begin making some decisions. Get specific about exactly how much weight you want to lose based on the charts.
Then decide on a timeline. Make sure you have a reasonable timeline to begin with. Trying to lose 30 pounds in a month is not advisable nor is it reasonable to expect you will keep that weight off. Striving to attain very difficult goals like these can result in a backfire in your anticipated outcome. Your body will need time to adjust to your weight loss, lose it too soon and your body will go into physiological survival mode and reject your plan.
Now that your goals and timeline are clearly defined, make some choices about how you plan to attain your goals again be very specific. State clearly things like “I will walk on Monday, Wednesday and Friday for at least 40 min. And I will go to the gym for strength training on Tuesday and Thursday, Saturday I will take a yoga class.”
In the case of a change in food plans you may want to state that every Saturday you will map out a menu for the upcoming week, and that your food strategy includes 10% more proteins, 20% more vegetables and no sugar or processed foods. Then create your menu, shop for it, prepare the meals you can make ahead and stick to your plan.
Sticking to your plan will also require you to make sure you have the time to spend on each item. If time is a problem for you then you might want to create a grocery list in advance and use a grocery store delivery service instead of taking the time to actually shop for your groceries. If ordering your groceries in advance from a grocery store is a time problem then you might want to commit to a few pre-made dinners sent directly to your home in advance or choose a breakfast you can make ahead of time like mini quiche cups for instance.
I would also recommend journaling about your new healthy weight plan. Write or draw out how you felt after your walk, strength or yoga classes. You may leave a class on an emotional high and never want to stop. Or write about what you initially felt when you changed your diet. You may discover that some of the things you’ve set in place brought up feelings of resentment, discouragement or depression. These are important things to acknowledge and to give yourself some space in allowing it. There’s nothing more debilitating than denying how you are really feel. Writing those feelings down will give you a chance to feel in control and free your energy up to make changes if necessary.
Get some workout alternatives in place should an outdoor walk become impossible due to bad weather or a class gets cancelled unexpectedly. Having workout alternatives will prevent you from losing momentum. Also make sure you have alternative stress coping strategies that don’t involve food. Meditation, breath work or visualizations have been very helpful to most of my clients when things get rough.
Finally write down your “#1 Why” not just why you want to lose weight but the “#2 Why” you gained it to begin with, review your original purpose for wanting to make these changes. For instance, the #2 Why you may have gained the weight might have been in order to not feel too attractive after an embarrassing experience like sexual assault or going through puberty. Don’t be afraid to get to the origination of the weight gain. The #1 Why you want to lose weight now might be to take back your personal power or to feel more comfortable about how you look, get off medications or make sure you are strong enough to protect yourself. Make sure your #1 Why is compelling and gets to the root of your feelings about supporting change in your life. Reminding yourself of your “Why” is an important tool to use when things get tough.
Be patient with yourself, creating a plan is a big step toward your perfect self, it’s a commitment to you that says “I am worth the time, effort and planning it took to get here. I am worthy.” That message will not only help you but it will help all those who depend on you for your support and your love.
Good Luck and Enjoy your mind and body!