Week 3 SRL Update

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So this week I have been reflecting on what I’ve found out so far and what it means for me. As a result, I have changed my distal goal and proximal goals. I am unsure if it is going to be successful long term, but I think it is worth trying. I am going to use mindfulness as one of the major tools to help me be more conscious about my thought patterns and behaviours, so I can make these decisions consciously.

Up to now I have been focusing on three areas of healthy living: nutrition, exercise, and wellness. I think I now have a much better appreciation for which of these areas need closer attention, and that is nutrition. I already exercise four times a week doing activities I love, so I will no longer make that a major focus of my inquiry. Additionally the research suggests that one or two goals are all we can effectively manage at one time.

Much of the research I have encountered keeps referring back to mindfulness as a way of helping us attend to poor habits and negative trains of thought that we repeatedly engage in. So I am going to continue to focus on mindfulness, which has a double whammy of helping with overall wellness and hopefully with my weight loss goal.

My new distal goal is: To get my BMI to 27.

Proximal goals:

  1. To lose 10% of my current weight by December 31, 2017.
  2. To meditate for 10 minutes everyday for at least 66 days (habit formation) to help me be more conscious of my emotions and thoughts.
Proximal goal 1: To lose 10% of my current weight by December 31, 2017
The rewards I will use to help keep me motivated are:

  • At 20% loss, I will go for a 90 minute massage.
  • At 50% loss, I will go for Sushi at the Hennessy Hotel with friends and family.
  • At 80% loss, I will buy a new workout outfit.
  • At 100% loss, I will buy three new outfits in New Zealand, then set a new proximal goal.
The methods I will use are:

  • Eat 4-5 servings of vegetables at least 5 days a week.
  • Replace white bread and pasta with whole wheat at least 3 days a week.
  • Create a weekly menu plan for dinners on Saturday mornings so I can avoid trying to decide what to eat each evening when I am tired and have less capacity to make healthy choices.
The tools I will use are:

  • I will use Habitbull app daily to track that I have eaten my vegetables, replaced the white with wheat, and created a weekly menu plan.
How will achieving this goal benefit more than just me?

  • It will benefit my sons and husband because I will be providing healthier meals.
  • I am likely to live longer increasing the chances that my sons will grow up emotionally healthy.
Proximal goal 2: To meditate for 10 minutes everyday for 66 days (habit formation) to help me be more conscious of my emotions and thoughts.
The reasons I want to achieve this goal are:

  • Meditation has helped me identify my feelings and thoughts more consciously, thus allowing me to make a conscious decision about how I want to behave/respond.
  • I often eat as an emotional response to a non-hunger issue. Being mindful will help me identify cues in my environment and how to respond.
  • Meditation acknowledges the need to care not only for my body, but also for my brain.
The rewards I will use to help keep me motivated are:

  1. At 10 days of meditation, I will buy a membership to the headspace app.
  2. At 30 days of meditation, I will go to the movies with my family.
  3. At 66 days of meditation, I will decide if I need to continue with this goal or choose a new one.
Since I am using meditation to help me deal with eating cues, the method I will use is based on the cue. See table below.
Cues that lead to emotional eating behaviours: How I will respond to these cues:
Opening up the cabinet and seeing your favorite snack food. Only buy one treat a week and buy or make only enough for one serving per person. No leftovers!
Watching television in the evening. Only watch TV with others.

No TV after 20:00.

Feeling stressed after a difficult meeting or situation at home or at work. Use the headspace app to help me meditate and reframe as soon after the event as possible and before I reach for food.
Coming home after work and having no idea what’s for dinner. Make a weekly meal plan Saturday mornings and check it the night before when I’m making lunches in case I need to take anything out of the freezer.
Snacks and treats in the staff room or at book club. Bring healthy treats on my days.

Limit myself to one treat and consciously decide which one is worth the calories.

Talk to the book club members about providing healthier snacks by explaining my goals.

Feeling bored or tired and thinking that food might offer me a pick-me up. Get up and walk away from the kitchen – outside, around the campus, etc… and/or

use the headspace app to meditate.

The tools I will use:

  • I will use Habitbull app daily to track that I have done my ten minutes of meditation.
  • I will use the Headspace app to help guide me through meditations when I am cued.
How will achieving this goal benefit more than just me?

  • I will show my sons that setting goals and breaking them down into actions is an effective way to change a behaviour.
  • Everyone at book club will benefit from having healthier snacks.

The HabitBull app is a great tool for tracking goals. It is very quick and easy to use, is visually friendly, and gives you statistics on your achievements.

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