25 Jun 2018

Stephen's Eating Plan

Submitted by Stephen Winters
I have been overweight most of my life. I have tried to lose weight on and off many times with varying degrees of success, or failure. One of my biggest challenges over all those years is that I had no real plan, except (to try to) "Eat less".
I don't do it perfectly. I find what is most important to me is that I become more and more proactive. I'm not yet very good at planning, but this is what I do. Right now I'm on an elimination diet as well
 
It's not about restriction. Even though I'm only allowed foods on the elimination diet, I don't feel restricted. I'm learning to focus on being creative with the foods that I ca.n eat.
 
For example, what I no longer eat are any kind of beef, dairy and cheeses, most processed foods. I eat very little that is prepackaged or processed. Instead I go to the store frequently and purchase fresh fruits and vegetables. I'm on a tight budget so have to be careful what I buy. I try to choose the ones that are under $1 per pound, although I will pay more if necessary. 
 
I fix my own meals. I sometimes just cook each individual meal (weighing each food item) or I create large batches that I can divide up into multiple meals. Whenever I create a large batch I create a recipe that includes all the food items in the batch. I am in the process of creating a number of recipes that fit within my allowed set of foods. My way of creating a recipe is that I see what I have available in my refrigerator, freezer, and pantry, and gather all my chosen food items together. and just put those in the 
 
One very important thing is that I don't judge or condemn myself for my choices. I accept the consequences of my choices and try to learn from them. Whenever I fall, I look at what I did (without guilt or condemnation), examine where I failed and get up and go again. Henry Ford has been attributed as saying, "Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently."
 
One of the biggest parts of my plan is I try to log each meal before I eat it. (I don't do it perfectly. There are times when I nibble and don't record it, but that is becoming less and less. I am getting better and better at it.) This allows me to have choices. I can see what the effects of what-I'm-about-to-eat will have on my daily overall goals. I can then to either eat it or to change how much I eat or to change what I'm about to eat.

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