Ok, I’ll Admit It – I Suck at Setting Goals…

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If we’re going to be BFFs, you should know that I really suck at setting goals.

I’m working through a course right now for my photography business, and I’m stuck on week 1, lesson 1. What is tripping me up? All of the questions are about setting goals. What goals do you want for your business? What goals do you want for your family? What goals do you want for your life?

Uhm, I guess that filling in all the blanks with, “To be happy!” is NOT an acceptable response.

I’ve been pretty successful in my life and my photography business for the past 6+ years. I am happy with it, it has been profitable. I am mostly happy in my personal life. Perfect? No. But happy. I just suck at formally setting goals.

Back in 2010 when I met MeRa Koh, she asked me what I wanted to be doing in 10 years. I stared at her with a blank look. Uhhh… still living? Fortunately she then flipped the question over and asked what I did NOT want to be doing in 5 years, and *bam!* immediate answer. I can tell you what I don’t want to do right away.

Part of it is the fact that I’ve been a part of this internet world for too long. Time passes at breakneck speed. Where will things even be in 5 years? Who knows?!

If I dig deeper though, I know exactly where it started. I was in a relationship for 8 years that was tumultuous. I’d make plans on Wednesday for Friday, and they would fall through. I don’t deal well with plans being changed, so I stopped making plans — but even worse? I stopped setting goals.

I’m working on changing this — I believe goals are quite important. How can I know how I’m going to get to where I want to go if I don’t have goals?

So for this Things You Should Know About Me Thursday, I’m coming clean. I suck at setting goals, but I’m trying to learn how to do it. I think it will make me a better person.

PS – if you have any tips on how to better at setting goals, I would LOVE to hear them! Leave a comment for me!

Things You Should Know Thursdays was inspired by a Vivid & Brave journaling prompt. Our goal with the Vivid & Brave program is to help creative women dig deeper and find their authentic voice — this is mine. If you share a thing I should know about you, be sure to come back here and leave a comment so I can link to you too! The hashtag for social media is #TYSKT.

A New Low… Weight Low, That Is!

I can’t believe it has been almost 4 months since I started doing the 4-Hour Body plan. As of yesterday, I am down 24 pounds. Wait. Let me repeat that for you so it sinks in. TWENTY FOUR POUNDS!!! 24! 24! 24! I’m right on the brink of being down 3 clothing sizes. TWENTY FOUR POUNDS!

1 pound shy of the half-way point of my original goal of losing 50 pounds, which I thought was so impossible when I started. Now it is completely within the realm of possibility of doing it within a year! HELL FREAKIN’ YES!!! *High fives all around*

I went in to Anthropologie and tried on a dress that fit! I didn’t buy it because it wasn’t what I was looking for, but it FIT. You may recall, that was one of the catalyst that finally made me start the plan.

I’m now down to about the weight I was when I met Mike 10 years ago. Yes, I haven’t seen this weight in 10 years. zOMG. (Since it has been so long since I updated, I’ll also add that I hit the 20lb loss mark on the exact 3 month date – 3/21 – which was pretty damn awesome.)

I’ve turned in to a total nut about shopping for clothes lately. Seems it isn’t quite so treacherous when you don’t have to shop in the plus department and you can shop in the regular misses sizes. It is a fun game of what size can I wear today?! I’m also finding myself wanting to walk up to anyone that I think will listen and tell them all about how they should cut wheat out of their lives. Uhm, if I’ve done that to you and you really didn’t want to hear it? Sorry about that. But I still think you should do it.

I learned this past week that if you put on shorts that fit you 24 lbs ago and then you put your phone in your pocket, the weight of the phone will pull your shorts down. It is pretty funny, because I can drop them without even opening the button. Of course, I can’t find any shorts that I like, and it is only getting hotter in Houston by the second.

