Flexible Planning

Planning is a huge component of effective weight management (just as it is for weight loss). I have a rough plan for food and exercise every day – even now, 8 years out of weight loss. If I can hit the important points on my plan most days I’m doing well, so I try not to make it too detailed, and I try to include only the most important points. For me, on a work day the plan looks like this:

Food: Pack a bag with 4-5 servings of fruits and veggies, a lunch that contains no more than 300 calories for the main entree, and a couple of emergency low-cal protein shakes. I rarely use the emergency shakes at work, but they are there if I need them. I use them if I’m hungry late in the afternoon, because they come it at 100 calories, they’re nutritionally balanced, and nothing in the vending machines where I work can boast of any nutritional value whatsoever. Having more than I expect to need is always a good plan. It keeps me away from the crappy vending machine options.

Exercise: Get some. Every day, getting some exercise is part of the plan. Walking, running, lifting weights, cycling, zumba – whatever works for that day needs to have a chunk of time devoted to it, usually about an hour. I plan a rough time of day in which I expect to get my exercise. The first few years of my maintenance I exercised in the morning before work. Lately I’ve been finding that I like to do it right after work but before dinner. So every day I pack my gym bag and iPod with me to work so I can head straight to the gym.

So that’s the planning part. What about the flexible part? Obviously I can’t live my life to a rigid schedule and still maintain my corporate job in IT. Things come up, schedules get shifted, meetings run long, injuries happen. I can adjust my schedule to any of these issues. The one thing that doesn’t work for me is just not doing it because I don’t want to.

Today I need to be flexible for exercise, because the run I completed last night caused me some pain in my left leg. Right at the joint where the thigh and hip meet, I woke up in agony this morning. Running is my preferred form of exercise, but today there can be no running or high-impact anything for me. I shift my plan. I can still lift weights (upper body, obviously). I can still, after some stretching, do some walking. So the plan for today has shifted a bit. I will do my upper body weights routine in my living room this afternoon once I’m done with work for the day, then go for a nice gentle walk with my husband. That was easy.

Posted in tools. 4 Comments »

4 Responses to “Flexible Planning”

  1. lisalys Says:

    What shakes do you use? I’m still doing product only, but the Optifast shakes are 160 calories, not 100 calories…

  2. Christine Says:

    Breakfast is my bugaboo. I take a while to “defrost” in the morning so I’m not in the frame of mind to eat breakfast first thing. If anything, I’m not ready to eat until about three hours after I get up, which usually coincides with either my first morning appointment or an office meeting. Can you suggest easy, portable, grazing breakfast items that can be safely stashed in a chill bag in my trunk throughout the morning?

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