Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Moving Up The Charts!

I may not be on Billboard or The New York Times Bestseller List, but you all know how I love me a chart and some stick on stars.

In the past, however, I've been charting my star qualities all wrong. Pretty much the usual perfectionist dieter's attitude, Pass or Fail. All or Nothing! You worthless sack of fat!

100 miles in 100 Days. Minimum amount of Exercise in a set amount of time! Must complete x amount of words EVERY day!

Set myself up for failure and self recrimination right from the get go. This time I'm taking a leaf outta my own book. I remember way back when I first started trying to understand myself and my eating habits, I'd weigh myself every single day. Not to abuse myself or to set my mood, but to learn. Learn how my weight fluctuated over the months. See how different foods, drinks or sleep patterns affected my weight. To prove to myself that the scales weren't the be all and end all of a healthy lifestyle.

I've come to the conclusion that I'm ready to use that tactic on several different areas of my life.

Binging: I can now recognise a binge when it occurs. I can successfully analyse the emotions/causes of the binge. I can get through it without beating myself up afterwards. But, I'm still having them.

Writing: I've got my writing mojo back. I can see where stories are going again. I feel capable of improving on prior drafts of Works In Progress. I'm being regularly productive. But, I'm fooling myself on just how much, and how often, progress is happening.

Exercise: I'm pining for aerobics. I've set myself a goal of being able to walk 3 miles straight regularly before attempting modified aerobics again. So, I go in fits and starts with my exercise because I'm so focused on what I can't do and on building appropriate strength in my legs. Still focused on an all or nothing target.

Charts: There's got to be a batter way of tracking than all or nothing!

And you know what? The trend method works for all of those things. Without my emotions or my perfectionist streak getting involved.

Binging: On the days that I binge, show what I binged on be it food or books or movies, what time of the day, and what emotion caused it. On successful intuitive eating days, give myself a star.

Writing: On the days I do some sort of authorly task, say what it is, how long I spent at it and what I achieved in that time. Give myself a star for real progress made. Note how many days are spent reading as opposed to actual writing/editing.

Exercise: Give myself a star for every day I perform some form of exercise, no matter how long that exercise goes for. And stars for rest days when they're needed too.

Charts: Oooh look, now they show trends. The reasons why I haven't performed a task, why I did, and how I felt along the way. There's grey in amongst that black and white, and the pretty stars.

Aren't they pretty? :D

I am very curious to see how this will go. I learned so much from weighing everyday. I'm hoping to learn a lot from these charts too, until I'm ready to give them up. The same way I gave up the scales once their purpose was over.

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