It’s January 1st, which is probably the most popular time of the year for people to begin setting goals. I was at a training a few weeks ago for work where I heard a very obvious quote, but it stuck with me and I couldn’t get it out of my head. Chris McChesney, Sean Covey, and Jim Huling wrote a pretty powerful book called “The 4 Disciplines of Execution,” all about setting and achieving your goals. In it, they write, “To achieve a goal you have never achieved before, you must start doing things you have never done before.” Sounds pretty obvious, right? However, I think so many of us have these big desires and we want to get to them, but our strategies to get there are often based on hope, chance, or uncertainty. It’s also kind of the punch in the gut we need in order to stop making excuses and to change our behaviors. Behaviors influence our success. Period. If our behaviors aren’t leading to success, (no matter what our goals are), we won’t reach our goals, meaning we have to change our behaviors.
Flash back to January of 2018. The niece I had given birth to (yep, you read that right…. read about my surrogacy journey here) was 4 months old. I had just quit pumping breast milk and the baby weight did not come off so easily this time. That pregnancy was a huge blessing and growing period for me (both literally and figuratively), but I entered the new year ready to shift my focus from the health and nourishment of this sweet baby I birthed, to taking care of the body that carried her. My word for the year was “stronger,” and I can tell you with 100% certainty that I became exactly that.
I set a goal. My goal was to go from __________ pounds to __________ pounds by June 26, 2018 (which was my pre-baby weight.). I had to lose 20 pounds to meet my goal. Here were my behaviors I knew I had to begin in order to reach my goal:
- Do P90X3 5-6 times per week. I chose this because it’s only 30 minutes. I bought it off of eBay, which was very budget friendly and the workouts had enough variety and the research to back up it effectiveness. I chose to wake every weekday around 5:30 AM in order to get my workout done. This was a huuuuge behavior change for me, but I knew that getting it done first thing in the day would set me up for success and I wouldn’t have to worry about it the rest of the day.
- Macro Dieting: I signed up through Kim Waits and gave her all of my info including my height and weight, my goal, etc. She set my macros for me in order to set me up for success.
What is macro dieting?
Macros are carbs, fats, and protein. Kim set my macros so that 40% of my diet was carbs, 30% was protein, and 30% was fats. As for my calories, she set those for me too, but I don’t want to list that here simply because that is a number that needs to be very intentionally customized based on your height, weight, and goals. This is why I think it’s so important to work with Kim. She is the expert, and I am not.
How did I track all of that?
Easily and efficiently. I work full time and I have 3 kids. I don’t have time to count things constantly or do a ton of work to keep track of it all. Fortunately, the myFitnessPal app does all of this for you. For many foods, I could just scan the label on the package and it would go straight into my daily diary. If I can figure it out and have time for it, then it must be easy and efficient!
How do I figure out my macros and calories?
Contact Kim Waits! Click on this link. Her pricing is super affordable, and your health is worth the price. You can also look up a lot of research on the benefits of macro dieting and how to set goals by doing a simple Pinterest search, but I would definitely recommend working with someone like Kim who can tailor a plan for you. I initially tried doing the research myself and found that I had set my calorie intake too high. I wasn’t gaining weight, but I wasn’t losing either, meaning I wasn’t going to meet my goal.
What are the benefits of macro dieting?
- Learning about food. To me, this was the most impactful. Prior to macro dieting, I didn’t realize how little protein I was actually consuming. I thought I ate a lot of protein because I like meat and I thought I was being super healthy by eating a ton of fruits and vegetables. What I learned was that I was too heavy on carbs, which I would burn and then get hungry again. Even eating healthy foods in excess is still excess. I was overeating and not getting enough protein to sustain me. Once I learned about ways to get more protein, I was content and I wasn’t hungry all the time. I also just felt better. I didn’t eliminate carbs, but I learned how to use them to fuel me instead of comforting me. I didn’t have to eliminate all sugar, I just had to learn how to balance out my foods so that I wasn’t overdoing it. It taught me a ton about moderation.
- Nothing is off limits. I still had Moonrise Donuts, I just preplanned and balanced the rest of my day so that I could have that treat in the evening with my family. There’s not 1 thing I ever had to give up in order to do this. I just had to be mindful and intentional about what I ate and when. I never made separate meals for me and m family. I just learned about proportions and balance.
- I can do it forever. It’s a way of life and I don’t have to cut out bread for the rest of my life. I can sustain.
So, how is it going now?
I met my goal weight in June and I have lost 2 pounds since then. I’ve maintained that weight without tracking my macros in myFitnessPal, but I still apply what I’ve learned about macros daily. Over the holidays, I ate what I wanted, just like I ate whatever I wanted on my cruise back in June. I just get right back into the swing of things as soon as those holidays or vacations are over and I get right back to the weight I was before all of the excess fun.
I’m starting a new challenge to maintain my weight and have more muscle tone beginning this new year. Over the past couple of months, I haven’t been diligent in my workouts and I can tell. I’m excited to get back to it and to focus on my new word this year: BALANCE.
Here are some of my before and afters: