Are We There Yet?
I have been on my weight loss journey for the past 22 months. During that time people would often ask me, “What do you eat?” and I would simply answer “Real food…no grains, sugar or processed food.” I can honestly say that I was a minimalist when it came to eating. I would experiment here and there with recipes but most of the time it was not worth the hassle to bother. I either didn’t have all the ingredients to make a recipe or had too much prep work to do to even start the process of cooking. I could usually manage breakfast with no problem…bacon and eggs or some variation was pretty easy to whip up…I would just skip the toast. Lunch was even easier…a can of spinach and a can of tuna or salmon. Snacks were cheese, beef jerky, or a small banana. You get the idea…anything that I could just grab and go fit the bill. Dinner was much the same. Meat, veggies and a salad. And I lost weight eating this way…140 pounds so far. So why change things if it’s working right? Well it worked for about 18 months and then it just…didn’t.
Enter the weight-loss plateau and my daily stops to 7-Eleven to get my coffee…err…cough (Almond Joy Coffee Creamer) cough…fix. Sure, I maintained my weight within five pounds during this time but that wasn’t helping me reach my goal weight. Those little coffee creamers are thirty calories each and I would have not one but five of them in one large coffee! I may or may not have also bought a few Jacks Links to go with my coffee too. “Grab and Go” for me meant “don’t have to put any thought into what I’m putting in my mouth” which also meant “I just ingested #%* calories without even realizing it!”
In February I took the “grab and go” method a little further and started going out for meals. I recently retired from my job and I think I “celebrated” the entire month of February! Lol! I still made good food choices but ate far more than I needed to and I started gaining a little…and clothes started fitting a little tighter. I needed to change things up a bit and get back on track.
As much as I hated the cold, snowy winter I do have to be thankful that it was the catalyst that made me start organizing my kitchen and pantry. I also started checking out cookbooks from the library and actually started cooking meals. And before I even realized it I discovered that I was overcoming obstacles (i.e., excuses) to cooking good, healthy meals. And then I realized that this is not about the end goal after all but rather the journey itself!
So, slow down, enjoy the ride and stop asking “Are we there yet?” Why not stop along the way and do a little sight-seeing instead? We will get to our destinations eventually!
Tomorrow I will share some of the ways that meal planning helped in breaking my plateau. In the meantime, what are some of the obstacles you have to cooking healthy meals? Please share in the comments below!