Before beginning plan carefully…

“Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up.” – A. A. Milne

Now I have identified some of the main problems that are keeping me from both losing pounds and gaining £’s I am trying to organise my thoughts to put my plans into some kind of order.

Firstly, I would like to say thank you for all the comments you have left on my post – Think, think, think…with such great ideas – I have taken them all on board because this is going to be a change for life not just for the Christmas as they say.  I don’t want to be coming back to starting over again at some future date.  It is not another diet or budget but a lifestyle I am trying to create that will become as normal to me as having a shower each day.

I decided first of all I must prepare myself for the changes I want to put in place so that I have more of a chance of continuing and don’t stumble at the first hurdle.  What do I mean by prepare myself?  Well there is no point in me wanting to take healthy snacks to work if my cupboards are full of biscuits and crisps.  There is no point in me trying to save money if I have no idea how much I am spending casually each week on daily expenses and so on…

As my health is probably more important to me than my wealth I am going to begin with the losing pounds (although some of the changes I make will indeed apply to both and some of them will have a knock on effect such as taking a healthy packed lunch will probably save me money).

My first task will be to examine one aspect at a time identifying existing habits and systems and then simplify them or maybe modifying them and doing one thing only at once before moving on to the next (the baby steps concept).   For instance, I have been taking an apple to work each day now for the last two weeks and I make sure I eat it at eleven o’clock each day.  This is a low calorie food and has some healthy aspects and is better than a biscuit or cake.  It has quickly become quite habit forming – even I have been surprised – and this could be mainly because it has been my sole focus for the last couple of weeks as I wanted to test out how easy it might be (or not) to change one little thing.

After reading quite a lot over the years on goal setting I believe the ‘Begin with the end in mind’ system to have some credibility.  So I want to lose half a stone (7lbs) by the end of the year and this exercise is as much about eating healthily and exercising as it is losing weight  So I have 4 months and my goals look like this.

September – lose 1lb (to allow for building up my new healthy eating habits)

October – lose 2lbs

November – lose 2lbs

December – lose 2lbs

So by December 31st I will weigh 8st 12lbs my optimum weight for my height and hopefully a waist measurement considerably smaller by at least 3″.

Two pounds each month or half a pound each week.  This shouldn’t be too difficult to accomplish and my thoughts are to try a combination of tactics.

  1. Calorific value – having more awareness of the calories in anything that is not a vegetable or fruit
  2. Exchanging foods – buying the lower fat therefore lower calorie alternative as well as exchanging an unhealthy food for an healthier option
  3. Portion size – being more aware of portion size and maybe buying a slightly smaller plate.

So for instance if I am tempted into eating a biscuit then I should only buy the lower calorie ones (I think Fig rolls – one of my favourite fall into this category as do Garibaldi).  I should revert back to buying the 0% fat yoghurt rather than the creamier 2% that I prefer.  If I add in a little pureed raspberries from the freezer I won’t even taste the difference.

Yesterday as another experiment I weighed my yoghurt and oat flakes cereal just to get an idea of what a reasonable serving actually looked like.  Fourty-five gram of yoghurt was about three dessertspoonfuls and 100gram of cereal just filled a ramekin pot – by sticking to these amounts each day I will be able to see if this makes any difference over time.  Of course if I begin to feel hungry before mid morning I will review this.

So one of the areas I am focusing on at the moment is snacks – both at home and at work and I will apply the 3 points mentioned above to this.

Now if you are still with me so far let me introduce my two new snack pots for work…

 they are actually quite small about 3″ square and just the right size for a few nuts or a couple of oatcakes and a small cube of cheese or some chopped fruit.  One for the morning and one for the afternoon.  I will make a snack plan so I can buy the foods in advance and then there will be no excuse and I will prepare them each evening starting on Sunday night.

So there you have it I intend, but can’t promise, to post a little 5 minute piece each day charting my progress on the task in hand and also establishing the plans for putting my subsequent changes in place.

Any comments, advice and ideas gratefully welcomed.

Health

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7 thoughts on “Before beginning plan carefully…

  1. Just catching up wih your blog and put your details in my sidebar to remind me to visit more often! Good luck with losing weight. I went on the Dukan diet in May which was extremely restrictive but did work and I lost over a stone and reached my target weight. It is not realistic for me to stay on the diet though so now I weigh myself everyday and if I have put on a pound or two then I just restrict what I eat the following day and walk more! This way of monitoring my weight works for me. You will probably be better off to make your own cereal so you know exactly what goes into it, eg, oatbran,oatflakes and handful of sultanas perhaps. So many cereals are loaded with sugar even if they are supposedly low in fat. From my experience of dieting I would say use a smaller plate, chew your food well, monitor your weight regularly, walk more, use skimmed milk, don’t get hung up on calories and get a hobby that takes your mind off eating!!!

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  2. I’m trying to lose 14lbs before Christmas – I have lots more to lose but this seems like a reasonable (not too much pressure!) goal.

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  3. Great plan. I want to lose the same amount in the same time frame so we’ll have to cheer each other on! It was actually interesting, seeing how you’ve broken down how much you’d need to lose each month to get to target. It makes me think that perhaps my own goal is more achievable than I thought (morale is low after still not having lost the baby weight after such a long time!). Good luck! (PS I love those little red cash books too!).

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