Week 8 of 30lbs in 30 weeks. +1 lbs
It is already another week and time for another post. As you may recall, I was a bit down last week. If pounds lost is the indicator of success or failure, then, so far, 30in30 has been a giant failure.
Negative thinking puts me in a terrible, awful mood and does not engender positive behavior. In fact, there is science behind that (via LifeHacker).
“Some psychologists believe a bad mood originates due to ego depletion.”
Uh – yeah.
“This idea,founded by researcher Roy Baumeister, suggests when people use up their willpower to avoid temptation they drain cognitive resources. In effect, if you’re withholding something, say, food because you’re on a diet, or yelling at someone because they gave you poor customer service, it drains your brain and makes you irritated. Essentially, the harder you push your mind to avoid something, the more likely you are to get irritated.”
Since this is not a cycle I am interested in getting stuck in, I decided to take the advice in the article and “Embrace it” or change it by focusing instead on viewing the triggers through a positive lens. When I set out on this journey, I wanted to find a way to improve my life, get healthier and lose weight, without sacrificing who I am and the things I love.
This past weekend, one of my favorite people in the world came to visit me with her two friends. We hit the town, ate at some great restaurants and drank. It was wonderful to do some female bonding and reconnect with an old friend. Was this worth an extra pound or two? I’d say yes.
Remember my promise last week to “get organized”? Well, I did work on that. One of the efforts was to document everything I put into my body. In order to make it super simple and ensure I would actually do it, I simply snapped a photo with the “Food” app from Evernote. The app automatically records the date and time. I tried to include the packaging and nutrition label in the shot when possible or add a quick description. The goal was less about tracking calories, and more about being conscious about what I ate. I learned two things from the experiment:
- I found that I did make better decisions knowing that I would have to document what I ate. The other day I was driving somewhere and I was running late. It was pouring rain and I had not had a chance to eat. I rarely eat fast food, but I was very tempted to go to the golden arches drive through. The only reason I didn’t was because I didn’t want to have to document that I went there. Essentially, it made me think twice about the decisions I was making.
- I was less diligent in the evenings. I tend to drink in the evenings (a habit I am trying to curtail) and I can see a direct link between the drinking and the attention I pay to my goals. I eat larger portions, I lose track of what I am eating/drinking, and I even pretend it never happened by not documenting it. Not to mention the tasks that I put off doing and the exercise that never happens.
Rather than dwell on the fact that I missed documenting many items, I am focusing on what I learned. Shining a light on my weaknesses and the areas where my resolve deteriorates is a big step in helping me move forward and re-focus my goals to be more productive.
To learn more about my project, 30lbs in 30 weeks, follow my weekly posts here.
Karen Propp is an artsy-fartsy digital geek who sees beauty in a different way. She chronicles the pursuit of happiness and her weight loss project, 30lbs in 30 weeks, in a weekly feature. You can read the introduction here and follow her journey here. You can also follow Karen on twitter @karen_propp.