Live the life you’ve imagined - Step 4
Feedback - Your Compass
You know what is driving you to change. You know exactly what the outcome is going to be. You have a plan to get you there and now you need to get feedback every step of the way to make sure you are on track to a successful outcome. A pilot gets constant feedback from his instruments and air traffic control on his flight path. Because of the vast space of the open sky and the relatively tiny runway the plane is regularly off track. With regular feedback small adjustments are made minute to minute to keep the plane on the flight path that will result in a successful landing at the appropriate destination. You too need your own compass made up of many different forms of feedback. You can then know if you are on the right path or to adjust immediately rather than waiting until it is too late.
Over time your success with nutrition and exercise will influence your weight and level of fitness. After weeks and months your success will be obvious due to what size your body is, how much exercise you can do in a given time and what people say when they have not seen you for a period of time. These are all indicators that will provide you with the information you require to know that you are on track to reach the desired destination. However the feedback you receive is only useful at depending on when you receive it. If we return to the speedometer analogy can you imagine how foolish it would be if the driver was paying attention to the speedometer as he was backing into the garage? He can see how fast he is going but not where he is going! It is important to pay attention to the right feedback at the appropriate time.
The timeline below indicates what feedback is important to focus on throughout the 12 week programme. The right feedback will help you to arrive at the destination you choose, the wrong feedback is like a handbrake that you don’t realise has been left on.
Early on in the program it is important to not listen to other peoples comments if they are based on your current size, shape or fitness. They only see where you are beginning but not where you are going. These types of comments can be destructive, ill-informed and incorrect. Also weighing yourself daily is not advisable. As your weight fluctuates every day – daily monitoring gives you inaccurate feedback. It can become addictive and can randomly reinforce bad behaviors and punish good behaviors.
Instead focus on the development of your habits. These are formed during the first 6-8 weeks of the program and are the foundation for long term change.
You can monitor your progress by diligently reviewing the following daily:
Sleep quality and quantity
After just one week of improving your nutrition and exercise you will have enough data to review and look for any trends that are developing i.e. are you missing certain meals, are some days better than others, are you doing as much exercise as you promised?
Your performance over 7 days may now be visible resulting in a change in your weight. If your weight does not change after 2 weeks you may have plateaued.
In this case it is time to talk with a coach and make some changes. Every week you can measure your performance with regards to exercise and nutrition in the following ways:
Total exercise minutes
Pedometer steps counted
Calories burned during exercise
Monthly and Longer Term
The longer you allow to review your records the more accurate your weight reduction results are. Like the share market there will be fluctuations up and down, but on average and in the long term your weight should show a steady decline.
Those who are set on reviewing their weight daily can end up like the impatient trader panicking with “sell, sell” one day and “buy, buy” the next.
After 6-8 weeks you will have decreased your weight enough so that people can actually notice the difference. They see the results but they may not have seen the process.
Your change in body shape can also be picked up by other more accurate means as described below, these take time. After a number of weeks and/or months depending on your exercise plan your level of fitness will have improved markedly. Not only are you fitter from exercising more regularly but by carrying less weight you can achieve so much more in the same time period. Every month measure your progress against the following indicators:
Body circumference measurements
Comments from other people
Your own visual awareness (Correct way to take your before and after picture)
The end – I made it!
How will you know when you have reached your destination? Look back to step 2 ‘where am I going?’ and recall what it was that you actually wanted to become and why.
It is not the weight. Being 200 lbs does not make anyone happy just as having $1 million dollars in the bank does not create happiness – it creates opportunities for happiness. It is the activities that you can do at that weight and who you will be as a result of the changes you have made along the way, that are the real reason you selected a weight.
You will know that you have arrived at your end destination when you get out of the car and you can feel the warm sunshine on your face, the sound of the gentle sea lapping at the shore, the sight of the gulls hanging effortlessly in the breeze and the smell of the freshly cut grass beneath your feet.
It doesn’t matter if you are on Bondi beach or Florida. Your weight is only a guideline to the true final destination....happiness.