Thursday, January 19, 2012

Separating my goals

Stop binge eating. Eat healthier. Exercise more. Lose weight.

Over time, I've made these individual goals into one big, formidable, jumbled, mountainous goal. I might as well state the goal as: do EVERYTHING differently, NOW!

It's almost to the point that I dislike the word "goal" and want to replace it with intent or plan or project or something else that's less loaded for me.

Anyway, I'm starting to separate all these worthy objectives in my mind. The cessation of binge eating is a different objective than "eat more nutritious foods, more often." Exercise doesn't depend on diet (which isn't to say that diet doesn't affect exercise performance). And losing weight is a goal that one can only pursue indirectly, via action goals like "eat better" and "eat less" and "exercise more".

(Um, asking myself what the point of this rambling is...I'm just trying to gather my thoughts, I guess.)

1. Stopping the binges is my most important objective.

2. "Eat healthier" is vague, so let me state my intention to eat at least one vegetable every day and to stop multi-tasking during meals so I can be more aware of portion sizes and satiety. (2 veggies and a fruit every day would be great; I would be proud of that.)

3. I'd like to do 2 cardio sessions, 2 strength training sessions, and 2 stretching (yoga and similar) sessions each week, and to work out at least 3 days per week. (I'd have to two 2 different things each day, like yoga+cardio or strength+yoga to get this all done in 3 days, which is why I think most weeks I'd need 4 or 5 days to get it all done.) I don't care whether it's at the gym, at home, or some combination thereof. I don't care which days of the week or what time of day. I'm done trying to figure out a perfect, foolproof, consistent workout routine in terms of days and activities. My life is too unstructured for that, so I'm going to try the approach of fitting in activity wherever I can manage while having an overall objective for the week.

4. I'd like to weigh 200 pounds again. Ultimately less, but for right now, that's what I want to accomplish. No longer binge eating would take me most of the way there, and a better diet and more exercise will take me the rest of the way. But I think it's important to separate these components in my mind so that a screw up in one area isn't used as a justification to slack off in the other areas. Skipping vegetables doesn't justify skipping exercise. Missing a couple workouts doesn't mean it's okay to binge. Overeating at brunch doesn't justify a lack of vegetables at dinner.

In other words, it's not an all-or-nothing proposition anymore.

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