Weight Matters: How I Plan Ahead.

…little servings of thoughts coming to you…
Dear friend,

Plan to eat well.

Does planning come easily to you or do you struggle to make plans then set them into motion and stick to them? I am asking because every time I think of writing this post about planning to eat well (since last year) I think it is pretty obvious what to do. Yet planning is not always easy to do. I had to really face that fact when I wanted to lose weight. If you don’t plan how you want to do something it is not going to happen. If you shoot at nothing you will hit nothing. I muddled along for quite a while paying lip service to wanting to lose weight but it wasn’t until I had quite a health scare that I jumped into action. What changed? I became motivated with one sole purpose: become healthy again; part of that meant losing about 14kg.

Have you played the game Monopoly? Not my favorite game but there is an example that I want to mention: The get out of Jail card. You can get this card at any time in the game but you have to know when you are in jail to be able to use it. No surprises there. It is similar when we want to get out of our personal prisons, keeping us trapped, we need to know that we are in prison. What is your prison? What holds you back from being at your maximum health?

Next: What is your get out of jail card going to be?
Instead of thinking I should/should not eat this or that or do this or that  it is better to discover your deepest goals for what your body needs. If you can see what  and why it is holding you back and where you want to get to it is easier to get out of your ‘jail.’ Once you connect with your reason (possibly to be healthy, agile, supple, energetic) you are more able to plan your ‘get out of jail’ and change.

‘Shoulds’ tell you you need to look younger, not have wrinkles or grey hair, be more slender, beautiful, rippling muscles, popular or acceptable; they don’t inform you on what you need for your body to be healthy. When I decide what food I am keeping or introducing into the menu I ask two questions: “is this food going to give me health?” which I explain how to do in Eating and self-reflection and “ will my family also be able to eat it?” I plan the menu with their input so that we will all enjoy the food. I am in charge of the menu but I plan meals that other members can volunteer to cook.

When you plan you need to Clarify

  1. know precisely what you want to achieve to ‘get out of jail’.
  2. Ask Why what you are doing at the moment that is not working?
  3. Decide on how you are going to change or do proceed. (what food and habits to change)
  4. Who is going to be your support on your journey? (mentor, dietician, doctor, family)
  5. Where this will take place (eating at home or restaurant or at a dinner table etc.). Your decision does affect your result.
  6. When each action will be done. (you can make incremental changes)

I ask What, why, how, who, where and when questions whenever I plan an action or project.

Next I am sharing my own personal choices as examples for you but you will probably have your own thoughts.

What I wanted to achieve:

  1. be more agile, supple and strong
  2. Address my pre-diabetes.

Why wasn’t what I was doing working for me?

  1. I didn’t plan.
  2. used food to emotionally pacify me.
  3. unhealthy options (processed refined foods)
  4. not drinking enough water
  5. lack of exercise;
  6. lack of sleep and rest

How would I make it work? (here are 3 examples)

  1. Change my habits and food choices (which I explained in Weight matters: How I lost weight.)
  2. Plan lists of food for groceries and menus.
  3. Make short clear intentions. I chose one word as a positive reminder: MORE: more health, more agile and fit. More movement. More fiber. More water. More sleep. And I chose one word as a negative reminder: POISON: Sugar is poison. Refined food is poison and processed food is poison. (You can create your own intentions.)

There are no intentions that will actualize on their own. You need to make a plan. What will your grocery list have on it? You need to decide what will work for you and why. There are many examples of menus that you can find on the internet but the first thing is to decide what you plan to eat. I created a list and included my criteria. I plan to eat 1300cal to 1500cal per day.

AimWhatWhyhow
30g of fiberfrom fruit, nuts, seeds and vegetables.Feeds your gut flora.
Keeps you regular.
Sweeps your colon.
Keeps you satisfied for longer.
Lots of leafy vegetables, fruit and seed crackers at regular meals.
50g to 80g carbohydrates  Vegetables, dairy, nuts and fruit.It takes longer to digest complex carbohydrates than refined and processed Carbohydrates.Exclude eating potatoes, pasta, bread and confectioneries i.e.
avoid refined and processed carbohydrates.
Healthy oilsoily fish, nuts, avocados, olives and seeds.We need healthy oils for our body to function properly.Avoid animal fats as much as possible.
Proteinlegumes, dairy, eggs, fish, poultry, and red meat Proteins are building block for repair of the body. Avoid eating processed meats
Sugar  No sugar, honey, fruit juices, sweetened goods and processed foods.  
TreatHigh quality chocolate only.   
My list of criteria, they impact me and what I plan to achieve it.

Healthy snacks
2 to 3 fruit a day,
yoghurt,
nuts,
homemade bliss balls,
seed crackers,
vegetable sticks
You can add what you want to this list.
Only keep healthy snacks in the home.

Easy things to keep in the fridge
vegetable sticks,  
homemade Italian meat balls,  
homemade falafels,
boiled eggs,
yogurt,
slices of fruit,
tuna,
olives,
feta,
cottage cheese. 
Chia seed and yogurt desert drink
water with lemon, cucumber or berries
Keep things in the fridge that are easy to reach for.

