How did I put on weight?

This year the theme of my life is about Making Better Choices. I spent the last two months thinking about my life and what I want my life to look like. I realised that every result in my life is the result … of whatever came before that result … and the one before that.

I started seeing the choices of my life as the causes of the results in my life.

For example, why did I put on weight over the Christmas and holiday period?

The answer is a combination of small choices. For example, I (chose to) ate too many high calorie mince pies (188 calories for a small one). I ate too may roast potatoes, I ate a lot of chocolate, I over ate, my portion sizes were larger. I had seconds.

I slept in … late … and stopped my four times a week work out.

I stopped drinking 6-8 glasses of water and drank more tea and alcohol. And ate more biscuits and fruit cake.

I stopped recording entries into my MyFitnessPal food diary.

All choices. All small choices.

Importantly, a linear sequence of small step-by-step choices.

For fun … or morbid curiosity … I reverse engineered a Christmas lunch social and how I ended up in the dining room buffet with a plate of food I don’t normally eat. Step by step.

  1. Walk into dining room.
  2. Look at buffet.
  3. Look at my friends enjoying queuing with plates at the buffet (social proof)
  4. Walk across room.
  5. Scope the buffet for foods I like (roast lamb and pork, roast potatoes, cheese … )
  6. Get a plate.
  7. Get in line. Chat.
  8. Get a bread roll ( I don’t eat a lot of bread because I KNOW that just piles on the weight.) Nibble bread roll.
  9. Justify bread roll choice (It’s Christmas. It’s there.)
  10. Cut a slice of lamb. (Go onnnn …  do another. And a small bit more. C’mon its Christmas).
  11. Serve two potatoes (and two to go).
  12. Eat one of the potatoes while I’m waiting for the vegetables. (Its OK).
  13. Replace the potatoes I ate.
  14. Add a bread roll. (Hey didn’t I already have one on my plate? No I ate that while waiting for the meat).
  15. Add vegetables.
  16. Add gravy.
  17. Add a potato.
  18. Get a red wine.
  19. Find a seat.
  20. Eat.
  21. Look at food still on the buffet table while you’re eating. Think about seconds.
  22. Sit at the buffet table …

This is a system for delivering calories. Every step IS a choice.

I have been teaching documenting recurring linear business systems this last two weeks and using this story to demonstrate that every systems has subsystems and steps. Every step has a purpose and a rationalisation.

The above system delivers Christmas cheer but it is not a system to maintain healthy choices. It is a right here right now reactive system and it is recurring. I was like this LAST year, too.

What’s missing is how this systems links to my Primary Aim which is to maintain a healthy weight. Having seen the error of my ways, I plan to be better … next Christmas.

By the way, Im running a twelve session programme on documenting business systems. If that’s of interest register your interest and I’ll send you a report.


Leave a Reply