As most of you know, I started this blog with the intention of writing my struggles in all parts of life. I want to be honest and real. But as I've told more people I write a blog, the more I've wanted to appear all together. When you put something "out there" it gives people a sense of ownership in your life. Whether that ownership is used for good, is another story.
Saying all of that, I haven't wanted to write about my struggle with overeating. I've struggled with blogging about what is being done about it. But I know God has used me and my struggles to help others. And it's only pride that keeps me from being transparent.
Two years ago, I said that we all have our vices. One of my biggest vices is overeating. But those who have a handle on their weight could have the same struggles I have which is eating poorly and not planning. That person may simply choose not to eat instead of grabbing whatever. Maybe your vice is gossip. Maybe it's your temper. Maybe it's a weakness with men. Whatever it is, we're all the same. We like to think we're different but when it comes to struggles we're in the same boat. And I'm not going to be able to help you fix it. If you are looking for a how-to, 10 steps to a better life, then I will (and so will any one else) fail you. Only Christ can satisfy that hole we have. I am thankful that Jesus called me to him. I'm thankful that he has died for all my crap. I didn't and can do nothing to deserve his sacrifice. It's because of him that I have hope. It's because of him that I can love. It's all because of him.
I do, however, think you should fight against your weaknesses. We all need to struggle. It's when we stop struggling that we fail.
Martin and I have some big things coming up. His brother is getting married and we're both in the wedding. We're going to Scotland for our 10 year wedding anniversary. He's running his second half marathon. We have fluctuated in our weight quite a bit in the past few months. I knew we needed to do something that worked for us. We went on the Flat Belly Diet over a year ago and loved it. The only problem was once we did the 30 day diet that was written for us, we never did anything beyond that. So, I decided to make our own menu for the week. I take principles from the Flat Belly Diet and I am writing two week menus at a time. Here's what I've done:
- Chose four meals (3 meals and a snack) that are around 400 calories each.
- I write out three days of meals. Then Sunday/Friday, Monday/Wednesday, and Tuesday/Thursday we eat the same food. Saturday is our free day. If we go off the plan for a meal during the week, we make up that meal on Saturday. Almost redeeming the meal.
- I write out two weeks of meals then write out a Trader Joes list (which I am trying to go every two weeks since it's 45 minutes away). I also write a monthly Sam's list (I buy most of my meats there). I then write out a weekly ShopRite list for week one and two. That list usually consist of fresh foods.
- I post the menu for the week on the magnetic wall in the kitchen so it's visible for Martin.
- I also keep another copy of the menu on the kitchen table so we can have easy access while we're making our meals.
- On Saturday or Sunday I am trying to thaw the meats that we'll be using that week. I then grill them, cut them and separate them into what we need for the week.
I've called this our "14 week challenge." I'm sure I'll start repeating my weekly menus around week five or six.
So what does our weekly menu look like you ask? Here is a breakdown of week one (remember most of these are from the Flat Belly Diet):
Sunday and Friday:
breakfast - PUMPKIN CRUNCH CEREAL (combine 1c kashi puffs, 1c skim milk, 1 banana, 2tbsp pumpkin seeds)
lunch - CHICKEN APPLE SALAD (combine 3c salad, grannie smith apple chopped, 3 oz chicken, tomato, 1tsp evoo, 1 tsp balsamic vinegar, 2 whole wheat crackers crumbled)
snack - APPLES AND CRACKERS (6 whole wheat crackers, 2 tbsp almond butter, 1 gala apple)
dinner - GRILLED PORK WITH SALAD (grill 4 oz of boneless pork marinated in evoo, lemon juice, garlic, sea salt, and pepper. 2c salad, light dressing)
Monday and Wednesday:
breakfast - MANGO STRAWBERRY SMOOTHIE (combine 1c skim milk, 2tbsp almond butter, 1/2c frozen strawberries, 1/2c frozen mango in blender - this fills a Solo cup which is great for the go)
lunch - PEANUTTY CRANBERRY WRAP (on 1 whole wheat wrap, spread 2tbsp crunchy peanut butter and sprinkle 2tbsp cranberries then roll up. on the side - 1c carrots)
snack - LUNA BAR (1 luna bar and 1/4c semi-sweet chocolate chips)
dinner - GRILLED LIME CHICKEN SALAD (salad, 3oz grilled chicken that has been marinated in evoo, sea salt, and lime juice. sprinkle sunflower seeds and 2 tbsp light dressing over top)
Tuesday and Thursday:
breakfast - GRANOLA PARFAIT (1 banana, 1 c fresh raspberries, 6oz nonfat greek yogurt, 3/4c granola)
lunch - GRILLED CHICKEN WRAP (In a whole wheat wrap add 3 oz grilled chicken, lettuce, tomato, light dressing. on the side - string cheese, 2 tbsp peanuts)
snack - CELERY AND PEANUT BUTTER (1c celery, 2tbsp peanut butter)
dinner - TILAPIA AND RICE (4oz tilapia coated in evoo and season salt baked at 425 degrees for 18 minutes, 3/4c brown rice, 1c green beans marinated in evoo and season salt)
I modify some of this for my own taste. Martin works best with what is written and I am more flexible. For instance, I don't like yogurt (even though I've tried!) and I'm tired of raspberries so I eat 3/4c of granola and add a splash of skim milk and hot water to make it nice and warm. Then I eat a banana later in the morning. I add 1 tsp of canola mayo to my chicken wrap instead of dressing. Sometimes I add a little hummus cup for our carrots at lunch. That's about 150 extra calories. If we work out that day, then that won't hurt us.
The reason we eat Luna bars instead of Clif bars is because there is slightly less sugar in the Luna bar. Martin was freaked out because it says protein bars for women. But I assured him it only has natural things in it that woman need more of than men. I'm pretty sure it hasn't affected his masculinity! We buy our Luna bars in bulk with Amazon. They seem to have the best price and also have a great variety.
Coffee. We both still have our coffee in the morning. Martin drinks his black but I add flavored cream. I was adding 3tbsp to my 10 oz of coffee but I'm down to 2tbsp and I hope to be down to 1tbsp soon.
Working out. We both have been doing okay working out. We'll do bad one week and good another. I had developed the attitude that if I don't go in the morning, I won't go at all. I've found that if we're doing four meals, I can go after work and we're not ravenous when we get home. Plus prepping my meals on the weekend helps too. My goal is to workout five to six days a week. But I'm thrilled with three days. I worked out four days this week.
Results? We both lost more than 20 pounds with the Flat Belly Diet before. We know it works. The principles are great. Martin is weighing in every week and this week he lost four pounds. He was sick with cold and only worked out once. I am weighing in every four weeks. I'll let you know how I do.
The goal is discipline. We need to be disciplined in our lives in all aspects. We both thrive on planning and fall hard when we're lazy.
I'm excited to blog about this (hopefully I'll write about the progress every week or so). It's great accountability and for me, it's good therapy.