Masthead header

Fail to Plan or Plan to Fail

Fail to Plan or Plan to Fail

I’ve had several conversations following Easter about how hard it can be to regain your focus, your routine, your habits after a break.

Specifically, if you’re trying to lose weight it can be really demoralising if you feel you’ve undone all your hard work and can’t get back into the right headspace. The key is planning.

It doesn’t have to be ‘big’ planning – I’m not saying you need to plan for a full week. Just daily planning is a good start.

I get my best results when I take a minute each morning to think about how my day will look (with regard to food and exercise). I decide what I’m going to eat and at what time. I schedule my exercise. I doesn’t matter whether I’m eating at home or going out.

As long as I plan my day I know I will be able to make good choices. If I find myself getting hungry at 12pm, it’s easy to manage when I know I’ve got lunch to look forward to at 1pm. I have a glass of water and get busy until then.

For example, my plan yesterday (my day off) was to start the day with a 2km row and some leg work. Then I planned to have 2 hard boiled eggs at 10am. I knew I was going out for lunch so I made sure I didn’t have too much this morning. I ordered a beef salad for lunch & because I want today to be a really lean day I had a protein shake for dinner.

I didn’t struggle with cravings because I knew in advance what I was having. I wrote it all in my food diary. (The value of keeping food diary is huge, even for a few weeks).

Without that small amount of planning however, it is possible that I would have allowed myself to get really hungry and then had trouble making the right decision when out for lunch. Once it starts, most people will then write the day off and vow to start again tomorrow.
The problem with that is that you then feel disappointed with yourself. You may feel that you’ve ‘failed’ somehow. That feeling of disappointment is no good for your motivation and can have a destructive flow-on effect. It’s the reason many people don’t achieve their weight loss goals. We don’t like feeling bad about ourselves so it’s often easier to forget about your goals and just go back to out old habits. We tell ourselves we’ll try again soon.
Unfortunately it seems much easier to gain weight than lose it. Remember, you didn’t put it on overnight and you won’t take it off overnight.