There are lots of variations on the ‘P’s’. The five P’s – planning prevents piss poor performance; the six P’s – proper planning prevents piss poor performance; the seven P’s – proper prior planning prevents piss poor performance; the ten P’s – purpose, prior planning, passion, patience and persistence prevent piss poor performance; and even the twelve P’s – Purpose, proper prior planning, passion, patience, persistence and perseverance prevent piss poor performance…you get the picture!
If you can say it in fewer words though, then do so…having sat in many meetings listening to management speak, I’ve had enough of the bullshit! Regardless of whether you are a person of five words or twelve, all of these have in common the point that planning is crucial for success. I have to say that I agree to a certain extent…
Only a certain extent though, as I think that we can get so wrapped up in planning for things that we sometimes fail to just ‘do’ and to take action quickly enough. From a weight loss perspective, planning is important. But planning to start your ‘diet’ next week because you have blown it this week is not the planning I have in mind…and neither is that attitude helpful! Considering the amount of calories I could get through in one sitting, I dread to think of the damage I could do if I told myself that I’d blown it on a Wednesday but would get ‘back on it’ the following Monday!
I wanted to try and get some pointers about planning, so did a little reading today. There are obvious planning options – such as a weekly meal planner, but then there are things like planning for the long-term goals and stuff like visualising yourself at your target weight forms part of that planning. If you act the part then you kind of become it and start to believe it!
We have all woken up in the morning and rushed around, flying out the door to work or to take kids to school, without having breakfast…that snooze button can be a bugger. As you head to work you remember that you forgot to take your lunch with you, so tell yourself that you will pick up something healthy later on…but then your morning meeting overruns and before you know it lunchtime has long gone and the local jacket potato van has sold out…so the vending machine it is then! And you also forgot to pack your trainers for the gym after work, but need to go to the supermarket as there isn’t really anything in the fridge for dinner. What happened to that plan of starting the day right with a decent breakfast, having a healthy home-prepared lunch, and taking the stress of the day out on the gym equipment?
That is life though really – it is so easy for it to take over whilst our good intentions fly out the window! In a perfect world, we would wake up feeling fresh and revived and head downstairs to a wonderful leisurely breakfast and then skip to work with birdsong as our soundtrack. Our kind and caring bosses would provide a huge supply of fruit and a healthy option canteen for their dedicated workers, and when we hit the gym after work we would look toned and perfect in our workout gear too! Hmmm…back to reality…
A little planning could bring about some big changes though. Simple stuff like having a well-stocked fruit bowl means that you can have breakfast on the go if you need to. And a pan of veggie soup on the go can provide a quick lunch. This seems a bit too obvious, but little things really can help your weight loss efforts stay on track. And a bit of proper planning is even better! If we leave lifestyle changes to chance, the chance is they won’t happen!
You are responsible for you – so take charge and plan.
Developing new habits can be helped by planning. Without a plan losing weight can be such a struggle – how do you know what eat, and when do you exercise, and when do you get time to do all of this visualisation stuff I talk about?! Finding yourself with too much time is almost as bad as too little time for a loser like me…I get bored, and boredom means I start looking for things to do…usually in the fridge. So planning can help give you time, but also fill your time.
Planning requires a bit of discipline, just as losing weight does, and there is evidence that people who manage their weight loss – and keep it off on a long-term basis – are planners. They plan their daily food and keep track of what they have eaten using a food diary. This helps to become conscious – but not obsessed! – of what you are doing; you can monitor yourself and make adjustments if needed. Even just writing your syns down and deducting them from your daily total helps! Think of a food diary as research for your plan of action – you can highlight areas for improvement.
Keep it simple though – just jot down what time you eat, what you ate, and maybe how you felt before and after eating. Once you notice your eating patterns – for example eating junk food when the kids have gone to bed – you can set some goals. Be specific with these goals – just telling yourself that you won’t eat junk after 7pm won’t help. Tell yourself that you will replace ice-cream with a frozen Muller light – and that way you know what to do…you have a plan which has been formed by your habits as highlighted by your food diary!
I am going to try and whizz through some tips that I read today…
1 – the food diary as mentioned above!
2 – Use your weekends wisely! Plan for the coming week, maybe do some cooking in advance and freeze your own ‘ready meals’ for the week.
