Thursday, March 17, 2011

I Wanna Know

Happy St. Patrick's Day!  I do have a bit 'o the Irish in my heritage so even though I have no plans to drink enough green beer to be drunk by noon, I do like to acknowledge by the wearing 'o the green.  I was wondering what I'd come up with since green tends to be only a summer color for me and even then it's not the proper Irish green.  I went digging in my summer clothing bin and found a tank with mixed greens that I layered with another black tank to raise neckline to an appropriate level for work.  I added some green earrings I'd forgotten I had and this is what I came up with for today:

Hoping for the Luck of the Irish!


Ironic to me how one can see something on a daily basis and not pay it one bit of attention and then suddenly you actually see it.  I had that experience yesterday going up and down the stairs at work.  We don't even have an elevator in my building but I also choose to park on the lowest level so everyday I walk 4 flights of stairs to get to my office.  One of the things I pass just before I got through a door that puts me on my office's floor is a bulletin board set up by Human Resources.  It has the usual announcements and mandatory postings on it.  I think passing it every day makes me immune to it.  Perhaps because I was in a reflective mood over several things, I actually saw and paid attention to one of the posters.  At the top it said,

Goals begin with a dream, success requires a plan

I saw and I started thinking.  Lately I feel like I've been sort of floating around plan-less which is making my focus feel blurry. 

Now, I'm not usually one to ask a bunch of questions here on Doing A 180 because I try to write here for myself.  While I truly adore the fact that many folks take the time to comment, I never want to 'assume' thereby turning the blog outwards as if I expect that people are reading it. 

But today, today I'm going to do it.  If you normally lurk, please delurk and jump in with your truth, because I really wanna know:

When you are in successful weight loss mode, what is your plan?  What are you doing?
What does your exercise and eating look like?

If you are in maintenance now, I still wanna know what you did to get there.  If you have a blog and perhaps have a tab that has your plan, please put a link in your comments and don't recreate the wheel here, okay? But please tell me because I wanna know.

P.S. Be nice, don't diet bash and don't bash each other - we all have different journeys.  If I see any meanness, I will delete!


  1. Helen you look great, love your outfit!

    I find I am most successful when I have a plan set out for the week, be it my meals, my workouts or just a matter of checking off the amount of water I drink. I find at the end of the day if it is all written, I can end my day saying I did all I could do.

    Once the first day of the week is over and I have tracked everything (no matter if it was a good day or a bad day) I can take that feeling of accomplishment and spread it over the week.

  2. You look great Helen, great combination!

    First: I'm not succesful at weight loss at the moment but reading Syl's comment I do pretty much the same as she does when I am losing.

    I will start an eating plan two weeks from now with all my meals planned. I will do this one week and then eat a week with my "own" meals and then another week of the meal plan. I did this in August last year and it helped me lose weight.

    I always plan my workouts, doesn't matter of I'm in weight loss mode or not. I do it because if I don't I skip workouts easily. Having it planned keeps me accountable to myself.

  3. Happy St. Patrick's Day! Your "splash of green" outfit is lovely!

    When I'm successful, I have a plan. Okay, even when I'm not successful, I have a plan, becacause I'm one of those Type A folk who have a plan for everything. I plan out menus for the week, with dinner leftovers becoming the next day's lunch. Like Syl, checking off a list for me is a thrill, so it boosts my spirits and I'm more inclined to stay on track.

    What is my Plan? Right now, I've joined weight watchers. I enjoy the comraderie. Before, I was simply following the Basic Laws of Thermodynamics, that is, energy is constant and if you want to shrink yourself, you have to burn more fuel that you put it. In other words, eat-less-move-more. I track every morsel and drop that passes my lips and any extra calories/points beyond what I need for basic surrvivial I make sure that I work it off with exercise.

    Another part of the plan is quality fuel. No junk food. No fast food. Nothing fried. No refined carbs. LOTS of lean protein, veggies and fresh fruit.

    I also plan exercise time and write it on the calendar so that I'm committed. I treat these appointments with as much respect as I treat meetings or appointments with clients, because if I don't I'll blow it off and I KNOW that the only surefire way to continued weight loss is eating well and exercise. Together.

  4. Lookin good Helen!

    I plan my workouts and about 80% of my meals. I'm excellent Monday to Friday but suck at it (food stuff) on the weekends.

    But my workouts I must plan it out to make it work for me. I put it in my calendar and mark it off when completed. I also journal, journal, journal. I put in everything from how I feel to how I don't feel. If I don't plan, then I don't do much of anything.

