Doug I’m, 39 years, female, 5′ 2″, 224lbs -
I started exercising and eating right about 1 month ago and I’ve lost 5lbs. I
have a weight loss goal of 100lbs and that could take a year or more to
achieve. So I thought that I could also have a fitness level goal as well. Do
you think that participating (actually running) in a 5K in June 2009 is too much
of a lofty goal?
First, Happy New Year, and congrats on losing 5 pounds on your own in your first month of change!
And I want to commend you on:
1) Actually taking ACTION, in changing your eating and beginning some form of exercise – and sticking to it for an entire month.
I read somewhere recently that it takes between 30 – 90 days to cement a habit and lifestyle change. What’s even more interesting is that it takes the MOST willpower during the initial 30 days, while it actually becomes EASIER to keep a routine going, the longer you go. This means that on days 1-10, you really have to just grit your teeth and make yourself prepare salads, get to your workouts, avoid sweets, etc. But the longer you go, the more the habits become AUTOMATIC, so you do them without thinking.
2) The second thing I’d like to comment on is your use of the deadline – This is a concept I’ve yet to mention on this blog. The use of deadlines is a very effective tool in your goal-setting arsenal.
For example, have you ever had a project, test, or other chore that just HAD to be done by in a certain time period? We humans are pretty good about getting things accomplished when this is the case. Think about it – how many bills would get paid if there wasn’t an actual due date and the company just told you to send the money in when it’s convenient? If it were me, I’d probably be in debt with a credit score in the 300’s.. – Somehow the deadline makes you get off your butt and get stuff accomplished.
On the other side of the coin, have you ever had something that you know you needed to do, but just never seemed to get done? It’s sort something that’s always on your mind, but you never seem to be able to get it off your to do list?
Well the same thing applies to making LASTING OVERHAULS to your diet and exercise. (Which, by the way are the two keys to losing fat - despite what some late night infomercials want you to think).
Here, you’re using June 2009 for a specific 5K event – Make sure you know the exact date of the event and mark it in bold on your calendar. Somehow having this deadline for a time where we HAVE to be ready to run seems to have a profound effect on allowing us to accomplish our goals.
Now to answer your question..
Okay, so you’ve probably figured out that weighing less makes it easier to run – It’s easy to see that with less weight on your body, it takes less energy to move. Also, it’s much easier on your joints, making it a more realistic option when choosing appropriate exercises.
Traditionally, us trainers are taught in our certifications and textbooks that a realistic and safe rate of fat loss is approximately 1-2 pounds a week. Although I personally believe it is very realistic and perfectly healthy to lose weight even faster.
For the sake of this question, we’ll say your goal is to lose 2 pounds per week.
Now, to see how whether it’s realistic to make your goal, we just take the number of weeks until your race and multiply it by 2.
I don’t know the exact date of your race, but we’ll say June 20th (a Saturday).
Starting next Monday, you have 21 weeks until your race.
So here’s what you do..
Set a 21 week goal to lose 42 pounds, and plan on weighing 179 by June 20th 2009. Unless you have some kind of injury, 179 should be plenty light enough to run in your 5K!!
Make sure to take this main goal, and break it up into a series of mini-goals along the way so that you make sure you’re staying on track. For example, after 11 weeks, you’d want to be down to 202 – After 6 weeks, 212, and so on.
If you’re not hitting your mini-goals, you know that you need to change something in order to get there.
So way to go in making a change for a month – Be sure to look around this website and others for tips on what changes you can make to your diet and exercise today in order to get you the fastest rate of fat loss.
More people are writing in, which is good, and I’d like to see some more comments – That will help me address the stuff that you need on here. So use the Ask Doug section and the comments section, and I’ll talk to you soon.