Too Busy for Healthy Eating?

Less than eight weeks ago, I weighed 450 pounds.  Today, I weigh in at 417.4 pounds.  The question I keep getting asked is, “What’s your secret?”  I’m not working out.  I’m not starving myself.  I’m not on any pills or “vitamins” to assist with weight loss and I’m not on any crash diet.  The secret is:  six weeks ago my wife and I decided to make changes to our lifestyle that are both sustainable and long term.

2016-10-23-18.56.13.jpg.jpgUnfortunately, the pace of our lives does not support the changes that we have made.  Both of us have professional jobs and work very odd hours throughout the week.  So, I understand when anyone tells me, “I just don’t have time for all that.”  However, understanding doesn’t mean I agree.  Let me tell you something, everybody has excuses, but none of them are really any good.  Today, my wife suggested that I share a couple tips that we have learned along the way to make things as easy as possible.

  • Plan ahead.
    • Take the time to plan out your meals (including calories, fats, protein, carbohydrates, etc.) for the week.  If you know what you are going to eat and that’s what you have available, you put a bridal on all that emotional eating and spontaneous snacking.
  • Shop weekly.
    • My wife and I go shopping every Sunday.  While this may lead to a temptation to spend MORE on food than normal if you are used to shopping less often, it will help to keep the frozen stuff to a minimum.  Fresh meats, vegetables, and fruit all equate to quicker preparation and BETTER TASTE.   Get in the habit of having a good idea how your week of meals is going to look and buy the things you NEED, not the things that look good.
  • Eat more food.
    • Emotional eating and spontaneous snacking can be incredibly damaging to a healthy lifestyle.  My wife and I eat three meals and two snacks every day.  We are aware of the calories we want to have for each of those five food interactions and how that food is going to impact our bodies.  When I started this, I vowed I would find a way to do it without being hungry.  Thanks to fresh vegetables and a finding better relationships with protein and carbs, we have taught ourselves  how to eat foods that fill us up and keep us feeling energized throughout the day.
  • Prepare… Everything… Early…
    • After our Sunday afternoon trip to the grocery store, my wife and I take the time to sit down and chop, weigh, and separate into lunch or snack bags all of our snacks for the week.  Whether we are getting our lunch together in the morning or we are grabbing a snack while still around the house, it’s READILY available for us to grab and go.  By limiting access to unhealthy snacks and placing2016-10-23-19.10.44.jpg.jpg

      healthy snacks at our fingertips, we enable ourselves to stay on track throughout the busy week.

  • Prepare… Everything… Early!
    • OK… maybe this isn’t a separate recommendation at all, but I did this to highlight the importance of this habit in keeping us on track.  In addition to preparing our snacks for the week, we also take the time to cut, weigh, and prepare our chicken for the first several days of the week.  By having fresh ground beef and pre-cooked chicken in the refrigerator, we are able to have 90% of our meals on the dinner table in just about six minutes.  Thanks to this habit, we are able to have a plethora of healthy options to carry us through through lunch on Friday  which leaves open the option for a nice evening out or making a fresh dinner together at home to finish out our crazy week.

Life is busy and it seems that we are always needed somewhere other than the place we most want to be.  However, we are learning new ways every day to make healthy eating fast and sustainable despite our hectic lives.  We hope you’ll find our tips useful and begin to adapt these tips to your own life.  We also hope you’ll share the tips you’ve learned with us. For now, though, it’s back to taking my life back…

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True progress…

God, it’s a 14639847_181386232315476_5366285076460421272_nbeautiful Saturday here in my little Missouri town!  The sun is shining, the temperature is in the 70s, and there’s just enough wind to counteract any excess heat that may still be making its way through our atmosphere on this magnificent October day.  But wait?  This post is supposed to be about progress, right?  Well, I was inspired to write this random post based on the fact that I even know this information at all!

You see, dear reader, my Saturdays used to be spent only doing mandatory activities and hiding away from the world.  However, my Saturdays have been tremendously different over the past month and a half.  With the pride that I have in myself, my self-esteem and energy levels have skyrocketed.   I’m proud that I’m making these changes and that I know they are going to lead to the desired changes I want in my weight, as well. The result?  I have access to information that I otherwise would not have had until I got up the energy to step outside for my first cigarette.

Over the past several weeks, however, I’ve been out EXPERIENCING our weather.  Fall festivals, shopping, going to the park, going out for nice dinners with my wife, hanging out in public with friends, walking through a haunted corn maze, and even HOUSEHOLD CHORES are things that I’ve gained back while on this journey to healthy living.  I’m regaining things that I had lost or given up with a direct connection to my weight, low energy, and poor health choices.

We are starting week seven in our journey tomorrow 14642042_10154473251715856_4467704680970546831_nand my weight loss has slowed from the leaps and bounds that I have been seeing to a slower, but healthy, pace.  Despite the fact that I know what my goals are, seeing a lower number on the scale still created doubt (more on that later in what was supposed to be my second post) and discouragement. Today, though, as I blasted through today’s activities, I was amazed at both the MENTAL and PHYSICAL progress that I have made over this past six weeks.

This journey isn’t about the number of pounds I need to lose.  It’s about being able to wear my wedding ring again, being able to live life without back and sciatic pain, getting out into the community, and EXPERIENCING my life while I’m still young enough to enjoy it.  Please don’t let the number on the scale be your primary method of measuring the value of improved healthy choices. It really is about so much more!

I’m so grateful for anyone that takes the time to read my blog.  If you enjoy it, please let me know you’ve been here (like, comment, or follow).  I would LOVE to hear your thoughts regarding progress and motivation for a journey to a healthier lifestyle.  For now, though, it’s back to taking my life back…

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