Planning for Success
in Bite-sized, Blogs, Challenges, Fat Genes to Skinny Jeans
Every weekend, my husband and I sit down and decide what we want to eat that week. We go through our recipe books, or bounce ideas off each other for new things to try. Then we make a list and go food shopping.
This is not to save money because inevitably, we spend eleventy billion dollars a week on food, but it’s to prepare ourselves for the week ahead. To make sure we’re satisfied in our cravings and to ensure we have healthy snacks and options to grab as we go.
Then when we get home, I re-package almost everything. I take the bag of Baked Lays, the pretzels, and the trail mix, and weigh, measure, and bag them into serving size portions. Since we’re on WW, I even write the POINTS value on the outside of the baggie with Sharpie.
We slice the fruit and veggies and put them into tiny Tupperware containers. We pre-pour our serving size of cereal into paper bowls, seal them with plastic wrap and stack them on a shelf. I even have little containers that hold 1 cup of milk with a pour spout. Sometimes, I make steel cut oats or farina for the week on a Sunday, and portion out the week’s breakfasts.
The food scale remains on the counter, so when we’re making our lunches for work or plating our meal for that evening, we know how many ounces we’re eating. So that we can be aware of what a true portion is.
I try and make controlled, healthy eating Idiot-Proof.
Rather, Busy-Working-Momma and Daddy-Proof.
Does it take a significant amount of time each weekend to do all this chopping, cutting, weighing, measuring, labeling, bagging? Sure. Sometimes it takes two-three hours. If I’m making batches of food for the week, like oatmeal or chili or soup, it can take an entire afternoon. I do it while watching football or while my kids play underfoot. Or I let my three-year old help me measure. “No, MOMMA, That says ONE, not FWREE!”
I’m sure some of you are sitting there – and someone actually said it to my face while rolling her unibrow-covered-eyes at work – that they would never! have! such! time! for! this! You have a life! You’re too busy! And though I don’t get offended easily, I felt snappy and insulted. As if I sit at home all week long with my head up my ass thinking, “Gee, I’m just soooo bored. I wonder if those children should eat today or if those papers will edit themselves?”
Dudes, when I tell you I’m busy, I’m effing busy. I have a 3- and 1-yr old. I have a full-time deadline-oriented job for a worldwide publisher as a technical editor. I work in my office twice a week (for which the commute is 53 miles EACH WAY) upwards of 14 hours a day. On the other days, I work from home, taking care of the kids, the house, the dog, my job, my writing commitments, exercise, social events. I. Am. Busy. Happy. Oh, insanely happy, but really fricken busy.
But I do this.
I find the time because it’s important to me. Eating well-controlled portions, being able to grab a pre-chopped bag of fruit on my way out the door, having a warm breakfast already made when I’m rushing to the office – is important to me.
If you think you don’t have the time to do this, I want you to think about this: How many hours a week do you spend watching TV, playing on the internet? I’m gonna guess a lot more than it would take to portion out and plan. I’m not saying everyone needs this kind of organized control in their lives to succeed at eating healthy. Plenty of people do just fine with their portion control. I do not.
So maybe it’s not about the time you have, because if we really face it, no matter what circumstances – a favorite TV show, manicures, girls nights out, date nights - we have time for what we want to have time for.
And it’s about damn time I made time for myself.
I deserve it.
YOU deserve it.
(P.S. down 8 pounds in two weeks at WW. Husband down 13.)
EDITED TO ADD: A few people asked for some pictures, so I took some for you. Here’s a link to my Flickr set.