So – A Plan…

After realizing that my flu caused a 2.6 lb weight-gain, which means a 5-lb gain in the last 3 weeks, which means a 10 lb gain in the last 3 months, I decided that enough was enough.

And then I ate a bag of almonds. A small bag, but a bag none-the-less.

And then, I did not castigate myself, but gently reminded myself that I love me, and want to fit into my pants and be healthy. 

And then I ate a miniature Milky Way.

I’m not sure what’s gotten into me – apparently body is a teenager and is determined to do the exact opposite of what (older & wiser) brain says. (Fortunately, now that I’ve had this experience, it is no longer necessary to have a child just like me – I can play both the parent & child roles.)

The first part of my plan is easy.

Mondays: yoga
Tuesdays: track workouts (hills or speed with some core stuff thrown in)
Wednesdays: Shred (yes, I am spreading my 30 day Shred over several months)
Thursdays: xtrain & weights (7 AM at the gym)
Friday: easy run (currently 3 miles)
Saturday: whatever I feel like! (yoga, elliptical, shred & bike are just many options)
Sunday: long run (i.e. 4+ miles for now)

For this week, I may not run tonight – I am still feeling a bit…iffy.

The exercise part is easy. It’s the other that I’m not sure about. I know I can do this. I’ve lost a lot of weight. I don’t remember ever starving. The only difference is now I’m pretty dedicated to eating real food – no low-fat or fat-free cheeses; no Snackwells; no weightwatchers HFCS products with partially hydrogenated oils.

It really is going to be about changing my mind set. About eating intuitively. And that, for some reason, is not something I do well.

It’s funny, isn’t it? I think most children have this innate ability – especially in wealthier countries where starvation is less of an issue. When does it go away? Is it when we are told that the only way to get the reward (dessert) is to finish all the food on our plates? Is it when we are scolded for not cleaning our plates, because there are starving children somewhere (as if nutrition can be transmitted from child a’s tummy to child b’s tummy).

I do not have children (immature body aside), so it’s hard for me to predict what I would do to get my kid to eat if they didn’t want to. Would I withhold treats until they cleaned their plates? I don’t know (also, have no idea if my parents did that to me – they probably did, though – they were mean).

I think that many of us are so discouraged from ‘wasting’ food, that we start to lose our ability to guage when we’re hungry (meals are at 7, 12 & 6) and when we’re full (plate is empty).

When we enter our pre-teen & teen years and people start judging us based on our looks, then it’s all shot to hell. And I don’t just mean that our peers are judging us – I mean everyone.

You know this photo:

Hottie Amy - 1993 Crop

I was about 16 when this was taken (I believe right towards the last day of school when I was a Sophomore). It was also around this time that my pediatrician (who honestly, probably shouldn’t be allowed to talk to any patient over the age of 10, but that’s a post for another day) told me I needed to lose 10 pounds.

It’s all kinda crazy, isn’t it? I remember always kinda thinking I was chubby, although I’m not quite sure why. I think I had a bit more baby fat on me than I wanted. And I was short. And by the time I was 13, I was pretty stacked, too. The boys called me names.  Names that evoked “short & fat”. Names that I shared with a certain green wise Jedi who was not known for either height or slenderness (although he wasn’t fat, either). 

So – here I am 15 years after that photo and still not happy with my body (and for the record, right now, it’s not happy either – too many almonds, I think). And no idea how to make us happy with each other.

I’m going to continue to work on it. I know that I cannot lose & maintain weight loss with diet programs (and I don’t care what WW says, they are still a DIET and not a lifestyle in my book). I know that I cannot afford to go buy a larger wardrobe when I just got rid of all my size 8s & most of my size 6s. I know that, like I said last week, I have the tools I need. I think maybe I just need to keep using them. Every day. And eventually, it will become 2nd nature.

It’s no good saying “oh I failed, might as well quit.” There is no quitting in eating. Since I’m going to have to eat again in a few hours, I might as well do my best to make it good, right? 

Today, I ate:

Breakfast: oatmeal with applesauce & 1 TB peanut butter
Lunch: Lentil stew & 2 (v. small) pieces homemade naan
Dinner: Roast chicken, steamed broccoli, brown rice (rice & chicken are cooking away RIGHT NOW – I love my crockpot).
Snack: Almonds, apparently. And a mini Milky Way.

There is a possibility that I will be meeting a friend for a drink after work. In which case, I will also have a beer. (Mmmmmm…..Vinter Varmer.)

I have my menu drawn up for the rest of the week. Leftovers for lunch each day (yesterday I had leftover African Peanut Soup [I added cooked shredded chicken,  did not add sour cream – only because I didn’t have any].

Veggie chili tomorrow night (Have I mentioned my deep & abiding love affair with my crockpots?), and then I will use the leftover chicken to make chicken tacos Thursday night. (I made & canned salsa a couple of weekends ago, and it is DELICIOUS.)

So – I have the meal plan. It is all sensible, with lots of low-fat proteins & high-fiber foods, and many, many veggies. (Also a minimum of gluten, as I am suddenly suspicious of my post-naan bloat. Dammit.)

I think that I will be okay. At least until Thanksgiving.

Do you plan your meals in advance? Why or why not?