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Day 1 of 90: Your calendar is making you fat

Cindy H.

From the book: Your journey into healthy eating must not be dependent on calendars and timetables. It must become a daily way of life. The truth is that no matter how much planning we do, the weight will come off in our body's time, not our calendar's. Weight loss is proportionate to the types and quantities of food we eat and the exercise we do, not the amount of time we spend planning it.

I know that, for me, the challenges sometimes backfire. I focus on how I'm NOT hitting my goals rather than focusing on my daily habits and consistency. Looking back at the calendar I've lost 1 actual pound since the first of last month. but throughout the month I've fluctuated up and down up and down. I need to let go of the scale weight and focus on healthy habits and lifestyle changes. I really like the phrase "the weight will come off in our body's time, not our calendar's."

  Karen Replied:

Inspiration #1/90
Rather than calendars, our healthy eating (not diet) must become a daily happening. It's not a date on the calendar.

I have been guilty of this at times. Right now, I have set a 22 pounds in 22 weeks goal, which I guess is a modified version of the calendar issue. At least it was a very reasonable goal, very do-able, and some of the weeks, when my weight was ABOVE the magic 1 pound weekly mark, I didn't freak out and start eating. I just worked harder the next week. With two weeks to go, I am still on target. I have realized that all I can plan on, related to a calendar, is about a one pound a week AVERAGE, and that's ok.

I don't think there's anything wrong with a weight loss challenge, as long as goals are reasonable, and you understand that when one a challenge is over, your healthy eating plan isn't. Like the turkey contest...we pledged a weight to lose in 9 weeks, but the goal was to have lost SOMETHING in nine weeks. I put down 9 pounds, because that was a pound a week. Some people put down 15 pounds or 20 pounds in nine weeks, and as best I know, those goals were not realized. Reasonable goals work. If you find out that setting ANY kind of weight goal doesn't work for ya, then don't do it! We are all different and respond in different ways.

WAR works because you set your own goals, and only one has anything to do with weight. The others are goals to live healthier and be mindful in other ways. (exercise, prayer, etc.)

I do understand about the calendar and plotting out what I would weigh by X date if I lost X amount per week. I used to take calendars and jot in the magic numbers where I SHOULD be each week. Sometimes this book I plotted these tiny numbers in was my weekly planner, so for an entire year, after I FAILED again, I had the book with the tiny numbers in it reminding me it was another time I didn't "get there."

I have realized I cannot plan my weight loss. But, I can do my best each day, minimize "pauses", and hopefully eventually "get there." Believe me, if my weight loss had been "planned" I surely would have been there in over three years (which is how long I have been working on this). BUT, I do have over 100 pounds off, and it is significant. I have months and months of practice at eating healthy, but I continue to learn lessons along the way to better cope with feelings and letting food soothe and pacify at times.

I guess for me overall goals these days are ok, as long as I don't go haywire not making them. Right now, a broad, nebulous goal is to reach 178 by the end of 2009. It is doable. Will I go haywire if I don't? NO Heck in 2009, I am at the fourth year anniversary of doing this. I don't even know ANYONE who has taken four years to lose 140 pounds...but just knowing that alone tells you that we all WRITE OUR OWN BOOK of weight loss.

I did go in and remove most of the weekly goals from the SYD planner. Too overwhelming. I keep a couple of close ones, and leave a couple way out...the others are gone.

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  Anonymous Replied:

A few months ago this hit me. It's been a self-defeating behavior, and I eliminated all weight-related goals on my SYD site. One of our best lessons is our own Laura (Mrs. Perkins). She set a goal for her wedding and met it. She was amazing. After the wedding some weight returned and she did a double take. She's back with us and doing splendidly because she is not watching a calendar...she's watching herself. [Hope you don't mind the personal kudos, Laura.]

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  Anonymous Replied:

This is a very meaningful passage to me. I've done the calendar thing, like Karen, where each week there is a little number reminding me of where I SHOULD be. It never worked as beautifully as I planned.

It seems like as soon as I plan how long it will take me to lose X amount of weight, I relapse. So I no longer plan it. I don't make charts. I don't set rewards for reaching a certain # by a certain date.

Now, these systems are valid suggestions for people to define and stay focused on their goals. However, in my experience, it just leads me to feelings of not measuring up. This further confirms how unique the weightloss experience is. Each of us needs to find what works individually. Some SYD'ers have ditched the scale. For the time being at least, I've ditched scheduling out my future weightloss.

  Cindy H. Replied:

I do really like the daily dot system though. It has been an eye-opener for me to see how many days I can honestly say I'm on track for weight loss and how many have I just been maintaining. I use the one on SYD and I've been using dots on the calendar in front of my desk at home. By really looking at it objectively it's hard to expect a weight loss for the month when nearly half of my dots have been yellow! I'm going green for December!

  then Lyn Replied:

Yeah, the dots are a real eye opener!
In the past I have not done well with goals but this time having all the goals seems to be helping. I know it's not a mandatory thing but it reminds me of what I'm pushing for. When I'm tempted to get off track it helps me to look and see that I'll never make it to that next goal if I keep giving in. They are very small goals though!

