“The nice thing is we’ve lost weight, so we take up less room in the bed,” said Joseph with a hint of optimism and a dash of sarcasm. The bed he referred to is the full size bed we share at my grandmother’s house. We’re used to our plush king size bed at home. First world problems.
Hi, everyone! Since I posted a lengthy update a few days ago, I thought I would keep this one somewhat brief. I’m typing on my phone to hold myself to that. :0)
First, let me say I’m really touched that at least one person realized I hadn’t posted yet this week. That means at least one person knows I normally post on Wednesdays! That makes me happy, because I’m really honored that any of you read any of my posts.
Now, because the blog exists as a means of accountability, I’m going to tell you the two reasons I didn’t post sooner. First, we really were busier this week than we typically are. I know that’s a generic excuse, but the blog didn’t get top priority. Second, I’ve been angry about my weight loss over the past week. Remember that tenth of a pound I tried so hard to lose last week? Well, I finally lost it. NINE days later. AFTER I gained a few pounds. I could tell my body was angry with me about some choices I made, and I was angry right back at it.
Since I’m all about being real here, I’m going to be honest and tell you I struggled a lot this past week. I cried several times. One of those times was because I wanted pizza, so Husby said we could have pizza, and I cried and told him we shouldn’t have pizza, so he decided to be strong and lead and decide we would make a better choice and eat some yummy leftovers we had at home, so I cried because I still wanted pizza. It was not one of my finer moments. I found myself relating to a blog post I read recently about toddler melt-downs, and I wasn’t relating to the parents. I was relating to the toddler. Big time.
There were several times I had a STRONG temptation to pick up fast food. And not a healthy, responsible choice at a fast food restaurant. A fried one. Deep fried. Very deep. The main reason I didn’t give into the temptations was because I couldn’t decide what I wanted.
Monday the 11th marked two months that I’ve been at this, and I think I hit a wall. It was like I was walking around trying to break in new shoes that were giving me blisters, and all I wanted to do was put on my favorite, well-worn flip flops.
It wasn’t that I wanted to go back to my old lifestyle necessarily. I was just tired of my new one. I wanted some kind of in between, and I knew that wouldn’t work. I fought with myself a ton. I wish I had prayed more and asked the Holy Spirit to help me. But I didn’t.
So we decided to take a break for a couple of days. Some of you may think that’s a bad idea, and maybe it was, but it kept me from quitting. It kept me from abandoning everything I’m trying to do here. It kept me sane. It gave me an opportunity to eat Moe’s for the first time in over six weeks.
Confession: These words actually came out of my mouth while I was eating Moe’s. “My stomach started hurting a few minutes in, but I pushed through it.” HA!
You probably know me well enough by now to know I’m not going to follow that confession up by telling you I regretted pushing through those stomach pains. I loved every bite of my lunch that day. QUESO!! Also, I only ate about 2/3 (if not less) of my lunch instead of finishing every last morsel of it. Baby steps, folks.
After taking a break, I’ve done a little better at staying on track. I’ve exercised twice over the last few days, versus only once last week. And I finally lost that tenth of a pound.
That brings me to my weigh-in. I lost .1 pound, bringing my total weight lost up to 30.0 pounds and my current weight down to 293.6 pounds. Woo hoo! It felt really good to reach that goal, even if it wasn’t when I wanted to reach it. God is still good and faithful, and He gives good gifts – like taking nine days to lose a tenth of a pound. That was for my good and His glory. How do I know that? Because I believe all really means all: “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28 NASB).
Now it’s time for comparison photos! I’m starting to tell a slight difference. At least now I can feel a major difference in my pants. After wearing my jeans for a couple of days, they start feeling like hammer pants. Guess I’ll have to start washing them more often. (I promise I’m not gross.)
True story: I weighed in this morning and then spent the next 8 hours trying to lose a tenth of a pound. I tried desperately to have just enough “in” to motivate the “out”. It’s a delicate balance when one is trying to lose a tenth of a pound. Then I ate too many grapes, and the scale went up. Boo.
What I’m about to write isn’t going to be perfect, and the calculations aren’t going to be to the penny. The information was still eye opening for me, and I hope it will be for you as well.
After the first few weeks of changes in our eating habits, I had a gut feeling we were saving money on food expenses. I didn’t have exact numbers to compare, but I knew it had to be true. We weren’t eating out as much, and our groceries were lasting longer because of portion control. I remember reading a statement by Angela Coffman over at Grocery Shrink one time that convicted me: If you’re obese, you’re spending too much on groceries (my paraphrase). Ouch. (If you need help trimming your grocery budget, Angela has wonderful ideas. Check out her blog.)
I made chicken tortilla soup one night a couple of weeks ago, and I started thinking about the cost of food. A crock pot of chicken tortilla soup costs us about $10 to make. Traditionally, Joseph and I have eaten the entire batch of soup over the course of two meals, maybe three if we really made it stretch. So that’s anywhere from $3.50-$5.00 per meal. When I was calculating the calories for the soup, we determined that the batch is actually 10 servings, so about $1.00 per serving or $2.00 per meal if we each only eat one serving. That’s a savings of up to $3.00 per meal, and it lasts up to 5 meals rather than just 2 or 3.
The chicken tortilla soup is just one example. Another food item where we’ve really noticed a difference is shredded cheese. It took us no time at all to go through a bag of shredded cheese before. Now that we’re measuring it, we’re amazed by how long it lasts. I could go on and on with examples, but you get the point.
For us, an area of significant savings has been eating out/convenience food (we included grabbing a snack at a gas station in this category). During the 30 days prior to us starting this journey to a healthier lifestyle, we spent approximately $700 eating out or grabbing convenience food (I think sharing that number with you was harder than telling you I weighed over 300 pounds). In the month of October, that number dropped to approximately $300 (even the number of food transactions for the month, including groceries, dropped from 75 to 42). Yes, that number is still high, and we need to reign that in. Yes, some of that savings went into buying groceries, which can be more expensive when purchasing healthy food, and we need to reign that in as well. We were just excited (in a still kind of embarrassed way) that we cut our spending by about $400 in this category. Maybe I’ll report back once we’re doing even better.
So, all of this to say, a big part of this journey is about stewardship for us. We want to be good stewards of our bodies so we can serve the Lord better and longer in this life. A bonus has been that we’re stewarding our money better as well. And hopefully we’ll become better and better stewards of that money with God’s help.
Has God helped you in this area or in another area that needed self-control? Maybe you’re still, like us, walking with the Holy Spirit as He sanctifies you in an area. I’d love to hear your stories.
I’d also love to hear any advice you may have for trimming down the grocery budget. Like I said, Grocery Shrink is a great resource. I just need to put her advice into practice. :O)