Thinking Ahead

Yes, I’m going to talk about that dreaded phrase: “Meal Planning”

I had always been told that to be and stay healthy, I needed to plan out what I was going to eat for the entire week. First off, this was hugely daunting. A whole week? Secondly, when I would actually come up with three meals a day for a whole week in advance, by the end of it, I was nowhere near what I had planned. So not only was I daunted, but I was discouraged too.

That’s when I decided that meal planning was not for me. It just didn’t work.

As many of you long time readers know, Jason and I had a rough year last year. Rough enough that we gained back quite a bit of the over 115 lbs we had lost during our first year on Weight Watchers. Every time we got up the gusto to get back on plan, we’d fall away within a week or two because of discouraging results. The main reason it didn’t work? We’d track for a day or two, but we often found ourselves not even knowing where we were going for lunch until we were in our car, driving back into town. We had a rough estimate of the number of points we had available, but we didn’t even think ahead to dinner to make sure it was all going to work out. So we would fall off the plan because we were doing “well enough”, step on the scale, get angry, then walk out the door and not go back for a few more months.

During which time, we would gain back most of the little bit we had lost.

This time, I was determined to do it right. I was not going to let a casual attitude come between me and my health. I called Jason a few hours before our normal Weight Watchers meeting and told him that we were going and then I got to work. Before we left to go to the meeting that day, I had the next four days planned out and a grocery list emailed for our back-to-normal shopping trip post weigh in. Neither of us had been happy about the numbers we saw on the scale that day, but we went ahead with our plan. We bought the things we needed from the list, we ate everything that we had planned, then on Monday (the last day of my plan) I made another one to get us through the next Thursday weigh in.

I found my meal planning mojo.

I didn’t need a week of meals planned in one go. To keep fresh produce and meats in our house, I need to shop twice a week anyway. So I shortened my plan to be between shopping trips. It was amazing the difference 3-4 days of planning was compared to 7 days. I wasn’t daunted or discouraged. I was empowered. For the first time in a long time, I feel like I have control. We’re spending a lot less money, eating more “power foods”, and I’m in charge of how well I do with my weight loss. And better yet? We don’t have that “What do you want to eat?” “I don’t know, what do you want to eat?” conversation anymore! We aren’t directionless in our attempts of being healthy. We’re making plans and sticking to them.

For two whole weeks we’ve done it.

And it shows.

Normally, after big losses like we had last week (10 lbs total!), we experience either a much smaller loss or even a slight gain as our bodies adjust. We expected this. I even told Jason several times that it would be a disappointing week on the scale and I was ok with it because I knew how well we were really doing. I saw it every time I verified that what I ate matched what I had planned and pre-tracked.

Much to our surprise, we both lost, and not just fractions of a pound.

  • Jason: -1.6 (-7.6 since back on plan)
  • Jenny: -2.8 (-6.8 since back on plan)

Yes, you read that right. We’ve lost a combined 14.4 lbs over the last two weeks.

I think it’s working.

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5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Rowan
    Jun 14, 2013 @ 11:06:38

    That’s great! Sctrz and I try to plan meals for the week, but it’s hard (excuses) with two tenagers in mour blended family with different preferences. Plus She and I like fish, but neither teen will eat it. The other night with one out for the evening, I made fish for two and enough veggies for three, and told my daughter she was free to partake of the veggies, but was on her own for the main (meat) dish. Last night? Chef Salad, with Italian. I wouldn’t have minded a vinaigrette, but we didn’t have any. Dunno why I’m telling you all this.

    I guess my real point is thanks for the inspiration. I’m rooting for both of you and inspired to eat healthier myself due to your efforts.

    Reply

    • fynralyl
      Jun 14, 2013 @ 11:26:27

      I’m glad this was inspiring. That’s why I wanted to write about it. I think a lot of people are intimidated by meal planning just like I was, because someone somewhere said it needed to be a week at a time. The point of planning is to figure out a way that it works for your life and the people in your life. For us, that’s grocery shopping day to the next, with all the decisions made so there’s no room for “cravings”. For someone else it might be one day at a time, so they can plan for more customizable meals around who is going to be home, like you’ve done recently. It’s all about making a plan that will work for you that you can stick with. 🙂

      Reply

  2. Gaye Robison
    Jun 14, 2013 @ 15:55:26

    Thinking outside of the “7 meal” box, just what you do best 🙂

    Reply

  3. Rhasi
    Jun 14, 2013 @ 23:38:50

    Yay! So very happy to hear you guys are back on program and doing awesome! Grats on the losses! I decided I’m heading back next week (with my mom in tow). And back to my Thursday night meetings which I hope helps since i found Tuesdays a bit tough (weighing in after a week.. eep!). Plus I have more drive to do it this time around since I’m getting married (YAY!) so need to lose some extra pounds to get into a dress >_<

    (p.s. wordpress doesnt seem to like my twitter login 😦 boo)

    Reply

    • fynralyl
      Jun 17, 2013 @ 09:00:45

      Yay for getting back on plan for you (with mom!) too! Weddings, especially your own, can be such great motivation! I love when we’re both on plan at the same time. We might live in different countries, but the support is fantastic! ❤

      Reply

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