Project Me check in

How did I do yesterday? Pretty well, actually. I had my first Weigh 2 Eat class and committed to tracking my food via MyFitnessPal. I think it’s going to be a great group and I’m looking forward to 16 weeks of learning how to get to a healthy weight and stay there. No diet or exercise plans, just habits and best practices that have worked for successful weight losers/maintainers with a healthy dose of checking in with ourselves and the rest of the group for support.

Exfoliated in the morning. Took all of my medications. Washed my face before bed and used my eye cream and overnight moisturizer.

Plan for today: Came to work dressed to work out. Hoping to get in 30 minutes on the treadmill before grabbing a 500 calorie dinner from Rubio’s and heading to my Making Peace With Food class for the evening.

Counting Beads 2
Counting Beads 2 by the little list via Flickr

Just figured out how many calories are in the baby carrots, Cuties, and grape tomatoes I’m eating. I can’t believe I’m counting tomatoes!

What happened to January?

“If you want to make God laugh, tell Him about your plans.” Woody Allen

I had such big plans for January and then my life became completely unglued when things at work went crazy over New Year’s Day weekend and things still haven’t settled down since.

“Bicycle” by Riccardo Mottola via Flickr

Throughout January I told myself that I needed to come here to report out on my progress, as I’d promised. To put my long- and short-term goals in writing so that I could be accountable. And the thought of the “big post” I needed to do just completely exhausted me, so I stayed away.

I did so some good thinking about what I want to do in the next 333 days and I even took what I think are some good steps toward achieving my goals for the year. So, without further ado, let me share my goals for February, each of which ladders back to my bigger goals for 2013, which were

  • fasting blood sugar reading below 130 mg/dL
  • triglycerides reading less than 150 mg/dL
  • body weight at or below 220 pounds,
  • and an improved quality of life as perceived by me

Goals for February:

  1. Join gym with Mick – helps both of us get and stay healthier
  2. Work out at gym four times a week for 30-45 minutes each visit – nothing too strenuous or involved, just get in there and move; exercise is very good at helping to lower my blood sugar
  3. No snacking on junk in the afternoons at work – purchase fruit and veggies, have them prepared and ready, and eat as many of them as I like but NO junk (vending machine munchies, trail mix that a co-worker made at home and brought in, Girl Scout cooking)
  4. Eat a breakfast with healthy protein – my current obsession is a breakfast sandwich with one egg poached hard, lean ham or turkey, a slice of cheese, and a slice of whole grain bread – and skip the pastries when I get my nonfat latte in the morning
  5. Apply my anti-wrinkle eye and face treatments every night before bed after washing my face – this one goes to my fourth long-term goal to improve my quality of life: I’m tired of looking at my sad, tired, wrinkled face every day and there are things that can be done to make the wrinkles go away if only I’ll actually take the five minutes to do them consistently!

Signs of progress already:

  • Am joining gym tonight – Mick is signing me up under his account, the sweetheart
  • Purchased FitBit scale and activity monitor so that I can see how I’m doing with my weight loss and getting more activity
  • Have enrolled in “Making Peace With Food” class in conjunction with the Behavioral Diabetes Institute. It’s a six week program aimed at helping Type I and Type II diabetics manage their emotions without turning to food – what a concept! I really enjoyed the first class – it started last week – and feel that it will help me start thinking about food differently, which is a good first step toward getting my binge eating under control.
  • Have enrolled in Weigh 2 Eat behavioral weight management program. It’s a 16 week, 5 month program that uses cognitive behavioral therapy techniques to change unhealthy thinking and behavior to slowly and permanently lose weight. Can’t wait to start this week! It’s a huge commitment of time and money but I’m tired of losing and regaining the same weight over and over again, so I want to learn to re-train my brain.

So there’s the list. What do you think? I’m trying to take small, achievable steps without overwhelming myself, so not biting off too much at once. Give me your thoughts about other things I could be doing in the comments.

Project Charter available for review

I’ve published the Project Charter for Project Me, in case you’re interested in reading it. This is the foundational document that authorizes any project and it sets up what is to be done, why, and how the project will lead to the desired effect. I put a lot of thought into what I want to achieve in 2013 and what is reasonable for me to do in the next twelve months, so I’ll look forward to hearing your thoughts and if you think I ought to add anything else.

At work we use the Agile method of working on a project, and I’ll do the same here. All of the work to be done on a project is defined and broken down into pre-defined periods of time called “sprints”. We’re doing one week sprints at work right now because we have so many changes in priority and availability of required materials (tax forms) is unpredictable, but I think I’ll start with two week sprints for Project Me because I don’t want to be tempted to change course based on a single (weekly) weigh in.

I’ll be back tomorrow with my two-week sprint backlog – that’s the detailed list of work to be completed and what the success criteria is for each – as well as pictures of my weigh in tonight.

There is beauty in purpose

I don’t recognize myself when I look in the mirror. Puffy face with wrinkles that weren’t there this time last year. A sad, resignation behind my eyes that belies the smiles I paste on my face for public consumption.

My lower back, hips, and hamstrings hurt nearly every day now – when I lie too long on one side, when I get in and out of Minnie (my Mini Cooper), when I sit too long at work (which I do nearly every day). A not-too-gentle reminder that I need to move my body more while it also making exercise painful; the irony is not lost on me.

And my blood sugar. How painful it was – after overcoming years of fear and pride to ask for a prescription for insulin – to discover that it didn’t make a damned bit of difference. It’s only a matter of time before the complications start, or perhaps just a stroke or heart attack.

I am a dangerously successful Project Manager at work – I make impossible, or at least highly-improbable – things happen all the time. I bring together really smart people and let them tell me how to move forward to achieve the desired result. I do this all the time, but never when it comes to my own health.

Really smart people – my endocrinologist (diabetes doctor), my dietician, my diabetes educator, even the therapist I saw a couple of times last year – have told me what I need to do to be successful and pull the project of ME out of the fire, yet I have nothing positive to report. Why is that?

How would I handle a work project that was critically important to the long-term success of the company, to the happiness of our customers, and was languishing? I’d get the smart people together, gather intelligence, write up and publish a “get well” plan to include achievable deliverables with deadlines, then hold daily project stand-ups to check in with the team and assess progress. I would also send out daily – or more frequent if necessary – communications to critical partners giving updates on progress toward project success.

Hope by dead_band on Flickr

So why not do that with the most important project of all – me? After all, what is going to make a bigger impact on my world than a significant improvement in my my health and happiness???

I have 364 days left in 2013 and nothing better to do, so look for a first draft of the charter for Project Me right here tomorrow.