Weight Loss Wednesday: Planning for Success

Hello, Wednesday weigh in gals! It is the end of week three and time to check in again. If you are just happening upon this site and haven’t joined our little cyber group of girlfriends, don’t fret! Newcomers are always welcome.You can get caught up by clicking on Weight Loss Wednesdays in the side bar.  

How was your week? I was praying for you! And I was hitting my knees for myself too.

You see, it was a week I was pretty worried about. I flew out Friday to Minnesota to speak at a Hearts at Home weekend conference. While I LOVE speaking at Hearts and was excited about going, I also face a lot of food temptation on those weekends: traveling through airports with the many Starbucks and their mocha-mint latte’s beckoning me and the smell from the Cinnabon place wafting through the air; the wonderful food provided for me all during the conference including rich, cheesy lasagna, a huge, soft and chewy chocolate chip cookie in my box lunch, and a full, hot, all-you-can-stuff-your-face-with breakfast bar at the hotel.

To top it off, the signature treat at Hearts is chocolate. It is every where! At the speaker tables, in the headquarters room, and backstage. Yep, at Hearts, all the chocolate varieties meet to hold an annual snacking summit: Dark, milk, filled with caramel or tucked inside M & M’s. 

It was enough to make me crazy!

So, I had to decide how I was going to handle these temptations long before they were staring me in the face. I have a hard time saying no in the moment. And my mind plays all kinds of trick on me.

“Everyone else is having it. Especially the thin gals. So it can’t be that bad.”

“Oh, come on! This is a special occasion. Live it up! You can always start over again next week.”

“You just won’t enjoy the weekend as much if you have to say no all the time. You don’t want to be left out.”

So, I had to decide before I boarded that plane what I was going to do; to have a back-up plan and some built in treats along for the ride to help me from getting derailed. Here was my game plan:

  • Eat the veggies and salads offered along with any lean meats and pass up the breads, pastas and desserts.
  • For a sweet treat, I took some Zone bars in my favorite flavor: strawberry-dark chocolate.
  • I brought along some almonds that were lightly seasoned with sea salt for the crunchy, salty cravings.
  • And I made up my mind that I would NOT munch on any of the chocolate staring me in the face all weekend.

At least not until the conference was through and I was packing up my book table Saturday night. Then, I would wander over to a chocolate station and pick up two Dove dark chocolates and enjoy every bite.

However, when the conference was over, so was the opportunity for eating dark chocolate. There wasn’t any left!

But surprisingly, I actually wasn’t hungry for a sweet. I wanted a salad. And a salad was part of dinner, so I took a big serving and skipped the yummy looking pasta dish.

And I lived.

So, for my ‘conference is over’ reward treat, I instead chose a Starbucks low-cal, fat-free favorite during my layover in Minneapolis. A tall, decaf, skim milk latte with 1 1/2 pumps sugar-free vanilla and 1 1/2 pumps sugar-free caramel, no whip.

It is 100 calories of guilt-free deliciousness. And though I normally try to stay away from artificial sweeteners, Starbucks syrups use Splenda, not aspartame (Nutra Sweet) and I occasionally will have that.  

So I sipped and savored and had no regrets.

And this morning, instead of lamenting that I didn’t thoroughly enjoy the weekend, I thoroughly enjoyed the scale announcing that I’d lost 2  pounds.

Oh, it was sooooooo worth all of the going without!

Okay, now, your turn.

How was your week? And, how do you plan ahead for success when you have to eat away from home?

I may need your advice. My mom and I have our annual Christmas shopping trip on Friday. I will be out and about from morning til night and will need to eat all three meals while we are wandering around, trying to find the perfect holiday bargains. Yikes!

So, leave your comment and join us again next week. I’ll be offering a opportunity to win a little, fun give-away incentive to keep you plugging away. 

You can do it!!!! Even on those weeks you need to eat out.

Plan Ahead Blessings,


  1. I am new to this page, as I am currently reading Made to Crave devotional 60days to craving God not Food.. I thought to myself, I’ve done this many times, but today, somehow it feels different. Please keep me in your prayers.

  2. I am glad to post that on Wednesday I was down 1.5 lbs. It is going down and that I am glad about.
    I want to keep my focus on learning how to be healthy and wise in all my choices. I wll keep drinking my water and eating my high fiber. I think Karens advice to plan ahead is genious. She can help us meet our goals.

  3. Hi, I am excited to join this group. I went to Hearts at Home last weekend and was very inspired by everything. I totally relate to your story Karen. My husband has been in and out of work for the last 2 years, and I always turn to food to get through. I know this is wrong when there is something far better to turn to, which is God! I am really trying this week and have started a journal of what I eat as well. Thanks for sharing your story and inspiring us all.

    PS it is Friday now, so I hope you are having an exciting shopping day.

  4. I just ran across the group, and would love to join in.

    I was listening to James McDonald’s “Walk in the Word” program this morning titled “Wise Up”. This particular one was about alcohol consumption. He used the phrase ” Total Abstinence is the best choice”. I thought, why can’t I use that in regards to sweets and junk food. Then I found this group. I have been praying for some guidance and as always he is listening.

