Meal Prep and Planning For Your Success

Ever get to a place where you get stuck yo-yo-ing around the same 10-15 pounds? This has been me for the past year. I’ll lose 10 and then gain 8 around the holidays, and then stay pretty stagnant for the duration of the summer, etc. It wasn’t until recently that I realized that if I’m going to actually make this change and be successful, I need to hold myself accountable and come up with a solid game plan.

Hence my 3 main points in today’s post:

  1. No buy, no cry. If it’s not in your house or in front of you, you won’t be tempted to eat it. Essentially you won’t be setting yourself up for failure. If you were trying to quit smoking, you wouldn’t place packs of cigarettes around the house, either. Work on shopping when you’re full and satisfied, not starving and ready to indulge on Cheetos and sugary foods.

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  1. Plan it out or you’ll be in doubt. We’d all like to think that we don’t “need” to count calories or watch our portions if we workout hard enough but that just isn’t true. In order to be successful we need to have a game plan and meal prep is my new favorite thing. Below is a picture of my first attempt at some legit meal prep. I view them a lot like homemade lean cuisines, except not frozen or full of preservatives. Eat them within the same week and you’re golden. For these I just threw 3 chicken breasts into a crock pot the night before with chicken broth, garlic powder, and pepper. Cooked them on low over night for 8 hours and then in the morning they were easy to pull apart and shred. I added some Frank’s Buffalo Sauce and then divided a can of spinach, black beans, and some salsa between the six containers. Each one is just 315 calories and when I get home tonight I won’t have to cook!

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  1. Get it out of the way and enjoy your day. I’ve personally found that if I can get my workout done in the morning BEFORE my day gets crazy, then it’s more likely to happen and make my day better overall. If you can get to the gym after work, school, endless errands, then GOOD on you. I just can’t tell you HOW many times I’ve promised myself to go to a cycling class or pop in a workout video after I get home, to find myself not moving from the couch. Or I run into the issue of eating something extra at work and counting on that workout afterwards to bring my net calories back to my goal. Do the workout before you let yourself have the treat.

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Being Healthy is the Main Goal

A reminder that you are more than just your body. You are your mind, your outlook, your personality, your love, and yourself. We all have goals we want to strive for but make sure to check in with yourself from time to time and make sure th…ey are healthy, realistic, and goals that come from your heart, not society. This can be so hard to do but we have to remember that healthy has more than one shape, more than one weight, and looks different on every body. The biggest goal we should all have is the continuing journey of loving ourselves inside and out. Hate will only fuel misery. You are worth all the energy it takes to feel happy, be loved, and fuel love. Don’t forget that ♥
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We Are Aware of What We Choose to See: How Consciousness Affects Our Health

Whenever we embark on a fatloss journey, it all sounds easy in theory.

I just have to eat less.

This won’t be THAT hard.

I can totally eat 1200 calories a day.

But then once we start, it can suddenly feel like the world is against us. We’re hungry, there are less choices, and who the hell actually follows those meal plans with turkey bacon and a bazzillion ingredients for every meal!? I don’t have endless dollars and turkey bacon is gross. That’d be like eating a mound of broccolli and calling it veggie cake. Get OUT of here, it’s not the same!

mindful-eating-lessThe reason why it seems so hard is because we suddenly have to become conscious. All of this time we’ve just been eating. I don’t know about you but when I’m not on top of my health, I’m not sitting down planning out how many cheetos I’m going to eat. I just find myself covered in orange in front of the TV wondering how I ever found a boyfriend. You know, where the cheeto dust is so thick on your fingers that you have to use your teeth to truly lick it off? Yeah. It’s OK, you’re not alone.

The point is, being conscious and aware suddenly makes us feel trapped, obsessive, and super observant about all aspects of our lives. We have to be brutally honest with ourselves about what we’re putting into our bodies. It’s a GREAT thing but it can also be hard to find that balance of caring about what you’re eating and not obsessing. It’s ok if you don’t know every single calorie in every thing you eat. It’s about changing your lifestyle, not doing jumping jacks because you ate a tic tac.

