Decision Tree

Posted By Xin-min Lai on May 12, 2016 in mental game


Every day you face a lot of little decisions.  Some of them are so quick you don’t realize you’re thinking at all, others weigh on you and hold you up.  When it comes to weight loss, it’s no different.  We all “know” the right decisions, what we’re supposed to do, how we’re supposed to eat, etc.  But even those of us who have been doing it for years still face them, and still get caught up.

As you’re working towards your goal, you’ll have a lot of little steps.  Losing 2 pounds this week, getting 5 miles in by Friday, etc.  We meet or miss those goals, and then choose the next step.  So what ends up happening is something that looks like a little decision tree.  For example:

  1. Did you lose 2 pounds this week?
    1. Yes – Congratulations!!! Should you eat that piece of cake on your friend’s birthday?
      1. Yeah, I did great this week!
      2. Nah, I’m gonna keep this train going!
    2. No – Well damn! Should you have a taco?
      1. Yeah, It couldn’t really make it worse.
      2. Nah, I’m gonna give my body time to adjust.

Then you make your decision, and see what happens as a result and make more decisions from there.  The difficulty can sometimes come because your result won’t look like your friend’s.  Maybe for you, a piece of cake sets you back a week because of bloating, general discomfort, or because it leads to other decisions that take you away from your goal.  Maybe for your friend, a piece of cake is just a drop in the bucket of their metabolism and they keep going like nothing happened.

That’s for you to learn, based on your past results, which you can get a handle on by tracking your diet and results regularly.  You won’t know what your diet does to you unless you can map how it has affected you in the past.

All these little decisions add up to a lifestyle.  The lifestyle you have leads to the body (and life) that you have.  The more your decisions follow a healthy pattern, the easier they are to make, until they don’t feel like decisions at all.  How you make those decisions, how you think about yourself, your goals, your progress, is not something you’re born with – it’s something you learn.

Practice your decision-making.  No matter what stage of weight loss or maintenance (or gain, even) you’re in, the ability to make the right decisions for you quickly and easily will always be an important tool in your belt.

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