Sometimes, we can be so focused on not failing, that we actually lose sight of succeeding. The fear of not being able to achieve our goals can keep us from striving to make more. Sometimes, it feels like we are just treading water. This is where Annette has found herself the last few months.
She had 2 great weeks of a 15 pound weight loss, followed by a 12 pound gain. Her first relapse.
Jess had made a workout plan, and an eating plan, but no one had made an”emergency plan” for when times got hard or when she was feeling down. Everyone has these times, and they are very manageable if you have an action plan of how to avoid derailing your healthy lifestyle.
Annette, like many people (myself included) is an emotional eater, and it is a hard habit to break. If you are alone, you may want to eat. If you are with friends, you may want to eat. If you are sad, or bored, you may want to eat. If you are happy and celebrating, you may want to eat. We as a culture reward and comfort ourselves with food. Most holidays and big celebrations are centered around food, so it becomes a crutch to many. It is a habit that Annette is trying to break.
“You can’t turn to food to make you feel better, it just makes you feel worse. So I am trying to make movement my habit instead. I am also trying to break the association between watching TV and eating. It’s basic psychology. For most people, sitting in front of the TV triggers eating.”
After realizing this, Annette came to me with the goal of losing 60 more pounds by New Year’s Eve, which at the time was going to be 5 pounds a week, and she would like to start the New Year by taking a stretch and roll class and walking on the stair mill.
“It’s time to refocus on goals and knowing specifically what I want to do. The last few months were all about “nots”. Not getting injured, not quitting, not passing out during a class or workout. I was so focused on not failing that I wasn’t concentrating on succeeding. Now it’s time to put an actual number to it.”
With a new attitude, we decided to make a game plan for the next time she felt a “down time” approaching. Her goal was to try and walk a mile every time she wanted to mindlessly eat, but we needed to take it a step further for more emotional support. We decided that she needed a motivation board that represented things that she wanted to do and accomplish as well as a bucket list to help her keep her mind focused. We also set up people for her to reach out to during these times. Changing your lifestyle and losing weight requires support. It is important to have people in your cheering section and on board with your goals.
“All the things that I want to do require me to be thinner. Like horseback riding, biking long distances, hiking and camping over night.”
So her homework was to send me a bucket list of things to focus on that she will do in the future, make a motivation board, and a plan of action for next time she is feeling a set back coming on. The very next day, she had it all in writing for me.
This is a picture of me (in the middle), Annette (on the left), and another State of Fitness family member, Anna, after Annette had completed one of her first goals. On the cold and rainy morning of October 29th, Annette joined the State of Fitness Striders for the American Cancer Society 5k walk for Breast Cancer to tackle a goal that she didn’t anticipate attempting until next April. The farthest Annette had walked up to this point was 2.5 miles, and that was while holding onto the railings of a treadmill. But without hesitation, she signed up to support a cause she feels very strongly about.
She had an exit strategy, just in case she couldn’t finish, but also a reward in mind for when she got home if she did. I walked every step with her, and I can tell you that the words “I want to quit” or “I can’t” never crossed her lips. I wish I knew exactly at what point she convinced herself that this was going to happen for her, and the exit strategy went out the window (probably within the first mile), but that day, Annette raised the bar for herself and on her abilities. She plans to beat her time during the next Breast Cancer Walk for Susan G. Komen in April.
She is learning from her relapses, but more importantly, with each step she takes and each goal she achieves.
March on, friend. We are happy to be here with you every step of the way :).