Weight loss Regime Survival Tip #5: Menu Plans

planning in action

A little planning goes a long way. Previously I would go to the grocery store without a list and just pick up the same things I always picked up, occasionally adding something because it looked yummy and I forgot to eat before shopping or because it was on sale. I can’t resist a sale.  It’s shameful, I know, but a good deal always gets me tingly inside.

Once I started keeping track of things, I realized that this method usually ended with me adding something along the lines of red velvet cake flavored Oreos to my cart. 

You know, just to try.

Incidentally, really good with milk.

It also led to me standing in the kitchen in the evenings staring into the pantry or fridge wondering what I could throw together that might actually look sort of healthy and like an actual meal.

Clearly not a plan that was in my best interest. 

Hence, the meal plan.  Since I generally go shopping on Sundays (sneaking in while all the good folks are still at church to avoid the crowds also known as Mimsy’s Crowd Avoidance Plan #238), I generally do my menu planning Friday afternoons. The first reason is that’s when I generally have some free time.  The second is that I do my weekly weigh ins on Friday morning so the result of my weekly choices is fresh in my memory.  So are the conversations with the mirror, both bad and good. 

(‘Well, you did decide that you couldn’t let the last slice of cake go to waste didn’t you? Did you think because it had green icing the scale would be tricked into thinking it was salad?’ Or more positively, ‘Woo hoo, another pound bites the dust, oh yeah another pound bites the dust.’  In the spirit of transparency I should admit that one ended up with a happy dance and a doorknob shaped bruise, but I digress…)

So…Menu plans yeah…

On Friday, either success or defeat fresh in my mind, I plan out my menu.  Then I make my grocery list. Typically I just jot the meals on my calendar and use a blank piece of paper torn from a notebook for this. If you want something more organized there are a lot of templates out there. (one free one I’ve found that is easily downloadable can be found HERE.) This lets me know what to buy, helping me use up things in the cabinet and not go off on crazy sprees in the store.

(I’m sure I need to go down the candy aisle for some completely logical reason that I can’t at the moment remember…)

It also helps with my calorie counting and lets me work in little treats without feeling like I’m negating all of my exercise.  It also helps me deal with cravings.

If I find I’m craving warm bread straight from the oven, I might add Onion, Sage and Walnut Pinwheels to my menu for the week.  And knowing when on my weekly menu I put them, I can adjust my work out and plan a salad based lunch to offset the bread and butter involved in said pinwheels.

As a final bonus, I also find I spend less.  Since I cook almost every meal at home (eating out being a once a month or so treat) I can stock the staples keeping the basics ready to go in the pantry or plan to use leftover ingredients, making a purchase bought for one meal cover two and not go to waste in the back of my fridge.

While there are some days, I really don’t feel like eating what I planned that night, I have found having the plan helps with calories, time and money.  And if I’m really not feeling it, since most of my meals are generally in the same caloric range, I can swap the days around until I come up with something that I really feel like eating that night.  The actual planning took a little while to get used to, but after about a month, it became habit, and this is one habit I plan to keep for a while.

Weekly Weight: 220.4

The Scale: June 7th, 2019

Good morning everyone. Time for my weekly review of my weight and week.Since this is the first time I’m posting this, I’ll start with the basics.

One morning I got out of bed and shambled off to the bathroom and realized that I could not remember the last time I woke up without my feet and knees complaining. While I am a generally healthy person; very few colds or allergies, no high blood pressure, no high cholesterol, no asthma or other major health concerns, I realized my weight put me at risk for things like diabetes as well as the previously mentioned aches and pains.

While I am sure that somehow my death will eventually be on some list of statistics (mostly because I’m sure every death is recorded and used as a statistic, cause that is just the way the world works) I don’t want it to be a regular statistic. I want it to be the kind that makes newscasters think someone has hijacked their teleprompter.

…and in other news another tea cosy related death was reported today, that makes three this year world wide, up from one the year before. Clearly these sorts of deaths are on the rise, so be on the look out…did that just say…how does a tea cosy kill…Is Mike drinking again…we’re still on the air?… Um, right. Now over to Bob with weather, Bob how’s it looking out there today…

Personally, I’m not sure how a tea cosy kills either, nor do I have anything against them or suspect them of plotting my doom, but you get the idea. I’m not entirely sure that qualifies as a weight loss goal though, so I tamped down my inner lunatic and made some more reasonable sounding goals, or at least more reasonable than I want my death to be attributed to a tea cosy.

I am 5’4″ in height and somewhat delicate of bone, despite the rich marbling of fat on the meat surrounding said bones. According to my doctor, a healthy weight range for me is between 120-130 lbs. When I began this journey, I weighed 246 lbs. A number that nearly stopped my heart when I saw it as I had not been on a scale in years. So I staved off my imminent cardiac arrest with a plan.

While a healthy range is a good thing and provides some wiggle room, I needed one number to focus on, at least in the beginning. It is a place holder and not something I am obsessed with. Given the healthy range I was given, I decided that 123 was not an unreasonable goal. It would be on the low end of the healthy scale, but still in range and since I’m sure all of those reading can do simple math, you have realized it is exactly half of my starting weight.

An admirable goal, I thought, but how to accomplish it? That was the question. Unfortunately, I voiced the question out loud. When it comes to weight loss EVERYONE has an opinion. It doesn’t matter whether they need to lose weight, have lost weight or have never had a problem with weight in their life. It is a topic about which everyone still has an opinion. And every body is different. What works for one person may not work for everyone. I went with the simple, eat less/better and exercise more plan. On my plan nothing is forbidden as long as I can count the calories. Portion control is my big weakness and the thing I needed to master to whittle down my mass.

So plan in place I set the goal of 123 ( a total of 123 lbs lost) with 1-2 lbs lost per week. Even though this is my first weekly weight post, I have been keeping track of things and my last official weigh in was last Friday, May 31st. On that morning I hit the scales at 222.4. Today I am 220.4, exactly 2 lbs down so Woo Hoo! Weekly goal achieved!

Last Week: 222.4

This week: 220.4

Weekly loss: 2 lbs

Total loss: 25.6 of 123

To go: 97.4

So my review of this week is that I am right on track. Have a good weekend and I will check in with the Weekly Weight next Friday.