Seeking: Executive with Excellent Planning Skills

It has been SOME TIME- I think a year…maybe more since I last wrote about my weight journey. I am almost to afraid to look at how long it has been. I will look when I am done with this post. Writing this sucks. And it doesn’t. #sorrynotsorry. (Can hashtags be complete sentences? This is my world so I guess I am counting it as complete. Suck it 10th grade English teacher. <Do I capitalize the “E”?>) 

Things have changed. I live in a different city. I/we sold my/our home last December and moved into a PLUSH lakefront McMansion most people in my life lovingly refer to as “The Cabin”. I/we purchased an adorable 13 pound fluffy thing who we gave a Christian name of “Stella”, street name “StellaB”, “Flooferton”, “Turd Face” to which I almost instantly turned into a reality starlet on Instagram (@stellabhavanese) because that is what any self-respecting parent of something living does these days. IMG_0635My parents gifted us an amazing building lot in The Harbor and we are on the tail end of the design stage of our very own McMansion- SWOON! It’s a Modern Farmhouse…original I know…for once I am in the curve and not ahead of it. We bought a Peloton Bike- I have a love/hate relationship with that thing. My husband commutes about 6 hours a day now…I am commuting 4 hours two days a week. We are changing the way we live now to have the life we want later. I am SAVING MONEY by LIVING ON A BUDGET. I say this in caps because my closest people know what a monumental accomplishment this has been for me. Gone is my Brahmin a month habit. I am so committed to my future self I am even contemplating selling a vehicle to reach my financial goals of being “house rich and a little bit of money poor”. My new nightmare is being house rich and money poor.  Shit’s changed. I feel different in how I see things and people, time and money. This terrifies me. Like paralysis terrifying. Ok well maybe not physically- but mentally I have a low level constant feeling of doom surrounding parts of my day. And here is why- I have made changes before in my life and had some great success. I have made changes that were rooted in “have to”, “must”. I have felt this way before. Or at least I feel that I have felt this way before. The change I thought I had made was not in fact shift, it was deja ‘vu.

I do not weigh what I weighed at my lowest. I do not weigh what I weighed at my highest. I weight what I thought I would never weigh on a scale again. I HAD felt a shift during my weight loss experience last year. I felt my brain and my heart and my habits shift. At least I thought I had. Turns out I still don’t know a damn thing about my brain or my body. What I thought is a shift turns out to be a detour. I have circled back…and feel just as lost today as I do at those stupid PD teacher trainings I have to go to. I leave those things still trying to figure out what they mean when they say “PLC”. (Is it school wide? Is it District directed? Teacher friends…you feel me). So now that I am back…from my future…two truths have become abundantly clear: I am an AMAZING planner. I am a TERRIBLE executive. 

In my weight loss…weight releasing…I want to weigh less than I do now journey, I checked ALL pre-planning and planning boxes. I did my research, I spoke to real people, I consulted family and friends, I cleaned out any space I interacted in with off-plan items, I printed, copied, searched for recipes. I even start this blog to keep me accountable and share my journey in hopes of not feeling so alone. I purchased binders to stay organized, my sister launched a letter writing campaign with all my friends to keep me motivated. I asked my husband for support and he never wavered. I used their graphic organizers and was honest about what I ate and felt. I told people things had changed…that I was never going back. That person back then was the “new” me. My question now is “Then why do I look like the old me?” If I was never going back, how did I get here?

I have some answers. They will take some time to describe in detail so I will summarize them now so I have something else to write about later. I know you are dying for the deets…I like to live dangerously and keep you in suspense. 

Answer #1: Addiction (I am addicted to food). This is nothing new but I have to keep this at the top of my list as I still do not want to admit that it is bigger or stronger than me (F U David…I do what I want!) 

Answer #2: I never saw or visualized what I would have to DO every day to maintain a different weight from when I started. I visualized me smaller…but never what it would take to make and keep me smaller (mind blown). This I realized as I was reading a book called “The Miracle Morning” by Hal Elrod.

Answer #3: I am an excellent planner. I am a terrible executive. This realization also came from reading “The Miracle Morning”…which made me really thinking about what visualization is and what it is not.

Answer #4: I do not know how to keep the things I want to change in front of me at all times.  This came from David. He told me that to make real change, you need to keep that change in front of you at all times. So naturally I asked him how the hell you do that. He gave a smart ass response in which I gave an even more smart ass response. I have no idea where I get my smart-asseyness from. I have also been listening and reading things from The Minimalists, which seems to be making an impact on my thoughts regarding my values, passions, and future. 

