Elizabeth and I have begun a much healthier lifestyle recently – replacing carbs with cardio. To give you some encouragement – I didn’t think it would last long. Now we are 7 weeks in to our new journey, and I can’t imagine going back. We started using Weight Watchers together primarily so that Elizabeth could get back to pre-Evan weight. We decided to do it together – afterall, how is one member of a family supposed to eat correctly if no one else is doing it / giving support. So, I got in to this for her – to give support and to be a good husband. What I didn’t think would happen has changed my thinking – and my life. In 6 weeks I have lost over 20 lbs. I have trimmed down to weigh less than what I did when we met in high school! More than that, I have more energy now than ever before, and I am not going hungry! I actually LOVE the new foods we are trying together.
First, let me clear up a few misconceptions by telling you some truths I have discovered:
- Eating healthy doesn’t always mean eating much less. Sure, portion control is very important, however, when you are eating the *right* foods, you can eat more and stay fuller longer.
- Healthy meals taste great!
- Preparing healthy foods can save you money. You will cook more, and if you portion out your meals, you will be left with leftovers that are perfect for bringing in to the office for lunch, or for a quick dinner after an exhausting day. If you are like me, getting off work late meant no time to cook dinner. This resulted in very unhealthy food choices. However, by portioning out meals and saving leftovers, you always have something in the fridge that can satisfy that need for food ASAP, while staying healthy!
So, what have we had for dinner lately?
These BBQ Turkey Joes were amazing. They substituted turkey for ground beef, used lots of fresh onion and pepper, and included a nice BBQ base to give this dish a shockingly good flavor. Add your wheat bun, and you are only looking at 8 Weight Watchers points+!
Steak? Yes – you can have steak too! This is a flank steak with triple grilled, caramelized onions. We added a dash of ketchup on the side and could not believe how much flavor was packed into each bite! I am not traditionally the “onion-eating” guy – but wow. These onions are basted in a balsamic vinegar and brown sugar mix that gives them such an amazing taste that even the most timid onion fan will be lifting his/her fork for more. One portion – 7 points.
We made this one for me. I LOVE chicken parmigiana and this Chicken Parmigiana Sandwich was mouthwatering. Seriously. The chicken is rubbed with low fat Italian dressing, covered in Italian breadcrumbs, and topped with tomato sauce, and a sprinkling of lowfat mozzarella cheese. We used a wheat artisan loaf bread for the “bun.” So good, I am having it for lunch in about an hour. This dish took 10 minutes to prepare (another 25-30 to bake) and is only 7 Weight Watchers points. Add a garden salad and you won’t be disappointed!
The point in all of this is to say, eating healthy should not be about starving yourself, or trying a new diet craze, or having delivered meals – sometimes these things can be good, but what happens when you have to make a decision on your own? Eating healthy is simply about being aware. Once you are aware of what you should/can eat, you can begin creating meals that are not only extremely healthy for you, but they taste better than those other foods, and they won’t break your wallet!!
I want to end this post by explaining that Elizabeth and I make these meals together. Evan will sit in his little car and watch us and laugh and giggle. A few days ago I caught this on camera. I leave you now with my beautiful son and his hilarious antics. Double click the video for full-screen goodness.
Crinkle. Shoestring. Waffle. Wedge.
You name a form of fried potato, and I bet I love it.
For me, french fries are the epitome of “comfort food.” The perfect mix of salt and potato – dipped in all it’s boiling oil goodness – it just screams “Eat Me!!” However, french fries have been entirely absent from my diet this week, and – don’t tell them – I haven’t even missed them! In fact, it wasn’t until I was driving through town today trying to think of a quick meal that I realized how absent this previous staple has been from my life. I have forsaken the french fry.
As I mentioned in a previous post, Alex and I have started doing Weight Watchers. We just started Week 6 of tracking our points and sticking to a plan. Weight Watchers online has some incredible recipes and we have found some definite favorites. We have gotten into a basic routine of planning our meals for the week on Sunday and trying to get all our grocery shopping for the week done on that day. It was a bit of an adjustment at first, but it has made life, and dinnertime, so much easier!
It’s because of meals like this that I have been able to turn my back on the faithful french fry. Now don’t get me wrong, I have no doubts that I will enjoy those little slices of goodness again someday, but I have a few more goals to reach first!
(If you are interested in any of the recipes that we mention, just leave a comment with your email address and I will send you the recipe!)
2011 has brought a lot of change to our household. Obviously, the biggest difference is the addition of that sweet little boy we talk so much about.
With his arrival has come many laughs, smiles, adventures, and extra pounds. That whole getting pregnant thing can really mess with your body. Obviously, I knew my body would change after carrying a life for 9 months and giving birth. I even knew that it would change a lot. But knowing and actually staring in the mirror looking at a body you don’t recognize is a little different. For the last 5 months I have really talked a lot about wanting to lose the extra weight I was carrying. But, as hard to believe as it may be, I didn’t burn many calories just talking about losing weight.
When this reality finally sunk in, it was time to make a plan. I love plans. They make me feel so much better about my life as a whole. I truly love the occasional bout of spontaneity as well, but there is just something settling and comforting about a plan. After a conversation with a coworker, the though occurred – I’m getting a graduate degree in program planning – why have I not approached my desire for weight loss from that angle?! So the next day I outlined my plan. I set goals and decided how I would evaluate and assess my progress. I outlined a basic fitness plan. I was ready to rock this. As any good planner knows, there is a difference between planning and implementing – I worried wether or not I would be able to put my plan into action.
I discussed this with Alex and discovered that he felt much the same way that I did. He wanted to lose a few pounds and be healthier overall. So we set out on our journey. We joined Weight Watchers (Confession: I had signed us up months ago, but we hadn’t done anything with it – :/) and the local YMCA and encourage each other and hold one another accountable every step of the way. Around this same time some awesome friends with similar goals challenged us to our own personal “Biggest Loser” competition. What a great idea!! We set up a spreadsheet to track everyone’s weight and have been doing weekly weigh ins. It is such a huge help to know that every Tuesday morning I will be weighing in and sharing my progress with the group. It definitely helps keep me on task!
So far we have had some great success! We have been tracking our points daily and making our way to the gym. Yes, we have lost weight, and that is awesome. But I am so much more excited about the difference in the way we feel about things. We are planning our meals and enjoying cooking them together. We are talking about these issues and learning as we share experiences and research. It’s been great!
My plan is to share some of our experiences with diet and exercise as we move forward on this journey. Weight is obviously a sensitive subject and it’s not always fun to talk about! Some weeks will be better than others, but as long as we are moving forward on our journey I’m going to do my best to stay positive about our progress! Feel free to share your diet/weight loss successes and struggles in your comments. The journey is always a little easier when you realize you aren’t taking it alone!
Speaking of weight loss, have any of you tried the Sensa weight loss system? I am curious to hear your thoughts on it!