An Epiphany and A New Goal!
Friday, April 09, 2010
The other day I had an epiphany! I discovered that on the Start Page, there is a Spark Summary Calendar. On this calendar was noted everything that I've been tracking, including calories, exercise, water consumption, appointments, Spark Points and other things. This was not the epiphany. What I did with this information brought the epiphany!
I have read many, many times on SP that all the successful Sparkers follow the 80/20 rule. Realizing that perfection is impossible, all of them, and I mean ALL, found that if they stuck with their programs 80% of the time, or better when they could, they were able to reach their goals. It didn't matter if they were losing 20 pounds or 200 - they all followed the 80/20 formula.
So, said I, if this is what it takes to be successful, let's see if I am within the 80/20 framework. I have felt fairly virtuous in the almost 3 months I have been doing SP so I just KNEW I had been on my self-designed program at least 80% of the time. Well, was I shocked to discover that evaluating the days on which I adhered strictly to my calorie guidelines, I was in the 63/37% range!!! I was not happy. I have been losing, but more slowly than I thought justified considering how well I'd been following the program. Goes to show you what I know!
I decided to do another calculation: I counted all the days I fell within the calorie guidelines, and then those where I was over only about 20 or 30 calories (I was NEVER below my requirements!), and with that new data, discovered I was up to 76/24%. Better, but still not where I want to be.
What did I do with this information? I decided that my new goal is to be within the 80/20 formula every week. I reasoned that if I achieve that, then I don't have to worry about what the scale will show me. If all the successful losers have achieved success using this formula, so can I. Heck, if I lost weight at the paltry 63%, I can surely be a successful loser if I am at least at 80%!
This was an extremely liberating, freeing realization. No longer do I have to rely on the scale to prove my success (or failure). No longer do I have to fear the scale and no longer do I have to try to figure out what went wrong when I am not getting the results I want on the scale. I simply have to review the Spark Summary Calendar! Since I am on SP everyday, I know that the data collected there is accurate, up-to-date and complete. Now I am committed to reviewing it routinely to make sure I truly am doing as well as I think I am doing. It will no longer be a guessing game.
Delusion is not helpful and when it comes to food, I can easily delude myself into thinking I am doing better than I am! That is why I have been religious about using the food tracker. Even with that, I found I was somewhat delusional!
You may wonder why I was so deluded since I'd been using the food tracker since day 1. I had the same question. I realized that just entering the data isn't enough. With such a faulty memory when it comes to food, I had no way to get a snapshot over time of how I'd been doing. Also, it wasn't until I'd read the information about the 80/20 formula about 20 times that it sunk in that that formula should be a goal. Even after realizing it should be a goal, it wasn't until I found the Spark Summary Calendar that the whole epiphany occurred.
Since this epiphany early this week, I've had a 100% week! I do not expect to be perfect everyday, but I do expect that if I get enough perfect days under my belt, then those stray off-days won't have the impact they do when you're not aiming for at least 80/20.
So, 80/20 is my new mantra!