GAME Plan: Cutting the Excuses

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Hey, Dragons! I have no problem sharing my successes with you, but it’s just as important to share my failures. This week I was hoping to talk about how my meal planning was going, but life got busy and I used it as justification for poor decisions. The fact of the matter is my eating continues to be out of control. So, I’m posting my plan for the next 2 weeks to add a bit more accountability to my eating. I also have my husband and his parents on alert to help me with accountability at home.

How bad has it been? These past few weeks have been pretty bad. I stress eat because eating gives me a sense of control. I know this about myself. This isn’t a new revelation, so there’s no excuse for not monitoring what I’m eating. The solution has to be to remove the opportunities and excuses to cheat. That means planning my meals and sticking to them so I don’t have to make decisions about what I eat throughout the day.

I should be cutting way back, and when you see the plan, some of you may raise an eyebrow at some of the calories in these meals, but the first step is to create a plan and stick to it. I’ll be focusing on healthy ingredients that will allow me to feel full and healthy without worrying about the actual calorie count. Once I can get into a routine of shopping for fresh ingredients and prepping my meals for the week, I can then start cutting back on the calories in each meal to drop my caloric intake.

The plan for the week…

I’m not someone who minds eating the same things over and over again. In fact, that’s part of my problem! If I have something I shouldn’t have for breakfast on Monday, it’s easy for me to repeat that meal everyday for the rest of the week. I’ve been buying reduced-fat turkey bacon breakfast sandwiches from Starbucks every morning. Not the worst thing in the world, but also not the best and certainly not the cheapest. So the first thing I’m going to do is prep oatmeal smoothies for breakfast. I can make them on Sunday and they will last for the rest of the week. An example of what I’m going for is here:

I’m not going to add the extra sweetener or vanilla and I’ll avoid the juice (replacing it with regular milk, or additional almond milk). The idea is to have something I can drink on the way in that will get my metabolism going before I’m done with my long drive in.

For lunch, I’ve been eating pizza and hotdogs more often because I haven’t had time to walk to my food and they are easily accessible on campus. When I have been walking to my lunch, I haven’t been stopping at the salad bar. Instead, I’ve been heading past it to Panda Express or Taco Bell. That’s not acceptable. So, I’m going to prep salads in a jar for lunch for the next 2 weeks. A great place to find recipes for this is at The Domestic Geek on YouTube. She’s not necessarily health focused, but she does use a lot of fresh ingredients and I’m always happy to support a fellow geek. Here is a great example of what I’m going for:

I don’t completely agree with her that lettuce is filler, but I do like the idea of using fresh vegetables instead of lettuce. Her dressings aren’t the most low-calorie options, but they are still fresh and relatively healthy, so it’s a starting point.

Between breakfast and lunch I’ve been raiding the vending machines on campus. They have to adhere to health guidelines, so they aren’t the worst thing in the world (I usually go for fruit snacks or fig bars, and will often get both) but I know if I plan for it, I can make better choices. I’m going to go back to bringing a piece of fruit each day. The last time I brought food in on a regular basis, I was picking a type of fruit (my favorite is nectarines), I’d buy 5 of them on the weekend, and then I’d have one each day for the week. Then I’d switch to a different type of fruit for the following week.

My worst cheats happen on my drive home. I’ve been stuck in at least 2 hours of traffic most evenings these past few weeks. So, I’ve given myself permission to make a second stop at Starbucks, or even McDonald’s to give me something to munch on on the way home and “help me focus” on my long drive. This is pure justification and it has to stop. Instead of stopping cold turkey, however, I need to find healthy snacks that I can have on my way home. So I’m thinking of going with some of these ideas:

There are a lot of good options there. The trail mix is a great idea because I can space it out over the drive (as long as I stick to pre-measured portions; I have no problem shoveling down trail mix). An extra piece of fruit or the protein bars/pouches are always a good option as well, as long as I try to avoid extra sugar.

My in-laws have been handling dinner and have been keeping me in check. But I also have been snacking while I watch TV at night. I’ve been having frozen mango as a dessert, which isn’t so bad, but I’ve also been working away at a coconut cream pie left over from a party we threw a week or so ago. (I’m telling you, it’s been bad these past few weeks). So we’re leaving the big desserts behind and sticking to a few pieces of frozen fruit if I have to have something.

It’s a lot to plan out, but I have to start making changes. The first step is to stop making excuses. After that, it’s all about making it as easy as I can to avoid bad decisions.

What are your goals for this week? Let me know! If you want to follow me on a more regular basis, if you need someone to be accountable to, or if you want to share your own journey, you can reply to this post or you can follow me on twitter @EpicGrays. Until next time, remember to #WorkOutNerdOut!

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