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!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • BERGIE8771
    I'm not seeing the Summary calendar. Can you direct me more to where it is? I think it will be a great help.
    Thx, Sharon
    3605 days ago
  • no profile photo CD6540004
    I didn't know about the summary calendar either. Thanks for the information!

    A goal of 80/20 is wonderful. And totally doable. I wish you continued success.


    3627 days ago
    Wow - thanks for the information. I'm gonna go look myself, right now! woo woo

    added later: woops. I'm 68/32 on the calorie chart, figuring there were days I just didn't track and so probably went over. hmmm. No wonder I'm losing so slowly. I think it will be fun to see if I can get up to the 80/20 zone. Thanks again!
    3634 days ago

    Comment edited on: 4/19/2010 10:17:17 AM
  • no profile photo CD5594611
    Passed it by but will be checking it out. Thank you! Great job by the way!
    3640 days ago
    I need to check out the 80/20. Somehow I have overlooked it.
    3643 days ago
  • no profile photo CD3016522
    That is emoticon
    3643 days ago
    Your are so right! As much as I am in here, I missed that feature also. Thanks, will go check it out!

    3643 days ago
    Awesome blog! I did not know there was a Summary Calendar. I just checked it out! Great goal for 80/20!

    3643 days ago
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    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.

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