Friday, May 17, 2013

The Lara Project: Badass' log, supplemental

Keeping to a healthy diet and routine is hard, let's just be honest about that.

Here is the moment where some holier-than-thou folks look at me like they have no idea what I'm talking about.

Look, I'm a child of the 80's and 90's. My parents did the best they could to raise us, but high fructose corn syrup was in everything snack related and that stuff is made to be addictive and back then not a lot of thought was given to what we ate as long as we looked healthy and weren't coughing up blood.

So weaning myself off that stuff? This was not an easy task--hell, I'm pretty sure I still haven't done it entirely--or that I ever will. So I'm doing what I can to just keep certain items out of my house completely. It's a lot easier to say 'no' at the grocery store than when it's already in your cupboard.

Still, even then, it's hard to stick to things.

So, I structured it in a way that would be easier for me to digest and keep to. I made it a game.

I play a lot of Xbox and while part of me does kind of dislike the achievement system--not the system in general, just how often it's used to rack up points for the sake of points rather than playing a game you love (I'm looking at you, grown men who played the Hannah Montana game =P)--I can't ignore that it works. You have a list of tasks set out and if you fulfill them, you get a prize.

Taking this one step further, I'm going to bring up the Trophy Guide in Borderlands and how it tracks your progress so you know how close you are to that reward (I'm not good at keeping a mental head count). Now I love borderlands, truly, I do. But I have to admit I'd likely be a lot less inclined to do every little trophy if it didn't have that little counter there to let me know where I am in my goal.

This idea can apply to your diet/exercise beautifully.

My friend +Ana Visneski and I joined forces in our goal to be even more fabulous than we currently are and designed an excel sheet via Google documents (so we can share it, see each other's progress etc) that tracks our day to day.

This tracker currently includes our breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Knowing we have to fill this out, honestly helps push away that temptation a little.

It also tracks our exercise, what we may feel bad about (not exercising  eating something we shouldn't have), what we feel awesome about (Feeling more awake, needing to buy new pants, etc) and our overall feeling that day.

Why this is important: Especially if you're buddying up, admitting what you feel bad about will let your buddy know you need encouragement. Also it has a bit of catharsis about it. Being able to track what you're proud about each day encourages your sense of accomplishment and good mental health--which is also why being able to say how you felt about the day as a whole is important. Maybe that day was really emotional for you. Maybe you had an awesome day and that made it easier to eat better or you needed to bend the rules a bit to celebrate.

Not easy to fit life into a form.

Other pages of this document include measuring so we can track our progress, a page of cool things we find (good recipes, info about exercises/classes, etc).

Remember how I said achievements?

Well what would all this tracking and questing be for if there wasn't some kind of reward system? It's important you build that reward system. It's also important you don't build this reward system around food.

I don't think being healthy should ever be about depriving yourself. Moderation is key.

So this reward system will consist of things like: For every month of consistent entries (or X amount of entries in a row, or X total), we will do something awesome like: get a massage, have a spa day, go shopping somewhere we normally wouldn't treat ourselves to etc.

This system may not be for you but it's certainly helped me out.

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