No Plan Is A Plan

May 20, 2014

No Plan Is A Plan

Ah June, the month for serial celebrations.  I have finally learned never to attempt to get together or even for that matter speak with my friends with children for the entire month of June.  Back in the day (oh, here we go, right?) the end of the school year was just that – the end of the school year.  We all went home.  Summer vacation.  See ya in September.

Now though June is a jam packed whirl wind of graduations from kindergarten, sixth grade, middle school, after care, Lord knows what, plus all those traditional June weddings!  And all heralded in by multiple Memorial Day Weekend BBQ’s (see Strategies for the BBQ Challenged).  How on earth does one manage all that celebratory eating?  One thing is clear:  if I don’t have plans for how to manage all these challenging June environments, then all these challenging June environments have plans for managing me.

After just such a particularly regrettable celebratory day, I asked a client (as I usually would), “Well, let’s back up and see how this unfolded.  What was your plan?”  He paused, pondered this for a moment and answered, ”I don’t think I had one.”

Here is what I have figured out about myself (rocket science, as I am sure you will see).  No plan is actually a plan not to have a plan.  It pretty much ensures that the environment will have its way with me.  At best, I will default to my original factory settings, which would be fine if my default values were healthy choices!  They are not.

Guidelines or limits are what many of us seek when we sign up for diet programs, hoping we can be protected from ourselves if we forego having choices.  “Just tell me what to eat and I will eat it,” beseech new clients.  And, when you think about it, what is any diet program but a concrete, specific food plan?  It’s like they knew not to let us negotiate.  Their food plans, while often healthful, are typically neither special nor magical.  Simply put, the less we get to negotiate, the more successful the weight loss outcome.  Hmmm…

So, why do I need their plan anyway?  I know from my own history what works for me.  I don’t need to be bullied (at least that’s how it sometime feels) into the choices that someone else thought were appropriate for me.  Why not cobble together my own master plan, taking from each program or successful weight loss experience whatever proved to work for me?  Then it becomes my forever plan, not someone else’s program.

When I make my own plan, I can insure that:

I use my history to troubleshoot the upcoming circumstances and take pre-emptive actions to pre-pave my success.

I demonstrate my commitment and reinforce my healthy intentions by investing my energy in that outcome rather than just waiting to see if my mood, the environment and my companions are on that page when the time comes.

 I follow up to see if my expectations of both myself and of the circumstances were on target and take note for the next time.

I limit negotiation – the kiss of death for we weight challenged.  Oddly enough, my healthy choices rarely seem to require discussion!

What is your plan for the Memorial Day weekend?  Does it support your healthy intentions?

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