Monday, September 23, 2013

Road map for personal accountability and progress

“We all want progress, but if you're on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive.”
C. S. Lewis


Constant progress is the name of the game. Does this mean you will never slip up or struggle? Absolutely not, in fact since you are human it is a given that you will hit some speed bumps along the way. You must remind yourself that getting off track a little does not equal failure, as long as it does not become a habit and you get right back on track. This is where keeping track of everyday activity in regards to your intended goal is imperative. If you have been keeping track as you go and hit one of those speed bumps we talked about, you can look back and see if there is a trend or just a one time thing. Maybe you struggle during a certain season or time of year or if you are under stress make notes about your mood and a lot of times you can see trends. It is empowering to know why something is happening and to be able to build in stop gaps. Know yourself and when you spot triggers, take action and initiate and alternative behavior. Let’s face it we think we know ourselves but we see what we want to see and know what we want to know. Journaling makes it more of a science and eventually turns into a personal road map of you.
If you are old school like me a ninety nice cent composition notebook works fine. If you are tech savvy and prefer to work on a computer or smart phone there are tons of journaling options available with web sites and apps.

When you keep a food journal on some of the sites available you can put the item and portion size in and it will calculate percentages of fat, protein and carbohydrates for you. If you prefer to write it yourself the calories per gram is as follows; carbohydrates and protein are 4, alcohol is 7, and fat is 9. Now that we have mentioned alcohol the important thing to know is that your body considers alcohol a toxin and will burn nothing else for fuel until it is gone. Of course when we drink we almost never eat “healthy” so it is contraindicated to weight lose. One more thing to think about on the subject of alcohol, if you have had bariatric surgery it is possible to have the same effect as drinking on an empty stomach. Since the food is stopped at a specific area and the alcohol goes straight to the stomach.

A running or exercise journal is the best way to tell what progress you are making or to figure out what time of day is optimal, what setting you like, music, temperature and many other variables. Since the seasons, work and life bring new and ever changing challenges I recommend continue your journaling. It does not have to be super detailed all the time but it is helpful when you are planning a race or event. My running journal has become a habit now; I put the date, basic route, mileage, pace, if I ran with someone and sometimes a note about the run. It does not take much time and I can go back and check weekly mileage, when I tried new things and if they worked or not. By keeping notes about strength training and running and nutrition especially in the beginning can be a big help to see how each one affects the other. I know this may sound like homework and tedious but I promise you; if you take the time you will accelerate your progress and level of accountability. If you think this might help you try it right away. Because it is human nature to think about something and put it off and this is something you don’t want to put off.


Thank you for taking the time to read this! I look forward to hearing about your journey. Stay tuned and follow along on the journey as it unfolds. 

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