Goals and Rooms and Making Good Choices

I was down 2.2 lbs at my weigh-in Sunday. Yay! And that was with going out to eat twice this past week, both business dinners—one of which was at a restaurant where I could control what I ordered (a salad, and I took my own oil-and-vinegar dressing in a little jar in my purse), and the other a banquet at which I couldn’t control anything except for how much of it I ate. But by making good choices and watching my portions throughout the week, even having a cocktail and eating the entire dessert didn’t throw me off track. (And now I know that I should never drink anything with bourbon in it again, as it triggers an almost instant migraine for me.)

Something that I did after last week’s reality-inducing weigh-in (up more than five pounds) was to sit down and figure out both a short-term and long-term weight loss goal.

10 weeks to Christmas
Goal: 250
Pounds to Lose: 18
Need to average: -1.8 lbs/week

86 weeks to 40th Birthday
Goal: 170
Pounds to lose: 98
Need to average: -1.2 lbs/week

Now, I know I’m not going to have a 2.2 lb loss every week doing this—I know I won’t even have a loss every week. But if I can keep those weekly goal numbers (averaging between 1.2 and 1.8 pounds lost each week), I will eventually reach my goal. And being able to start each day with the thought in mind that I just need to lose 1.8 pounds this week has already started helping (obviously, by the results I had this first week of that mindset).

After posting the other day about the selfish part of losing weight, I couldn’t stop thinking about how my biggest problem is that I’m just not making good choices. So I made myself a very visual reminder:

As you can see, I’ve written some of the areas of my life in which I need to start making better choices for myself, from healthy food to distracting cravings to limiting TV time and managing my time better.

One of the greatest things about going to Weight Watchers is that there’s always some little tidbit at the weekly meeting that I can take home with me and think about during the week. Does it always make me successful? No. But that’s because of my choices, not their program.

This week, we talked about taking care of ourselves. The way the lesson approached it was based on this Indian proverb:

“Everyone is a house with four rooms, a physical, a mental, an emotional, and a spiritual. Most of us tend to live in one room most of the time, but unless we go into every room, every day, even if only to keep it aired, we are not a complete person.”

What do these mean when it comes to weight-loss?

Physical: how you feel physically (strong, healthy), managing your environment, keeping only healthy foods in the house, activity

Mental: preparation, planning, attitude, journaling, education

Emotional: your relationship to the food (i.e., comfort/boredom eating vs. eating to be healthy), mind games, support from others, recognizing and managing emotions, nurturing positive emotional states

Spiritual: motivation, enthusiasm, momentum, why you’re doing this, internal fortitude/strength when the other three aren’t working

As the proverb says, “unless we go into every room every day, even if only to keep it aired, we are not a complete person.” All four of these aspects of our nature are tied together. If I’m not feeling well physically—if I’m sick or if I’m tired (or both)—or if I have allowed “red light” foods to creep back into the house, I’m more likely to make poor food choices. If I’m not mentally prepared, with my meals planned out in advance or with the appropriate attitude toward food that day, I’m going to make bad choices. If I’m bored or stressed or depressed—or even if I’m excited about something—I’m likely to turn to food to feed that emotion, because that’s what I’ve always done. And if I’m not spiritually strong, if I’m not taking time to connect with God and nurture my soul, I’m not going to have the motivation to make myself better, to love myself enough to want to be a better, healthier person.

Some of the suggestions our leader gave to help keep all four of these working together:

Eat Smarter: eating a healthy, well-balanced diet

Move More: as much as we couch-potatoes hate to admit it, study after study has proven that at least thirty minutes’ vigorous exercise each day helps make us physically stronger, releases endorphins that boost our emotional levels, sharpens our mental acuity, and helps refresh us spiritually.

Get Support: in the context of Weight Watchers, this one is actually “attend meetings.” But what it really means is to find a network of people who are going to support you through your weight-loss journey. I not only have WW and this blog and my FB friends, I also have a group of family who are all trying to lose weight—we’ve even started our own Ning forum to report in and encourage each other.

Build Helpful Habits: Again, “helpful habits” is a WW concept. The Helpful Habits are: prepare yourself, ask for help, manage your thoughts, manage your feelings, take care of yourself, manage your environment, monitor yourself, and learn from experience.


What are some ways in which you can make the four “rooms” work better for you this week?


About Kaye Dacus

Kaye Dacus Academic Editor (at NCU). Published Author (11 novels, dozens of articles, essays, poems). Prolific Procrastinator. www.kayedacus.com
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