So to recap (because people always ask):

  • What am I doing: Eating meat & vegetables. Eggs. Minimal dairy. Meat & vegetables. Eggs. Minimal dairy. On repeat. 6 days a week. Literally repeat, since I eat 2 eggs scrambled with ham for breakfast every single day, and one of three things for lunch. Just makes it easier for me.
  • What I am not eating: No flour, no rice, no potatoes, no sugar, no fruit, and most dairy. All of these contain sugars. Sugar raises your insulin. Raising your insulin makes you fat, clogs your arteries, makes you diabetic when your body can’t handle it, and a whole host of other issues. Keep your insulin low & stable, you’ll lose weight. Yes, no fruit – for me, I completely stop losing if I have fruit. So no fruit. (Read “Why We Get Fat & What to Do About It” if you want more scientific support on that. I did. Research does back it up.)
  • What I am drinking: Water. Water, water, more water. (Officially I could also have black coffee or red wine, but I don’t like either one, so I keep on chugging my water.)
  • Counting calories, points, you name it: Nope. None of that. Eat when I’m hungry. Stop when I’m full. Eat snacks. Eat. As long as it is meat & vegetables, I eat all I want. No limits. Take THAT, people doing HCG and only eating 500 calories a day!
  • Is it sustainable?: Well, let me see. I eat meat and vegetables. The core of every good meal, and I’m fortunately not a vegetarian or vegan. I would say yes, it is completely sustainable. After 4 months, I want to keep doing it FOREVER. What other diet can you say that about?!? My point exactly. Sustainable – a big yes!
  • Why just 6 days a week: Because I’m human. Sometimes I crave things. This helps make it sustainable. I need permission to go “off the plan” because it keeps me on the plan. I still try not to eat flour on that one day a week because it makes me miserable and I feel gluten drunk and I have a gluten hangover the next day.
  • WTF? Gluten drunk / hangover: Mike & Brittany have been doing this right along with me, and they have said the same thing. After you cut back on flour, when you do have it it makes you feel miserable. I end up congested, and the next day I wake up aching all over from head to toe, just like a hangover.
  • More about the Cheat Day: After you do 4-Hour Body for a month or two, your cheat days aren’t that dramatic. You are past the cravings, you are feeling so good about losing the weight, you just don’t want to go back. My big “cheat” items tend to be potatoes or gluten free pizza from Pink’s Pizza.
  • Holy Hell SUGAR RUSH!!! Seems that when you’ve been great at keeping your insulin levels nice and happy, if you eat something with sugar in it, it kicks your ass. Whoa. For example, yesterday I had tomato basil soup and a potato thing at La Madeleine. 20-30 minutes later I felt flush, and felt that sugar rush. Meh. So now that sugar makes me feel so nasty, I don’t miss it.
  • No substitutions: You can’t replace your favorite foods with fake versions of other foods. Or at least I couldn’t. Instead, I am eating all new foods. For a picky eater like me, this is a huge deal! I don’t miss anything, so no need to point out that I could eat things made with rice that are gluten free. I’m skipping all starchy-carbs, so no rice or potatoes either!
  • Exercise? What exercise?: I should be exercising more, but I want to hire a trainer for that. I have shoulder, hip & knee issues, so tossing around a kettlebell is going to just mess me up. I walk, I ride my bike, but I’m not working out. At all. Brittany has been running, and she discovered that she has to eat some starchy carbs whenever she does, so she eats rice afterwards. Otherwise she was getting headaches. So if you work out, try to add a little carbs in afterwards.
  • Try to tell me you just CAN NOT do this, and I will tell you that you can, but you obviously are not ready to do it. But you CAN do anything.

