So – A Plan…
So – A Plan…

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?


  1. Pingback: So - A Plan…

  2. Great post girlie! Thanks for the link!

    I do not plan my meals but i tend to eat a lot of the same foods over and over again. Always oatmeal for breakfast but i add stuff. Lots of stuff. What stuff, you ask? Well, cinnamon, bananas, brown suger sometimes, honey or maple syrup, pecans, walnuts, almonds, flax seeds…or all of the above. Its fun in a way because i have it all out and i just add what i want in each bite!!! Ok, that sounds totally ridiculous!!! Oh also PB!!! Always PB!!!

    So by the time lunch rolls around i am still adding stuff to my oatmeal. Nah, but lunch is usually just fruit or a lara bar or a cookie or whatever. Just snacking stuff which is bad I KNOW!!!

    Dinner, veggie burgers, pasta, veggies, salads. Boring.

    You my friend eat much better and more interesting than i do!!! You can do this!! Just get in your exercise. That helps tremendously!!!

    How ya feeling???

    1. I am not one to criticize your lunch, especially since breakfast lasts until then!

      My dinners have been awesome lately since I’ve started a love affair with my crockpot. Before, it was all pasta, veggie burgers, & fajitas.

  3. Hey, i’m glad you’re feeling better! Kelley likes to plan out a menu for the week on sunday to keep her from going to the store every day. she ends up going every day anyway. That happens when 2 kids eat everything in sight.

    I found that it starts when shopping, not when planning. small changes can make a big difference. so if you buy ground beef, pick up ground chicken instead. If you buy shredded cheese, get the kind made with 2% milk. There’s a healthy version of every product you buy and every dish you cook. and if you think through it the changes will be easy. 🙂

    stick with the excercise plan. it looks pretty good.

    I’m watching the syracuse basketball game right now, and the star player is named Jonny Flynn. Kind of cool hearing the ESPN announcers call out my name every 30 seconds singing praises. even if that jonny flynn spells it wrong. whadda ya know?

    oh, and 10 lbs in 3 months is nothing to get worked up about. if it took 3 months to get on there, it might take 3 months to get rid of it. but that’s ok.

    1. heh – if my kids run out of food during the week, they just get smaller portions. probably can’t do that with non-cat kids 🙂

      I wish I could say I hadn’t already made most of those shopping changes. We don’t eat red meat or pork (in fact, we only do meat 2x/week tops). I don’t buy shredded cheese – cheaper in blocks & I shred my own. I think at this point, it’s portions & recognizing (and then actually doing something about) my fullness.

      I don’t think I will ever hear my name on TV. Unless I watch that old Price Is Right tape. Which, you know, no.

  4. 1) Your pediatrician was nuts.
    2) Shred is good – by the way! I did it for a week and then had to mail it back, but it might be a future investment! Enjoy.
    3) I definitely plan my food in advance. Mostly because I’m poor 🙂 But I make a couple of things and freeze it in portions for lunches through out the week. It works for me. Then I have no other options!
    4) I definitely need to tell you the story! We should try to meet up soon! You, me, Alisa! Get caught up!

    1. 1) I know! Someday I’ll share the exciting story of my first pelvic exam with Dr. Bitch.
      2) It is good. Did you get past level 1? I tried level 2 for the first time last week, and thought I might die!
      3) I try hard to menu plan on weekends, but I always forget to plan one easy night, and then that throws my plans all to hell.
      4) Definitely. Before T-Day? Are you running the Turkey Trot?

  5. Food for thought: perhaps the flu messed up your electrolytes and your body is trying to re-balance them?

    This happens to me any time I am sick the way you were. To re-balance, I eat a banana and a yogurt and drink a ton of water…sometimes I need a lot of salt too to get back on track. Just a thought. And I completely believe in the medicinal properties of chocolate!

    1. I hadn’t thought of that – maybe my probiotics & some yogurt will help rebalance. I ate very poorly for three days, even when the food was staying put. I’m hoping you’re right!

      I need some bananas. (And I’ve been trying to drink my water – I am so dehydrated.)

  6. You are so disciplined! I cannot believe you do that amount of exercise on so little food! Maybe you need to eat MORE? Shove a bunch of fruit and exercise snacks in between your meals. Don’t forget to be proud of yourself, either.

    1. I think my main meal portions are too big and I don’t eat enough snacks. Also, I know I need to up my fruit & veggie intake. It’s my in-between stuff that suffers, because I have so much trouble getting out of the “three-square meals” mindset.

      Thank you!

  7. This is a good plan!! I seem to do best on a diet/eating plan when I eat the same thing…I know that sounds boring but I eat the same basics and change it up – I’ll have oatmeal and some sort of fruit for breakfast, salad with some sort of protein for lunch, fruit, FF greek yogurt for a snack and then I switch up dinner and always save room for some ice cream! 🙂 It’s when I start to think “oh I can buy that just this once” that all hell breaks loose. LOL

    1. I like to eat the same breakfast every day. I go in phases – I’ll have (homemade, of course) toaster waffles for weeks. Then granola & yogurt, and now oatmeal.

      Lunches is almost always leftovers from the night before’s dinner (which means not a lot of variety). Dinner used to be the same 10 meals, rotated – but now that I’m having a love affair with my crockpot, we’re getting crazy adventurous. 🙂

      For me, it’s when I go to the coffee shop for my afternoon diet coke – and then I buy a cookie. And my boss has a candy bowl outside her office. I don’t even like cheap-ass candy! ACK!

  8. margaret

    not that you asked, but the best way i’ve ever found to maintain and/or lose a little weight is to be strict about not eating at night. when i’ve noticed my pants are getting tight, i pay attention and eat dinner at 5-6pm, and absolutely nothing afterwards. maybe one drink, and that’s it. sucks if you, like, have friends you want to go to dinner with– but any calories you consume after the evening are not going to get burned very quickly, and more likely than calories consumed earlier in the day, to be turned into storage. go out for breakfast with friends instead! i don’t think i’ve ever limited my total daily intake, but just moved it up earlier in the day, and it’s always worked well.

    i exercise regularly, but have never noticed a difference in my weight due to exercise (maybe 1 or 2 pounds tops). a personal trainer friend of mine told me once that your weight is 70% what you eat and about 30% your exercise habits.

    so, for whatever it’s worth, try to eat small dinner, and not too late!

  9. great plan and post. and for me, finally, it is about intuitive. and it never ceases to AMAZE me how my body will balance out.

    a candyfilled halloween night? I havent really had that much of a longing since…that type of thing.

    for me it’s about not calorie counting as I CAN NOT STAND to be hungry—-so Id rather eat more and CLEANER and now it’s what I crave.

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