Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A Task a Day

Yesterday, Michelle talked about changing one thing each week to improve one's health and fitness. And I recently read an article in the January issue of Prevention titled "Small Changes that Take Off Big Pounds." Seems like the idea of small changes adding up to long-term success is popular right now, and I have to say I'm a fan. That's how I also tackle writing projects like revisions, especially when the revisions are extensive. Thinking about all the revisions at once is too overwhelming. I have to break them down into manageable chunks. It's also how I attack other tasks like cleaning house, assigning a certain amount of time per day or certain tasks for a certain day. When I receive my RITA entries to judge soon, I'll add up the total number of pages that must be read by the deadline to return scores and divide that by how many days I have. Manageable chunks.

According to the Prevention article, "taking baby steps -- not giant leaps -- is the best way to get lasting results." The article cited a study detailed in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine in which participants who made one small change in their eating habits or exercise level each week lost more than twice the amount of belly fat, 2 1/2 more inches off their waistlines and approximately four times more weight during a program spanning four months than those who followed more common calorie cutting and physical activity recommendations. Those are some nice results, and ones I'd like to experience.

Among the potential changes the article suggested were the ever-present food diary, exercising during every commercial break while watching TV (personally, I exercise while watching the programs and skip through the commercials to save time for other tasks such as writing), walking five minutes more each day, limiting your high-fat foods to one per week, and signing up for healthy e-newsletters such as those available at www.prevention.com/newsletters (I just signed up for several myself).

So I'd like to invite all of you to share what one thing you want to change today. For me, I'm going to reintegrate sit-ups into my daily routine. I'm going to start out with 10 and add 1 more each day. Maybe I can add to the 1.2 pounds I lost last week.

8 comments:

Tawny on January 19, 2010 at 2:45 AM said...

Oh wow, what a great push, Trish. The first thing I'm going to do is go check out those newsletters.

The second is to add situps into my daily discipline. Just 25 a day to start.

And Congrats on the weight loss last week :-) Go you!!!

Sally Kilpatrick on January 19, 2010 at 7:05 AM said...

I'm tempted to say "Send husband back to work" because I gained 2.5 pounds over the weekend. I suppose I should just work on my will power instead, though.

Hmm. One thing. Today I'm going to drink an extra glass of water. (Already doing the egg white sandwich and the FF half and half in the coffee.)

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) on January 19, 2010 at 9:25 AM said...

Tawny, I haven't received the newsletters yet, but I'm hoping that they are really inspirational and give me a daily boost. You're starting with 25 sit-ups. I'm impressed. I can barely do 10. I hate sit-ups because they seem to be harder on my back than my stomach. I will have to work up to 25.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) on January 19, 2010 at 9:27 AM said...

LOL on sending the hubby back to work, Sally. I think there are probably lots of people out there who feel the same -- love their husbands, but love their routines when the husbands are at work too. :)

Good for you on drinking the water. Water is pretty much all I drink now (since New Year's Day, it's all I've drank), but I doubt I ever get the recommended amount. I just don't think about it because I'm not thirsty.

Michelle Butler on January 19, 2010 at 9:58 AM said...

Trish, from all I've been told by trainers, etc., sit-ups are harder on your back than your stomach. If you want to work on just your stomach, exercise gurus recommend that you do crunches instead of sit-ups.

I've been working on this as well, and it's going well in terms of health and fitness. I really want to come up with some small changes that will make a big difference in my writing output. Perhaps a club 100 for revisions?

Tawny on January 19, 2010 at 1:43 PM said...

My oops- when I typed situps, I did mean crunches. So 25 crunches *g* Much easier all around!!

Heather Snow on January 19, 2010 at 1:52 PM said...

I just read "The French Don't Diet" Plan by Dr. Will Clowers and so I am going to focus the next few weeks on drastically cutting portions, yet taking at least 20 minutes to eat each meal in a peaceful environment, savoring the flavors of the food.

Perhaps if I train myself to be satisfied (taste) on less food, portion control will become natural and I can let go of the tedious logging. We shall see.

I'm also adding in 30 more minutes of walking. I guess that's two things this week instead of one, but hey. Still small, I think.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) on January 19, 2010 at 11:33 PM said...

Wonderful additions, Heather. Portion control was something celebrity chef Curtis Stone always hammers home with the contestants on The Biggest Loser. This country's portions have gotten way out of control.

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