If you read the headline and you’re expecting to hear some magical story about me dropping 15 pounds with a snap of my fingers, that just isn’t the case. This is very much so an ongoing series of advice as I find what works for me. Here’s a little background on where I’m coming from…
At the start of quarantine, I could see this weight gain coming from a mile away but chose to lie to myself to cope with the stress of a pandemic. My husband was home from work for 7 weeks, our daily schedules changed drastically, and naturally our eating habits followed suit. I would tell myself, “It’s going to be fine… Once you see your weight start to move up you can just jump right back on plan and correct it.” And with each pound gained, I rationalized. I rationalized all 15 pounds that I gifted to myself during the quarantine. But then I realized I not only didn’t like the number on the scale, I felt awful, my sleeping habits were down the tubes and I had zero energy. The culprit was clear… poor nutrition.
Don’t Try To Change Everything At Once
One week ago today, I was chatting with one of my closest mom friends & mompreneur Cara Harvey and we discovered we were dealing with the same wellness pitfalls. We decided enough was enough! Prior to that decision, I had tried SO many times to “get back on track”. And then I realized my mistake. Every time I tried to restart, I ignored my own advice of setting mini goals and attempted to change ALL THE THINGS all at once. This time, I committed to using a tool called habit stacking.
I was looking at Cara’s Instagram stories and saw that one of her mini goals was to not eat after dinner. I thought that was so perfect! I don’t know about you, but once my kids are in bed, all snacking self control goes out the window. I’ll admit that if you ask me what my perfect date is, I’ll probably imagine me, by myself, with a party size bag of white cheddar popcorn, sitting on the couch and binge watching Netflix. (Sorry hubby!) Committing to no post-dinner eating sounded like the perfect place to start. Realistically, the time between dinner and my own bedtime is what… four hours? I can totally have control for four hours!
So for the last week, that’s all I changed. I didn’t track any food, I didn’t try to meet any water goal. I only committed to not eating after dinner.
Week 1 Results
First, thanks to my daily texts with Cara to help hold me accountable, meeting my goal wasn’t nearly as hard as I thought it would be! I met my goal every day except one (I had some white cheddar popcorn while watching Netflix one night…). Even with that one slip up, I’m super proud of what I accomplished! I haven’t been able to set and meet a goal since the quarantine began. But formulating this mini goal that made sense for my current life gave me the opportunity to feel accomplished and motivated. I even noticed a slight increase in my energy level! The kicker– Even though I didn’t change that much, I’m down 2.2lbs this week!
Since I successfully met my goal for a whole week, I’m going to add in another mini goal beginning tomorrow (Monday). Starting tomorrow, I’ll aim to drink 100oz of water daily. I’ve definitely been dehydrated lately which I know is contributing to me feeling awful. At the end of the week, I’ll evaluate my success. If I was able to meet my goals for the week, I’ll add another mini goal. If I struggled, I’ll stick with my two mini goals for another week. Make sense?
What Can You Do?
If you’ve realized your pants are snug, you’re feeling dragged down by low energy and a general feeling of “blah”, I encourage you to make a plan! But don’t make the same mistake I did… Let’s not try to do all the things all at once. Make ONE mini goal and commit to it for one week. When we create mini goals, we allow ourselves to feel the accomplishment of that which propels us towards our next goal.
If you need help getting started, check out these resources!
- 3 Tips for Success in 2020
- 8 Ways to Control Snacking
- Podcast about Habit Stacking
- Hydration Tips
- Getting Started with Food Tracking
- Facebook Accountability Group
Week 2 Results
As promised, I’ll update this post each week with my results! For the second week, my goal was to not only cut out post dinner eating but to also drink 100oz of water daily. It was a rough week! There were some days where I met my first goal, some days where I met my second goal, but there were no days where I met both goals. It was also the week leading up to that lovely monthly time we women contend with, which added to the difficulty. I felt a little less in control of my goals but all in all, I did my best! When I weighed in Monday morning, I had gained back two of the pounds I had lost bringing my net loss down to -0.2lbs. I know some of this is from not sticking to my goals each day, but I also know some of it is my typical water retention for this time of the month. My goals for week 3 aren’t changing much except I’m adding tracking breakfast and lunch. So my Week 3 goals are: 1) no post dinner eating, 2) drink 100oz daily, and 3) accurately track breakfast and lunch. I aim to meet these goals 5 out of the 7 days.
Yes, I did say “ditching the quarantine fifteen” so stay tuned! Keep checking this blog post because I’ll post weekly results until I’ve said BUH BYE to all of these pandemic pounds. Will you join me??