Saturday, July 31, 2010

Progress, Perfection, Planning and Tracking

Gena from wrote a  post that I really needed to hear right now entitled "Progress and Perfection"  You see, ever since losing 50 pounds, I've really struggled with staying at my weight low. In fact, I just haven't been able to do it. I have been hovering about 6 pounds over and even gotten as high as 11 pounds over that low.

Now I do appreciate that I am still at a very healthy weight for my height and build, but the reality is, I'm nervous. Why can't I maintain my very low weight? Should I maintain my very low weight? I think that I am eating so healthfully every day, but maybe those occasional slip up are more than just occassional? Could I be eating too much avocado? The reality is that keeping this weight off is not going to be easy.

That's why I really appreciated Gena's words in her blog posting, "One of my favorite mantras–stolen from my friend Gil–is 'progress, not perfection.' It’s a handy little proverb for people like me, who are perfectionists about everything, and it’s especially helpful to share with clients who are trying to improve their dietary habits. Most of my clients are perfectionists too, and they tend to envision the journey toward healthy living as a one-hundred-meter dash toward a spotless finish line.
The reality is that improved eating habits take time and practice, and that living well doesn’t mean living like a saint."

I'm definately not perfect. But I can start to look at this weight gain experience as part of a progression. I don't need to give up because of it, which is something that I would have done in the past after losing weight and then regaining some.  I am every bit the perfectionist that Gena talks about and thoughts like, "Well, I've gained a few pounds, I'm never going to be able to maintain this diet, I might as well give up" were alive and well in my head in the past. But I can't, and won't, go there now.

So here's what I'm thining: go back to what I know works, which for me is two things: planning and tracking. Planning what I am going to eat for the whole day in the morning and sticking to that plan AND tracking what I eat, whether it be on the computer or on paper. These things in combination, well, they just work for me. So I'll do 'em, starting today. And I'm committing to doing this for the next 68 days. Why that number? It takes me to my 40th birthday, which, psychologically, is a major milestone. And I damn well better be looking and feeling good on that day!


Anonymous said...

Happy early birthday!! You don't look even remotely close to 40. Keep it up, you are such a great motivator and thought provoker. Go Wendy!!! :) -Lisa (loyal follower)

Sue The Caring Foodie said...

I am a dietitian and can tell you from what I've learned, that you are exactly right! Planning and tracking are key. The only way to lose weight(1#/week)is to cut 500 calories per day somewhere. If you keep a daily log, you'll be able to track it better. As a fellow 40 year old, I can absolutely tell that my metabolism is slowing down. It is not easy... But keep up your healthy regimen and I'm sure it will pay off for you!

Laura C said...

Hi Wendy,
I'm right there with you, about 7-8 pounds over my long-sought ideal weight. Saw your comment on Gena's blog, linked over, and identified immediately. I'm a recovering food addict and a plant-based, high-volume, high-nutrient diet works beautifully for me when I don't trip up, which is a lot. For me the problem is generally when I am eating outside my home can't resist eating something or can't stop. Progress, not perfection is absolutely my motto. I look forward to reading more of your blog!

Wendy (Healthy Girl) said...

Thank you everyone for your words of support and encouragement! It truly helps!

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