I use the SparkSummary Calendar found in My Trackers; Reports; Weights and Other Reports; My SparkSummary Calendar to notice trends in eating and exercise. If I don't lose as much as I think I should I look at my patterns to determine how I can adjust for even more success!
I use Sundays as ways to tweak my progress. I re-set goals in the teams I am a member of; get out of teams I feel are not working for me anymore; join teams I feel are more directly connected to my needs at that time; and so on.
If you hate the thought of staring down the numbers on a tape measure each week, use a piece of string or yarn instead! Wrap the string around the part you want to measure, then cut. Each time you measure, use that same piece of string. Now you can check your progress without being concerned with the numbers attached to it!
Making use of the Notes section at the bottom of the trackers has helped me to keep track of the lessons I am learning in my first weeks of SparkPeople. I'm treating this as a science experiment so as to not deter myself from progress. By taking notes without judgment, I'm able to see and break patterns. This week I have noticed I am over my daily allowance on weekends and during special events. Now I can plan alternative snacks and be prepared the next time I am at an event or on the weekends.
Whenever i'm getting off track or even when i'm feeling a little bored I look over my old blogs. Almost all of them give me a more positive perspective or solutions to what I want to tweak or change. Should I not feel more empowered or motivated to a new direction then I hit some of my SP friends blogs.
Every choice is independent; one bad choice does NOT mean you're doomed to a day of bad choices. Don't let one mistake throw your entire rhythm off; face that bad choice, but make the decision to keep moving forward...every step in the right direction is a victory in of itself! :)
One of the ways I was able to put on a substantial amount of weight after the birth of my 3rd child and not realize it was because of the clothes I was wearing. Get out of baggy clothes and put on some fitted ones. Baggy clothes seemed to give me a false sense of security about my weight. I knew, deep down, that I had gained weight but, I really didn't have to face the truth until I stepped into a pair of jeans. Celebrate your curves during each faze of your weight loss journey! Don't hide :)
I have learned that taking my measurements is just as important if not more important than what the scale says. Losing inches is far more motivating than the pounds on the scale because when you lose inches, you lose fat, and drop clothing sizes! Also take weekly progress pictures, you'll be happy to SEE the fat (and inches) melt away even when the scale is stuck or up!
At the start of your weight loss journey, take pictures of yourself. As your progress, every six months or so, take updated photos of yourself. By taking photos of yourself, this serves as a reminder of how far you've come as well as how far you still have to go.
Sometimes it's hard to tell if you really are making any progress (especially if the scale is moving VERY slowly) so every time you lose any amount of weight (inches or pounds) take a snapshot -- each time wearing the same thing and standing in the same place. Then go to an online photo hosting site like photobucket and put them into a slideshow. Watch yourself shrinking for inspiration and reassurance during the tough times.
When I keep track of what I've eaten each day, or the exercise that I've done, I also note temptations that I have avoided, such as "Didn't eat cake at the birthday party." or "Took the stairs instead of the elevator." and these mini-successes can really make a difference in your attitude about your progress. It's especially fun to add them up at the end of the day and really see how you are changing your behavior.
I always keep a little notepad and pen in my gym bag, not only to jot down how many minutes I spent on cardio equipment and what weights I did, but also whether I had any pain issues, found some exercise unusually difficult, discovered a cool new way to use the balance ball, etcetera. That helps me transfer stuff to SP later, because my memory isn't what it used to be! :)
I'm doing the Jillian Michaels 30-Day Shred. Posting how many days I've done so far and how many days are left to go keeps me accountable. I can't miss a day knowing that so many people are tracking my progress!
I have started writing a monthly progress report. Every first Sunday of the month I measure in and write a blog entry describing my pounds and inches lost, but also my exercise progress, what's new in my program, etc. I find this to be a great motivational and consistency tool!
Remember, two steps forward and one step back is still one step forward. As long as you keep moving forward, you're winning. No one is perfect -- forgive yourself, learn from your experience, and soldier onward.
No matter what the scale says, it doesn't change how you feel or how you look. In fact, it means very little in the grand scheme of things. Expect nothing and any loss will be a pleasant surprise and cause for celebration.
Instead of rewarding yourself for results on the scale which can lead to disappointment, why not reward yourself for your healthy behaviors? Give yourself a reward for consistency, for eating right, drinking water, or sticking with an exercise plan
Once you decide TO ... you have to decide HOW ...