Saturday, May 14, 2011

Planning Ahead

Over the years, I've found that one of my biggest obstacles to weight loss is my inability to plan ahead.  I wait until I'm hungry before I start thinking about what I'm going to eat.  Then, because I'm hungry, I eat whatever is easiest - usually pasta, take-out, or fast food.  This is probably even a bigger problem for me than stress eating.

Matt knows that about me.  That's why he was understandably worried when he was getting ready to be out of town for a week.  And that's why he left me this:

There is a sweet potato lasagna (recipe coming), falafel we found at Costco, homemade hummus, leftovers from last week, and a huge ziplock container of already cut-up vegetables.  So for lunch or dinner, I just have grab something and put it in the microwave.  Even I can handle that.

One of the most important things to do when you're trying to lose weight is to look at the behaviors that got you into this position.  For me, it was stress eating to a certain degree, but it was more a failure to plan ahead.  It would be easy to laugh it off and call it laziness, but I was doing other things while I wasn't grocery shopping or cooking, so it was more of a failure to prioritize my health and diet.

There are a lot of diets out there that just hand you the food you need to eat, to make it is as easy as possible.  And that works for a lot of people, but it never worked for me.  I did lose weight when I tried Slim Fast, I also lost weight when I was in college and all I ate were frozen dinners like Smart Ones and Lean Cuisine.  But as soon as I went off those diets, the weight came back on.  I realize now it was because I never really learned to prioritize my meals or my health.

Frozen dinners are handy to have in a pinch.  I keep Boca Burgers and frozen veggies in my freezer so we can make them if we don't feel like cooking.  But it's not a long term solution.  For one thing, frozen food is really boring.  And there aren't a ton of vegetarian options out there, fewer options if you want vegan or low-points.  

The long-term solution is learning to plan ahead.  It's realizing when I start working out at 6:00, that I'm going to be hungry when I'm done at 7:00, so I should have something ready to go.  It's understanding what is in the fridge and what is in the pantry, and knowing how to combine that into a meal, and thinking ahead to go to the store if I'm missing something.

And most of all, it's knowing your wife well enough to know that while she's figured a lot of this out in her head, she's still struggling to put it into practice, so it's providing her with the tools she needs to not slip back into her old habits.

What can I say?  I married an incredible, awesome man that takes care of me!

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