It’s already week 4 of my Live-It program and what do I have to show for myself? Some ups, some downs. Net: very slight increase, but we’re talking ounces here. So basically, my program isn’t working. At least not working well enough for me to see some weight loss. It’s definitely working to keep me from (significant) weight gain, notwithstanding my little freak-out last week.

This week’s GetHawt assignment asks what’s not working for you? Here are the three areas where I have stumbled and what I plan to do about it:

1. Don’t let the negative voice speak up. You know that voice. The one that says, “See, you can’t do it! Why bother?” or even the less harsh, but still negative one that says, “I had this goal and I couldn’t get it done today! I failed!” Well, that voice is never going to get me anywhere. It’s the voice that says,, “Just today, I’m going to focus on (insert the point of focus here).” And if, at the end of the day, something happens and I can’t get it done, I can’t stress out about it because that doesn’t help. I need to figure out what is getting in my way, and figure out a strategy for success.

I also can’t worry about lack of progress in the last 4 weeks. It’s far more important that I didn’t go backwards. I DID manage to lose 30 pounds over the last year, and I certainly didn’t lose it all at once. There were periods of time where I didn’t see any change, but I persevered. Then I would see downward movement for a while and be happy about it. I need to remember this is not a sprint. As I get closer to my ideal weight, it’s going to be harder to lose the weight. Intellectual me understands that. Emotional me needs a gentle reminder from time to time.

Menu cover of Yung Kee Restaurant, Central, Ho...

A month with no change is not significant in the long run. It’s far more important to focus on building the healthy habits. Then when I have to peruse a menu or go shopping, I naturally gravitate to the things that are good for me because I like them and they taste good, not because I “should” eat it.

2. Drink the water! Please! This is really a problem for me. I’m convinced that it’s part of my water retention problem. However, knowing that I need to do a better job with this and actually doing it are two different things. This is where I need to take my own advice above and figure out what I can do better.

Water bottle

In general, I seem to do better when I have my daily water in front of me in measurable quantities, I could actually drink it all. It’s when I get it as I think about it that I forget to drink it. I get too focused on my  problem at hand or feel challenged to deal with planning for water when I’m out gallivanting the countryside (or a foreign country). So, I need to start my day by getting my water lined up before I am glued to my computer for the day. And when I’m traveling, I need to make sure I have a way to get water and keep it with me as I go about my business.

3. Schedule the exercise and be flexible. When I’m home, I like using my treadmill because I can set up my iPad and catch up on reading or watching a video, and that usually works when I travel as well.

When I was in China the last couple of weeks, I tried going to the fitness room but I felt uncomfortable with the presence of an attendant there. (I observed a lot of attendants for various places in Beijing – apartment lobbies, fitness rooms, school hallways, restrooms…) Fortunately, I had plenty of opportunities to do some high-powered walking – miles and miles of walking, including lots of stairs. I found muscles that my treadmill has ignored. But in spite of that, I didn’t get as much exercise over the course of those two weeks as I should have.

Of course, I won’t always have those walking opportunities to make up for my slack time in the gym. Whereas it was perfectly fine for me to go walking around alone in Beijing, sadly I can’t do the same thing in my own country in many places. In those cases, the fitness room will often be a reasonable alternative, but I can plan for other options. There are dance videos and cardio videos that I can put on my laptop to do in the comfort of my hotel room. At home, I have various game consoles for which I have acquired some fitness games that I need to revisit once I am off this traveling track. (I will slow down eventually…traveling, that is.) The point is that it’s easy to get bored with doing one thing repeatedly, so having other options lined up is important.

Windows Calendar

Last, getting exercise on the schedule is important. Sometimes morning is best for me, sometimes evening is best. It largely depends on what is on my work schedule. If I know that I have to socialize in the evening, then it’s probably best to get my workout done in the morning. Regardless, the more important thing is to get it onto my schedule. I read somewhere that making a to-do list is not as effective as scheduling a task on your calendar. I think the same is true for exercise. If you don’t make a date with yourself, it’s too easy to rationalize yourself out of it.