030413p42_clip_image002Think about it this way. What color shirt did you wear yesterday? The day before? What color are you wearing now? Yeah. I have no clue because I’ve never actually cared about this part of my daily routine. I just wear clothes. If you suddenly decided to figure out what color you wanted to wear every day and became conscious of it, you’d notice it more. It’s a lot like when there’s a recall of a product or an influx in the hype about some movie or show. Suddenly you see that stuff EVERYWHERE! And you think, wow, is there more of this? How long has this been going on? The fact is, our lives are determined by how conscious and aware we are of things. Quite frankly, things don’t exist to us if we don’t pay attention. But as we all know, our health will catch up with us if we don’t pay attention to that. I will continue to choose to ignore Miley Cyrus but I won’t ignore what food goes into my body.

So if we all take a deep breath and realize that it’s less about this shift being extremely difficult and more about us just being aware of what is happening, it starts to seem a little more bareable. Ok. I got this.

Make a plan for yourself. Don’t just leave your success up to fate. Set daily goals and changes for yourself. Soon things will become habits. Say no to the cookies in the breakroom, or just don’t go to the breakroom. Every time you make a positive choice for your health instead of a bad one, THAT is progress! And those are all huge and important steps.

The Parts of Weight Loss People Don’t Talk About

So you’re on a weight loss journey or you’ve been on one for a while. Things are starting to really feel amazing. Your body is changing, your clothes are fitting, hell, clothes shopping is kind of fun now. People at work and your family are being supportive and making comments on how great you look. Why didn’t I start this sooner!?! You start to wonder.

What people don’t talk about and what before and after pictures don’t show is how deep a transformation a health and fitness journey really is. You don’t just change your physical appearance and your ability to say “no” to Cheetos, but every aspect of your life changes from your friends, to your outlook, even down to how people start treating you.

What?!

I know. It’s crazy to think about but you’re not alone and you’re not going crazy. Transforming your body transforms your mind and when you start reaching major goals, some things start happening and it can be nice to know you’re not the only who who’s thought about them.

You Don’t See Your Own Progress

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How many times have you been shopping, picked out a few tops, pants, maybe some dresses, when suddenly you’re in the fitting room and everything is hanging off of you. What? There’s NO way I’m actually a smaller size. And then that moment hits you when you realize all this time, you have had no actual logical perception of what you look like or the size and shape of your new body.

Adjusting to a new you is hard. Sure, you look better and people look at you in admiration of your hard work. But no matter how great you look and feel now, it’s a whole new world to get used to. Clothes start to fit you differently. You’re suddenly more aware of fat in different places because you’re wearing more form-fitting clothes and not hiding under baggy sweatshirts and loose pants. In many ways, you may find yourself MORE insecure and misguided than when you had 30 more pounds on you before.

It can feel incredibly disheartening and frustrating. Where did all of my confidence go? I felt SO HOT in that skirt 6 months ago and now I have one in a smaller size and I don’t feel the same way. The key is to focus on what you DO love about your new body. You may not be happy with excess skin or a lack of definition in your arms, but don’t you FEEL better? Think about what you’re capable of doing now. The YOU a year ago couldn’t do push ups, heck, the you a year ago made fun of people who did push ups. HA! Super-obsessive fitness people, trying to push the earth down. ::inserts Doritos in mouth::

You Feel MORE Insecure

13_changingroom_lglWhen you were heavier, you didn’t think about your weight, in fact, you completely avoided it. Fit people in TV and movies you didn’t even think about comparing yourself to or getting jealous over because that would never be you, not even close. When you start reaching goals and realizing that you ARE capable of dramatic changes, it can be terrifying. Suddenly you feel accountable for your body, which is amazing and encouraging but also downright painful to realize.

Does this mean I’ve been a failure all of these years I’ve been overweight?

How much time have I wasted?

What if I actually can’t do this? What if I start to gain all the weight back? Maybe I should just go to Baskin Robbins and give up my dreams of asking that cute guy/girl out.

The fact that weight loss and fitness REQUIRE you to be aware, to be present when you eat food and make choices, puts you in an entirely new mental zone. Go easy on yourself and realize that you’re having to adjust more than your portions. You’re going to be more aware, therefore, you’re going to be thinking a plethora of new thoughts and having new experiences with your body and your mind that can feel kind of jarring at first. Take the word “insecure” and replace it with “more aware.” You’re not insecure about your stomach, you’re more aware of it. Be kind with your thoughts and let the ones go that aren’t nice back to you.