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  Anonymous Replied:

Day 1 - Your calendar is making you fat.

This passage has been a real eye opener for me. It's true, I do set myself targets and then when I do not meet them, that gets me down and I eat again, I redo a target and it's a vicious circle.

I now find it that with short term targets and most importantly reasonable ones, I can do it. I think you have to have some sort of target to look forward to, just that these should not be by date but rather by weight change. For eg, my current target is to reduce by 10% of my weight which is about 13 kgs. I have not set a date, but rather will be taking it gradually.

As the passage rightly says, the weight will come off in our body's time, not our calendar's

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  Anonymous Replied:

I have been struggling with the calendar for the past 3 months and think it is time to stop the struggle. I need to rrust the statement about the weight coming off in our body's time, not the calendars....

  Karen Replied:

I think the thing we have to be careful about is not to use the statement regarding the "weight coming off in our body's time" to be an excuse not to do our best every day. A consistent effort every day of eating well along with exercise will produce weight loss.

I think the thought is that our bodies shed weight at different paces, and of course, sometimes we get to a plateau where we can't lose for love or money. I had a two-week round of that recently. It's horrible. Doing better again, it's just slow, and I am resolved to that.

  Shari (CE) Replied:

This is a good passage. I had to stop putting a time line on my health. I started living healthy and my body magic pills and no gimmicks just daily healthy eating and regular works =]

  Mags Replied:

This one hit home for me. I can't count the times I've sat down and figured out how much weight I'll be by a certain date/event if I lose X much a week until then. And, then of course, is the upset at not making the goal and falling further and further behind.

I like the idea of throwing away the calendar and letting my weight come off in "my body's time." But, I agree with Karen's warning that I can't use that as an excuse to not do my best each day. I guess it's something that has to come on faith... If I put in the work the results will follow, perhaps not by my neat little calendar, but they will come.

If I focus on what I can control (my efforts and adhearence to the eating/exercise plan) I won't be so likely to get caught up in what I can't control (specific planned out weight loss).

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  Anonymous Replied:

I don't have the book, but I plan to follow you all here. This one really struck a chord for me. I am on the full fast part of my optifast for 12 weeks. I go back to food for the next 12 weeks after that. I have been insanely obsessed with taking as much weight off as possible in these 12 weeks. Last week I didn't lose as much as I have been and was really bummed about it. That is absolutely crazy...I lost 3.5lbs. That is way better than I ever did without this program. I need to stop obsessing over the 12 week period and just keep learning, journaling, and staying on program and it will all come together for me. I also do the challenges, it helps keep me accountable and striving for a goal.

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  Anonymous Replied:

I discovered this strong, healthy contented person and I'm proud of what she can do, even on the days when there's an up day on the scales. It's not about the calendar or the scales. A couple of years ago I decided to focus on positive feedback. I shifted my goal from "gotta lose weight". I figured I must be doing some things right and focused on those. Now I'm not afraid to step on the scales every day. I enjoy the person I am.

  Brenda Replied:

From the calendar perspective, I used to start a diet every Monday or every 1st day of the month. Why wait for those times? I got fed up with that OCD way of life and just got to it. I started this life plan of mine on August 12th...not on the 1st nor on Sept 1st. It wasn't even on a Monday. Just got with it and look at me 15 months later and I'm at goal weight. Another thing I did differently in order to make this a daily way of life was to not plan meals, to not figure calories, fat, just eat sensibly and follow healthy rules. I'm not saying that this is for everyone. I already had done all that planning and figuring before so I have an idea how that works. I had to do it this time in a way that would fit my life. Not the other way around. I didn't want my life to have to fit around a diet. It's still hard. The bad habits are not going away like I'd hoped. I don't believe they ever will. But I know I can stay the course this time. I will.

Thanks so much for sumarizing this for those of us that don't have the book but want to follow along.

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  Anonymous Replied:

Calendars are my biggest downfall. I am a planner of everything. I think about thinking at times and that makes it even harder. I love the features of being able to see the diet dashboard along with setting your own goals but for me I get so wrapped up in them that I defeat myself the minute something doesn't go right. I am not perfect and I will never claim to be. This is damn hard and I don't want there to be a limit on when I reach my ultimate goal. I just want to reach it. I need to stop myself from thinking and plotting everything. With doing that for me is living too much of a diet as being my safety net. This isn't a diet. This is my life and my journey and it has to be something that I can stick to and not want to stray from on a weekly basis. I keep telling myself I have the tools to do things. The problem is that I talk myself out of things if another stressor or pressing matter comes up. I can't do that anymore. I have to just do what I can and continue. Consistency does not mesh well with a calendar. Consistency becomes habit and a habit if it is a good one could lead to a desired outcome. Calendars are so definite. Lists are obtainable as you can mark things off as you complete them. Celebrate accomplishments. Don't downgrade them by already preparing for another taks to be completed.

The opinions expressed on this forum may not represent the opinions of Please consult your physician to determine the weight, nutrition and exercise levels that are best for you.