Saturday, August 04, 2007

Plan the plans, not the results

There is a saying in 12-step groups that floats around every once in a while: Plan the plans, not the results. Meaning it's good to be prepared, but you never know what's going to happen.

Lori commented yesterday with this sentence: "Wow, a woman with a plan!"

Do any of us ever begin the march to better health without a plan? Even if it's as simple and vague as 'eating better' or 'getting off my ass more often' – a plan is a plan is a plan.

I just happen to need a little more browbeating structure.

The problem with plans is that they sometimes don't produce the desired results. You've probably noticed in your blog-hopping adventures that some of us can follow a food plan for days, weeks, months on end and then hit a wall. What worked yesterday doesn't make a bit of difference today. [I found that principle holds true with baby care, as well. One day the bouncy seat is very soothing. Next day? AnNOYing! Heh.]

A couple of people who read here have brought up the mind-over-matter principle in the past. It's interesting to me that I totally, totally believed the training program I started last January would produce a finish at the Country Music Half Marathon in April. And it did. I totally, totally believe the current plan will get me across the finish line in Raleigh on November 4. If I do X number of miles each week for the next 13 weeks, I will have the stamina and heart and legs and lungs to complete the task.

I have no doubt.

My experience with food plans, however, is not as cast-in-stone. Food plans work for a while, and then – so the experts say – your body becomes accustomed to what you've been giving it and you have to shake things up a bit. I believe that's how the Wendie Plan evolved, and also is the philosophy behind plans that suggest you take a day or a meal off once in a while, such as Joy Bauer's 90/10 plan.

I have battled my weight almost all my life, and I'm pretty convinced that I'm always going to. Controlling my weight will never be as easy as running 20 miles a week.

Naturally, as long as I keep telling myself that, it will remain my truth.

Clearly we have a bit more work to do in the mind-over-matter department. Transferring my conviction about running plans to food plans isn't really much of a leap. But in my mind, it really is.

Need some help creating your own plan? SparkPeople has some tips.

Before I leave today, if anyone here is running the New York City Half-Marathon tomorrow morning, you're going to be in good – nay, esteemed – company. Haile Gebrselassie will be leading the pack, the first time he's ever run this event. Lynn Zinser writes an inspiring story about him in today's New York Times.


ws said...

I've been trying, unsuccessfully, to convince my parents to walk the 4 blocks to Central Park tomorrow to watch some of the half-mary. Since they are south of the starting line, they would see the race pass twice if they were slightly patient. At any rate, I'll probably steal that route since I'll be doing at least an 18-miler in NYC in a few weeks.

I employ, unsuccessfully as well, the mind-over-matter technique with the weather here. Still, I seem to coming home dripping wet every morning even though I'm telling myself it isn't that hot.

Mary Christine said...

I know I can do absolutely anything I set my mind to - and want bad enough. With the exception of losing weight. So I quit trying.