Tag Archives: meal plan

Weak-end Warrior 2

As odd as it sounds, one of my favorite things about summer is going to bed. Just lying on top of the covers with the window open, listening to the sounds of night—crickets, a breeze, my crazy chain smoking neighbor lady hacking into her flower boxes—is so totally peaceful for me.

Morning walks can sometimes have the same effect. Just walking around the neighborhood before most everyone wakes up — listening to the sounds of the birds and squirrels chirping, smelling the flowers as I pass, wondering why those people still have Christmas lights up—is so totally peaceful for me.

So while I can do without the 90 degree days, mosquitoes and overhearing the neighbor kids say, “Poke it with a stick and see if it still moves,”  I must say that I will deal with it once in awhile for those few moments of peace I can find in the summer.

I’m not finding much peace with the increased meal plan situation in that I didn’t increase it all that much this week, it was just basically status quo from the week before. I guess I saw how hard it was for me over the weekend and decided that I needed another week of switching things up before I jumped into another challenge.

Part of me wonders if this is just an excuse. Maybe it was a cop out and  maybe I can’t report as much success on Day 12 as Day 5. Regardless, I can say that I am becoming increasing aware of my weaknesses once again. 

I mean this in a good-ish way (yes, I just said “good-ish.”)

For years I’ve spent time doing what I want food and exercise-wise, and I’ve come to rationalize and justify a lot of my choices.  Now that I’m accepting that a lot of these thoughts are disordered and compulsive, I am able to see what I need to do to change. I can call “bullshit” on myself, in other words.

But it still comes back to food, at this point.

Just being aware of all the little tricks and mind games that I have come to accept as normal (that are in fact they are unhealthy) isn’t enough. Things have to change, and eliminating one behavior while holding onto another (increased meal plan but exercising, or not exercising but restricting) is like shooting myself in the foot—I limp along.

I’ll be honest. I’m having doubts about myself at this point. That doesn’t mean I’m not going to keep working at it, that I’m not going to take as much time as necessary tomorrow to actual compose an increased, varied meal plan with many different options instead of making excuses why I can’t.

It just means that this is much more of a struggle than I thought it would be and I hate feeling weak.

On another note, I am also becoming more aware of the foods that I do actually like more than others. Some were delicious and things I will continue to include, but some were “meh” and not necessarily things I want to eat in place of other stuff all the time. It was nice to try them and have something to base my decision on in the future–taste. Go figure.

Maybe those are the little moments of peace that I need to keep looking for, like the peaceful nights of sleep found among the emphysemic hacking (I think I just made up a word again) and  swarms of biting bugs.

I just need to keep looking for little things that give me strength to keep on trucking along, challenging all my crap. When I find those motivations, I guess I have to “poke them with a stick and see if they still move.”

And if they don’t, I gotta move them anyway.

What are your favorite things about summer?


What’s your favorite summer meal to make?

Toot Toot

I’m beginning to sound a bit like a broken record, but yesterday was a challenge and today is still a bit of a struggle for some reason.

Last night it took me entirely too long to decide on a “different” supper and to force myself to include a couple different things I usually neglect. It didn’t matter that I could look back at my old meal plans and see that I ate that exact meal plus even more (Ensure, dessert, etc.) in one sitting a million times before. A deep breath was taken,  I just went with it, ate it all and moved on.

But it still scared the shit out of me —a feeling I’m not used to and one I try to avoid.

The fact that it presented such a challenge to me absolutely humbled me. Eating tons of the foods I usually eat is no big deal, but switch things up and break my rules and I act like you’re presenting me with an arsenic sandwich.

I truly forgot how hard this is.

Yes, I have my meal plan, but I still have to create the meal plan. It’s much easier to accept when one is handed to you by a professional, as you are just told what to do, trusting they know what’s best. Yesterday a good hour was spent staring at all my papers, trying to figure out exactly what I needed to do to reach the caloric goal for the day, to switch things up in a way I knew was an actual challenge and not a cop-out. It scared the shit out of me.

I once again felt humbled.

But I finished out the day with a normal big snack and all my criteria met, including crossing three of the six things off my “must include this week” list and buying two more at the store (I shall foray into my first goat cheese experiment this week.)

Sidebar: I just love crossing things off lists. Sometimes I will write the most basic things down to do, just so I can cross them off (shower, make to-do list, inhale, etc.)

Anyway, as ridiculous as I feel saying that conquering a basic food was my accomplishment for yesterday, it was and I’ll go with it. Today presents it’s own challenges and it’s much more moment to moment than day to day, as looking even as far as tonight can seem a bit daunting at times. But so far, I’ve done OK.

That brings me to the title of this post. “Toot Toot” has nothing to do with my increased bean consumption, but rather “tooting” my own horn. It may come as a shock to you, but I can tend to be a bit self-deprecating at times. Most of the time I don’t even realize that I do it, so it surprises me when others bring it to my attention.

I guess I have a hard time tooting my own horn, so to speak.

Sometimes it seems like others have accomplished so much more—book deals, athletic feats, employment opportunities— and I know that everyone has those times when they completely forget all the great things they’ve done themselves (admit it.) Whether we realize it or not, we all have those accomplishments that we could brag about, but don’t out of general social etiquette.

Waitress: “Would you like a piece of pie?”

You: “Yes, because I was valedictorian of my high school class and voted ‘best hair’ my senior year.”

There’s a time and a place, and today, it’s on this blog.

Now let’s assume we’re all nice, intelligent people who oppose clubbing baby seals and are still puzzled by the success of the Tyra show. When thinking of these accomplishments, I want you to go past personality and having good taste in the blogs you read. As unnatural as it may feel (or not, if you’re Tyra), take a minute to leave a comment and brag about something you are truly proud of that others might not know (seeing as we all eat humble pie.)

