Sunday, January 2, 2011

My super-optimistic and massively upbeat plan for 2011

"I feel completely gross" were the last words I uttered as I fell asleep on New Years Day.

The holiday break started great.  I had a weigh-in on a Tuesday night meeting in Manhattan on December 21st.  I clocked in exactly at goal weight, which I thought was a pretty fabulous way of entering the holiday week.  I was sticking to my plan, and I did not act like a complete food crazed freak during the week leading into Christmas.  I was feeling strong and cocky.

Per the plan, I started to loosen up on Christmas Eve, and I went completely off the healthy food grid on Christmas Day.  On Boxing Day, I hit the gym in the morning for an hour of weights  followed by a one hour spin class.  I was so proud that I wrenched my shoulder patting myself on the back.  I was rocking this Christmas plan.

Then I got hideously sick with the stomach flu for about 24 hours.  The nasty part of the bug was pretty fast, but I was definitely a little weakened for the next couple of days.  Nonetheless, I was a good soldier, and I hit the gym anyway during the recovery days.  I really didn't have much of an appetite, so I stayed true during these couple of days.  Throw in the Activity Points from digging out of a nasty little blizzard, and I was still in good form.

Then I got better.  I got all the way better.  I felt GREAT.  What to do with all this euphoria?  Run for the sugar plum hills!  I spent Thursday, Friday and Saturday whooping it up as if I couldn't even spell W-e-i-g-h-t W-a-t-c-h-e-r-s.  What the heck, I was a saint for the past seven days.  I'm invincible!!!  All that stocking candy that I was planning to eat one piece per day for the next three months?  Let's work that inventory down by 50%!   Wine?  Yes please!  Seconds?  You bet!

In truth, you really can't do that much damage in three days, and I knew that I was going to be fully back on plan starting Jan 3.  Still, I was beating myself up about being such a nasty dude.  Nothing like a little self-flagellation to put the icing on top of 72 hours of food indiscretion.

Today, I was reading an article in the Sunday NY Times titled:  "Why a Budget is Like a Diet -- Ineffective."  There was one quote in particular that struck a chord with me.
"As a species, humans are notoriously poor at following through with their plans.  Sticking to a budget -- a dirty word even among many financial planners, who prefer the more euphemistic 'spending plan' -- feels too much like dieting.  And we often fail at both for the same reasons:  too much focus on the restrictions, not enough on fun.  So it's not surprising when people end up on bingeing later, more than making up for the dollars not spent or calories not consumed."  
The column then went on to lay out a bunch of strategies that sounded very much like the same strategies I hear in our Weight Watchers meetings all the time.  They mostly focused on a common theme:  set up broad goals with a positive outcome in mind.

With this in mind, I am laying out my 2011 long term goals (not to be confused with short-lived resolutions, he writes hopefully).

  1. Recognize that the over-the-top events I think will make me happy actually make me feel like doo-doo.  Every binge I have had this year literally made me feel sick.  Not just mentally sick, but physically ill.  A huge food splurge inevitably gives me a nasty case of indigestion, and I sleep terribly that night.  Further, these binges never seem to have the hedonistic dividend I think they will.  How exactly am I depriving myself by avoiding the binge if the binge itself is all downside?  
  2. I want to fully embrace those habits that make me feel food, physically and mentally.  When I eat good, real, healthy food, I feel physically great.  It really is true.  I have more energy and my gastrointestinal tract is much happier with me.  I sleep better too.  In other words, I want to eat better for purely selfish reasons:  it will make me feel better and result in better days and nights.  I am done with the concept of eating healthily because my deep-rooted Calvinistic origins say that I should suffer like the miserable puritan that I think I should be.  
  3. I want to fully embrace the awesome fact that the healthy food tastes just as good as the gross food I used to eat. I like a nice piece of fish just as much or more than a 24 oz Fred Flintstone brontosaurus burger.  I like fruit mixed in with Greek yogurt as much as ice cream.   This isn't a blind hope, it's actually true.  There is a degenerate, Rasputan character that lives in my brain who tries to convince me otherwise, but frankly, he's an untrustworthy creep.  And he's wrong.  
  4. I want to eat when I'm really hungry, and not eat when I'm just bored and fidgety.  Even better, I want to find ways of not being bored and fidgety.  I can't remember the last time I had a period of boredom and said at the end of it, "That was such as awesome experience!  I can't wait to be bored again!"  
  5. Mostly, I am done thinking of healthy life as a slog.  It's a gift and a better way for me to live.  
My next step is to put some firmer plans in place to realize all of the above.  For me, it's mostly about getting my head straight and putting it into an even more positive and hopeful place.  

