Who Are We and Why Are We Headed for Shamrock?

We met online in 2005 trying to--what else--lose weight. We've had our ups and downs along the way, but we're not where we want to be. This is our journey to get fit and healthy. We invite you to follow us as we "exercise" our way across the country--track our progress on the map to Shamrock below-- in an effort to each lose 50 pounds by the end of 2009 and adopt a healthier lifestyle along the road.

Where will we go once we reach our goals? The sky's the limit... but we're thinking Greece would be nice.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

The 1% Principle

I learned an important concept at a homeschool conference a couple of years ago. I can't recall the exact wording of the speaker, but the basic message was this: even if you focus on one small thing (1%), if you do it well, it will have a ripple effect on everything else in your life...or compound (as in interest).

At the time, I understood it but didn't really think to implement it. But lately, I've tried to. I've tried it with homeschooling, with getting a morning routine going, and with gardening. I've even tried it with exercise.

Normally, I'm an all or nothing girl. I don't do this on purpose. It's just where my mindset usually ends up. I orchestrate some grand plan for getting all aspects of my life in order simultaneously, then feel like a complete failure when the pressure of it all shuts me down.

No longer! I've been doing a pretty good job of working on a little bit here and there, getting it to become a habit, and then looking to where else I can improve. And I have found that the 1% principle is true. It really does work.

When I started taking Alli (which by the way, is not working so far), I read an interesting quote in the guidebook that came with it: "I can be patient if I see that I'm making progress." I have thought about that quote over and over in the past few weeks. And I've come to realize that this is very true of me. I am not a patient person, and I will always want it right now! But I can be patient when I see that progress is being made, albeit small. And this idea is proving true in homeschooling, gardening, and establishing routines.

Where this is not working right now is in weight loss. I am not losing any weight despite exercising more, eating less, and taking Alli (some weeks I actually gain). I'm really frustrated here. I'm hoping that my appointment with the endocrinologist this week will be helpful. I'm going to beg and plead for help with my weight loss, because I don't know what else to do. If I was home all day by myself maybe I could focus nearly my entire day on weight loss efforts, but do I really want to have to resort to an obsessive mentality about this? Shouldn't it be something that is sustainable and that won't burn me out? If they can't help me, I really don't know where to turn.

But until then, I will keep up my new exercise routine. I've been getting my exercise in early....at about 6:30 a.m. I've been trying to alternate between cardio and weights. For cardio right now I'm focusing on doing the Couch to 5K program from coolrunning.com except I'm taking it much slower. I really don't care how long it takes, I'll just keep improving daily (1% principle again). For weights, I'm just using the 1/2 hour I have to do arms since that is where I am the weakest. The exercise is getting done early, and I don't have to stress over it for the rest of the day.

In addition to this, I have started scheduling early morning gardening time with my boys. We do garden chores for 1/2 hour after breakfast. That 1% principle is helping here too, as I am not so completely overwhelmed at the ginormous list of garden tasks 7 acres has to offer. I'm slowly making progress on that list, things are actually getting done, I get to be outside which helps my mood and internal body clock, and I'm doing some physical activity. I'm not seeing any of this activity pay off on the scales, but hopefully that will change.

Why do I have a rock climber posted here? Well, that's how I see myself. Sort of. I could sit at the bottom of the mountain complaining about how long it would take me to reach the summit. I could go a few steps and look up and just quit. But that won't help me climb the mountain. How do you climb a mountain? One step at a time. Some steps take longer than others. Sometimes you have to move laterally for a while until you can get a better foothold. But it's all progress. And that's what I'm focusing on. Progress, however small it may be.

peggy sig

No comments:

Post a Comment