3 – Give yourself options. Chose five different breakfast, lunch and dinner options that you love, and tweak them to fit your eating plan…and buy the stuff in advance to make them. You don’t have to be as specific as setting out a Monday to Friday planner though, give yourself a little freedom and flexibility. I used to be really rigid with my plan and then if I didn’t fancy that particular meal…yep…I ordered a takeaway! So have some standby options too. At least your eating will be a little more structure this way.
4 – Stock your cupboard. This makes it easier to grab a healthy snack or to tweak the ingredients you have in your fridge…bolognese ingredients could make a curry if you have the right spices for example. Have staples such as tinned tomatoes, pasta, herbs and spices, lentils, beans – I have made so many meals from this kind of food…and it’s also great for bulking out your original meal plans if unexpected guests arrive…takes the need to order a pizza for you all away!
5 – Keep healthy treats handy. Stuff like yogurt, hummus, fresh fruit, HiFi or Alpen Light bars. Keep a stash at home and in the office if you can – I even kept a packet of HiFi bars in my glove box for emergencies…I once got stuck on the motorway for hours in an accident and was glad of my habit for planning. I actually gave a lady some water and a HiFi bar for her daughter who was screaming so loud that I could hear her over my music!
1 – Talk to a doctor first if you need to, especially if you are quite overweight and have a tendency for all or nothing exercise like I did! You don’t want to bring on an injury so just get a check before you start.
2 – Make time in the morning. I know people who get up at 6.30am yet don’t leave the house until 8.30am…take a look at what you are doing and see if you could squeeze in some squats!
3 – Put it in the diary. Do not let anything interfere – unless life or death! – with your diary. Your health needs priority and you need to take it seriously…so do those who drain your time!
4 – Options. Chose exercise that motivates you. You might love swimming, yet hate the thought of getting your cellulite or moobs out in public…so telling yourself that you will go swimming is not a good option, as you are likely to come up with excuses on the day! Figure out what is achievable and realistic and that motivates you enough to do it.
5 – 23.5 hour day. Plan your day, but make it a 23.5 hour day instead…and use the extra 30 minutes for exercise.
Finally, don’t forget to reward your efforts. And not with food…dogs get food as treats or rewards! Buy that new DVD, or download some new music, or treat yourself to that new outfit you’ve had your eye on. Simple and small rewards will help you, and those around you, recognise the progress you are making.
Life is unpredictable – it is one of the things that I love about it. Yet unpredictability can lead to reactions that aren’t helpful for us losers…flying by the seat of your pants is not good when you have a goal in mind. Support that goal with a plan and you are far more likely to achieve it.
Right then…I’ve had enough planning talk now…onto the usuals…
I was a fidgety mare this morning and ended up waking my other half up. We got up a whole three minutes before the alarm! I headed off to the treadmill for my first session and then got to work on his project. Exercise was finished and we went to see the neddies, who were all sunbathing and nice and chilled out. It was then off to Asda’s and I popped in to see my little angels after that – my niece gave me a present…I thought it was a stinging nettle but it was some fresh mint, so I am planning something minty tomorrow. I also picked up my birthday pressie which is a big purple Swiss Ball – how exciting, new gym equipment?! We still have no TV, so life in the WLB household is quiet. An earlyish night beckons I think.
Breakfast: Two Benefit bars (1 x HEB) and a banana.
I don’t need to talk about brekkie! Lunch was lovely and from the Little Book of Soups – you basically roast butternut squash, red and yellow pepper, red onion and tomatoes with some lemon juice, garlic and rosemary. Then once it’s roasted, put it in a pan with veg stock and blitz with a hand blender…I was very impressed! It was all superfree food too – so definitely a good soup to have on the go for snacks. Dinner was also full of superfree food – broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and onions, with a bit of potato, all cooked and topped with a tin of tomatoes that I had mixed my Philadelphia garlic and herb into, along with cottage cheese, garlic, chilli flakes and mixed herbs. I then topped it with some extra cheese…because I can! It was a rather nice concoction.
Exercise: 4 x 15 minute treadmill sessions, 1 x 5 minute boxing session, 1 x 10 minute BodyPump session.
Along with the above, my other half and I discovered a fun new exercise…blowing up a Swiss Ball and then throwing it to each other whilst pretending we were on the set of ‘Honey I shrunk the Kids’! Sad I know, but it was fun and our arms were bloody sore afterwards so it must have done some good surely?! Neither of us wanted to be the first to give in though, so we kept going for ages…I won in the end…but it was probably due to his nicotine craving!
Thanks for reading again guys, and I hope that HumpDay has been good to you all…
Weight Loss Bitch xxx