Times when I felt out of control

Do you know that situation when you intend to do something about your weight because its on the rise but you just don’t seem to get started; or you were going along well and then you hit a “speed wobble” in the form of chaos, too many demands, you get sick and everything spins out of control? Or there are the excuses: it’s my birthday; it’s Christmas; thanksgiving; or anniversary of someone’s death. How do you get back to what was intended? I try to think of in bite-size pieces and ask:

  • How long am I going to allow myself to wallow?
  • How is this working out for me?
  • Is it serving me?
  • Am I achieving what I want deep down in my heart?
  • Am I proud of my behavior or I am letting myself down?

I make a simple sample menu that will last a week when I am under pressure, tired or sick. I aim to eat fish 2x a week, red meat 2 x weeks, chicken 2x week and one vegetarian meal.

 SundayMondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturday
Snack
Derek has a snack when he awakes
Breakfast
10 am
Bacon /eggOats berries Milk mixed seedsOats berries Milk mixed seedsOats Berries Milk mixed seedsOats Berries Milk mixed seedsOats berries Milk mixed seedsBacon /egg
Lunch
1pm
main meal.
Red meat saladChicken saladChicken stir-fryFish and saladFish and Roast vegetablesRed meat saladVegetarian salad
Snack
4pm
chocnutsfruitchocnutsfruitchoc
Supper
6.30pm
Derek doesn’t eat supper.
Crackers cheeseCrackers eggCrackers tunaCrackers tomatosoupItalian Meat ballsCrackers tuna
A simple sample menu.

I allow flexibility in that I am not bound to serving each meal on the allotted day; I am happy to mix and match according to my whim. To make it simpler I plan that we eat steel cut oats, mixed seeds, berries and milk 5 days a week and the other two days we eat a cooked breakfast. I cook it all up at the beginning of the week and weigh the portion out on the day and I make soups for if I am overworked, sick or tired and Italian keto meatballs which I freeze for busy occasions.

Contingency plan / staples that work for me
Seed crackers because they are low in carbohydrates and high in fiber.
Avocados
Tuna
Eggs
Healthy snacks
Home-made protein bliss balls
almonds,
other nuts nut butters
coconut milk
grains that are not from the grass family
See additional List of foods for the fridge
Staples for times of chaos, exhaustion and illness.

List of things I don’t keep
bread
shop baked goods
pasta
pizza juice cool drink
Things I don’t keep in the home.

I hope sharing this was helpful to somebody. Here are some links I found helpful to my healthy eating plan: Manna health, healthy staples of Dani spies (Clean and Delicious) and the nutrition doctor Michael Greger . I also read about Pritikin diet, blue zone and the Mediterranean diets.

Do you notice that you become dissatisfied with the food in the change of the seasons? Coming up soon.

Much love, Morag.

13 thoughts on “Weight Matters: How I Plan Ahead.

  1. Thank You Morag –

    This is really helpful!

    I am at the moment in the wallowing stage… :-!

    Went off track with my diet and havnt been planning well so have stayed off track.

    Thank you so much for the encouragement.

    Much love,
    Su

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes I can believe that, I think and I can only speak of some of the modern western world, we eat far too much. Easy access to foods, very refined and processed makes it that much easier to eat more than what we need. When I first cut down it felt like a punishment but I like to think of it as a meditation or a reminder that there are people who have far less food than I do, people who are starving. Thank you for your relevant input, I appreciate it. Do you think that people eat more than they need where you come from?

      Liked by 2 people

      • I think foodies are everywhere, in India too, where I come from. There are people who live to eat, and not eat to live. Taste matters a lot for them. In one of my articles, I had mentioned that if taste is detached from food, the problem of overeating will be resolved. Thanks again for responding and sharing you thoughts🙏

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh that is interesting, it’s true taste matters a lot, and the variety of flavors too, it dazzles the tongue and people want more and more. You are right overeating would be resolved if taste was detached. Always a pleasure, thank you too, have a great weekend. 🎶🙏🎶

    Like

  3. Hi Morag,
    Thank you so much for this thoughtful and impactful article.
    I have been managing the active part of being healthy for two years, and it’s made a huge difference in my life. However, I’m struggling with weight loss and the dieting side.
    I’ve dieted twice in my life: once when I was late 20s. I was with a guy with awful eating habits (processed and take out food), and I fell into bad habits.
    The second diet was after I had twins because the weight just didn’t all come off.

    My hesitation to diet again is because the first two experiences were so bad. Yes, the diets worked and I stayed at my weight for a long time, but it was SO hard! I hate that feeling of starving.

    So your comment about being in jail and what’s it going to take to get you out was really helpful.
    I think I am ready to do this, and tracking and planning is the only way to make it happen. I like your checklist of foods to eat. It’s similar to my Exercise Plan. So thank you! I think I may finally have a way forward!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow! Thank you for sharing your experience and thoughts. I am happy if my post might have helped you. 🎶💕 I know what you mean about bad experiences, they also held me back…it’s horrible because negative experiences kind of reinforces what one begins to believe about oneself. And I absolutely hated the feeling of starving, even feared it. I plan to write on that topic soon. I wish you well on your journey forwards. Every step counts. Hugs. 💐

      Like

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