Thursday, May 21, 2009

“IF, THEN” ~ A Logical Approach to Healthy Living

For as long as I can remember, I’ve lived by the scale. What it says each morning affects not only my mood for the day, but also how I feel about myself. I did try for several months last year to stay off the scale, but ended up gaining five pounds in the process. I was literally lost without it, and was shocked when I got on it and discovered my gain. I’m back to my daily weigh~ins, and probably will stick with them always as they help to keep me on track, but I am trying to readjust the way I look my quest to find contentment with my body. Instead of approaching my efforts as “weight loss” oriented, I am looking at them as more “healthy living” oriented. While the idea/goal of losing X pounds in X days/weeks/months is a good one, my ultimate goal is to live healthy and be happy. In order to do that, I can’t just do a crash diet until I meet my goal weight ~ I have to make lifestyle changes and stick with them always to maintain the body I want.

To be perfectly honest, if I was happy with what I saw when I looked in the mirror and if my clothes fit well, then I really wouldn’t care what the scale says. {Although if it happened to rest at my “dream” weight, I wouldn’t complain!} This leads to my new approach to healthy living ~ “IF, THEN.” I was daydreaming the other day during a meeting {shush ~ don’t tell my boss} about how everything we do has consequences ~ the whole “if…, then…” equation. If my boss discovers I was daydreaming, then I’ll get yelled at; if I watch “Out of the Wild: the Alaska Experiment” with Nate without complaining, then he’ll sit through “Grey’s Anatomy” with me; and so on and so forth.

I can apply this same logical approach to my healthy living strategies, considering the consequences to my actions:

~ If I eat this piece of chocolate at work, then I have to skip the extra piece of bread at dinner.
~ If I work out an extra 10 minutes, then I can treat myself to one tablespoon of my fatty poppy seed dressing.
~ If I do Pilates instead of vegging on the couch, then I am one step closer to reaching my goal of being content with my body.
~ If I go on a four mile hike today, then I can reward myself with pasta with alfredo sauce instead of my usual marinara.
~ If I eat an extra piece of cake tonight, then I will have a new dimple on my butt tomorrow.

My hope is that adopting this “IF, THEN” approach will help me really think about the consequences before grabbing a handful of chips, mini candy bar, cookie, etc. as I walk by the “food table” at work {I am a notoriously horrible impulse snacker}, as well as the other consequences of my daily eating and exercising behaviors.

Do you think my “IF, THEN” approach might help you?

1 comments:

mrssoup said...

See, the If, Then approach would only work for me if someone was poking at me. I have HORRIBLE self control. I don't know how I'm back to my pre-pregnancy weight, because it sure as hell is not because I'm eating right. Sure, I drink almost 100 oz of water a day and I take the stairs at work. But I also am a HUGE snacker. I have a drawer in my desk that is full of mini candy bars, not so mini candy bars, fruit snacks, granola bars and nuts. I try to use the fact that I am breastfeeding as an excuse....but there will come a time (all too soon, I"m sure) where that won't be an excuse anymore. And I'm so tired when I get home from work, I don't want to do anything.

But I wish it did work. This is why I don't smoke or anything else addictive like that...I would be hooked WAY too easily...