It’s very humbling to realize how easy it is to forget what we’ve done when all we can do is see where we want to go. So, it’s not easy, but I’ll start with a couple…

  • I have never received less than a “B” on a report card at any time in my life and was put in the “gifted” program in first grade (I guess I could count M&Ms better than any of the other booger eaters.)

  • When I was in high school I was an All-City swimmer and broke a school record my junior year. I also pitched a one-hitter and was the scary clean-up batter.
  • Because of scholarships I only had to pay for one semester of college and was done in four years with honors.

  • I spent a summer living in Detroit as an intern with the Red Wings and actually had my first international publication credit—Editorial Assistant of “48 Hours with the Detroit Red Wings.” It’s an actual hardcover publication that was sold in Barnes & Noble, Borders, etc. (Only a limited number were printed, so good luck finding it now. Boo.) That summer I also lived in a condo across from Comerica Park and went to a million ball games, heard the Bon Jovi concert from my deck and toured the Wings locker room on multiple occasions.
  • I bought my own house at age 26 and have a lovely garden. And a gnome.

  • The job I’m in now has me planning, writing, editing and publishing one magazine monthly to over 14,000 subscribers and another magazine quarterly to 25,000 subscribers while maintaining their online presence and serving as an “expert” in the field. Despite my lack of enthusiasm, my publisher has told me he’s the best editor he has on staff.

See? I got things started, and even though I know I’ll think of more the second I hit “publish,” I now defer to you. So if you actually took the time to read this whole post, take the time to toot your own horn. Don’t worry about sounding conceited or “less than.” Just brag and have some fun with it!


P.S. I’m not on my own computer, so excuse the formatting…now go!

Butter Me Up

I have decided to make some changes in the form of an actual meal plan, so if you’re not interested in reading about my food neurosis, I suggest you return next post when I’m sure to explore some other fascinating topic. Moving on…

Here’s the thing about me and meal plans—I do good if a “professional” that I trust puts a mega plan together, but for some reason I have trouble doing it myself. Possibly because I know how to piss myself off, placate myself and rationalize just about anything. But if I can be stubborn the wrong way, I can be stubborn the right way.

Here’s my plan.

To start, I am going to only focus on this week (today through Sunday) and aim for a certain amount of calories every day with no exceptions. Because I don’t want to freak out right away, I’m really only adding in 300-400 more calories than I would eat on a normal day anyway.

I know I’ll have to increase again, but a week at a time. The thing is, it’s not even really the food that’s a big deal. I  know it’s ridiculous to think a few calories a day makes a difference at this point, as it really won’t change anything until I ramp it up. It’s more changing the mentality of "I don’t have to go without just because I can."

For instance, whenever I hear people talk about how they can’t have toast without butter or potatoes without sour cream I am completely confused. If it tastes OK plain, why add it in? If I can eat it and enjoy it au natural, why soil it with things like oil, butter or cheese?

Umm…because it does actually taste better that way?

Well, maybe not always “better,”so to speak, but a different kind of good. It’s only been one day for me so far, but I forgot how much I do actually enjoy the little additions that I so conveniently leave out.

It started last night with supper when I used butter on my baked potato instead of spray. Such a simple thing, and really not a big deal, but just adding in something instead of subtracting and going minimal/plain was hard. But once it was time for my night snack, I had already forgotten about it.

*Sidenote—there is no substitute for real butter. I have always loved butter, and although I have been a user in the past, no spray or “earth-friendly” concoction of soy oils and the minerals from some remote tropical spring or whatever can compare with the taste of real butter. The end.

Then today it started again with breakfast and wanting to not have the add-ins (a little harder because I take breakfast to work, too.) However, I forgot that even though  I do enjoy overnight oatmeal with almond milk as is, it’s even better with a big Tbsp of tahini or almond butter (just an example.)

Not necessary for it to taste good, necessarily, but why not make it taste just a little bit better? Why go so minimal and plain when the option to improve it is so simple?

And that’s going to be my plan for the next seven days—additions and change not because I have to, but because I can and I should.

For me, it works best to create a bunch of options spelled out on paper for me to choose from and only plan the day before for the next day. Tonight I’ll plan tomorrow, tomorrow I’ll plan Wednesday, etc. and for at least a week, stick with it—for better or for worse, it’s only seven days.

Did I mention I’m not going to the gym either? Only yoga or a gentle walk for me this week–change not because I have to, but because I can and should.

So this afternoon was spent creating a dozen different options for breakfast, lunch and dinner this week. While a lot of the food isn’t really challenging on it’s own, I’ve been in such a routine for so long that any change is hard.

*Another sidenote: I harbor no illusions of this being an easy task, trust me. It’s only been 24 hours. Be glad you’re only virtually involved and not physically in my presence come, well, probably tomorrow.

However, after going through some of my old meal plans and notes, I actually got a little excited to switch things up. And even if I do want something that I normally would have, I have to make sure I include the “additions” and calorically balance things out.

I have so many food rules—when I can eat things, if I can have dairy or pasta in two consecutive meals, my freaking fruit aversion, the “if it’s not necessary, it’s not on my plate” mentality—and my goal is to face these one at a time and prove to myself that I’m so much stronger than a piece of garlic toast or a stationary bike.

Like I said, it’s not even the food, but rather challenging the mentality. I’m switching it up and looking at rest and this meal plan as my prescription, something non-negotiable, at least for seven days.

May the force be with me.

Rather unrelated, but did anyone watch The Next Food Network Star last night? Every season I tell myself it’s ridiculous and I’m not going to, simply because the challenges stress me out and I get embarrassed for the contestants that completely bomb, but it sucks me back in…thoughts?


What can you do to challenge yourself for the next seven days?