Monday, July 2, 2007

Make a New Plan, Stan (Are you ready?)

Everyday we plan. We plan what time we get up in the morning, what we are going to wear, what we are going to eat (or not eat), how to get the kids up and to school, how we get to work (which route to take), what the days appointments look like, whatever needs to get done that day requires us to think ahead to a certain extent to make it happen. So, we have daily plans as well as short term and long term plans.

The first step, I believe, in making changes in your diet (or training) is to make a plan. In fact, I wrote a post on 4/4/07 called "Boring Diet Advice", and after re-reading it this morning the very first suggestion was to make a plan! ( If you haven't read it, I suggest that you do, it's a post that I'm quite proud of and quickly outlines some important suggestions) A plan is, of course, a way of "mapping out" how you expect to accomplish your goals. So, decide what your goals are, to simply say I want to lose weight, or, I want to get in shape, means little without taking the responsibility to "map out" how you're going to do it.

Are you ready to lose weight? It's OK if you're not, but don't whine about it, don't bitch about it, don't pretend you're doing everything you can and you're still not losing weight if you don't have a plan. A plan that WORKS! If you think you have a plan, and it's not working, CHANGE IT! But that requires being honest not only about what you're eating, but if you're ready.

What I've done, or what anyone else has done to lose weight, if they've been succsessful, has worked for them. It may or may not work for you. But I think everyone would agree that if you weigh more than you want to, you got that way by eating too many calories. Start by changing that. Make a plan to eat less calories, how will you do that, are you ready to do that? A couple of ways to do that are to eat less of the same foods you ae currently eating, or to change your foods to lower calorie foods, more than likely they will also be healther. Either option can work, and to what degree you are ready and willing to change will affect the speed of your success.

One of the excuses that I hate to hear is the excuse of "time". "I don't have time to make my lunch", "I don't have time to go to the store everyday", "I don't have time for breakfast", "I don"t have time to workout", "I just don't have enough time", bullshit. If I told you that I would give you a $100 dollar bill, or $1000, whatever amount would motivate you, every morning, but you had to drive (or get) accross town at 4:00am to collect it, I think you might muster up the motivtion to make that happen, even with your "busy schedule". We all find time to do the things that we are motivated to do. And the first thing you would do is to make a plan. In fact you might even start planning how you will spend the money! So don't use the excuse of "time", just make peace with the fact that you may not be ready.

OK, so you're ready to lose weight, right? Eat fewer calories, you know what you're eating, I don't, so how are you going to do that? Here are some of the things that I do to plan my food;

I keep a food journal to stay accountable and to track not only how many calories I'm eating, but what kinds of food affect my weight, and how often I eat. My journal also gives me time to reflect and decide what may or may not be working so I can change it!

I eat basically the same foods everyday. I make food ahead of time, that can mean freezing portioned meals, or simply getting up earlier to prepare my food for the day, or staying up late the night before to make sure I have the food I need for the next day, I never leave my house without knowing what I'm going to eat that day. I don't eat out. I don't care if it's someones birthday, or a way to socialize, I'll meet someone for a large glass of ice tea at a coffee shop, but I don't need to eat crappy food to please someone else. And because my food is already planned, I don't need to eat out. Besides, my food is better, both taste wise and health wise.

One of my favorite stories is the one where I describe while walking in my neighborhood I pass by a Weinershnitzel (hot dog stand) and notice the long line of people (unhealthy looking people, I might add) and wonder why in the hell these people don't think they have the 30 sec. time to microwave a damn hotdog themselves? A whole package of hot dogs and buns probably cost less than what they're spending, buying a chili dog and soda (OK 2 chili dogs w/cheese, lg. fries and lg soda, yuk!). People can simply start by making their own sandwich for lunch, how long can that take? C'mon people.

I know what kinds of snack foods can get me to my next meal if for some reason I've waited too long or if my plan doesn't work out. For instance, at work I don't always plan my appointments to accomodate meal breaks (it's my own fault, I admit it), and I need something low calorie, nutritious and satifying to get me to the next meal. Apples, prunes, almonds, and my latest favorite, carrot sticks w/PNB, for some a 90 cal. yogurt, etc. Be prepared if your plan gets disrupted.

So what will your plan look like? My plan, although it's been working for me, needs some fine tuning. I'm at a point where my training goals are changing and therefore my food needs to change. I'm lifting more and heavier the perfect combination to put on muscle and my weight is a little higher than I'm comfortable with. So my goals are to continue to get stronger, give myself sufficient time to recover, not to overexercise, and to eat enough, but not too much to maintain my weight at the range I need it (128's). I'll be outlining my master plan in the next few days to hopefully map out exactly how I expect to get to where I need to be, and where I want to go. I'm ready!


fawn said...

Excellent message Tracy! I just spent last night getting food ready for this week, for the exact reason you stated... lack of planning last week meant eating lunch out for me twice! So, I actually spent money twice to get a stomach ache.

Franz Snideman said...

Great message!

Time to write a book :)

Tracy Reifkind said...

Fawn, More important than planning, is getting in the habit of planning. That's another subject I want to talk about.

Tracy Reifkind said...

Franz, I know, I know. Maybe I need to make a plan on how I'm going to get that done, LOL.

Iron Tamer said...


Himitsu Joe said...


I loved it. So true. To lose weight Eat Less, Burn More. To Eat less, Know what your eating. To Burn More Plan your exercise. Things in HI going great just got my new 20 & 24.


Tracy Reifkind said...

Dave, Thanks!

Joe, I was just thinking of you!

How long will it take you to settle in? And how is YOUR food and KB going? I know with all of the changes you have had to make lately it's probably been a challenge.