Saturday, April 14, 2018

Success Breeds Success: BMI = 28.3

120 pounds ago, I challenged myself to go one hour without snacking. That may not sound like much of a challenge, but it was an attainable goal. I knew I needed to go from grazing all day to eating three balanced meals each day, and I knew it wasn’t going to happen overnight. If I had set that as my goal (3 healthy meals, no snacking) then I would have failed before I even got started.

My initial challenge was to see how often I could go for an hour without so much as a sip of water. I kept track of how often I succeeded and how often I failed. If I hadn’t snacked in the hour before I had a meal, then I got a point. If I went an hour after a meal without snacking, then I got a point. If I went an hour between snacks, then I got a point. If, however, I found myself eating or drinking and it had not been an hour then my compulsive eating got a point.

I wish I had held onto those original score cards. It took me a week to have a 16-0 shutout against my compulsive eating, but I was winning the daily score from day one. The first day went well and I believe my compulsive eating only got a couple points on me. The second day my compulsive eating got 4 or 5 points, but I still won the day score and doubled down my resolve to get a better score the next day.

Essentially, I had stacked the odds in my favour. I set up the scoring system in a way that let me win, every single day, even though I still didn’t have full control over my eating habits. I succeeded each day, even when I gave up a few more points than the day before, and that drove me to strive to give up fewer points the next day.

I was also working on having 3 balanced meals a day and had setup a bit of a scoring system for that as well. The exciting game was the snack-timer game, though. Once I got a few shout-outs in a row, I started using 1.5-hour intervals.

The specifics of the intervals are not what is important here. The message is that the seemingly unattainable can be attained by breaking it down into small attainable parts. Even though my initial goals were very small, each success proved to me that I could succeed at something. With each success my desire for another success increased – my very expectation of success increased.

Today my BMI is 28.3. The photo below shows me with a BMI of 28.3, 33.4, and 43.

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