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Marking time and sticker charts

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Old 03-04-2007, 02:50 PM   #1
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Marking time and sticker charts

I've come to a realization lately -- marking time is essential to keeping me on track. I know what I need to do and I know how to do it, but it's so darned easy to get distracted. Before you know it, months have passed with no progress or even a dreaded weight gain all because of something meaningless distracting me from this big get-healthy project.

WW was helping me because I only had to make it through the week between weigh-ins. Any backsliding could be fixed the next week. I know, I know...we should take this thing one bite at a time, but my brain doesn't work that way. Marking time by the week helped a bunch...but I don't have $40 a month to dedicate to meetings that really weren't teaching me anything. And a lot can go awry during a distracted week.

I started thinking about how motivated kids are by stickers. I can get my 5-year-old daughter to do just about anything I ask by rewarding her with a sticker. I have 168 days until my 20th high school reunion so I made myself a "sticker chart" in Excel with 168 numbered squares. Each square is divided in half. The top half is diet. The bottom half is exercise. If I eat "well", ie healthful choices and moderate portions throughout the day, I get a + in the top part of the square. Not really counting calories, fat or carbs because I know when I've made good choices without quantifiying these things. 20-30 minutes of exercise daily gets me a + in the bottom half. Deviation gets me a big, red - in the appropriate space.

Sounds stupid when I say it to you all, but this has really, really kept me on the straght and narrow for the past four days. I can't remember the last time I exercised four days in a row! I'm so repulsed by the idea of getting a red minus sign that I've been doing great! And, since I'm very visual, seeing my 168 days and marking them off one day at a time reminds me that my efforts every day matter. There's no putting things off until tomorrow, which has always been my downfall. Yes, I plan to continue this lifestyle change after the reunion, but the middle of August seemed like a good short-term point to focus on.

By the way, I also think that one reason diet pills work for some people is that the pills help keep track of time. Taking a supplement a few times a day equals several daily reminders to stay on your "diet" -- whether or not the supplement curbs the appetite, gives energy, etc. Just another way to mark the time.

Thanks for letting me share.

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Old 03-05-2007, 08:07 AM   #2
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Join Date: Mar 2004
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Re: Marking time and sticker charts

I don't think it sounds stupid at all! I think any sort of "accountability measures" that you can add into your routine is helpful!

Thanks for sharing.

Old 03-05-2007, 10:39 AM   #3
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 167
AmandaH HB User
Re: Marking time and sticker charts

Absolutely do whatever works for you and gives you motivation to stay on track! Good luck with your weight loss.

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