Tuesday, July 13, 2021
This is a very personal post, and it has been in my drafts folder for quite a while. On April 8th, I started cleaning up my diet. I wanted to wait awhile until I shared it with you. It’s not you – it’s me. I was scared to put this out here because I don’t want to fail and become a hypocrite.
Also, I want to make this a permanent lifestyle change with more balance and I don’t want to consider this being on a diet with an end date! You may remember I started WW in March 2019 and did really well for a couple of months and then summer came and I got lazy and didn’t want to have to worry about it. Now I am pretty mad at myself because I had already started, you know?
Ultimately, I decided to finally share this post because it may help someone else. And, it may help me to put this out there and get more ideas from you!
You might be scratching your head thinking, “I just saw her happy hour or restaurant foods” – yes, you did! I am still making room for those in my weekly plan! Again, this is a lifestyle change and I want to sustain it and not hate my life while doing it!
My main goal is to be healthier and that can be partially achieved by getting down to a better weight. I never really struggled with weight until after I had my twins and I did really well until about age 34. I had them at 30 and then I picked up running again (I ran from age 24-34) to lose the baby weight, but then life happened and I got busy and had lots of excuses. I also had some neck issues and a chiropractor suggested it was from running and said I should stop. I’ve spent the last 15 years accumulating “baggage”. In addition, I was learning to cook and enjoying the fruits of my labor – too much – if you know what I mean. I love and appreciate good food and drink and never want to be fussy about what I can and cannot have, if that makes sense. I think that food and drink are so tied in with a joie d’vivre or love of life.
I feel kinda weird sharing this but below was around age 27 when I was running almost daily. I am wearing white pantyhose?
And, this is such a happy memory. This is from my sister’s wedding which was only two months after mine. We have so many funny stories from Kate’s wedding. Maybe I will share them with her permission some day!
I gained a bunch of weight while pregnant but two years later and I was back in pretty good shape. Sadly, there are not many pictures of me. Moms, make sure you get in the pictures! These were all pre-smart phone, of course!
On April 8th, I started by using the old WW zero points food list and I tried to mainly eat those foods. The points system is really very easy. The macros thing makes my head swim, but I know that works for many people. And, maybe some day I will learn how to do that and what that means.
Basically, the zero points list encourages you to eat lots of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and very little processed foods. I love vegetables and eat way more of these than fruits. I think I prefer cooked vegetables to raw. I am not a big fruit person, but I am trying to add more. I do love a banana for a mid morning snack; I also like to talk about how a banana is so filling and comes in its own perfect compartment – lol. I love to have eggs involved in my breakfast and those are zero points. This start date also coincided with me having to go back to school in person. I was able to pack my breakfast and my lunch and that helped a bunch, I think.
I was and have been inspired by bloggers I read namely Joanne and Katie, and my blog reader and friend Kim. Kim has been a great source of recipes. Kellyann is also a big believer in WW and she is an inspiration for maintaining a balanced and happy life while staying healthy. My RL bestie Heather has kept what she learned in WW going for over 20 years. She went to WW in the early 2000s. And, this is the main reason I finally decided to post this – maybe this will help someone else out there who is struggling. The above people have no idea I am mentioning them. Oftentimes you don’t know that you are an inspiration to others!
On May 1, not even a month after I started I was having success and decided to officially join WW. I took the assessment and it told me I should do the purple plan. There are also blue and green plans. I am tracking foods on the app but not attending any meetings. The app has recipes and a ton of information.
Some things I have learned:
I know that I need protein to fill me up! One way to do this is with my iced coffee recipe. I take a packet or scoop of instant coffee powder and add a bit of water and stir up really well, then add half of a Premier Protein shake which is 1 point. I have also found drinking it from a mason jar or wine glass feels fun and decadent at home. When I take it to school or elsewhere I put it in a Starbuck’s reusable cup with lid and straw! This feels like a nice treat to me! My favorite is still vanilla but now I also love peanut butter chocolate and caramel.
Other than that, I would say I am trying to not drink my calories. I do have a cocktail a couple of times a week, but I have really reduced my consumption of alcoholic beverages. I have coffee in the morning and then I just drink water the rest of the day. I rarely have a soft drink or really any other drink. The app also has a place for you to record your water intake.
