March Madness: Success

My co-hort in this month long challenge did a post today that outlined exactly what it takes to make her successful (successful defined as a lower number on the scale each week).  And then she suggested that I do the same.  So here it goes.

I am most successful when I: track my food.  There are some things that I don’t write down anymore but for the most part writing it down helps me to stay fully on course.

I am most successful when I:  remember how far I’ve come.  It can become very microscopic day after day and it’s easy to forget that it isn’t just one day that makes for success.  While each day is important, it’s the overall effort that matters.

I am most successful when I:  pay attention and reassess on a regular basis.  What might have worked for me a month ago may not work anymore.  I am pretty vigilant about assessing my routines and habits to make sure that they are still working for me.

I am most successful when I:  throw a bit of challenge into the mix.  If I get bored or I find that it’s getting too easy I don’t FEEL as successful.  The feeling I get by challenging myself a little (eg. cutting out dairy, quitting smoking, pushing the exercise) is almost as important as seeing that number on the scale go down.

I am most successful when I:  am in complete control.  When there are no food surprises I am definitely the happiest.  Being required to eat out or having to eat off my self-prescribed program makes me nervous and uncomfortable.  That’s something that I will soon start working on. 

I am most successful when I:  talk about the whole process with people who understand.  That can be anything from blog posts, comments to other people’s posts, reading other posts, reading my own website and mostly, talking to a couple of very dear friends.

I am most successful when I:  pull it together and make a plan.  That one is a bit of a misnomer since I always have a plan.  I have not missed making a work lunch in 27 weeks and I’ve only forgotten that lunch at home ONCE (and then I drove alllll the way back home to get it so I didn’t have to eat off the plan).  I have not ordered out, ordered in or driven through in 27 weeks. 

I am most successful when I:  keep an eye on the negative self-talk.  I try to stay pretty concious of what is going on in my head and put a stop to it as soon as I notice.

Obviously all of those things don’t always come together at the same time.  But to get a couple of them going at the same time is a must for me to see consistent losses on the scale.  I’ll be interested to see what happens when the weight stops coming off when I’m done because I will have to find a new way to define my success.

Anyway, if you’re on board with March Madness, feel free to do this post on your own website.  And for the couple of you who do not have websites?  Feel free to do it in the comments right here.  The more the merrier!


  1. Lucy said,

    March 10, 2008 at 1:22 pm

    Hello from a very stormy England. Really enjoying the march madness so far, thanks for making it really interactive- hope it’s helping everyone!

    I am most successful when: I do not freak out over one bad meal/snack etc. I have been known to be doing really well and then have a biscuit, panic and then think ‘oh I have had one, I may as well have 2/the whole packet’ etc.

    I am most successful when: I plan for the meals that I can’t control into the meals that I can control. Knowing I might have to eat out with work (I am a researcher and often have to travel to London and around the country- this means either meals with clients with set menus or eating as and when) and factoring this into my other meal plans means that everything stays even.

    I am most successful when: I make the most of my exercise time. My new job is quite time consuming and I have been finding it difficult to exercise as much as I used to. Much the same as my ‘all or nothing’ approach to food, I have been thinking ‘I can only go to the gym for 30 mins so I may as well not go’ but I know I need to make the most of every minute- it all helps!

    I am most successful when: I have perspective. Sometimes I think- do I want this piece of cake or do I want to be closer to my goal? I need to accept that just sometimes that piece of cake will win. As long as it only wins 5% of the time then I am happy with that.

    I am most successful when: I come to accept that I am only 22 and I deserve to happy and healthy. No matter what.

  2. p4pretention said,

    March 10, 2008 at 4:42 pm

    Lucy: I battle with the first one all the time! Like, oh I have had one cookie, this week has all been for naught, might as well consume the whole bag and maybe get some chips.

    You forsure deserve to be happy and healthy! Best of luck with your march madness!

  3. Lady Shanny said,

    March 10, 2008 at 6:08 pm

    Hi Lucy,

    Thanks so much for participating. On behalf of March Madness (me AND p4p), thanks for playing along in the comments!

    Your second to last point about maintaining perpective totally spoke to me! Not so much in the way that occassionally the cake will win (which it totally does!) but in that during the other 95% of the time there may be days when it is just plain SUCKY to have to say no to the cake. The perspective that it’s not all going to be puppy paws and rainbows. Accepting that sometimes it is going to suck hiney to say no to something so delicious so that we can get closer to our goal. The thing is? If it IS in perspective it’s easier to remember that it’s not the last slice of cake in the world, that the cake will not make us happier or more content. It simply tastes good and if NOW is not the right time to have cake? Then I’m pretty positive that another occassion will crop up.

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