health-nutter-butter

Meal Plan Experiment – Week 1

**He is Risen! Happy Easter (to those who celebrate)!**

Today is a beautiful, sunny day in the NYC metro and while it could be a tad warmer, I am not going to complain. A sunny day is all I need to turn my spirit bright and get me excited for real spring weather and the impending summer. When I think about summer, I immediately think about skin, or how we naturally show more of it and our bodies given sunshine, heat and adorably cute summer clothing with less fabric. However, my excitement quickly turns to dread when I think about my body in those adorably cute clothes. It’s no surprise I haven’t been happy with my appearance the last few YEARS and I’ve feel like I’ve done just about every tip or trick to try and shed the excess pounds but nothing has worked for me because my dedication and commitment has waned.

Anywho … a few weeks ago I went to Dallas for my friend’s daughter’s baby blessing, and while I was there I saw a friend who was looking fabulously svelte. Of course, being the ever so curious person I am I asked her what she was “doing” and she said, “I have two words for you: EATING BETTER.”

Now unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard that the key to losing weight/getting healthy is diet and exercise. For me, while it ebbs and flows, the exercise part isn’t the problem; it’s the diet part. Given past experience, I know that diet is about 85% of the equation, while exercise is the other 15%. I’ll build muscle and shed a couple of lbs maybe, but it’s all for naught if I’m not eating right.

Probing her a bit, I was able to find out she has been meal planning with a coach and she claimed it was doable and was working for her (which I could see with my own eyes). Thankfully, she passed along the information and after a conversation with this coach about my struggles, my goals, my food concerns, etc. I decided I wanted to give her and her meal planning service a try for 8 weeks (the minimum). I spoke with her the week before my birthday and vacation, so I decided I’d start with her the week after vacation which was Monday, April 14.

On Saturday morning, I received my plan for the week and went grocery shopping. The structure for my eating plan for the first two weeks is eating 5 small meals a day on a diet that has little to no sugar, dairy or salt and minimal carbs. The objective is to eat fairly clean to start, build a habit and learn to eat some of my more indulgent foods /treats in moderation. I’ve just completed week one and here’s what I think:

This has been the easiest/hardest week for me in terms of food for as long as I can remember.

Easy because (pros): Gives me specific instructions on what to eat and when, no thinking required (just prepare, pack and go), gets me in the kitchen cooking more, sparks creativity in food prepping, shopping is easy because I’m eating a lot of the same stuff, save money on eating out/ordering Seamless, my tummy has felt better all week

Hard because (cons): Limits what I can do socially (no drinking and limited choices for food makes it tough to be social), no cupcakes/cake, no chocolate or candy when I work at a chocolate company and its everywhere, prepping takes time), it’s easy to get bored when you’re eating a lot of the same stuff

Week One Result: I stepped on the scale last Sunday (the day before beginning) ate a full delicious “last supper” at Ditch Plains and then went cold turkey on this plan. I think my body is in shock because when I stepped on the scale this morning I was down -8.8lbs. And I know it has to be the meal plan because I only worked out one time this week (Friday – strength training with Nicci my personal trainer).

Obviously, I don’t expect to see results like each week moving forward (they are drastic after all) but I am definitely motivated to keep it up — not only because I’m down almost 9lbs but also because I feel fantastic. I’m learning serving sizes and portions, I’m learning to listen to myself and my stomach to understand when I feel full and I’m also learning to cut out some things which have (obviously) been causing me/my digestive system to feel pretty yucky (nauseous, bloated, uncomfortable) when/after eating. Unfortunately, I think the culprit could be dairy, which makes me terribly sad because I love me some cheese but if push comes to shove, I can live with that and plan around it as necessary. Note: I’ve deduced this because I haven’t had a lick of dairy all week but I have had a small amount of wheat/carbs but obviously, we’ll have to see if this continues to hold true as I continue on this path and incorporate different things back into my diet.

All in all, while this has been a challenging first week, it has not been impossible especially the benefits completely outweigh any of the “negatives”. When I start feeling like I want to cave these two quotes/mantras come to mind:

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It’s amazing what a little commitment and dedication can do! Here’s hoping I keep it up!

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