Seeking: Executive with Excellent Planning Skills. 

My biggest “ah-ha” is Answer #3- I am a planner, not an executive. I have always thought I was excellent at both. I have evidence that I am a great planner. I do not have such compelling evidence that I am a great executive.

The definition of executive is “having the power to put plans, actions, or laws into effect.” (The Googs told me so). If I was a lawyer (don’t test me…my first career was a professional student), I would enter that definition into the court record as “Exhibit A”. Evidence shows that I am a superb creator of plans, actions, even laws. I do not yet possess the power to put those well crafted plans into effect. When my plans shift from the original, I have a hard time thinking on my feet. Now I have a ton of practice of foot thinking from my classroom experience. Finding the connection between the classroom and my personal life seems to be difficult and tricky. So I asked David (aka The Punisher in Plaid) how I become a great executive of my own life. He said it is all about keeping what I want most in front of me at all times. Naturally I think he is full of shit so I test his advice against a real experience of mine. I told him about my new found budget and financial goals…he asked how I was doing with that and I told him I was kicking ass and taking names. He asked what I had done this time that I had not done in the past regarding living within a budget. I told him and I am on a cash diet for most things and I check our bank accounts multiple times a day. I also use a budgeting app as well as a paper system for tracking expenses…oh…I get it…I am interacting with my budget daily…I am thinking about our money constantly…I am saying no to things publically and saying to people “I am on a budget so I would only like to spend $50 on his gift”… F U DAVID! If I may sidebar here- it is pretty amazing I have found a professional who puts up with me and my verbal barrage of obscenities in our sessions. He told me that smart people swear a lot so…you know…

In short- keeping things in front of me constantly means interacting with that which I want to do differently. I must think about it and manipulate it, handling all of it even when it is uncomfortable and I have to ask my husband what the hell he is buying for $11.73 at 7-11 every day (It’s a giant Snapple and some snacks in case you were wondering) every. freaking. day. I have to be fastidious (your word of the day) with that which is most important to me. I must schedule the time in my day to interact with it like I would if needed to meet with families or staff. I have come to realize just how important writing about my experience has been. Writing is a way to keep it in front for me. Writing this post is helping me better understand what I think I am learning and experiencing. It is keeping IT and the very front of my mind. If is 12:52am for flipped sake and I am writing. Every time I tire of the experience, I have to visualize the consequences of letting it slip one day. Because one day leads to a second day, which leads to a week, then a year of not keeping what is most important in front of me at all times. What I do not keep in front falls behind. And bad things happen to things that fall behind. I need to become an executive. I find myself older, but no further down the road I wish to travel.

This is what I am trying now- keep things that are most important me to in the front at all times. At the moment those two things are: my finances and my personal growth. I must learn to live differently financially or live a life of constant fear and I must learn how to become an executive. I hope to add a third to my front, my weight. My weight journey requires an executive with planning skills, not just a planner. 

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6 thoughts on “Seeking: Executive with Excellent Planning Skills

  1. Dear April… you are on the right track. Now forgive yourself and love yourself enough to understand that BIG lessons in life are more often than not revisited many times before they’re absorbed down to the cellular level. It is a process that cannot be short-cut(ted?). It takes as long and as many repetitions as it takes. Stick with it. Everyone’s process is different, but the same in that you HAVE to go through the process. Lists and plans are great; having coaches and people who love you is amazing and needed; having recriminations and disappointment in yourself just wastes time, but hey, part of the process, so even that can’t be skipped. Deep breath, ease the clutch out on your manual transmission of recommitment to your goals, and you’re off and doing it. There is no failure unless you stop trying… like forever stop trying. Sometimes you need to stop trying for just a bit, but ALWAYS get back to it. And you are. I am rooting for you! You are in an exciting and wonderful time of your life; don’t forget to actually live and be in the NOW while you’re learning all this stuff. 😉 ❤

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  2. Hi April,
    Just wondering if you continued to follow through with the maintenance or did you stop going in at least once a month as 30/10, preferably twice, says to do? I have a friend that didn’t go in after she finished and she is right back to her old eating habits. I have been going in twice a month because I am soo…scared of gaining it back.

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    1. Hi Kim! I did not follow through on maintenance or going in once a week. I fell back into my old eating habits 😦 Their maintenance guidelines were awesome- I just didn’t follow through. It’s on me- not them. They were there to support me, I just disengaged.

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