The past couple of years have been challenging for many of us.  The recession was about as much fun as having our finger nails pulled.  Thinking that the banking system was melting followed by a nasty economic hangover was no day in the park.  

However, it's time to move forward.  There is great work to be done, and there is a life full of possibility to be enjoyed.  This is why I love the line of our new 2011 campaign:  It's a New Day.  I cannot think of a time better suited for this simple idea.  

Let's rock 2011 and have fun in the process.

Cheers,

dk

38 comments:

  1. David, thanks for that insightful post that seems to echo my last two week's experience exactly (right down to the stomach flu). Back in the gym today, but I'm still paying for the sugarplum binge. Here's to a peaceful, prosperous, and above all, healthy 2011 for all.

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  2. Thanks! I am glad I'm not alone in feeling gross!

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  3. Great post and I could not agree more (about why budgets and diets fail because we are programmed to not follow through with our plans).

    And, true, EVERY day is a new day. It is ours for the making.

    Here is to a healthy and prosperous MMXI!

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  4. I love reading your blog. Thanks for the insights. I am 30 lbs. lighter thanks to WW and 10 lbs. to go for my goal weight! This is the year!

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  5. Glad to know that even the CEO of WW feels exactly like I do. Gross is a good word but so is disappointed in myself. I spelled it out in my blog today too. I have a plan and I am determined. I have learned and I will be stronger next time. :)

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  6. Hey David! Happy New Year! I'm drinking the 0-pro-points optimist juice myself. Cheers! - Kirsten

    @RNTgirl
    http://Results-Not-Typical-Girl.com

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  7. I felt the same way all day on New Year's Day - gross! I was off work and off plan since Dec. 23. I did one workout the entire time, and I'm not sure I had a vegetable! Water, what is water? I drank just about anything but that. Anyway, my tracker is out, I had a good breakfast, my water glass is full, and I'm planning to start back to aerobics with tomorrow night's class!

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  8. David- I have the answer for you. It's a firm plan that comes with a guarantee! Try the intuitive tools with your excellent program and get back-up and support emotionally and physically so that you can keep eating what you love and enjoy the next holiday season with equal abandon.
    Check out: www.IntuEating.com

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  9. Isn't it great to learn that even the CEO gets to act like a layman in his area of expertise? This is amazing to learn. It helps to put things into perspective for a newbee like me who worries about defecting along the way. Now I know that, I need to set up my long and short term goals. Try to lead each day reminding myself what makes me feel good; healthy choices, more than just fun. For, just like you, fun for me ends up leaving me down there and gone far away from me. When I end up with weight gain as I'm now overweight I refrain from my normal life; friends, social life, and etc and fun is all gone. I'm so happy to have joined WW and looking forward to making further healthy choices and leading a healthier life for the rest of my life.

    Cheers

    Nox

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  10. Hi thanks for the honesty.
    So one of the new adds (internet) shows a woefully skinny blond lady...
    Why?

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  11. As usual Dave, you've said what a lot of other people are thinking. Not that I wish you ill, but it's nice to know that the guy in charge of the company is a real person who struggles the same way everyone else does. It's so easy for the CEO to be some faceless entity, so I'm glad you've stepped out there.

    I've stated my plans for 2011 publicly in a few different places, the better to hold myself accountable. Here goes:
    1) Drop these last 25 lbs and finally get to goal by my birthday at the end of June. I got stuck after the first 25 last year, but I think the new plan is going to help a lot.
    2) Run two half marathons. I've already signed up for both - Fargo, ND in May and Mankato, MN in October. I always get excited when designing a training plan, but in the last several years some kind of injury or whatever ends up gumming up the works. It's been almost 4 years since I finished anything longer than a 10k, so THIS is the year.
    3) Improve my habits in both flossing and thank you notes.

