Your Resolutions….Are they still alive?

Question I want you to ask yourself while reading this:     

What are you focused on for 2022?

It is already February 2022, and we are still in the Covid-19 Pandemic here in the United States. We are seeing fluctuating cases, mask mandates come and go and come again, and it seems like all of us know of at least one person who has been severely impacted by this damn virus.

This is not a blog post about the Pandemic, I want to focus on the life we are living because even though many of us in healthcare are forced to think about this a good majority of our day, this is not my life.

I want to talk to you about your focus this year.  What are your major goals you want to accomplish?  Did you make a vision board? Can you break it down into your top three visions for yourself that you want to accomplish?

What I am doing this year is breaking down those top three into bite size pieces that are micro-goals and creating habits that will help me maintain them as they work towards my goal.

One of my goals is to get to my goal weight. This has been on my iPhone to do list for over a year….. and for some of you reading this, this may have been a goal that has been on your vision board for many many years.

One thing I learned from last year if something is not working than CHANGE YOUR APPROACH.

So here is some of the things I am doing differently this year.

First:  I looked back to see what I did in the past (right and wrong) to try and achieve this goal

Things I did right:

  1. Intermittent fasting (7 pm to 7 am)
  2. Early morning workouts (at the end of fasted state, forcing body to use fat as fuel)
  3. Keto diet (cardiac healthy with leaner protein sources)
  4. Drank water (increased to over 80 ounces daily)
  5. Drank alcohol sparingly, birthdays, anniversary, new years
  6. Took stairs at work always

Things I did wrong:

  1. Did not have a set plan of maintenance.
  2. Relied solely on motivation to keep up these results and not habits.
  3. Did not get illicit partner/tribe to keep me accountable, went about it on my own
  4. Did not recognize old habits, when they appeared and stop them
  5. Gave myself permission to make excuses for the weight gain.
  6. Felt uncomfortable with the new attention my weight loss gave me

So looking at those I recognized that there were some good things I did that are NOT maintainable, and also some really eye opening wrong things I also did.  I do not want to make those same mistakes.  I want this goal to be done this year…. You must tell that inner voice that this time it will be different, until she or he believes it too.

One point that really stood out to me was relying solely on motivation to keep up the results.  At one point in 2019 I had made it to 8 lbs. of my goal weight, I was in a size 4, and felt amazing, but slowly let the weight come back.  Why?? I lost motivation, I let work get in the way, I should say the guilt of not finishing my work get in the way.  At that time, I was in a new position, and trying to juggle it all, and I was not doing it well.  What I did not realize then, and what I am slowly realizing now, is that work will always feel overwhelming, always feel like you are not doing enough, and that the job of a physician and hospital administrator is a tough gig, and I must give myself grace, but at the same time acknowledge that the guilt needs to be handled as well.

So instead of just focusing on my physical health, with weight loss, I also know now that I must tackle the mental part of this.  I must put habits into place that will allow me to focus on one thing at a time, without feeling guilty that I am neglecting other aspects of my life.

I will talk about this in another Blog post, but what I have started doing in my work life that has made a real difference is a daily theme, where I focus my day around one overarching goal, and work to achieve that goal every day.

So back to my health and the weight loss goal.  I looked at my diet right now, my activity right now and my mental state and my readiness to pursue these goals and what it will feel like when I achieve this.  I had to ask myself am I ready to achieve these goals, am I really ready for this?  Losing weight is not an insulated goal that no one will know about, everyone around you will notice, and most likely say something.  Are you ready for that?  I can admit that I was not ready for how it felt when people commented, “wow you have lost weight.”  They meant it as a compliment, but it felt like, “damn was I that big before?”.  Probably not, but maybe I was, who cares, this time I am going about this know that those comments may come.

I am ready because I know that what I look like on the outside MAY matter to some people, but it does not matter to me.  My why is controlling my blood pressure and cholesterol and improving my overall health so I can see grandkids one day.

I also realized that diet is a large key to achieving this goal.  I was intentional about my diet in the past, was strict and made keto choices for everything.  But looking back now, I did miss rice, and Naan, and rice…. I did not necessarily miss all bread, but I love South Indian and Sichuan Chinese food and love eating rice in general and I must face the fact that cauliflower rice can only take you so far.  So, I am going to have to focus on calories, increasing vegetables and lean protein, and limit my carb intake, without eliminating it.  This is one thing I am doing differently.  The difference is the weight may drift down more slowly, but this will allow me to keep it off this time.   This is just the start of my plan.

I hope this helped you start thinking about what you are going to do to get your goals achieved this year.  Let me know in the comments what your top three goals are for 2022.

See you in the next Blog …. Remember to stay calm in the controlled chaos of life you need the big 3, Acceptance, Embracement and Empowerment.

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