Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Singalong Tuesday 2

How are things going in your world? Did you meet your goal for the week, whatever it was? Do you need to stick to the same plan and give it time to settle in, or readjust your sights?

I think it’s important to remember that the goals you set are yours – you can revise them any time.
In Scientific American Mind (Dec/08), Nikolas Westerhoff explains that “openness to change” is considered one of the five major personality traits and that it tends to decrease with age, particularly after 30.

“New experiences may bring innovation and awakening,” Westerhoff writes, “but also chaos and insecurity.”

This suggests that, rather than giving up on learning new tricks, we can take some steps to make it easier on ourselves.

For example, reduce the “chaos and insecurity” factor.

Roughly planning my new-style meals ahead of time has taken away the anxiety of figuring out what to eat five times a day. I’m finding it really helpful to chop vegetables for several days all at once – stashed in bowls in the fridge, they’re ready to be tossed into the steamer, salad bowl or skillet for an almost-instant meal or snack. Last night I even baked a bunch of chicken breasts so I can store them in the freezer and just slice them up for a quick stir-fry or curry or, well, almost anything.

Westerhoff also warns against expecting too much from a change.

“…Set more reasonable goals,” he suggests, “and recognize that achieving even modest change will be difficult.”

In other words, don’t be hard on yourself.

As Dale Carnegie said, “The successful man will profit from his mistakes and try again in a different way.”

What’s your plan for the coming seven days? Writing it down makes it a concrete goal and sharing it will likely make you feel more accountable – both of those will increase your success rate.

Feel free to share here at Calorie Neutral. We’re rooting for you!


  1. I met my goal up till the last 2 of the 7 days, when I let slip with snacking at night - only some fruit, but fruit still has the calories...and I didn't follow through on writing when the pull to food came those 2 evenings.

    So in the next 7 days I plan to re-commit to my plan of the eating only 5 times a day, and to re-start my goal of meditating each day. (I let that go mid-week!)

    I'm also going to digest the pertinent information in the Mayo Clinic book (just got it from lib.) - like the BMI - oh, how hard it is to see I'm over the healthy limit of the BMI.... sigh.

  2. Well done, Madeline! You stuck to your goals very well and when you slipped (and fruit is such a healthy slip), you just climbed back in the saddle.
    That's so important and beneficial in the long run!

    Fodder felt like he was slip-sliding from about Christmas onward, what with dinner parties and lunches out and one thing and another, but he kept recommitting to the underlying principles and as a result, his weight keeps slip-sliding too, one belt-notch at a time.

  3. Hi Rachel:

    Things have slowed down a bit in the loosing bit so I’ve had to readjust, as you mentioned, and start weighing my food even if it is a mere stir fry. It’s amazing how easy it is to eat double the amount just because they’re vegetables. I know at first the weight comes off quickly (water loss must have something to do with it), but then when it slows down, it gets more difficult to stay motivated. I just take a look at what I weighed the previous week, and think that I weigh less now – and this week it’s not just water! I’ve started wearing a belt again, and I noticed I’ve had to tighten it a notch too.

    Getting together with friends is still a bit of a challenge as sometimes a single glass of wine won’t cut it when the conversation is good. I’ve adjusted to having a glass of water next to a small glass or two of wine and that helps. I manage to keep losing and still keep the friend!

    I’m curious as to what you’re adding between meals as a snack. Last night when I went to bed, I could hardly sleep because I was so hungry. A glass of water helped, but I think I need something between meals as the three I have, with weighing, sometimes isn’t enough especially if I’ve had an early dinner.
    My goal for the rest of the week and this coming week is to go out for a walk at least every other day, rain or shine. – There! I wrote it!


  4. As you know, MM, I seriously dislike hunger. I avoid it at all times :)

    My morning snack today was a pear with a couple of slices of Swiss cheese – protein, fibre, vitamins…. Later this afternoon, I might have 12 almonds and an apple or a big stalk of celery with a smear of peanut butter.

    The basic plan that Vicki Waters explained to me is that every meal and snack should have some kind of protein/fruit-or-veg combination.

    Also according to Vicki – and I have no reason to doubt her! – our bodies need to trust that we're going to feed them regularly. Then they'll be willing to use up the food we give them. That's why the three meals and two snacks is so important.

    Congratulations on wearing a belt again – and tightening it! I'm impressed!

    Adding your walking goal for the next two weeks is fantastic – that'll help burn off the wine :)