    There. I said it. Again. :-)

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  12. Great Post and its just nice to know that I am not in it alone! Thanks and I wish you a year of feeling good!

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  13. Fantastic. This one was like reading my own diary. I have very similar (almost identical) plans for 2011, the structure of which is the hefty goal of consuming 1,000 apples and running 1,000 miles in the New Year.

    Oh, and writing a blog about it!

    milesofapples.blogspot.com

    You inspire me, David Kirchhoff. Good luck and Happy New Year!

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  14. As a lifetime member back at goal as of a month ago, I absolutely love your mental goals. I am going to write yours down and incorporate them with mine. Thanks so much for this blog. It inspires me so much.

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  15. Healthy Is WealthyJanuary 3, 2011 at 9:05 PM

    Just found your blog and since Elf is my most favorite movie of all times, you had my immediate attention. I have been euphoric about WW since I happened upon my new leader the last Tuesday of October and then Points Plus...WOW! Losing weight and eating bananas...woo hoo! And THEN after a long and trying trip through the Candy Cane Forest, I find out that the big cheese...I mean top banana...at WW is actually ONE OF US! You get it. ThankYou!

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  16. David - What a great post - we can all relate to it - and love your plans for 2011... The only funny part was the typo in #2 above - when you meant to write "I want to fully embrace those habits that make me feel good" but you wrote "I want to fully embrace those habits that make me feel food"!!! Happy new year!

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  17. David-thank you for being real and sharing your heart with us! I went back to WW December 8th because I saw the ad for Points Plus+...I LOVE the new plan and lost 9.2 lbs. my first 3 weeks!! (been on and off several times since age 12-a lifetime ago)...Thank you for leading the charge and having the integrity to be a part of steering WW more in the direction of promoting healthier choices with Points+ (fruits, veges, power foods)!! I applaud you on your blog also!! I love that all of us are in this together...I love what you said in your last paragraph, ..."it's time to move forward. There is great work to be done, and there is a life full of possibility to be enjoyed." It truly is a new day!! I look forward to following your blog as part of my journey in 2011 to being healthy and at goal for the first time in my adult life!! I'm 54!! Let's seize the day! I want the life full of possibility...no more sidelines for me anymore!! Thank you again!!!

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  18. This is my favorite post yet of the blog! Goals that are not pie in the sky but totally workable is a theme of my recent post too.

    http://doesthisblogmakeuslookfat.com/2010/12/31/reasonable-goals-for-2011/

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  19. Thank you for sharing. You said it perfectly!

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  20. This is awesome that you, the CEO of WW not only lives by the program but admits to the same issues we all have. Thank you for sharing!

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  21. I reached 75 lbs lost the Friday before Christmas! I was off work for 2 weeks, but kept up my workout routine and didn't fall off the wagon with all the holiday food! I survived the holidays and for the first time in a long time my new year's resolution does not involve weight loss!

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  22. I REALLY like the new plan. I like that it is pushing me to eat clean. It makes me feel better, more positive, more energy--simply stated--I feel like a better person. I don't have huge losses, so that part is hard but guess what--I did not gain over the holiday break--which was VERY much like your break David. Some good days, some just ok days and some let's go batshit crazy and eat that cuz as of Jan 1 I won't be kinda days. But all that said: I LOST WEIGHT after not doing a weigh in since 3 wks ago. Did I say I really like the new plan??

    Also really love your blog. Starting w/ the Homer image and on from there. It shows me that even if you the mighty Dave faces it all, then yeah, we are the same. we're all human. Happy new year.

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  23. Great post! Hmmm...little Freudian slip on your #2 goal? Shouldn't that be "make me feel GOOD", not "make me feel FOOD"? That said, I really enjoyed your post, including the unintended chuckle!

