Monday, November 3, 2008

Something Else I Have in Common with a Kindergartener

Besides a short attention span and a love of snack time, that is.

I wish I could remember the website I found this idea on, but I can't, and so I totally thought of it on my own! Totally. I am very smart.

One of my biggest problems with getting and keeping weight off has always been consistency. More specifically, my lack thereof. Whether its exercising or eating well, I tend to start off strong and then peter out with a vengeance. See also: August. But about seven weeks ago, I found, er, thought up this really great idea--its called "Don't Break the Chain." It was originally intended as a motivational tool to help kids get their chores done, but I'm finding it's working almost embarrassingly well to keep me exercising. Well, it originally started with exercise and then when that worked so well, I branched out to food tracking (I just added water consumption, too, and I'm hopeful this will work, too).

So here's the dope: I downloaded a 12-week calendar from here. Then, each day that I've exercised, I've X-ed out the day. The idea is to create a "chain" of X's over time, and thus the motivation lies in not wanting to mess up this chain by missing a day. I also like to write in the box what it was I did for exercise that day, just cuz it makes me happy.

Helpful example here:
Don't I look lovely? That's thanks to last night's (when I took the picture) workout, which reads "80 min. walk."
Here's a close-up:
I am now six weeks into the 12 weeks covered by the calendar and feelin' pretty darn good about it. I do take a rest day every week, but I let myself earn an X for it if I use that day to plan out the upcoming week's exercise. So far so good.

About three weeks in, I started keeping track of days that I track my food, too. I use a thin pink (my favorite color) pen and make another X over the day (notice that I didn't say I have to be perfect with my food; I just have to write it down to earn the X). Yesterday I started in with water (if I meet the ounces goal I set, I get me another X), and for that I use a thin blue (cuz that's what color water is, duh) pen. I'm sure I could get quite the rainbow going, but I'm going to stick with those three for the time being, as those are the things I need to be the most consistent about in order to control my weight.

Like I said, I'm almost embarrassed by how well this has motivated me. What's next? Gold stars? Getting to be Line Leader? But as Paul Simon so wisely said, who am I to blow against the wind. It's working, so I'm just going with it.

Please feel free to steal, er, think this idea up entirely on you're own. I hear you are very smart.


Holly said...

I am very smart! How did you know?

Your chart is very pretty.