    I will start journaling and reports back next week.

  5. I tried harder this week. My scale is down 1/2 pound and I am celebrating the small victory! I’m still struggling with writing everything down. I’m going to create a small notebook that will fit in my pocket so I have no excuse. Also, I am going to force myself to sit down while I eat. I usually eat on the go and I figure if I have to sit down, I will enjoy the rest :) and also eat less. If I don’t have the time to sit, I can’t have the time to eat.

  6. I was having trouble logging in but I finally made it. Karen, thank you for sharing about eating, travelling and events. I do many of these activites in my job and your post was an encouragement to me. Over the past week I have done a much better job focusing on odedience and the scale was down by 2 this week. The accountability has been very poitive for me as well. Thank you!

  7. I was Christmas shopping yesterday. But, weighed in this morning and I’m down a pound. :)

    As for shopping, I ate a protein bar for breaksfast. Then shop all morning and sat down for lunch and enjoyed a sensible meal. Shop all afternoon and for dinner shared a light meal with my mom. I wasn’t hungry or stuffed and this morning my scale was pleasantly kind. Hope this helps and you have an enjoyable day!!

    Til next Week-
    Wendy W

  8. Whoops-forgot to post yesterday. I was a bad, bad girl this past week but fortunately the scale was not impacted one way or the other. I am going to regroup and change my approach since obviously, what I’m doing nowain’t workin’!!! All I kept hearing was ‘eat me, eat me’ and unfortunately, I obliged. Silly me.

  9. When i know I will be eating out I try to cut back the day before so I can enjoy my meal out. It’s always nice to sit down for a meal when out shopping(time for rest). I enjoy a salad, eat slow and be waited on! I try to pack healthy snacks such as a mix of dry cereal, nuts, teddy grahams and even a few MM. And lots of water. I think I’m hooked on water since I started Weight Loss Weds. I’ve had a time with the BLTs this week. It was hard not doing that especially when trying new recipes and even harder to figure the calories. I finally gave up and quit the BLT’s. I’m down 2 this week. Praise God and thanks again Karen and others for the encouragement. Lets all make it a great week ahead. Enjoy your shopping day.

  10. I would definately pack a lunch. Cheaper that way, too.

    I did really good today, until I got to my cousins house and smelled the Monkey Bread she’d been working on.. Oooh! I thought I could just have a piece or two… well, six pieces later and I was forcing myself not to grab at another piece. They weren’t big my anyone’s standards around these parts, but I know I ate more of them then I should have.

    Thank you for opening thise Karen. Everything has been wonderful!

  11. HI! Ok, so I weighed in on monday when I got on the bandwagon and I know I’ll just be frustrated if I weigh in today, so I’m holding off until next wed. I tend to be a bit OCD about the scale, so I don’t want to feed that need.

    As for shopping–I make breakfast at home or bring dry cereal in the car and much on that on the way to the first store. I bring my AM and PM snacks. I love subway, so I do that for lunch and that’s easy enough to do calories or WW points. I’m a creature of habit, and lover of shopping, so I always pick the shopping on a day like that over the eating, so I’d do subway again. If the point of the day is to have some talking time, then pick a restaurant like applebees with the weight watcher meals and enjoy.
    I like to pack either water bottles or a reusable bottle and keep a gallon of water in the car and then I just refill. Then I don’t have to buy a bottle of water for 1.50! Yikes!
    Most of all enjoy the shopping!

  12. Hi Karen,

    I am very thankful that I was well enough to attend Hearts last weekend and meet you. I have heard you speak before but had never introduced myself. I am down 1 lb. this week.

    We live 45 minutes from the nearest mall so last time I went power shopping, I packed a lunch. First it saved me time and second I didn’t have to think about what I was eating since it was in my lunch box. For some people though, eating out is half the fun of shopping. If I were planning to be gone all day, I would probably choose to pack breakfast and lunch and some healthy snacks and maybe eat out for just supper.

    Thanksgiving for me is going to be mostly about portion size and watching my sugar/carb intake. We often have a Thanksgiving meal with both sides of our family so that makes things even more challenging. I am also going to try to get outside and walk while we are away. Or maybe I’ll take my Leslie Sansone DVD’s along and try to squeeze in a workout or two!

  13. I just wanted to log in and let you know that I tried the latte today. It was a wonderful treat while I was out and about, and kept me from wanting something else. Worked out and watched what I ate this week and was encouraged by your post. Decided to step on the scale next week, but to still check in! Have a great week everyone!

  14. I found out over the weekend that I have 10 months until my daughters wedding!! I’m 70lbs overweight! Talk about inspired!! I’m down 1 1/2 lbs. this week. I’m so excited. I’ve been kind of stuck at my current weight for several weeks now. I certainly agree that planning ahead is a good idea when you are out and about. Check calories on the web ahead of time and know where you want to eat and what. That certainly helps me. Can’t say I always have the willpower to make it happen once I’m there, but I did this week. Good luck on Friday, I hope you have a great time.

