Friday, November 23, 2007

Isn't that Good Enough?

The unexamined life is not worth living. -Socrates

I've been analyzing what I'm doing wrong with my general lose-weight, take-over-the-world plan. I think the fundamental mistake I tend to make is to follow the "Good Enough" philosophy.

I mean, I went jogging yesterday. That's good enough to cause me to lose weight, yes? I don't have to worry about watching my caloric intake or drinking enough water. I exercised.

Or my other favorite way to practice this philosophy: on a good day, I make a point of eating at least 5 servings of those green leafy things. And hey, if I eat right I don't have to worry about exercising as well, do I? No sense overdoing things.

NO MARY, YOU HAVE TO DO BOTH.

Sheesh.

Also, since I started the running program, I've been slacking way off on the other forms of exercise. I'm only running 3x a week. I've still been operating on this unexamined assumption that running is going to help me lose weight all on its own.Because the experts all said that I need to recover from running on alternate days, I somehow got the idea that I should not exercise at all on non-running days. Nice try. Still need to do other forms of exercise on the alternate days.

Sigh.

I really do know better. The trouble is that I can't concentrate on every aspect of the weight loss plan at one time. I think I've identified the major key points that I need to focus on:

1 - Taking the time once a week to buy and prepare enough vegetable-based meals for the week. I know myself well enough that I won't even try to cook every day. It's not going to happen. But I can roast/saute/stir-fry enough vegetables to last me from Sunday to Friday. If the food's there, I'm much more likely to eat it than if I have to get up and prepare it, or think about it, or anything tiresome like that.

2 - Making exercise the first thing I do. 90% of the time, that will take care of the need to move my body every day. In case something unexpected derails this schedule, I've still got lunch or dinnertime to fit the exercise session into the day. If I wait until after dinner, momentum is completely lost, motivation has drained away, and I'm doomed to couch potato-hood.

Looking at both of these, the focus seems to be on taking conscious charge of how I spend my time. Drifting and daydreaming are fine -- after I take care of these two priorities.

Couldn't resist using the picture of Alexander Godunov. When in doubt, go for the pun.

8 comments:

soap box girl said...

Good one, and he's hot, too. ;)

Yes. It's tricky balancing exercise AND diet. Cold weather and working out increase my appetite 10 fold, which makes it difficult. I think Pasta Queen blogs about how much effort goes into cutting veggies, planning ahead, etc, too. It's not easy, but it's worth it.

Keep up the good work.

mary said...

Pasta Queen made a comment once on her blog that made me think. She basically said that if you want to lose weight, you're going to have to cook. (I thought using the prepackaged Weight Watcher foods might be an acceptable workaround, but even WW pushes fresh healthy f&v on its followers.)

I think it's my duty to beautify blogland by posting pictures of hot men in tights from time to time :)

Christina said...

I hear you on the exercise. If I don't do it first thing, there's a tiny chance I'll actually do it later in the day.

So far I've been planning my meals about 2 - 3 days in advance, but with prep work (cutting veggies, etc) to do everyday. It can be a bit of a pain, but it helps keep me away from fast food joints and the kebab van which parks right next to my building every night. The lure of chips (sorry, fries) gets to me every now and then, though, I must admit.

Don't beat yourself up too much. You are still doing positive things--they just need to be tweaked some.

Go Team CB! :)

Crabby McSlacker said...

I have the same problem of feeling like if I'm doing well in one area, I can let the others totally slide.

For me, it's a sort of a balancing act--if I try to go beyond "pretty good" in any one area to "perfect," I end up totally slacking elsewhere. It's almost like there's a limited amount of psychological effort I've got available. And then if life gets really busy outside the exercise/healthy eating arena--everything can go to hell pretty quickly.

But yeah, I agree with Christina--all the stuff you're doing is helping, even if it doesn't seem like enough!

Theresa said...

I know what you mean about trying to focus on everything at once. Too many balls to juggle. But sounds like you have a plan, so go Mary! Those veggies won't know what hit them. :+)

And rememver, even if the things you're doing aren't showing a difference on the scale immediately (so frustrating), they are doing you good!

Angstriddengoddess said...

All I know is, I'm too damn stubborn to stop now. Even if I don't look like a ballet dancer :(

Amanda said...

I found that if I made exercise a daily thing, it suddenly became less of a chore and just something I did. I guess I should apply that to the veggies too...but I'm like you I try to pre-cook for the week.

Heather said...

Yeah I need that advice as well, you need exercise AND healthy eating. I seem to have the opposite of you, the eating down, but not the exercise. We'll get there.