    I must organize myself or I don't seem to succeed. Flying off the seat of my pants spells disaster for me :)

  5. Pretty outfit and you look very professional.

    I have a lot of Irish in me, my dad's grandmother was directly off the ship from Ireland, and he had the bright red hair you expect of an Irishman. I was a strawberry blonde as a child. Funny thing though, my parents absolutely did NOT drink alcohol. Not a drop. So I never understood the Irish-alcohol connection.

    Anyway, back to your quesiton... what works for me. Usually the diet of the moment. They ALL work. Jenny Craig, NutriSystems, South Beach, and all the others I've done, they all work as long as I do them. Unfortunately, the bloom is usually off the rose after about six months to a year. Then my modus operandi was to quit and regain every pound plus more.

    Then I joined Weight Watchers. For over three years I've been either 100% on WW or 70% on, but it's always in the back of head. I'm constantly figuring out Points and know the Points and calories of most foods. It is the best program for me.

    The other thing is exercise. I'm not sure how it happened or why this time it seems to have stuck, but I work out at least five and often six times a week. If I don't exercise I feel like something isn't right. I think the two together are what has helped me maintain a 60-pound loss. Now if I could only lose the last 35! :)

  6. The only time I've been successful with weight loss if I eat well 90% of the time and exercise consistently. There have been many times in my life where I eat like shit, but exercise and maintain. And then other times I eat great, but don't exercise.

    It's only when the two go hand in hand that I am successful, and its taken me getting back to Weight Watchers to see that. I've lost 6.8 pounds since January, and while that isn't a lot, I haven't lost 2 pounds in 2 years!

    I also plan to do an exercise calendar - I keep talking about taking exercise classes, but if I don't schedule it in, it's not going to happen - hope to show it off on next Monday's post! :D

    Happy St. Patty's Day - love your outfit!

  7. Helen, that green looks beautiful on you! And we share an Irish background. I still have relatives there. My name: Kelly Carroll. Pretty Irish, eh? Don't celebrate St Patty's day here much either.

    You really do look stunning in green.

    I've never thought of having a tab on my blog about my plan. But a good idea.

    Right now I'm still trying to find what works for me. The thyroid and insulin issues have really made weight loss difficult. I think my next adventure will be into low/lower carb. Since insulin is my problem and carbs spike insulin I think I need to become a carb counter and see how that goes. I've gotta do something. Counting calories just did not work. I measured my calories in/calories out religiously and would sometimes GAIN weight! It all depends on what I eat.

    Exercise: weights and running and hiking and anything else fun. :)

    We're all just trying to find out what works for us.

    Happy St Patty's Day to ya!
    (Did I mention that green is a great color on you?)

  8. OK, now I'm laughing at what I wrote in my email this morning about your green...I do love the green colors you chose for today. :)

    Looking back, I know my greatest periods of success were when I was working out, hard, 3 times a week, and when I was really watching my carbs. I hadn't discovered that I liked whole wheat pasta back then, so I just didn't eat it. Same for rice - I think if I ate a grain with dinner, it was quinoa. I ate a ton of vegetables, which of course meant a ton of fiber, which kept me feeling full. Big salads probably 5 nights out of 7. And I went almost 6 months with no baked goods, and as I can't eat most ice cream, and frozen yogurt had not yet made it to our town, I had very little sugar, overall.

    Hmmm, in writing this, I can see what I've changed and quite possibly WHY my weight loss stopped. You've given me a lot to ponder today! Crap! I hate pondering! ;)

  9. You look great Helen! I guess you probably know what I from my blog LOL!

    It's really about eating real food and getting in some movement. For weight loss, I just reign the pendulum swings a little closer together than I do when I am biking a lot more or just trying to maintain.

    Anything will work in the short term, but finding something that can be stuck with forever is needed. That is different for everybody as well. In fact, I have found that I needed to do different things along the way as I got stuck.

  10. Nice outfit. Weight Watchers for me, too, and again. I was successful on it from 1999-2000, and maintained x 10 years, until I had a prolonged lapse in my eating plan. I've gained about 10 pounds, and so just re-upped to get back in losing mode.

  11. I'm on hold w/ the doctor, can't think much, but want to say I love your outfit and I also walk up only 3, flights of stairs.

  12. You're so lovely!

    I'm not really qualified to answer this question because I don't know how much I weigh and so I don't know how much I've lost (say, in the past year) although I know I've lost.

