Monday, September 27, 2010

Healthy Meal Plan on A Budget

There are so many nights that I struggle with "what to eat for dinner". Sometimes it is so bad I don't really eat dinner, I just snack on whatever is in the fridge. Or worse I cave and go spend $30-50 on dinner out somewhere. I came up with the following meal plan. It adheres to a low glycemic low fat low cholesterol type of eating plan. Total cost for 2 people 7 meals is about $78 per week. That doesn't include lunches. For that I make 1 large pot of soup to last the week. We also buy quality lunch meat and whole grain high fiber bread to make sandwhiches. Breakfast is eggs with a whole grain english muffin or a protien smoothie. Here is the menu:

Weekly Menu


Chicken and Dumplings

3 large or 4 medium size skinless chicken breasts (boneless or bone-in) 3 14 oz cans of low sodium chicken broth 3 chicken bouillon cubes 2 tablespoons (divided) + 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves (not ground thyme) 1/4 teaspoon ground sage ½ teaspoon salt (optional) ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 2 cups low fat biscuit mix/skim milk



1 lb lean turkey , bell pepper, onion, 1 can tomato sauce, 1 package of whole grain noodles


Salmon with sweet potato and green beans

2 pieces of frozen salmon 2 sweet potatoes 1 package of frozen green beans


Baked Chicken from Jim’s


Chicken and broccoli stir fry

Chicken , rice, fresh broccoli, stir fry sauce, chopped onions and carrots


Grilled chicken with rice and vegetable

4 chicken breasts, jasmine rice, 1 package frozen peas/green beans/ corn


Turkey tacos

1 package of ground turkey, taco seasoning, corn tortillas, green pepper, onion

Saturday, September 25, 2010


Well looks like I gained a lb this week. WTF!?!?! I am not going to freak out. I am not going to give up. I still have 9 months to go. This isn't a quick fix, this isn't a crash diet. I understand that I will not always see results, but what matters is that I keep trying. It is strange I actually worked out 5 times this week. Nothing crazy, just 20 minutes of cardio. I ate healthy. I could have taken my meds more at night. I will focus on that next week. I know that what is really important is that I lead a healthy lifestyle, and that this is about more than just losing weight. Although losing weight, even if it is just a pound a week, is very motivating. I also have to remember that women who have PCOS find it very daunting to lose weight. Our bodies just don't want to cooperate. What is important is that I focus on the successes I have had, that I keep working hard at eating right - taking my medications- and exercising, and that I don't let the scale define who I am or the progress I have made.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


I decided to do something that I haven't done in a very long time. I decided to go buy a new outfit. There was a time that I dreaded going shopping. It seemed every time I went to the store I was going up a size. Well yesterday I went to the store and I grabbed a bunch of clothes and went to the dressing room and tried them on. I went into the stall with some size 18 jeans and a couple XL shirts, I guess it was just habitual. There was a time not so long ago that size 18 jeans were tight, I just never had the courage to make the leap to a size 20. Well, to my delight, I had to go and downsize all the clothes to a size 16 jeans and size L shirts. What a great feeling to go down in a size or two! I love the jeans I got they fit so good. They are even a little loose in areas. 10 or so more lbs and I think I'll be down to a size 14. I just feel better. I feel better about myself. One thing I have truly realized is that how you feel about yourself is completely up to you and is not conditional upon you being a certain size. There was a time that I felt that anything over 150 lbs was horrible. I never appreciated what I had when I had it. My favorite saying is " I wish I was as thin as I was when I thought I was fat." Maybe I thought I would never weigh what I weigh now, like it could never happen to me.  Let me be the first one to say that you should never say never. I never thought or knew I had the codition I have. I had to struggle for 6 years to find a doctor that was able to diagnose and treat me properly. I struggled with uncontrollable weight gain. And, maybe you don't have a medical condition, maybe its something as simple as getting injured or having a baby, but weight gain can happen to anyone. What I have realized is that weight is not what defines who you are. Your happiness is up to you. When I reached 217 lbs I felt horrible, but now that I am back down to 217 lbs I feel so happy and so thankful. I will never take for granted what I have when I have it again. I feel pretty and happy not because of how I look but because of how good I feel about myself for all the hard work and progress I have made.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Day 76