You Enter the NO-MORE-SUPPORT Zone

Negative-GossipTHIS is the biggest issue that I hardly hear people talk about. When you are first losing weight, family, friends, co-workers, they are ALL supportive. OH MY GAWD, Janet, you look fanTAStic! What are you doing? We should go get drinks! It’s fun and easy to watch the “chubby” girl lose weight and start to feel good in her own skin. It gives other people motivation and reason to praise their own bodies, especially if you are just now getting down to their size.

But strange things start to happen (especially with women) when you get further and deeper into your fitness and nutrition goals. Suddenly those comments can become negative digs. Janet! You’re getting so tiny! Are you okay? Are you only eating carrots or something? You should have a donut. People are suddenly aware of your potential and can become “threatened” by your determination. Suddenly you’re not a motivational poster for health, but a reminder of how hard THEY aren’t working. You’re the one making healthy choices and a reminder to everyone who’s still eating Burger King that their choices reflect their health and their weight.

People get less supportive and fewer comments are made about your appearance and instead comments are made about the “weird” things you do like eat salads or run on your lunch break.

It’s important to not let these comments or remarks get you down. Your motivation shouldn’t lie in what other people think or say about you. A great thing that my friend Lindsey said to me today was:

Don’t be any less of who you are because other people can’t be more of who they want to be. Don’t waste your precious time and energy second guessing yourself and wondering how to accommodate people who won’t step up to the plate to accommodate themselves.

Maybe you’ve reached your weight loss goal or you are “super skinny and perfect” according to all of your friends but you still want more of a challenge. It can be hard to be “that” person who’s always going to the gym or striving to see what his/her body can REALLY do when people around you already think you look great. You must be crazy or obsessive to think you still need to workout or lose more fat. Finding the right support groups can be hard in this phase. Just remember that this is a journey FOR yourself WITH yourself and not everyone is going to understand your reasons or feel the same desire or need to get in amazing shape.

keep-calm-and-ignore-negative-peopleJust as everyone’s opinions and thoughts are different, so are everyone’s bodies. There are an endless array of shapes and sizes that are gorgeous, sexy, defined, toned, lean, muscular, and curvaceous and not just one is the best one. These are all decisions we need to make for ourselves and we are certainly not going to have the same body our entire lives either.

The key is figuring out what YOUR goals are and realizing that many things will always change along the way. You may always have to battle with subtle insecurities and new clothes and people. But look at that as a challenge and a positive way to grow and nothing will stop you!

How to overcome binge and compulsive overeating

Believe it or not, there are people out there that stop eating when they are full. They’ve done this their entire lives. They don’t keep eating until their stomach hurts or they forget about their problems. It’s not that they have more self control, they just don’t have that thing about them that makes them want to eat a mountain of cupcakes.

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Me on the other hand, I’ve always been different. I’m like a puppy in front of endless kibble, and if I’m sad or depressed or angry, I will eat until I’m even more so. The thing is, I wasn’t always like this and sometimes I have gone years at a time without this problem. But every now and then I find myself running to the grocery store at 10pm and back home with Ben & Jerries, Cheez-Its, and the entire Netflix collection of the Office on continuous play.

It’s that moment when you think you might throw up, your knuckles hit the bottom of the goldfish bag, or your have to start tilting the pringles because you can’t fit your fist inside. It’s that horrible moment when you think a number of things:

Why am I eating when I’m not even hungry?

OMG I have a problem! I’m a monster!

NO ONE CAN EVER KNOW ABOUT THIS. I need to take the garbage out right now.

Am I pregnant?

Am I depressed? What’s wrong with me?

The truth is. You’re not alone. Around 3.5% of women and 2% of men experience a form of binge eating in their lifetime. And before you get scared and X out of this page because you don’t want to hear that you have an eating disorder. Stay with me. While binge eating is classified as a type of eating disorder by the The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), there are times in our lives where we might be overeating or anxious and it doesn’t mean there’s something horribly wrong with us or that we are lesser human beings. Binge eating is also the MOST COMMON eating disorder out there and effects around 30% of people pursueing weight loss goals or treatment.

So why do people binge eat? And what’s classified as binge eating? And why am I just NOW facing this after having success losing weight?