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  24. I'm just now discovering your blog and it couldn't have happened at a better time. Have been in and out of WW for years (through NO ONE'S fault but my own). When I was following program, I found it to be the best out there, my doctor highly recommends it. When I fall off, I miss it terribly and find it hard to get back in gear because of my embarrassment. It's a new day for me now....first grandbaby due in April and I want to be around for a long time...your blog has (re)inspired me! Charlotte in Houston

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  25. Wonderful post! You're right on the mark with everything... except one small point...

    "I like fruit mixed in with Greek yogurt as much as ice cream."

    Yeah, can't agree with ya on this one. No comparison, but then again I'm a bit of an ice cream junkie. There's always room in my Points for a small soft-serve cone ice cream fix, especially with the Points+ system. :)

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  26. Thanks for taking the time to write this blog, for being open and honest, and especially for being funny! I look forward to your posts as just another way to connect with WW and make it part of my life.

    Made Lifetime in November ~ down 70+ lbs

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  27. Dave,
    Being a Weight Watch member for over 2 years now I can finally say the same things you did and finally live the feel good part everyday because I avoid the feel bad part as much as I can. Never a diet, always a lifestyle. Stay the best you can be.

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  28. I enjoy your blog, David, but this post really resonated with me and obviously, with many others. Thank you, not only for your insight, but for your humor. I really did LOL several times! I think my favorite line might be, "Run for the sugarplum hills!" I've spent too much time there during the past couple of weeks and now I'm running in the opposite direction.

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  29. I laughed out loud! Thanks for the great blog...I think I'll be using your number 1 long term resolution on my list as well.

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  30. I love you! You always post about real-life, real challenges... and you make it clear that you are a real person! Not to mention, you are FUNNY. Thanks for keeping it real, keeping it honest, and reminding us all that the reason we chose WW instead of one of the other many options out there is that it teaches us how to eat for LIFE, and all the crazy things life throws at us. I joined WW a year ago - and took off 50 lbs! I plan to hit goal during 2011 (which will be another 40lbs.)

    Thanks again, David. I am, and will continue to be, a faithful reader!

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  31. After more tries than I care to count I hit my goal in July, 2010, but still have to deal with those temptations that David mentions in the blog. Intellectually I know that the overindulgence is going to make me feel sick and disgusted with myself, interrupt my sleep and kick myself when I look at the scale, BUT I know now that I have lots of friends at the WW meetings who are working like I am. Thanks, David for your candor!

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  32. Dave, I try not to use your blog to request enhancement or changes to WW, but could you PLEASE have your web folks change the order of the NI on e-tools PointsPlus value calculator to match the order they appear in packaging (which is Fat, Carb, Fiber, Protein). Fiber is a non-digestible carbohydrate and is always listed below total carbs for a product. It is cumbersome on e-tools and needn't be.

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  33. I actually lost 5.4 lbs at my weigh in on Dec. 27. I just satisfied myself with fruit when I got the craving for sweets. I made WW Peppermint Criss Cross cookies for when I needed a cookie. It's hard to explain, but I think after 47 years, I finally "got it".

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  34. Dave....as always, LOVE your blog. You are real and honest that it is so refreshing.

    And while I read your blog eating my greek yogurt and fresh fruit (today blueberries, but my favorite is pineapple) I chuckled....gotta be honest Dave, it's good, but not as good as ice cream.

    Cheers,
    ~Regina

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  35. PS...Dave, I gained +0.4 this week, so I consider that a successful New Years week (still had a net loss in the month of December thanks to the new plan).

    Looking forward to really working the plan in the coming weeks, and your next blog entry!

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  36. I lost weight through the holiday season for the first time in a long while. But now that I'm through the holidays I'm having a hard time getting back into the swing of Weight Watchers. It's nice to know that others have the same issues - namely how I think when I binge that it will be great and I end up regretting it because I feel sick. Thanks for your post!

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  37. Longtime WW member, btu just discovered your blog - LOVE IT. You write very honestly and openly about your struggles, in a way that is very authentic and relatable.

    In my own blog, I have often compared money and weight... specifically credit card debt. At my heaviest, I was also in a lot of credit card debt, and I seemed to use the same denial tactics on both topics.

    Keep writing and I'll keep reading!
    ~jessica

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