OK, so I said I was back on track and I meant it. I've been wanting to post a blog every single day, but I'm right in the middle of a Kid Week, work has been crazy and I just have not had one free second to do so...until now. Busy life!
So, I did meet with my friend, Julie, for nutrition counseling last Friday. I had expected I'd pay her $70 and we'd chat for an hour about suggestions for making my life a bit healthier. I did not expect her to have a fully laid out eating plan specific to me, with the aim of seeing me through to my goal weight (which is about an 85-lb loss) and built in monthly (free) check-ins to monitor my weight and measurements. I had to make a choice right then and there: am I going to throw this $70 out the window and ignore her advice and just say "No thanks...this is not for me?" OR am I going to look at this woman who I trust and whose LIFE'S WORK it is to teach people to be healthy and commit to this plan all the way to the end?
I won't lie. It was a tough choice. There are a lot of food comforts and addictions that I wasn't sure, in that moment, whether I could let go of for...well, forever. The truth is, though, it won't be forever. I can have those things again...but not for awhile. Not until the weight is off. Not until I've trained my body how to handle smaller portions and how to not go into a binge cycle when trigger foods are present. It's clear that something drastic HAS to happen for any of my habits to change. Because, I obviously haven't been able to do it on my own. So, I jumped in with both feet and started the plan on Monday of this week.
The plan has some little nuances, but is similar to South Beach (with 4 phases, the first of which is very strict no carb/sugar/dairy and gradually adding these foods back in with each transition phase). Now that I'm accustomed to it, I'd call it "eating real food". 20 grams of protein per meal/snack and TONS of vegetables. There is also a very big focus on WHEN I eat. Regimented times for breakfast, am snack, lunch, pm snack and dinner. This is to train my body and mind to know that if it's not mealtime, I don't need to eat. And, obviously, LOTS OF WATER!!!! And one "cheat" meal a week (which basically means you're allowed to eat whole grains and some fruit and maybe a slice of cheese...lol). So, this is what a lot of my meals have looked like this week:
I don't mind saying that this is a very filling meal and the flavors of food have never been so distinct to me. Food has never tasted so delicious! Kind of makes a case for fresh, real food...rather than nasty processed garbage.
I won't lie and say I've stuck to the plan to the letter...I have had little screw-ups every single day. But, the way I see it, I'm still working on adjusting to this as a lifestyle. I know that it is one that I WANT to adjust to...not something that is being forced onto me. I am ready for this and I desire it. That is key.
One of the BEST parts of the plan she's laid out is the PREP. Basically, I buy all my vegetables and proteins and only cook twice per week (if even that). On Saturday, I cooked and chopped for a few hours. Everything is in little containers and ready to go. If I am hungry, I just measure stuff out, throw it all together, microwave (if necessary) and eat. Julie's favorite thing is to make healthy food fast food. This has helped TREMENDOUSLY...to have meals planned that are easy and don't require prep when I'm dealing with kids. Lifesaving!
But I will say...it's funny...last night, I made spaghetti for my kids and I had a small bowl with marinara and a cup of skim milk (all no-no's at this stage of the plan) and I felt as guilty as if I cheated on the love of my life! LOL! Ridiculous. Logged it...moved on. :)
I think it's cool the way Julie has set it up, though. My weight loss goals are in phases of 25 lbs each until I reach goal weight. So, my first goal is 25 lbs and I will stay on this strict Stage 1 until I hit 80% of that goal (loss of 21.5 lbs), then move to Stage 2 for the other 20%, then move to Stage 3 (transition to maintenance) for 2 weeks. Then, I'll start all over with Phase 1 for another 25 lbs. And we'll keep doing this until all the weight is off. What a great idea to break it into more manageable chunks! And, speaking of chunks, I've already lost 3 lbs this week! Weeee!
I was concerned that having the kids here would be too much stress and would not allow me to start on this new plan. They are junk food junkies!!! However, I've been able to stick with it for the most part....barring a few nibbles of grilled cheese here and a few bits of SweetTarts there. Working on eliminating all that as well...but I've done pretty well for a woman surrounded by stress and sweets!
The greatest moment occurred last night, when I noticed the complaining about my apartment not having any good snack food had silenced for a bit. Would you believe it? I caught them red-handed!!!!
The winds of change, they are a-blowin', friends! :)