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Guest Post: Mastering Change

February 21, 2010

Stacey Chapman is a GOTR Atlanta coach and board member, and is currently leading the GOTR Solemates team. She sends out weekly inspirational emails to all the GOTR Atlanta SoleMates, along with logistical information about upcoming races, events, etc. Last week she gave the team a little something extra to reflect on:

I’m in a Leadership class which has me looking at things in new ways lately.  My last class was on Mastering Change – something that a lot of us find difficult.  BUT, what if it’s change that we identify and define? So, I try not to make New Year’s resolutions, but my homework assignment for this was to “pick one thing I could or wanted to change and stick with it.”  I selected something rather boring to change; the old standby – This was the year I was going to really pay attention to getting healthier.  And by that, I mean, increase my exercise and EAT healthy. 

The exercise part has never really been that hard for me to maintain, but eating right usually lasts for a few weeks and then I justify that I can eat what I want because I am exercising.  Now, we know this isn’t true and we use it as an excuse.  Last year, I was hurt during a triathlon and it took me about 14 weeks to heal.  Once I started feeling better and could start running again, I had fallen completely off the workout wagon.  My husband would suggest we go for a ride and I would tell him my leg still hurt. I just got lazy.  The laziness, turned in to almost a 20lb weight gain. Ok, keep in mind I am 4’11” (and three-quarters be exact).  So 20 lbs show up well.  Wow…who knew? It came on gradually and I didn’t notice it so much until I saw a picture (yep, we hear that all the time too – it’s true). The picture almost had me in tears. How could this great dress I just purchased in a size two sizes larger than before (I was sure it ran small!) look this terrible?? I was embarrassed that I had let this happen. I am an athlete, I am supposed to be in great shape. This picture was not of a person in great shape, unless ROUND qualified.
So, with my Mastering Change class I decided to define my own change. On January 4, I started Weight Watchers online. I prepackaged my snacks so it would be easy to grab and go. I kept cases of water in the garage and in the kitchen (again, this made it easy to grab if I was walking out the door), I bought a food scale and really managed my portion control.  With my marathon around the corner, I upped my running and cross training.  As of today, I am very proud to say I have lost 17 lbs and I have not once felt deprived.  I have realized it really is a mindset.  One that I was missing for awhile but feel really good about now. 

My job has me taking clients out all the time – so chicken fingers was a staple.  Lately though, I order off the menu – I just ask for my own platter…usually grilled salmon or chicken and veggies, and I eat the bread!   There has not been one restaurant that has not been accommodating.  I have also learned if I want it – that I can have it (yesterday I had chicken Tacos as Rosa Mexicana- YUM!); it’s just about portion control.
So, as I share this with you – I think part of what made me stick to it was that I shared with multiple people what my goal was and what I was doing to achieve it.  I made a commitment.  I told all of these people, therefore, I needed to follow through.  So, as we continue on this path together as Solemates, I hope you will share with the rest of us or your friends and cheerleaders, YOUR goals and we’ll help you stick to them.  So what is the CHANGE you want to define in your life??? It takes 21 days to create a habit!

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