Well it is day two of my 30/20 challange. Yesterday I did 20 minutes on the treadmill 2.5 mph at 3% incline. Today I did 10 minutes of the same and 10 minutes of heavy bag workout. I attempted to do some crunches and my stomach muscles laughed at me. Sean of course likes to make everything a competition so he is doing 30 minutes a day. I am glad that me working out has motivated him to work out. He has hit a plateau as well. He went from 245 to 223 lbs and is stuck at 223 for the past month or so. Hopefully working out will get both him and I out of the rutt we are in. I know that 20 minutes a day is not a lot of exercise, but it is 20 minutes more than I was doing before. Also if I burn 200 calories in those 20 minutes, after 30 days that is 6,000 calories burned which is 1.71 extra pounds lost. More than anything, my goal is just to make exercise a habit. There are so many positives to working out. It helps with cardiovascualr health. It helps alleviate stress. It burns calories and helps you lose weight. And, it even helps maintain blood sugar for people who have diabetic conditions like I do. As I lose weight I know I will be able to step up the amount and intensity of the exercise I do. I can start lifting weights again which should help tone. And of course the more lean muscle you have the more calories you burn through out the day. So 2 days down 28 to go on this challenge - 76 down 289 to go on this journey.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Motivational Quotes

"Having a strong desire or being successful does not mean that you are going to feel great all the time. No matter how enlightened I become, I will not be positive all the time. You have to understand the swing of the pendulum. It must swing back and forth. The only other alternative is to sit still in neutral, which is precisely what most people do."

~Thomas D. Willhite~

"Conquering any difficulty always gives one a secret joy, for it means pushing back a boundary-line and adding to one's liberty."

~Henri Frederic Amiel~

Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."

~Mary Anne Radmacher~

"You're on the road to success when you realize that failure is only a detour."


"Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in getting up every time we do."



Well I think I have hit my first plateau. So far I have lost 14 lbs, but in the last 3 weeks I have only lost 1 lb. I know at this point it is important to take a moment to reflect on the past 3 weeks to find out why and figure out what I can do to start making progress again.

First thing I am going to do is identify what I think I am doing wrong.

  • I am not always taking my metformin at night. My metformin is the diabetes drug I take that regulates my blood sugar among other things.
  • I have started to eat foods that I shouldn't be eating. i.e. McDonalds and chinese food yesterday ( it was free at work I had a hard time resisting) or the cheese and jerkey from Buc-ees last weekend
  • I have been drinking after work again to try and relieve stress
  • I have not been exercising ( I had planned to start this past week but I was sick all week)
Now to focus on what I can do to overcome these things.

  • Take my medication on time every day just like the dr. perscribes.
  • Only allow for one day a week where I can have a cheat meal. Every other day I need to stay focused on the low glycemic organic eating plan I have been on.
  • Only allow myself 2-3 drinks in social settings maybe once or twice a week and not drink to relieve stress after work or drink by myself.
  • Start an exercise routine. I challenge myself to start small, maybe just a 20 minute walk each morning or 20 minutes in the pool swimming laps. It takes 30 days to make a habit, and I need to make exercise a habit.
Now, on a positive note, I am very pleased that even though I was sick all last week, and I did not adhere to the eating plan like I should have, I did manage to NOT gain any weight. I have found that when I do eat foods that are un-healthy, I don't over do it. I find myself satisfied with smaller portions and that is a great thing. I know in the future, sometime next year hopefully, when I have succeeded in loosing this weight, I will need to focus on maintaining my weight loss. Learning proper portion controll and self discipline is essential in not just winning the battle but winning the war.

So I am going to do a mini challange to myself. 30 days 20 minutes. I challange myself to do 20 minutes of exercise each day for the next 30 days. If I succeed then as a reward I will buy myself with something nice, maybe a new necklace or something. Hmmmm I vote I lose 40 lbs and I get to buy myself a new guitar. Nice.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