I needed to look at serving sizes. Kim also recommended a food scale. It is nice to be able to weigh your foods for a more realistic picture of how much you are eating.
A weekend breakfast of an omelette and turkey sausage links:
Like I said, it really helped that I started this when I went back to school in person and packed both breakfast and lunch each day. Almost every school day I took a 100 calorie English muffin with one egg and one slice of fat free American cheese. I prepped these on the weekends. Then, I got into the breakfast burrito kick using a low carb tortilla and including egg, a tiny bit of cheese, a tiny bit of potato, and random vegetables if I had them. I could have also added turkey bacon or turkey sausage.
An example of what I packed for the day:
breakfast sandwich from above, banana for snack, baked potato and avocado toast for lunch, piece of Dove dark chocolate, gummy vitamins, and a brown rice roller if needed.
taco salad for dinner
Below, I made my fried rice with cauliflower rice and my husband’s with regular rice. This is my plate with a bit of the regular rice, too. This turned out great with cauliflower rice!
I love veggie burgers and found this Trader Joe’s to be really good and spicy! I have tried 3 other brands now and the quinoa cowboy is definitely my favorite! I put in in a low carb wrap sometimes with dill pickles and mustard.
Another taco salad with spicy cauliflower and a bit of a ground turkey hash on the side. I have been learning to love ground turkey!
A weekend lunch of avocado toast, turkey, a laughing cow wedge, and celery
non fat Greek yogurt with berries and a bit of granola
I love celery! These three items from Trader Joe’s are great for dipping with celery.
I made meatball subs for the family and I had turkey meatballs on light bun. I am just doing easy variations for me, but still having the same meals. I used Trader Joe’s turkey meatballs for me and regular meatballs from the freezer section for my three guys. I often do small swaps for me but we all eat the same dinner. I think I am making the boys and Tom eat healthier, too!
A simple bean burrito on a low carb tortilla for a school lunch
Egg roll in a bowl with ground turkey and cole slaw mix. You add soy sauce and water and I added a bit of oyster sauce. This is a very low point meal and it’s delicous!
The famous zero point vegetable soup with cabbage. I used v8 juice as my base so it’s more like 2 points. This was my lunch one week. Egg roll in a bowl was my lunch one week and sweet potato lasagna with ground turkey was my lunch one week. You use sweet potato slices as the “noodles”. I need to do that recipe again and make it better. It has potential! My sweet potatoes were not cooked enough – probably because I didn’t slice them thinly enough.
A dinner of open faced veggie burger with melted cheese and pickles, potato chunks with romesco sauce, and brussel sprouts. The fam had regular burgers.
Derby night restaurant meal:
The vegetable platter – it was so good!
I am making better choices in restaurants but I am saving up the extra points you get weekly to use on Saturdays normally.
For dessert, I have been making a mug cake (I shared the recipe a few weeks ago), having a mini muffin (shared the recipe last week), or having one of these. They are so good!
Here is the list I used for the first 3 weeks:
Then, after 3 weeks, like I said, I officially joined. color. You guys, guess what is zero points on purple? The potato! Is there a more perfect food? Now, they don’t mean the potato in greasy french fry form, unfortunately! Lol!
I feel really lucky that I like to cook and find new recipes. That has helped a lot.
Other things that are helping me:
I unfollowed decadent food accounts and started following some WW accounts – people who are on the plan or have like-minded recipes.
I started walking after school with two co-workers during our 8 weeks of in person instruction.
There are no foods I cannot have. That is an important mindset. My dietician friend doesn’t like when people say “bad foods”.
I will absolutely not stop doing fun things! It was eye-opening to realize how much involves food! I mean I did know that, but it is so true! And, I may do a recipe post once a week but I won’t talk about this ad nauseum, I promise!
Now, I guess you want to know how I am doing if you are still here…
I have lost over 20 pounds so far, but the biggest thing is that I FEEL so much better already. I am sleeping better, I have more energy, my clothes are looser, and there are probably more things I am forgetting.
I am still scared. I am still learning what to eat, when to eat, and how much to eat. I have a long way to go, but again, I don’t have an end date; I want to treat my body better always.
I would love to hear about your journey or your thoughts on a healthy lifestyle!
Thanks for reading,