Everyone seems to have too much food over the holidays or on their birthday. But sometimes we feel like eating alone, eating a lot of food alone, being secretive about it, and then feeling an enormous amount of shame and guilt afterwards. It’s that horrible feeling and promising yourself you’ll stop and that you’re done and then finding yourself in the same situation again.

For me, I’ve binged when I’m alone. I’m bored and sometimes I’m not even depressed or sad or angry about much or anything at all. But I know how good filling up my stomach with bad food will feel…momentarily. It’s a type of high. It’s a momentary feeling of pleasure that makes you forget about other problems. But it can destroy you inside and out.

When I was little, I would often sneak food. I was teased a lot in elementary school for having a tummy and if I was ever home before my parents I’d sneak as many Little Debby snacks as I could and eat them like there was no tommorow. Years went by and I got a lot healthier into my High School years. I would go running, 2-6 miles a day and I felt great, I wasn’t obsessed with my body but I was happy that I felt energized and was getting compliments on my appearance.

Even in college, eating wasn’t an issue. The dorms helped with pre-prepared meals and having roommates always held me accountable in terms of not overeating or snacking at night. It wasn’t until after losing 50 lbs and spending nearly 3 years so heavily focused on my body, my caloric intake, and my results that all of those impulses started to come back. For the past year I have truly struggled when I’m alone (usually Sunday nights) to not eat as much as I can.

Do I feel ashamed? Embarassed? Worried? Yeah, most definitely. But I know that sharing my story and finding ways to move forward will mean that I’ll find a solution faster and stop this cycle.

So why do we feel so compelled and out of control with overeating after we’ve made such amazing fat loss progress? Losing weight is a journey that will be more complicated than you’d ever expect. When you decide and committ to weightloss journey, you are transforming more than your body. You are changing your habits, the way you think about everything, the choices you make, and you start to look at your body with new hopes and admiration. Suddenly, you ARE capable of reaching goals and not only looking better but feeling better, too! It’s exciting and the compliments are endless and it’s this high of YEAH I’m taking control of my life! But it’s also terrifying. There are moments when we don’t see ourselves the way everyone else does. We get worried that we’ll gain it all back or that we are just as heavy as we once were. It can take months, even a year or more to truly see how small we’re getting and to stop picking up old bigger sizes when we go clothes shopping.

All of that mental effort can be draining and if we don’t find ways to blow off steam and release some of that tension, our minds and bodies will find ways for us. Same goes for all stresses in life. It’s why disorders exist. We can’t prevent stress, but we can find better ways to work through it and not fear being weaker because of it.

I’m not going to sit here and right a list of reasons why binge eating or overeating is bad for you, you probably know why, with the worst part being the way it makes you FEEL. The way it takes away self-esteem and motivation.

So how can we overcome these impulses to overeat when we’re alone or with other people we’re comfortable with. How can we stop?

  • Take 10-15 minutes to write down what triggers you to overeat. Is it being bored? Lonely? Angry or sad? Do you want to overeat when you watch TV or when you get bad news? Understanding what makes you want to start binging or overeating will help you find ways to stop.
  • Once your realize what your triggers are, find healthy alternatives. Go for a walk, do 10 jumping jacks, take a nap, read a book, or call a friend.
  • Don’t deprive yourself of food during the day so you can eat more at night. I’m SO gulty of this. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve tried to do 60 minutes of cardio and eating 500 calories so I can have 1500 left over for dinner. It’s a great way to set yourself up for failure, overeat and feel lightheaded throughout the day.
  • Write down a list of foods you crave when you want to binge and find ways to enjoy them in moderation or healthier alternatives. If you NEVER let yourself have chocolate because you want to lose weight, you’re going to end up invading the local grocery store later. Find ways to have just one of something and enjoy it.
  • If you are at a point where you feel like you can’t trust yourself when you’re alone, find someone or a resource to help you. Find a buddy you can text when you want to eat at night or a community forum online.
  • Empower yourself and take time after reading this to focus on the fact that you are finding a solution and already closer to ending self-turmoil instead of feeling bad that you’ve admitted you have something you want to work on.
  • Check out Top 10 Online Resources for Binge Eaters
  • Don’t hide – you are an amazing person and this will be something you will overcome and be proud of. It’s just one more hurdle in your transformation journey that makes you proud to be the person you are.

You can’t fail if you never give up.