I picked up a used copy of “A Journal of Daily Renewal” by Bob Greene and Oprah Winfrey recently at a junk shop. I say used – I do mean used. Someone had written a handful of entries chronicling their attempts at weight loss. It makes for interesting reading. With an experience eye the person’s mistakes are readily discernible and very typical of a lot of people’s experience. I thought I’ll post the diary’s daily entries and my take on where this person went wrong. By doing so maybe the reader may avoid a similar fate by learning from someone else’s failed journey. Names, events and places have been altered to protect privacy.
Well I slept in this morning so didn’t go to the gym as promised & the food for brekkie wasn’t as organised as I would like.
I am proud of myself for not ‘pigging’ out in the afternoon & snacking on chocolate, coke & chips. Actually felt better for it.
Woke up v(ery) tired.
Throat is v(ery) sore.
Still getting over antibiotics.
W(ake up) 7:30am B(edtime) 11:00pm
Of the 8 glasses of water, 4 fruits and 6 vegetables chart only two vegetables were ticked off.
Hours between last meal /snack and bedtime: 3
Number of meals: 3
Number of Snacks: 1
Minutes if Exercise: 0
Weight: 66 (kilos)
B(reakfast) 1 Brekkie Bar
S(nack) 2 cups of coffee
L(unch) Ham, cheese & tomato s’wich
S(nack) 2 slices bread
D(inner) Pastie – Bought bottle diet coke but didn’t drink it
Well as you can see; not a good start at all. The grand goal was to sweep into a healthy way of life but she ends up achieving nothing of what she had wished for. The main problem is that she hadn’t made any concrete plans on how she was going to achieve her goal. It would have been far better if she had concentrated on just one aspect of her life and got that right before moving on. Now as it is she has started her job with failure and there is no momentum.
She had wanted to get to the gym but slept in instead. The question remains as to how she was going to do it. Did she lay out her gym gear the night before in readiness to go early? Did she go to bed early the night before so that she can get up on time? Perhaps mornings are just impractical for her to manage; did she consider another time of day that would have been easier to achieve? Maybe going to the gym is too involved an effort; perhaps a simple early walk would have been better.
She congratulates herself on not pigging out in the afternoon on chocolates and the like but is oblivious that her afternoon “snack” was two slices of bread! She could have made it a lot easier on herself if she had actually eaten a proper breakfast. A “Brekkie Bar” just don’t cut the mustard. No wonder she felt the temptation of junk food in the afternoon. She started the day running on empty. It isn’t hard to organise a decent breakfast. If she had only toasted one of those slices of bread and put some (not a huge amount) of jam and eaten that for breakfast and save the “Brekkie Bar” for the afternoon snack (an apple would have been even better choice) she would have done better. At least the calories would have been available for use at the right time of the day and doing her more good.
Next she lists a litany of excuses. Woke very tired; throat very sore; still getting over antibiotics...these should not be viewed as valid reasons why things were not done. These are just the circumstances of her life at the time. If a person who is a paraplegic can get up and go to the gym then surely her small reasons then don’t wash. Notice the play on defeating words. She isn’t just tired, has a sore throat or getting over antibiotics. Note the words “very”, “very” and “still”. These are special pleading words. The sort of thing you say to your mother when you are trying to get a day off school because there is a test on. If it was a hot date I wonder if that would have stopped her.
Dinner was a disaster. What a poor choice to start your first dinner with. I imagine one of the two vegetables she reports eating for the day is the carrot in the pastie. Never mind that it was wrapped up in pure fat! Surely she could have come up with a better option than that. The clue is in the bottle of diet coke she bought with it. She yielded to temptation but doesn’t admit to it. She placates her conscious by dwelling on the fact that after all she hadn’t drunk the diet coke. That’s like a drug addict saying that he didn’t use the cocaine whilst sucking on a reefer.
We learn that she weighs 66 kilos. What we don’t know is what her goal is. Nowhere on this first page is a statement about her destination. Her mind hasn’t a clear vision and as a consequence she has no direction in how to achieve her desires.
Now: keeping it off for life!