Monday, March 21, 2011

A plan in better tune with my life

Alan had a couple of great posts last week. If you do not know his blog, check it out: thoughtful, insightful and creative regarding weight loss and getting fit measures. Last week he posted about his ten lessons learned, a post that started my ruminations wheel. The statement: "A plan that's not in tune with your life can never work" really caught my eye and here is why.

You all know that I am following the adage of Marion Nestle: eat less, move more, eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and go easy on the junk food. Good advice, right? Yes, for me, I am closing in on almost 30 pounds. But, guess what? I have been closing in on that thirty pounds since January 28, 2011!?!?!? In other words since January 28th, I have not lost a pound. Not a pound. Sure the scale fluctuates a pound or so here and there, but I do not count pounds off until I get a recording of the same weight over a at least three weigh ins. What I figured out is that my plan is really not fine tuned for my life style, especially the one I have now while on sabbatical and doing more travel than usual. My exercise has been great, but my eating less, not so much, especially when traveling. Yes, I eat less, overall, but my goal is to be between 1200 and 1700 calories a day. I lose weight when I eat about 1200 calories a day, but maintain my weight when I am at 1700 calories or so a day. I realized that I have been maintaining my weight over these past two months. This of course is something that is overall good and another indication that I will be able to hold on to a target weight when I get there. But, I have another 40 pounds to lose. So, maintenance is not yet welcome.

I know, too, that it is the travel that makes it easy for me to stay at the 1700 (or more) calories vs. the 1200. My challenge is to figure out how to continue to lose and move toward fitness when I travel. With several more trips coming up in the next couple of months and the current trajectory I will find come my birthday (May 22) that I am still at the weight I was on January 28. That of course is not my goal, nor desirable.

Time to fine tune my plan. Here is what I am going to do:

First: Preparation for travel begins at home. I plan to pack my little lunch box cooler in my bag. When I have this it makes it easy for me to carry along a yogurt (100 calories), a salad, and a couple of other snacks, all in the 100 calorie arena. I am also going to make sure that my hotel room has a refrigerator or I can access one so that I can keep some salad ready at any time. I really like salad. Love it actually. So, this is easy. I will plan to pack some nuts, raisins and a few other things that I like to throw in my salad in my suitcase.

Second: When I travel, I eat out as a function of the professional nature of the work I am traveling for. Even if it is personal travel, eating out is part of the vacation. I am going to check menus online before I go out to eat so that I know before hand what I will be able to eat. This goes for drinks, too, the tasty ones especially.

Third: Like I did when I went to LA early on in my journey, I am going to plan for a few food items that I really enjoy and budget them in. This worked well for me when I went to In and Out and it worked well for me at one of my grandbabies birthdays this weekend.

Fourth: Water: When we went to San Francisco, I forgot my regular refillable water bottle. I am cheap when it comes to water bottles, I won’t buy them, so I refilled an OJ bottle several times. But, it was only 10 ounces and I drained this often before my thirst was quenched and did not have access to water.

Fifth: Cut myself some slack. But, not, too much. This is about losing weight, not maintaining after all.

Sixth: Enlist your help for other suggestions. What other tips do you have for staying the course, especially when you travel and do not have access to the eating routines you usually do?

Thanks for reading. Stay strong and TTFN,

PS: Chubby McGee if you read this, let me know how to get to your new blog!


  1. Great post, and thanks for the kind words. I struggle during travel, too. I think if you're losing at home and staying even on the road, that would probably work. Your idea of bringing foods with you is one I have seen used effectively by some very busy people (including a certain politician who lost a lot of weight, who I don't necessarily endorse, but who used to take a cooler with veggies and chicken breasts with him when politicking at the State Fair). When I'm travelling and trying to lose weight, I try to seek out vegetables at every opportunity, limit myself to one item in restaurants (full disclosure: not that I always do), and make up the difference with increased walking. Walking more than an hour a day does give you a cushion to overeat just a little without doing damage (as long as it's just a little).

  2. Traveling is hard! I think you have some great ideas. I guess one thing I have learned is that whatever we do, if it is to be successful long term, it has to fit our lifestyle. Your current lifestyle is filled with travel.

  3. Wonderful post! I hear you regarding the challenges of travel. I love your ideas. This time when we were in Florida, I followed many of your suggestions, and I came back without a weight gain. I was happy with that. One plus was that we were in a condo so we didn't have to eat every meal out, but when we did, I minded the calories and stuck to healthier fare. Also, when we had dessert, it was just a couple of bites--my husband ate the rest.

    I am now kick starting my weight loss. Have too...or the momentum I have had will get stale and disappear!

  4. For me planning is the most important thing. Even on the weekends. If I don't check out menus and plan my food, I don't do well!

    The only other thing I would add to your list, is rest! If I dont' get enough sleep, I'm toast!

    Keep focused!

  5. Great post and I checked out Alan's blog. Very good post he wrote too - especially about the plan having to fit into your life. I can imagine travelling is difficult and, sorry, I don't have any suggestions - oh, except that if you eat at a good restaurant they will usually accomodate your requests for healthier eating.

  6. Planning is the key to success!! These are great plans and if you follow them I'm sure you will continue down the path of losing!! Drink lots of water, m'dear!! :) You rock!


  7. Albert Einstein once said "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results". It takes insight and flexibility to recognize the need for change and to follow through. Your new plan sounds like a good one. I can't think of anything on the eating end that you haven't already mentioned. One thing My husband & I do when we travel is look for a hotel with a fitness room. Even stealing away for 30-45 min. on the treadmill or bike is helpful.

  8. Alan does have a great blog. His Ten Lessons Learned was very interesting and right on with me. As far as your weight challenge, maintaining is one thing. Plateauing is another. When you want to lose weight, plateaus can be so frustrating and I know how you feel. I like your new plan. I don't travel so I'm not much help in that area, but when we hike the Rockies, we take along trail mix. It's high protein (high in calories, too) but a little goes a long way if you have nuts, granola, and dried fruit in the trail mix. At least it give you lots of energy...and satisfies the "hungries" for me. Good luck with your new plan.

  9. Great ideas Michele. You can do this. I don't travel other then shopping on Sundays but all your ideas do make for lots of thinking. I do have to plan well for our BWCA trip.
    Thanks for stopping by. Take care my friend and keep up the great work. You can do this, you've proved it already.
    God Bless!!

  10. I'm here! I'm here!

    Pop me an email and I'll pop you an invite! Happily!

  11. Michele just email chubby mcgee at

  12. I love Alan. His posts are great, aren't they.

    Your goals are on target. I loooooooove that you realized something wasn't working and you reassessed your goals to suit your needs/lifestyle. THAT is progress. If we just sat around and waited for a "diet" or a plan to work for us without being open to changing what doesn't work for us...then we'd all be in trouble.

    Go rock it!!!

  13. I think you should give yourself a pat on the back for NOT gaining while you were travelling so much!! Give yourself credit, and as you say to us "stay strong".

  14. Travelling is so hard...because you HAVE to eat but cannot always eat what you want to eat. Maintaining is good, but I agree your plan to start the pounds moving down again is a good one. xXx