I have been thinking a lot lately about “what works” for me regarding weight loss. My grandpa sent me a supportive text to check in the other week, and said something along the lines of “you know the food study worked, so do what works.”
Last fall, I was blessed to be a part of a nutritional study at Framingham State University. As a participant, all of my meals were provided for me. I did not have to do any cooking or grocery shopping…NOTHING. I had a team of scientists carefully planning all of my meals down to the exact ounce I needed of fats, carbs, protein, etc. The diet had hardly any processed food, very low salt and sugar, and was well-balanced, so I felt good after every meal. With all of that support, I lost weight. I lost about 22 pounds or more. Then I got a new job and had to leave the study. I gained about 10 pounds back, not all at once, but eventually because I went back to old habits.
When my grandpa sent the text, I dismissed his words at first. Ok, yeah, what worked was having a team of people make all of my food. OF COURSE I lost weight!! But I do not have the money to pay for a personal chef or nutritionist and I cannot go back to the food study. So now what?!
I have been trying to look up different recipes and think through my weekly meal plan, but nothing has really worked great. I think I blogged about her already, but recently I discovered Betty Rocker. I decided to buy her 30 Day Meal Plan because I was curious. Today I am on day one of her 30 day meal plan, and I LOVE it. The biggest thing that I love is her style. She provides you with a complete grocery list and meal prep guide. Yesterday, I went to the grocery store and followed her guide. I bought all my food and then went home to prepare (the picture above was taken before I started cooking). She also provides a guide to mass-produce all of your meals for the week in one long cooking session. I am not a cook. I have limited experience but her guide helped me get all of my meals made and boxed up. Essentially, all I have to do now is pull a Tupperware container out of my fridge and eat. IT FEELS JUST LIKE THE FOOD STUDY! I know that this lifestyle will take prepping and lots of work. But the food tastes yummy and I feel good physically so far.
I can do anything for 30 days, right?!
The biggest thing I am learning is that being healthy has to be a priority or nothing will change. I know myself enough to know that during the week, if meals are not prepared ahead of time, I get lazy. I do not like coming home and cooking, so I eat out. Eating out is ALWAYS a struggle for me because I rarely make smart choices. I like comfort food and when I look at a menu, I cease to think rationally. I pick the cheesy, creamy, high fat/processed/sugary options. I eat with my emotions when I am paying someone else to cook because eating out is an indulgence for me. Having meals already made takes the emotions out of eating. I do not have to think, I can just grab the pre-portioned meal and eat, which is why the food study worked. I did not have choices, so I ate the right amount of the healthy options. And because I am not a cook and do not enjoy meal planning, I DREAD creating a menu for the week, which is why I am grateful for Betty Rocker’s plan. She has made cooking ahead of time easy for me, for which I am SO grateful.
Since today is only day 1, we shall see how this process unfolds, but I am learning I can do anything for 30 days. I am learning to follow through even when I am not perfect, and I am learning that being healthy and muscular and strong is something I really want. I am also learning not to dismiss those moments of success as dumb luck or times that cannot be recreated, like being on a once-in-a-lifetime food study. In those successes resides clues to who we are and what we need to continue to be successful. When you focus on what works, the solutions will come.