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Tip If You're Just Starting Out: COUNT YOUR DAYS!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

I realized something recently that has been a big plus in my most recent attempt to lose weight and get more healthy. Thought I'd share it in case anyone is just starting out on, or near the beginning of, their journey.

I often read blogs of successful Sparkers and notice that they number their entries--Day 1, Day 2, Day 3 ... etc. Usually when I'm reading one of those blogs, the writer has made big progress and is up in the 200's and 300's of days--a place that's always felt nearly impossible for me. How can ANYONE stick to ANYTHING for that long?, I always wondered.

This time, when I restarted for the umpteenth time the day after my 55th birthday, I decided to do the same thing.

It's been more helpful than I anticipated.

You know how lots of us get about 2 weeks into a lifestyle change/diet/new eating plan and feel like we've been trying F-O-R-E-V-E-R and we're just not making any progress? Myself, I've very often quit at just about that point.

Well, think about that. We're trying to undo probably years of poor habits, and it may FEEL like forever--but it's only been two weeks!

So this time, when I started feeling that way, I just looked at my blog (outside of SP) and said, hmmm, even though it feels like I've been doing this forever and I'm not getting anywhere, it's REALLY only been 13 days. So that's NOT forever--I haven't really given myself a fair shot yet.

So I'm gonna keep going.

I kept doing my blog entries, keeping track of what I was eating, and walking. Before I knew it, I was writing this: "Day 28: I'VE LOST 10 LBS IN 28 DAYS!" Whoo hoo! If I had stopped at my usual 14 days, I'd probably only have lost that same dang 5 lbs that I've lost about 47 times in my life--which therefore don't really mean anything to me anymore.

By Day 39, I wrote "Still 'Blasting and Waiting for More Weight Loss" ... seeing the number of days that I'd stayed focused grow got to be more and more motivating, and it somehow gave me patience to keep going. I realized I was doing something I usually find very difficult.

I made more blog entries, noting the number of days on each one, and watched the number of days I'd been at it going UP and my weight going down. Next thing I knew, it was "Day 50: 15 Lbs Down".

I'm still counting the number of days I've been working on the new me--one day at a time; one decision at a time; one foot in front of the other.

And today, to my great surprise and pleasure, I was able to write this entry: "Day 68 - Made it Into the 'Teens!"

Can you believe that? Just because I didn't quit at my usual Day 14-ish, I was able to get from 240 lbs on August 5, 2013, to 219.5 lbs on October 12, 2013. And even though it seems like I've been doing this forever, it's really been just 68 short days!

THAT BLOWS MY MIND!!! emoticon

I'm not sure I explained this real well. All I can say is, if you're just starting out, and like me you have a tendency to peter out around the 2-week mark, do yourself a favor this time and count the days somewhere--like here on a SparkPeople blog--and do it often.

You might find it helps you as much as it has me.

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UPDATE: I just wrote this in response to HEALTHY4ME's comment on this blog entry. I thought I'd add it to this post because it helped me explain better what I was trying to say when I originally wrote this post:

"Hi! I saw your questions on my blog post "Count Your Days". Very important for me--do NOT "start over" every time you do something you didn't plan. That's more like a Spark Streak. I've never gotten far in those, just for that reason--you need to be kind of "perfect", or your number never gets very high. That makes me feel like a failure over and over again.

Rather, this time I wanted to just remind myself that I've "only" been working on better habits for, say, 60 days--so it's ok that I haven't lost 100 pounds yet, lol! See what I mean?

If you go read my blog, you'll see that I've had a few breaks over my 68 days where I didn't do as well as I'd planned, and even one day when I ate cupcakes ALL DAY LONG! But that was just one day among 67 others--so getting right back on the wagon the next morning helped me to keep moving forward in the RIGHT direction even after that stumble.

My blog is adventureswithnutribullet.blog
spot.com. Check it out--it might help."
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • RANAF222
    Yes, I feel the same way and have been doing this too. Although I am only day 9, so just starting the journey. Good luck on yours! emoticon
    2366 days ago
    I think your idea makes perfect sense! I follow a girl whose lost 80-90 pounds and is on Day 688 or something! Just because there's a slip doesn't mean you start over -- HEY, WE ARE DONE STARTING OVER! We're in this for the long haul, right?

    I can tell you really have your head in the game this time, Goin'! This to me says it all:

    "I'm still counting the number of days I've been working on the new me--one day at a time; one decision at a time; one foot in front of the other."


    2767 days ago
  • NHES220
    Good for you!
    2767 days ago
  • no profile photo CD14126107
    I thought that was a good read.

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    100+lbs Team
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    2767 days ago
    I do find this helpful but one question cos I am 56, lol so similar age, and I too do good, great sometimes then bang....
    So when you have a day when you eat too much, or don't execise, or eat some sugar .... is that still day 3, or 40 etc. and you say okay this is what happened today, tomorrow isn't going to be like that and continue on or do you start back at day 1. I know we all have days when it is permissible ( not really the word I am looking for) to have a pc of cake, or not exercise etc. noone is perfect... so what do you do?
    I used to start over till I got so sick of saying re start, do over, day 1 that I almost stopped and said to he!! with it all. I haven't ever said it and done it but have gotten were the do over was nearly daily for while...
    Just curious... I am on lol day 13 or day 1... had a year end party at the campground we are seasonal at and I had 3 tiny squares and a drink. HMMM lol today there is nothing hre at the trailer and all is fine. Will be going home to start cooking and baking for thanksgiving but it will be gluten free, sugar free pumpkin pie and apple crisp. Rest is veggies and dd doing turkey.
    Glad you have found something that works - works for PIXIE-LICIOUS too. she is awesome!

    Just re read your page, I am on the list for a new knee, terrified but should be late spring early summer 2014. Frreeeeaking me out I don't do pain well lol alhtough guess should say surgery pain as I live with pain from arthritis daily and fibromyalgia also although it so far isnt too bad.
    2767 days ago

    Comment edited on: 10/13/2013 8:02:23 AM
  • no profile photo CD14253479
    You explained this perfectly well! I'm striving for 36 months. I can go for about 12 and reach maintenance and then KABLOOIE!

    Thank you for this wonderful blog not only for the newbies but the oldies too.
    2767 days ago
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    2767 days ago
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