Monday, June 7, 2010

Long Range Goals: Short Range Action

My daughter and I were talking about life and philosophy today in the car. She was telling me how much she has learned about life and living by doing her Master's Degree in Math (seems unlikely doesn't it??)...anyway. I told her that I felt like it took not a Ph.D. but a lapband to teach me what I needed to learn. We agreed that we basically learned the same thing both in our different pathways.

I have learned that you have to do both-make long range plans and then connect those plans to a series of short range actions in order to reach your goals. Now one would think there have been a lot of situations in my life that I was successful at that required knowing and applying this idea. Really...not so much. Sure I 'did' school. I 'did' work. I had a family...all long range 'plans'. The thing is...They weren't really long range or planned very well. Until this last year I pretty much bumped along attempting long range plans but never making the connection that what I did today impacted not just now but my pathway to a future as well.

School-I did it in short steps. I did not really plan a pathway but did whatever needed doing next and even that was often done at the last minute. have a couple of accidents and a couple of planned children. In either case it did not take long range anything quite the opposite in fact. Raising children can be done from day to day-getting from one joyful moment to one crisis after another. Food..nope I always wanted to be thin and I knew what many suggested I should do to get there but I was never a 'planner' or a writer downer or a self-indulgence denier.

So now you might think-hang on a minute Tina always argues that this obesity thing is more physical than behavioral. The band is working the physical and allowing her to behave. Yup I still hold my ground on that. The thing is that in starting to view this weightloss from the other side of the hill looking back down the cliff-side. I see with some clarity what was always clouded by my tiredness and drive to eat. I can make bigger plans now and figure out the mini-short or even medium range plans to accomplish them. Here is how I worked it in a bandy example.

The physical-I was tired and hungry (to combat the tiredness)---I used to eat. As the weight came off the tiredness started to lessen. The short range Action- I walked more. I stopped parking close to save energy. I stopped driving to places that were less than a mile a way. I found a fun exercise to do regularly the exercise provided me with added energy, muscle mass and further weightloss.

The physical-when I first started getting fills sometimes I would pb or get stuck. The Short Range Action-It wasn't because I needed an un-fill it was because I needed to learn how to chew better and stop eating sooner. I could have given in and regained my comfortable fill spot...but I pushed ahead and in the short term learned how to chew better, ate less food and slowed down so I could hear my body talk to me.

The physical-My weight loss would stall. I would get a little more room in my stoma opening and I could eat a little more food. I would get hungry more frequently. Short range action-Go get a fill and take my new set of lessons (chew better, eat less or eat slower).

The physical-Certain foods I could sneak past my band and get that old feeling of fullness with. Short Range Action-I had to change my habit of eating that ice cream first so I could sneak it past my band. I had to limit ice cream to a few times a week and in very limited quantities. I had to find something else to fill that hole (coffee? exercise? I had to think healthy and try new healthy things. I had to not eat the ice cream alone ( I still work on this one sometimes).

I have been working a similar technique with our budget and my work/home balance this year too. I am sure lots of people have worked this out before me and might wonder why it took me so long to figure it out...If I only recognized it 30 years ago. :)Maybe it is an age thing?


Barbara said...

Thanks Tina.. this was very helpful for me ... as I am still trying to figure it out.. It is true that the band provides a physical barrier.. but you still have to get your head in line and figure it out and as you say make some short range actions to meet those goals.. We can rationalize anything, but we really need to take a hard look at the hurdles (some times self imposed).. good post I enjoyed reading about your approach

Jacquie said...

Great post Tina. Thank you for making me think. Thinking is good!

Lonicera said...

My body does talk to me - in my left ear my head says "I'm not letting you have any more food" and in my right my stomach says "however we still feel down here as though our throat has been cut... send more down as soon as poss after obstruction has been cleared". On the matter of exercise it's strangely silent however.

I think you're talking about wisdom with age (says the great aunt). I often find myself wishing I'd understood something (whatever it is) thirty years ago.


amandakiska said...

Great post!