Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Long term thinking, long term doubts

Decisions decisions. Long time goals, or short term goals? How to stay motivated over the long term?

It started this morning. I was working out that to get to the sort of weight I would like to be at it's going to be a long process, and that after that my "short term" aim would be to keep the weight off for at least a year to give any hope of keeping it off in the long term. And I figured out that realistically I'd be exercising and watching what I eat for a couple of years. And then I realised that ideally I'd be doing it for the rest of my life. And for some reason that shocked me.

Anyway, in a fit of forward planning, since this is going to have to be how I live for over a year, I got a year planner in front of me at lunchtime, and I worked through what's left of the year. Since the beginning of March I've been averaging a loss of 1kg a week, more or less, with some weeks where I've lost more and others (like the past 10 days or so when for various reasons I've not been able to lose a thing - although the scales finally started moving down again this morning). So I divided the year into weeks and, depending on what I've already got planned I gave them a target of 1kg, 0.5kg (weekends away and December) and 0kg (holidays, mainly). I didn't have any total target in mind, but I just wanted to get an idea of what was realistic for me.

And it came out to within 1kg of my current, getting into the normal BMI range, target. That may not be my ultimate goal, and I'm planning to reassess my weight when I get there, but it's what I'm currently working on so that it's not overly scary. It's still scary, I'd be lighter than I have been since I was about 12, but at least it's do-able. To not be overweight. How good would that be?

Of course, my rough jottings now don't take account of anything that could throw me off my stride. Another foot injury, illness, falling off the wagon like I did last autumn. Losing my motivation. A plateau. And I'm desperately trying not to hold myself to the figures I set out, because that way I foresee failure. Hopefully not dismal failure, but I don't know whether I can keep up this progress consistently for that long.

But then part of me says, why not? Just go for it. If you fail to lose another 29kg then what does it matter if you've managed to lose 25. Or 15. Or even 5. You'll still be improving your health, your weight, your fitness, and there's always next year. But maybe once I set a target and miss it it will cause me to lose my motivation and throw me off the wagon completely.

The other nice thing about my new, sketchy figures is that if I stay on track I'll be under 100kg by the time I next go over to Gran Canaria to see my family. Even that will be the lightest I've been for years, almost certainly. I hadn't weighed myself for years before I started going to the gym, but even though I'd been putting weight on consistently, I'd not been doing it as quickly as I've been losing it recently, and it will almost certainly put me back to my weight when I was at university. I'm still keeping my 2 stone by Santorini ticker going, but in view of the fantastic progress I've been making on that one, once I hit the stone (4lb to go...) I'll change it to my 100kg by Gran Canaria ticker. Starting from today, obviously, so it looks like I've made some progress when I start!

And despite my initial worries about having to live like this for so long, I'm starting to really enjoy my fruit and veg. After my double portion of leeks yesterday, I surpassed it today by roasting 4 peppers and eating all of them with my chicken. Absolutely divine with a nice light olive oil and herb dressing. I'm tempted to go and buy some more peppers so that I can have another portion before I go to bed it was so nice. To add to my 2 satsumas, 2 portions of strawberries and big fresh tomato soup, of course. And that's the one thing that gives me hope, really. I'm starting to enjoy fresh fruit and veg, and finding new ways to cook it. So maybe if that turns into my favourite choice of food then you never know, it might just last.

Except I had a bar of chocolate at lunchtime...


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