  • “But I can’t live without *insert soda name here*” – Guess what? 4 months ago, I was drinking Pepsi, fountain Cokes, and Mexican Coke like it was water. Matter of fact, that first week of doing Four Hour Body, I still drank it a little because I had to get off of the caffeine gradually. I’ve been caffeine free for close to 4 months now. I am functioning just fine.
  • “But I love *insert really starchy food* and just couldn’t live with out it!” – Dude. Give it up. I was a hard core Pastaterian. I ate pasta almost daily. Pasta, pasta, pasta. And anything made with flour. Or potatoes. I loooooooved it. Especially pasta. That said, I haven’t eaten pasta since December. I have had Pizza with gluten free crust on some cheat days, but I’ve had NO pasta. Cut it out.
  • “Well, I have this excuse…” – Ahem. My B.S. meter is going crazy! Your excuse, reason, justification, whatever you want to call it is just that. Nothing more. If you have a wake up call moment like I did? You’ll get over yourself and DO IT. This is one fact that I knew & accepted before I started.
  • Have you tried it? No? Ok, stop trying to tell me that you can’t do it. I tried it for just a month. Four months – and 24 lbs – later, I’m so glad I did!
  • It is really cool to me to watch the impact that this is having on so many areas of my life. I feel more ME than I have in many years, which was a journey that was started before I changed how I eat. It has taken on a whole new level though since January, which is part of the catalyst of acceptance and bringing everything under the brand of “me” at my Christine Tremoulet site. I can’t put it in to words, it is just awesome. I love my life more than before. I love me.

    This is the photo that was one of the main things that launched me in to doing this diet – Mike & I on December 18, 2011.


    This one was taken on the 3 month mark, in the same dress, to give you a sense of how much I’ve lost. Brittany commented that it would be a cute dress — if it was 2 sizes smaller! It just hangs on me now! (Also? I miss shoulder pads. Shoulder pads were my friend with my sloping shoulders!)


    Just for random amusement, here are two snapshots that my friend Kelli Nicole took when we were at the Hunger Games premiere for her birthday in March. She posted them to Facebook and tagged me, and I was ready to do that thing where you remove the tags because you hate the photo … and then I left the tag because I didn’t hate how I looked at all! In the top one my head is turned at almost the same angle as the catalyst photo above – and I only have one chin! Victory is mine!!!



    Have you tried 4-Hour Body, or the Paleo diet? How did you do? Success stories? Considering trying it and want to talk to me more? Leave a comment – I would love to hear from you!

    Weekend Goals… (30 Days of Lists: Day 5)

    Being self-employed makes life interesting when it comes to weekends, especially when you’re a photographer. What is the weekend to other people isn’t always the weekend for me. This weekend I don’t have a wedding or any photo shoots, so I’m actually taking it easy while getting things done. Being gone for WPPI just over a week ago and leaving town again for SXSWi in a week makes me glad that this weekend is pretty quiet.

    - Tweak the blog design at Hot Mama Boudoir
    - Client meeting on Saturday morning
    - Work on wedding album layouts
    - Clean out the garage before it gets too hot outside
    - Spend some time doing nothing with Mike & Jason
    - Watch the Social Network
    - Read a book – have any good suggestions?

    I’d love to fit clearing out the closet in there, but realistically I know it just isn’t going to happen this weekend! Maybe next week?

    The Weight Update, March 2011…

    I forgot to weigh myself yesterday. After being in Las Vegas last week for WPPI and retaining so much fluid, I was obsessively weighing myself every single time I went into the bathroom and saw the scale, and so I told myself I had to stop. As a result, I skipped weighing in on March 1st. Oops!

    BUT!!! I weighed in today, and I’ve now lost a total of 8.2lb since the start of 2011. That means I’m right on track, since my goal was 4-5lb a month for the year. Yay!!!

    Biggest thing I’ve been doing? Drinking LOTS of water. My boudoir client that is a personal trainer told me to drink half of my weight in water each day, so I’m pushing to drink 100 ounces daily. It is hard – that is a lot of water! But I keep my big 20oz Starbucks thermo cup with me all the time and whenever it is empty I refill it. 5 of those a day gets me to my goal.

    I think I was on the short list of people who didn’t come home from WPPI with the photographer plague, and I am crediting the fact that I only had half a glass of wine and one margarita the whole time I was there, but 60-80oz of water daily, with the fact that I came home unscathed! Well, that and I washed my hands a lot. I’m still surprised, since I definitely didn’t get enough sleep!

    Plan for March: keep up the water drinking, more fruits and vegetables, and more walking each day. SXSWi is coming up this month, so there will be a few days with a lot of eating out, but as I learned from WPPI as long as I keep drinking water I should be fine!