Monday, June 7, 2010

Monday morning resolutions

When it comes to being diligent about sticking to a 'diet' (for want of a better word), I find excuses to wander.  I feel stressed, so I wander.  I really need a little bit of candy, so I wander.  A small cookie won't hurt, so I wander. After such a heavy workout, I deserve a bigger portion, so I wander.  The cook brought the wrong food so I wander. I'm carbo-loading, so I wander. Let's not waste those french fries you're not going to eat, so I wander...

Of course that is not being honest with myself.  There will always be an excuse to wander.  Until that changes - and I can stop giving myself permission to wander, no matter how good the excuse - I am in the same camp as an addict.  There is no way to handle a small 'transgression' just this one time, thinking that I will be able to do better tomorrow.  In the end, tomorrow is just like today.  If I can't handle the temptation now, why will I be able to do it next week?

Hence the resolution.  Not to eat less or lose a certain amount of weight or run faster or run further or lift more. No. Just to stop rationalizing bad choices and stop giving myself permission for the small 'deviations' which can derail even the best plans or intentions.  It is all about discipline, or the lack of it.  Nobody has ever achieved a worthwhile goal or adopted a desirable habit without discipline.  And hand in hand with discipline goes motivation. It is the latter that is lacking.

I've been thinking and talking about breaking the 21-minute mark in the 5K for many months now.  It's time to get specific.  There is a small 5K race here on October 23 - the 'Energy Capital 5K' - which I will use as my target race for going sub-21 minutes.  By late October the worst of the summer heat should be gone.  Also, there's enough time between now and then (20 weeks) to refresh  my nutritional goals in order to shed the 10 to 12 pounds of flab which I am lugging around unnecessarily. Bring it on!

I literally squelched through six easy miles this morning, first with the two dogs for their 3/4 mile each and then on my own along Terry Hershey Trail.  It was so humid you could literally see it - hopefully that wasn't ozone - and within minutes I was dripping wet from head to toe.  Welcome to the Gulf Coast in summer!  Nonetheless, by the time I got back home and stripped off the soggy running clothes, I immediately felt energized and enthusiastic about the challenges of the day and the remainder of the week.  It is quite amazing that after 40 years of running, even a routine run-of-the-mill 6-mile training session can have a positive impact on my general mood and sense of well-being. 

6 comments:

Amy said...

Love this post Bert! I totally get the problem of "wandering" - I suffer from this myself! Sounds like you have a good goal to work towards and in the meantime, deal with your wandering spirit!

EZEthan said...

I too have the problem... my problem though is that when I do wander it can quickly materialize into a binge... I always just try to remind myself that one bad meal choice doesn't ruin the whole day and that I still have the option to make a healthy eating choice at my next meal.

fishmagic said...

Bert,

Do you lift weights? High reps, or low? The reason I ask is that I experimented with lifting heavier weights with fewer reps (no more than 8), and I immediately lost weight. I now lift twice a week, and the weight is staying off. I was 153, now I'm 147, and that is a good 5k weight for me.

Bert said...

I need to add some heavier lifting into my routine. Recently (last week) started Crossfit 3 X per week but I've already been injured twice. Very high risk exercise for someone my age I guess...

Melissa said...

I wander as well. I just did the REV3 as you know and the scale went up this week by a whole pound. No, I'm not over weight but as YOU know, racing weight is what we strive for and one pound is not good! I'm cutting portions starting today!

Pony and Petey said...

Thanks for this post! I'm doing the same thing...not dieting, counting calories, weighing myself, trying to lose a certain amount of weight by a certain date.

But I AM making wise choices, being realistic about my caloric needs and nutritional balance, focusing on food quality.

It's amazing how much better I feel! I wasn't eating that much junk to begin with but getting rid of just that little bit has made a much bigger difference than I thought it would. That goes a long way to motivating me to stay away from the junk or at least highly restrict it.

I've lost a few pounds...not as much as I'd like...but better that it comes off slowly through smart eating than cutting way back, hit the number on the scale, then go back to whatever.

It's nice to know that there are others out there who understand what I'm dealing with...what my struggle is. It's great that we can help each other!