Saturday, January 16, 2010

Revisiting Boundaries

I wrote this on MFD earlier in the week:
They have their day to day boundaries, their special occasion boundaries, and their never to be crossed boundaries
 When I first moved into maintenance/weight loss after coming off of OPTIFAST, I had boundaries about food and physical activity.   I can only remember two of them:

  • NEVER eat at McDonald's
  • Eat chocolate only if it is Godiva quality or better, only in the presence of someone else, and only if I have already worked out that day.
I am proud to say I have not crossed the first boundary.  I have frequented McDonald's quite often - we stop there when we're on our Sunday jaunts so that I can pee.  I know - that's horrible.  But well - that's all McDonald's is good for these days.

The second boundary, though, is crossed quite often.    I do still eat high quality chocolate, but not necessarily in front of anyone or after a workout.

It's time to re-establish my day-to-day, special occasion and never-to-be-crossed boundaries.   I want them to be easy boundaries - easy to remember and easy enough to meet.  In other words, setting a day-to-day  boundary like "I will never exceed 1500 calories per day"  only sets me up for failure.  It's not realistic.

Day to Day Boundaries.   I like the NO S theory here.  No Seconds, No Sweets, No Snacks except Sometimes on days that start with S.    That means, I get a little leeway on the weekends.  I need that with my lifestyle.   So for food - with maintenance or loss - my boundaries are:

M-F: No Seconds, No Sweets, No Snacks.   Alcohol other than the 1/2 beer I split with D at dinner - only on Fridays.

S-S: No Seconds.  No Snacks.  Sweets and alcohol  (I love my wine) will be permissible in moderation.

Physical activity:
M-F: I will strive for 10000 steps per day, plus 3x per week formal exercise.
S-S:  When I'm in town, I will workout 1-2x.

Special Occasion Boundaries.   I think first, Special Occasion needs to be defined.  D and I went to the mountains almost every month this past year.  I treated each time like it was a special occasion: I ate whatever I wanted, drank however much I wanted, and had no exercise.   Going to the  mountains needs to be treated like a weekend boundary.  It's no longer a special occasion.   That leaves holidays, vacation, birthdays.

At this point, I think Special Occasion Boundaries mean including a sweet or a snack outside of my No-S rule, ONLY if I have planned for it.   If I am in active weight loss mode, it means for that day, I can eat to maintenance.

Never to be crossed boundaries:

No McDonald's (or equivalent fast-"food" establishment)
No crap out of a vending machine*
Never eat unplanned food that doesn't taste spectacular.  (In other words, if I opt to break the above boundaries, and the food I chose is less than stellar, I MUST not finish it. I must stop eating it. It has to REALLY be good for me to break a boundary.)

I may add some more to the Never to be crossed category.  I think it's very important to not put TOO much in that category.  Life becomes about restriction instead of joy and peace.

And I do want joy and peace in my weight management process.

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