Recapping Week 6 of Kathie J. and Larry’s weight loss journey
With Holly Wyatt, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine at the CU Anschutz Health and Wellness Center
Last week, we tackled the physical environment which got us thinking about creating an auto-pilot. That led us into the topic of routines, which is what we focused on in Week 6.
In State of Slim, we see routines not just as habits, but as small, easy behaviors that make a harder behavior more likely to happen. A routine isn’t, “I’m having a hard time exercising every day, so I’m going to exercise every day.” That’s the thing you’re struggling with. The routine is what you put in place to help yourself exercise every day.
Ask Yourself Where You Are Struggling
Start by asking yourself, “Where am I struggling and why am I struggling?” Figure out one little thing that could make it not as hard.
For example, if you’re struggling with your exercise minutes, ask yourself what little routine you could put in place to make it easier. Play detective and dig into why you’re struggling. Maybe you discover that you have a hard time waking up in the morning, so you miss your workout. Ask yourself, “What will make it more likely that I will get up?” The answer to that question is your routine.
I have a hard time getting up to exercise, so I put my TV on a timer at night. It goes off at 8:30 or 9 o’clock and it reminds me, “Holly, it’s time to go to sleep so you can get up early and do your exercise.” Putting my TV on a timer doesn’t take a lot of energy from me, but it has the potential to make a big impact.
Doing this isn’t necessarily going to produce any more weight loss right now, but it’s setting you up for success during weight loss maintenance. We always begin with the end in mind in State of Slim.
Weight Loss Challenges and the Sample Routines That Can Help
- If you struggle with waking up to exercise: Put your exercise clothes out before you go to bed. That’s a little thing that takes only a little bit of energy, but it might help you a lot in the morning. You get up, and you don’t even think about it. You put those clothes on and then suddenly it’s not so hard to continue on to the gym.
- If you struggle to eat vegetables: Prep vegetables on Sunday. If you cut up your vegetables, maybe you’d be more likely to eat them. Or maybe you could try a new recipe every Sunday that has vegetables in it.
- If you struggle with saying no to junk food: Don’t go down the chip aisle. If you know me, you know I love chips. If chips make it into my house, it is a disaster. I cannot be alone with a bag of chips. One of my routines is I never go down the chip aisle. I roll my cart past it. It takes a little bit of energy, and it’s not super easy, but it’s not as hard as if those chips end up in my cupboards at home.
State of Slim Progress
Overall, Kathie J. and Larry are doing really well. Knowing that so many of you are watching them is keeping them accountable; they don’t want to let you down. That really is the power of having a team, and the power of your social environment.
This week, they got to redeem themselves after not making their goal last week. I gave Kathie J. and Larry a “redemption challenge” where they had to complete 25 miles. They procrastinated until Sunday, and they almost gave me a heart attack, but they did complete it. Kathie even went a mile more than she needed to. I think this experience showed them how they can do more than they thought they could. Plus, they got to reward themselves with a massage (Kathie J.) and continued work with a trainer (Larry).
Your takeaway: Be a detective and try to figure out where you struggle. Then, come up with one little thing you can do on a consistent basis to help you overcome it. Make that your routine. Try it for one or two weeks and see if it improves the behavior. If it gets better, then it’s a winning routine. If it doesn’t, let go of that routine and try another. When you find the right routine, it’s a huge payback, and it’s super important for your long-term success.