  15. First week with the group. I’ve started a food journal, never been consistent with this before, but it is a degree of accountability. I’ve also accepted I can’t do this on my own and have asked for help. Both from God and people around me. I have started this process many times before, but this time feels different. Karen, thank you for the great tips on how to create a healthly eating lifestyle.

  16. Hi there! I’m so excited to join this wonderful group. Karen I caught your workshop at Hearts @Home this last weekend and I am hooked! :-) I loved hearing all of the great ideas and info about weight loss. However, the motivation of your story helped me the most. I’m excited that I’ve joined the bandwagon and can’t wait to see what will happen by God’s amazing grace in the time to come. Thanks again for your inspiration!

  17. Amy, I love Chili’s black bean burger too! I just had one a couple nights ago, I haven’t been there in a long time. I resisted my favorite southwestern egg rolls. I did not omit the bun and dressing though, but I had room that day for those calories. It was different than what I remember, I like the new wheat bun and there wasn’t that much dressing on it, but I thought it was odd it was on both bun slices.

  18. Congrats, Karen!!! I’m soooo excited for you!
    I am getting my scale finally (hopefully, tonight). My MIL picked me up a WW one that measures fat, water, etc. Very excited about it. I have no idea if I’m down anything. I’ve weighed myself at my MIL’s and no change noted. But I know I have to weigh myself when I wake up.
    I have gotten new Leslie Sansone videos. I tried one yesterday and sweated more than ever. :P It felt great to sweat so much (and to see that Leslie actually sweats too!), but I was wiped out for the rest of the day. I plan to try the other one today. Jogging is not included in it.
    I never have considered preparing myself for temptations. But Thanksgiving has been on my mind alot. We usually go to a restaurant and that helps us not go for second helpings. And we’re usually full that we have to take the dessert home. It’s not even a buffet and the plate doesn’t look overflowing, it’s just filling. Right now, that seems to be the safest plan.
    My husband is keeping track of his calories with me! He has yet to start exercising with me.

  19. Good morning girls~
    I am so honored to join you and so blessed to have found this group. A big thank you for having me! I found the group only 3 days ago and am down 1.2 pounds. God’s rich blessings on you all!
    Congrats to Karen for the perseverance you showed while traveling, you go girl!!! That is a big accomplishment.
    I sooooo look forward to joining you all back here next week, until then, God be with you all in this weight loss journey.

  20. It’s been a tough week. I have specific things that I am trying to be obedient about in order to change some habits. I’ve felt like I was swimming upstream all week. Unfortunately, swimming upstream figuratively doesn’t seem to burn extra calories. I am down .8 this morning. I’m thankful that it is down and not up, even if it is a small loss. I am determined to be thankful and keep my eyes on Jesus, focusing on my obedience (which by His grace I’ve accomplished this week) and not on the number on the scale. I am fighting against extreme impatience!

  21. Good Morning All, I could put this off all day but I won’t. I gained 1 1/2 pounds this week. It was a tough week controlling my craving and I spent ALL day Friday eating all the sweets I could find. I’m glad it was only 1 1/2 pounds and not more.

    I’ve already started thinking about the holidays and how to enjoy the family without enjoying too much of the food. I’m also going to be doing a lot of praying about this. It’s too hard getting rid of the weight after I gain it. One thing that I’ve decided to try is having a dessert one day a week. If I have this to look forward to, that will help me say no to other things along the way.

    Thank you for this accountability and have a great time with your mom.

  22. So, I was reading along but not planning on joining. Since my scale said 148 pounds yesterday I decided I needed to get on the bandwagon! I could stand to lose at least 10 pounds. I have no idea how to do that yet so I’m hoping to get encouraged here.

  23. Hi Karen,
    I’m typing this VERRRRRRY hungry!-Unfortunately I can’t eat anything til after my doctor appointment at 10:30. :( So I planned ahead last night and packed a homemade trail mix in a snack size baggie for after. This week has been pretty good….although because of some medical things I’ve felt kinda sick Mon. and Tues.
    Anyway, here’s some advice for you and your mom: pack snacks ahead of time. One of my personal favs is to make a trail mix-honey nut cherrios, raisins, plain almonds, unsalted sesame seeds, even a couple dark chocolate chips if you want something sweet. I don’t eat out a lot, but I would definitely check some of your local restaurants for nutritional info. For breakfast, I would make something quick at home….toast with peanut butter and banana slices on top or something fairly easy to eat “on the run.” Smoothies are wonderful, too. I personally love McDonald’s ‘Fruit and Walnut Salad’-they’re pretty small, tho. For dinner I love Chili’s ‘Black Bean Burger’-order it with out a bun, no dressing. Very large and filling because there’s quite a bit of fiber.

    I’ve got to go–all this talk about food isn’t helping!

    Have fun, Friday! :)

    -Amy V.

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