Week 10. 297 days to go. Total weight loss : 14 lbs. Last week I didn't lose any weight. This week I lost a pound.  Yeah!  I am still 4 lbs ahead of schedule. So I am averaging 1.4 lbs lost per week. I am very pleased, especially since I didn't eat perfectly this past week. For the most part I stuck to my very healthy organic eating plan, but Friday we went to Chesters and Sean and I split a hamburger and some chili chease fries. I must admit it was delicsious. What we did was instead of both ordering our own meal, we split a meal. Sean was like "what's the point of splitting a meal if we are eating bad anyway?" I figured that half of a hamburger is half as bad as a whole hamburger. And, suprisingly it was enough of a meal to fill us up. A whole hambuger probably has 750 calories plus another 500 for fries. No one should eat 1250 calories in one sitting. American portion sizes are just too big. There is an over abundance of food availabilty on our country. People don't know how to limit themselves to proper potions, and who can blame them when our food tastes so good and is so accessible. I've heard such horrible statistics about what the future looks like for Americans. Something like over half of our children will be overweight by the time they reach puberty and be at risk for juvenile diabetes. I don't know exact numbers, but they aren't good. I hope that I can get healthy and stay healthy and be a good example to my kids someday of living a healthy lifestyle.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Monday Monday

Well I must admit I didn't eat very healthy this weekend. Friday night I had enchiladas. Saturday we went to a wedding and I had a big plate of bbq. Then Sunday I had pizza. So in my defense I really didn't eat that much, but what I did eat was bad. It was so good though. So today is monday and it is back on the organic healthy eating plan. Because this is a lifestyle and not a diet, I've decided it is ok so splurge now and then as long as you don't binge and as long as 90% of the time you eat healthy. I also think that having "cheat days" is important to keep you from going on a binger. Once I adhered to 1500 calories a day for almost 4 months, didn't cheat once and lost 30 lbs. Then one day I had a milkshake. It was over. I was so mad at myself for having that one milk shake that I proceeded to go on a massive binge and gain back all the weight. I'm talking eating until I would feel like throwing up. I never ever want to do that again. So I will have calculated cheat days where I eat what I want, but without overeating. I hope this will keep be on the right track. I've got over 300 days to go and counting, but I am still going and that is what matters.

Saturday, September 4, 2010


Week 9. I didn't lose any more weight this week. That is ok. I am not going to let it get me down. Last week I lost 3 lbs so I am still doing good in my book. Sean gained weight too so we are thinking maybe the humidity all week or something, cause we both ate really healthy all week. I think it is very important during a journey of change that it is ok to not have good weeks. Life is like that. It has built in checks and balances. Some people call it kharma, but it is just life's way of making sure we stay grounded. I had a frustrating week at work, but the week before was awesome. I'll take a bad week of work in exchange for overall goodness. I think I have made the mistake in the past of letting one thing define me, instead of always looking at the big picture. I have walked out on friends because I can't forgive one wrong thing they did. I have quit jobs over one single co-worker I don't like. And, I have given up a diet over one week I didn't lose weight or one day I ate something I shouldn't have. I am getting too old for that. I feel that the only way I am ever going to make this change and make it a forever change, is to always keep my mind open and not let little dissapointments define me. Instead I will choose to define my own situation.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Measure of A Man

I've been thinking more about my last post. What does it mean to be truly successful? I think I have decided that the answer to that question is an objective one. Success mean different things to different people. All that really matters is that you judge your success by your standards and not anyone else's. They say money doesn't buy happiness or love, and I think that is true. Yes you need a certain amount of money to live a comfortable life, but you never want to make too much money that you stop appreciating life. Life can be measured in many different ways. An artist can measure his success in paintings. A musician in songs. A teacher in students. A doctor in lives saved. A human being can measure their life in love. People they have loved and people who have loved them. Anyone can be successfull. Anyone can live a happy fullfilled life no matter who or what they are.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


What is the true measure of a man?

How do you know if you are successfull?

Is this even measurable?

"Would you like me to give you a formula for success? It's quite simple, really. Double your rate of failure. You are thinking of failure as the enemy of success. But it isn't at all. You can be discouraged by failure or you can learn from it, So go ahead and make mistakes. Make all you can. Because remember that?s where you will find success."

- Thomas J. Watson
"The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather in a lack of will." Vincent T. Lombardi
I dread success. To have succeeded is to have finished one's business on earth, like the male spider, who is killed by the female the moment he has succeeded in his courtship. I like a state of continual becoming, with a goal in front and not behind.

George Bernard Shaw