    BUT! Far be it from me to not answer just because I'm not qualified ;-)

    I've lost by:

    Exercising consistently but moderately (anywhere from 3-6 times per week) and sometimes throwing in an intense workout.

    Eating when hungry and really being aware of what my body wants (not what my head THINKS it wants...although sometimes I do that too).

    Accepting myself right where I am most of the time and understanding that sometimes I may not feel all that accepting. But then I catch myself sooner than I used to so I don't spiral.

    Having realistic expectations for what my body is capable of given its age and experiences.

    Honoring my body, not abusing it.

    Relaxing my mind, avoiding desperate measures.

    And so on...

  13. I'm still looking for both at the moment, but I would like to start being healthier. In my mind first, then my body. But, I no longer have to have the body type right now that most would think was successful at being healthy.

    I've decided that if I exercise an hour 5-6 days a week that is enough. I've also decided that if I want a treat once a day, I can have it. If that means that I'm going to be a higher weight because of the consequences of my life, then it is what it is.

    I'm okay with that.

    I want to combine what my head AND my body want to eat. Disciplined most of the time, but willfully indulgent without remorse too. I want to be comfortable in my own skin. <3

  14. I've never been successful at weight loss. And I've never had a realistic plan. You do the math...

    In other news, you look fabulous!

  15. When I am 'in the zone' It's an hour and fifteen minutes of exercise a day and 1500 calories of mostly veggies, fruit, protein and one serving of grain. That's it. Some fat as or two tablespoons.
    I love your outfit and that you have a concept of 'professional'
    yesterday when I was out at a restaurant I had a waitress hail me as 'girlfriend'...?????

  16. for me it is as simple as choosing to be healthy every morning.
    every moment.
    every action.
    every meal.

    for me it is as challenging & variable as trying to choose to be healthy every morning, moment, action, THOUGHT and meal.

  17. I'm a planner; when I'm actively trying to loose, I meticulously plan my meals and snacks on Saturday, shop and prep on Sunday and try to keep everything I can in the fridge at work. I don't have "cheat" meals or days - I aim for 1400 or so calories everyday. Cardio 3-4x week, lifting 2x, a little light yoga thrown in everyday.

    I haven't done that in quite a while though - now I'm in a maintain/loose a little/build up some strength&endurance mindset. I have a general plan for each day (some go-to frozen meals and favorite dinners to cook that turn into leftover lunches, then a fridge full of yogurt, string cheese and fruit for snacks), but nothing is set in stone. I do log everything over on dailyburn though. If I see myself crossing over 1600 calories, I can cut out dessert plans, but usually I just make better choices the next day. And right now, I'm getting back into a workout routine with a glut of cardio - running, my first Zumba class (tonight!), rowing, etc. After a week or two of this cardiofuntimees, I think I'll end up back in the gym lifting 3x week, running outside 3x week.

  18. Hi Helen, Belated happy St. Patrick's Day! My plan when I'm losing weight is to take it a day at a time. If I think too "big picture" it's daunting to me. But day by day I feel better and celebrate little successes along the way. Take care.

  19. Hi Helen, I think that at the lower end of weightloss (which is where you are) you do have to be pretty stringent. And little things do make a difference.

    What I have done, whether it was points or calories, is to track very honestly, tend to round up instead of down (calories or points) sometimes I have 'food limited' i.e. eliminated certain foods. I will go with lower calorie proteins, like shrimp and fish. Try to eat lower calorie snacks and small meals, reminding myself that I get to eat again in 3 hours.

  20. I find that I am successful when I pic a specific "diet" and stick to it... Before I took my trip, I have spent the last several months trying to eat clean and healthy and thought I could lose weight, but I have not. If I go back to the WW plan and stick to it... i will have great success. I did it two years ago and got down to 170 pounds... I am back up to 190 now.

  21. Reading for the first time. Love the post. ~Karlie

  22. Like the outfit, you look good :) When I'm in full on weight loss mode, I try to work out every day I can, drink tons of water and eat healthy.

    I am doing Weight Watchers, and the counting points stuff makes it a no-brainer. I like to find good meals and snacks to have that will keep me within my points limit. I've also noticed that just by doing that, I am starting to eat less processed foods, and my cravings have changed, which is awesome.

    For exercise, I do the elliptical, usually for an hour. And I have been trying different workout DVDs to challenge myself and work different muscles. I'm trying Zumba tmr.

  23. Pretty St. Pat's outfit!

    I don't remember anymore what a successful weight loss plan looks like. I'm thinking I need to figure that out pretty soon.