Monday, January 11, 2016


For the last two months, I have been making a concerted effort to eat better. I am about 15 pounds from my pre-Hannah weight, and I would really like to get back there ... eventually. But weight is not my main focus. I am not in a hurry to do it. I simply want to strive to be healthier and to get my body where I think it needs to be.

We have made a very purposeful decision in our house with two little girls to not focus on outward appearances. We do not talk about dieting or weight or looks in front of the girls. And I am not making this a big deal. We teach the kids that we are trying to make better food choices to make our body feel better.

I decided that a diet was not for me. And completely limiting foods I loved wasn't what I was trying to do. So I came up with a plan. Here is what I decided to do to be healthier:

  • Breakfast: Eliminate boxed cereal from my breakfasts. I instead have two eggs every morning for breakfast with a glass of orange juice. I sometimes add a piece of toast or a waffle if I want to have a little bit of carbs. I was a cereal junkie and did not think I could live without it. But I've done it.
  • Lunch: I realized that lunch was not an important meal to me. But because I didn't want to be hungry, I would eat something and it was usually cruddy food -- like a PB&J or Mac&Cheese. So I now drink a smoothie every single day at lunch. My smoothies include: yogurt, a little bit of juice, greens, frozen berries, bananas, and some honey. But I recently stumbled upon a blog post that had some additional things I could add to the smoothies: Nutritious Additions to Spice up Your Daily Smoothies. I hope to try some of these soon. The idea behind the smoothie was to get some fruits and veggies in me and eliminate needless carbs. I really don't worry about the calories in the drink as that is not my major focus.
  • Dinner: My goal at dinner was simply to eat healthy and watch my portions. I have really felt my dinner portions getting too large. really helps with portion-control for me.
  • Snacks: I decided that I did not want to completely cut out sweets. I love chocolate. But I wanted to try to limit it. One of the things I have tried to do is buy a sweet when I am out and make it a good one. I don't buy cheap chocolate if I can help it. I will instead get something very high-end that is smaller but tastes much better. I also don't do this every day. Maybe once a week. We try to keep all snacks out of our house. 
  • High fructose corn syrup: We have removed all products that have this in it from our house. If it has it, we don't buy it. We eat regular maple syrup and get organic and 100% natural peanut butter and jelly. We even found chocolate syrup and fig newtons free from it. We like Breyers natural ice cream or we make our own. And again, these are once-in-a-while things not all the time things.
  • Caffeine: Up until Hannah was born, I drank no caffeine. I might have a soda once a month at a cook-out. But when she was born, I started dealing with migraines again and the Caffeine helps with that. Before I knew it I was drinking it more and more and having a Mountain Dew or Coke a few times a week. This must be eliminated. This is still my biggest struggle area, but I am definitely doing better and better here. 

Since I have started this, I have lost about 7 pounds which is great. But mostly, I just feel that I am doing a better job taking care of the body God gave me. I am still far from perfect but I am slowly getting there.


Anonymous said...

That's awesome, Wendi. I too, wanted to lose weight, but I knew diets weren't for me. I've tried them and felt so limited. I knew I needed to make better, healthier choices. Pop was the first thing I eliminated. Like you, I didn't drink a lot, but just by eliminating it I not only felt better, but dropped a few pounds. I'm not a cereal eater. The older I get the more disgusting it tastes. I would usually eat a McD's breakfast sandwich or one from a convenience store. I stopped doing that (for the most part) and started making a low fat bran muffin. I would have one with butter and it was enough to get me through until lunch. I have a coworker that is a firm believer in eating good fats - butter, coconut oil, olive oil...etc, so I have never felt guilty for using a TBSP of butter on one little muffin. :D For lunch I started eating weight watchers meals or similar kinds. I'm not a fan of the same thing for lunch every day, so these get old fast. I'm a picky eater. But I have found that if I buy a few once a month and rotate them with other foods (like leftovers from home) then I can eat them without gagging (yes, sometimes they would make me gag). I did start bringing sugar snap peas, radishes, and celery with almost every day. I eat as much of these as I want any time of day. They make a great snack for me. I just sprinkle some salt on them and I'm good to go. For suppers I make whatever the family wants - pizza, chicken and biscuits, soups - including beer cheese, steak, spaghetti and meatballs, meatloaf and mashed potatoes...etc, but would just eat a smaller portion. I made a decision not to set a time line for weight loss. That wasn't important to me. I just wanted to lose some weight and feel better. In the past year I have lost 22 pounds. I'm down 2 dress sizes. I'm wearing clothes I never thought I could wear (skinny jeans and boots). I will still indulge. Christmas and New Year's weekend was hard for me. I did pretty good through Christmas, but New Year's weekend I ended gaining back 5 lbs. But I didn't let it get to me. I started eating healthy again and those 5 lbs came off very fast. Oh, I also only drink iced tea, milk and water. On occasion I'll have a diet coke. I'm very happy at what I've been able to accomplish. Plus, I'm still dropping weight (I could stand to lose another 10). I haven't been this thin in 20 years and I'm loving it. Good luck with your journey. And kudos to you for not discussing this in front of your daughters and I'm sure you don't say anything in front of your boys either. Mine have different body types and the one will sometimes say he's fat. It hurts me to hear him say that. He is not over weight at all, just has a normal 11 year old's body fat. The other is under weight and he's going to eat me out of house and home. His breakfasts alone consist of a bowl of cereal, a waffle, 1 egg, milk, juice, 2 pieces of toast with pb or J and sometimes another bowl of cereal. Anyway, boys have body image issues too. Again, good luck with everything.


Anonymous said...

I'm a bit late to this conversation, but a couple of things that might help you:

Green smoothies! My husband has a weight requirement for work, and I am always needing to lose some weight, so we started doing smoothies, also. We aren't scheduled about it, but we have them when we need to eat a lighter meal. We actually started with the Beginner's Luck recipe, and that's what I tweak based on our tastes and what I have available.

For example, we prefer a less banana-y taste, so we use one banana instead of two, and add another cup of fruit instead. I also buy the fruit and spinach in bulk, and cut it up into the portions I need and freeze them. I don't usually freeze the spinach until it is starting to go bad (we usually use it before then), but that makes the actual making of the smoothie really quick and easy. If you partially thaw the fruits before blending, you may need to alter the amount of water you use, and you won't need any ice.

I also get migraines, and caffeine helps me as well. I tried drinking Red Bull several years ago, which helped, but was really inconvenient to carry around. Then I went to those smaller energy drinks. (As an aside, the Sam's Club brand energy drinks with the B vitamins help, too. I use them when OTC meds don't work.) I would have to carry any of those drinks around with me to be able to use them when I need them... so I started buying caffeine tablets. That pairs with your OTC pain reliever of choice might be a better option than drinking cokes for the caffeine. I take those tablets with me everywhere, it isn't inconvenient, and I only need water with which to take them. I hope something like that works for you, too!