Monthly Archives: February 2012

Under-promise, Over-deliver

Few weeks ago, I was commenting on another blog about the struggles they were having with their calories limits.  They were down on themselves for going ‘over’ their daily limits.  They were targeting 1.5 pounds a week but were about 600 calories over (came out to something like a 1.3 pound week).  The discussion was that just because the 1.5 target was missed, they had still come pretty close.  I also commented that during Phase II, when I was aiming for 1.5 a week, I found the calorie limits too constraining and stressful as well.

Which leads me to yet another gem from work that I find very relevant to weight loss.  I work in IT, and the first place I worked had a motto for promising projects to the end-users – ‘Under-promise, Over-deliver’.  Don’t commit to a moon landing in the first pass, promise to get a rocket to orbit the earth once and then deliver one that orbits it five times and makes popcorn (assuming this would be useful).  (I need to clarify up front – this does not mean you promise laughably easy things – you promise things that are a challenge, but achievable).  I’ve tried to run my career by this concept, generally successfully, for about two decades so it must be working.

As I’ve gone through the different phases, I’ve realized that it applies to health kicks too.  I initially promised myself to lose a pound a week.  I knew it would be a challenge, but that it seemed achievable.  And as I made progress faster than expected, I found myself motivated solely by the faster than anticipated progress.  It was a virtuous circle.  Promise to do something workable, strive to beat the goal, feel like a rock star.  And if I just make the goal or miss it by a little, still feel like I gave it a good effort.  For most of the last 9 months, I have felt pretty good about the project – I don’t feel overly deprived and I definitely don’t feel frustrated.

Contrast that with Phase II.  I found that phase to be really rough.  The loss of 250 calories, while not seeming like a lot was just enough to go from achievable, to really hard.  And any setbacks, such as the initial plateau, felt like I was heading to failure.  There was no room for error.  I felt more relief as I made progress than joy.  And I did feel like I had to watch every crumb going in my mouth.  I felt deprived.

Quite honestly, I felt I would never want to do that again, and I have no idea how the 2 lb a week people deal with it.

So when you are setting your goals, think about how you want it to work.  Do you want it so that any slip up means you can’t meet your goal (and might cause an emotional binge further setting you back)?  That giving it absolutely 110% x 8 days a week is the only way to meet the goal?

Or would you rather feel like having a week where you get a bonus because you were able to do 110% makes you feel like a super-star?  And where you feel like a small setback isn’t the end of the world?

BTW:  This is post 200!



Lose It! Weekly Summary for Week of Mon, Feb 20th


Weekly Summary for Week of Mon, Feb 20th

Daily Summary
Budget Food Exercise Net +/- Weight (lbs)
2/20/12 2,066 2,182 1,018 1,164 -902 190
2/21/12 2,081 1,873 0 1,873 -207 192.3
2/22/12 2,071 2,057 886 1,171 -900 190.8
2/23/12 2,055 1,616 0 1,616 -439 188.4
2/24/12 2,053 1,777 0 1,777 -276 188
2/25/12 2,054 2,057 874 1,183 -871 188.2
2/26/12 2,055 1,712 0 1,712 -342 188.3
3,937 calories under budget for the week
Lost 3.1 pounds this week
Nutrient Summary % Calories
Fat 379g 25.8%
Saturated Fat 146g
Cholesterol 822mg
Sodium 26,050mg
Carbohydrates 1,859g 56.1%
Fiber 148g
Sugars 567g
Protein 602g 18.2%
Exercise Summary Calories
Running 2 Hours 10 Min 1760
Skiing, Downhill 2 Hours 15 Min 1018
Total 2778

Report generated by Lose It!. For more information or to sign up for your free Lose It! account, please visit

The Road To 2012 NYC Marathon – Summary of T-37 Week.

Weekly Highlights:

  • As mentioned, I pulled a back muscle on Monday while skiing and made it worse on Thursday.
  • Got my normal run in Wednesday night.  Had to skip Friday.  Completed day 2 of Week 3 on Saturday, but I intentionally kept a slower pace for most of it to see how things went.
  • Decided I should rest on Sunday to improve chances of full week next week.
  • So partial run of Week 3 of Bridge to 10k.  I did use extra long rest breaks (2-3 minutes instead of 1 minute) but still feel pretty good.  I think I will proceed to Week 4 despite not completing Week 3.  Week 4 only adds 1 minute to the run times and based on how I was feeling, I think I can handle this.
Metric Last Week In Total
Mileage Run: 13.65 miles 160.05 miles
Longest Run: 6.8 miles 6.8 miles
Longest Run Time: 1:07:00 hh:mm:ss 1:07:00 hh:mm:ss
Longest Run Pace: 9:51 min/mile 9:51 min/mile

Phase III Weekly Weigh-In: Week 6

Category Weights(lbs)
Starting Weight: 197.9
Target Weight: 187.0
End Of Week 5 Weight: 191.4
End Of Week 6 Weight: 188.3
Week Over Week Change: -3.1
Total Weight Loss So Far: -9.6
Average Per Week So Far: 1.6 lbs/week

I mentioned last week I was very bouncy, continued this week, but the overall number is still trending way down. 🙂  Part of this week’s loss is really last week’s, but this week is hogging all the credit.  😉

I went skiing on Monday, and did manage to pull something in the lower back on one side.  Wasn’t too bad, but I made it worse on Thursday moving some heavy stuff around.  Mostly hurts during transitions (sitting to standing, etc).  Was unable to go to the gym Friday night, but I did go yesterday.  Felt OK mostly, but still stiffened up a lot afterwards.  I’ve decided to take today off to give it some more recuperation time and hopefully get back on track for next week.

Now off to the gym couch!