Friday, July 25, 2008

5 Ways to Get Back On Track

"I've paid twice for this already" has another great blog up, this one good for those working toward a goal, any goal, particularly those with personal endeavor and a need to change personal habits.

She writes about 5 ways to get back on track when your finances go astray and you wonder, "How did this happen?"

This is how I have felt before regarding food and eating. I pretty much knew the answers, as do most of you, about why we just ate what we ate. It's multi-layered, and like Shrek say, "I'm like an onion" and like an onion, we need to pull back the layers and look at each.

For us, we need to look at the emotional layers of WHY we did something, but sometimes we also need to take a deep breath.

I'll bet each of you can come up with a dozen rationalizations. How about these I came up with: My boss didn't see me when he walked down the hall; my MIL is a B----; I have to be on this stupid diet while everyone else is eating pizza...yadda yadda yadda... You get the drift. On some days, it's easy to complain about everything and easy to find reasons to eat.

Even with legitimate complaints and the need for self-soothing talk, we often allow food to be our primary method of self-soothing. For this, we must find other ways, other personal ways. What works for me might not work for Sue or Joe or Chelsea or Elbert.

The five ways laid out by "Paid Twice" help you get a grip when you just had an emotional binge and used food to soothe yourself.

The five given were:

1. "Keep records."

2. "Reassess your goals."

3. "Remind yourself that a set-back is not a cause for failure."

4. "Take small positive steps in the right direction."

5. "When all else fails, institute a 5-day spending freeze."

Succinct. Good money advice.

I'd like to expand on those by tailoring them to weight loss goals.

#1 - This should help you see that maybe things are not as bad as you think. Maybe, yeah, you ate too much, but you also forgot to drink water, or you could have exercised more, or you exercised a lot yesterday, so you're probably okay today.

#2 - Do you see the whole elephant whenever you think about your "diet"? Do you have a huge goal of 40 or more pounds to lose? Does it just seem impossible to do all the things people keep saying you need to do? Cut that elephant down to bite size pieces then.

Focus on something smaller and shorter, and reassessing it later perhaps? That's another way to reassess your goal. Maybe you say - I'll lose 10 lbs and then see where I am. If that takes 3 months instead of 4 weeks, but you reach that goal in 3 months, would you be happier? Or would you like to keep saying every month, "10 lbs off THIS month" and repeat it monthly?

Whatever works for you is all that matters, but it never NEVER hurts to rethink of what it is that you are ultimately trying to achieve. EVERY project, to be successful, must keep revisiting its goal in order to ensure that success can be achieved! That includes yours as well.

#3 - This is simply the truth. Set-back is not failure. Not even a bunch of 'em!

#4 - This is back to finding the right bite size for whatever elephant you are trying to eat.

#5 - "Institute a 5-day spending freeze!" For most of us dieting, this is going back to what the Atkins Diet calls induction, but on a short-term easy-to-commit-to basis. Usually if we get to 5 days of being strict with ourselves, we can see progress and be remotivated to keep that momentum going.

Don't let the set-back upset your commitment, and let this short intense re-commitment get your momentum going again. If nothing else, it may purge our system of the extra pounds or simply stop our gaining more, both of which are good!!

Using these 5 ways can help you get back on track with not only your personal finance goals, but also your weight loss goals. What else can we apply them to?


Luis said...

Hi Diane,
I like how you spun these into dieting. Love your #1 "This should help you see that maybe things are not as bad as you think."

Our fixation on "getting leaner/stronger/wealthier" has it's consequences and sometimes we just need to sit back an realize that we are already doing pretty good.

I personally live by the motto "too much of anything will hurt you". Moderation is key. Though is it hard to do when society tells us that we need to strive for more.

ps. If your offer regarding your findings regarding Dr's selling items along the border still stands, I would love to hear more about it.


Banditogal said...

Diane? Are you lost in the new community? If you need help finding us, email me at:

Chava 812 said...

@ Luis - thanks! I follow Franklin's advice on "All things in moderation" as well! Cool to find another who does as well. I'll email you about the other information.

@Banditogal - I hope not! It was a busy month of work this week, and the spill-over continues! Thanks for checking up on me. I found Tristan's recipes, too! Yum!