I need some tough love, some support, some ideas, anything that might help.
Over the past two years I had lost 48 lbs through a combination of diet and exercise. Then I plateau'd. It was like, despite my goal of losing another 50 lbs, that I had hit a comfortable spot and I just stopped losing weight. That in itself I wasn't too freaked about, because I've had plateaus before and just figured I needed a tweak or something and I'd start losing weight again.
But lately it's like I'm out of control. I've been eating stuff I know I shouldn't- tons of pasta, cheese, potatoes, mayonnaise, bread, wine- and in large portions! Added to that, lately I feel sluggish and tired all the time (hello, crappy diet) and so I've stopped exercising too. I've regained 7 lbs. And I KNOW I need to return to a healthy diet, healthy portions, and exercise. And yet every day it's like I just put it off another day and grab something totally crappy.
Part of it is I'm broke. And I live in Alaska, and eating healthy is expensive. Processed foods are cheap. Pasta is cheap. Fresh vegetables are expensive. Fresh meat is expensive. So I've been buying crap, and eating crap. But part of it is also that crap is what I'm craving.
I don't want to regain. I want to lose the remaining weight and get healthy and stay healthy. I would welcome any words of tough love, advice, booty kicking, ideas for cheap but healthy meals, etc.
10-03-2012, 03:10 PM
*swift kick to the behind* lol snap out of it! if ur using canned veggies~ rinse them for a minute in cold running water it will take about 40% of the sodium out! same for canned fruits w/added sugars! find healtier ways to use the "crappier" choices and of course portion control (which is oh so much easier said than done)! uve got to be a strong willed woman to even live in alaska in my book, i bow down before u! i have faith u can get thru this moment of human weakness!
10-03-2012, 03:29 PM
I'm here for the booty kicking! I mean this in the nicest and most supportive way, so please do take it as such: Stop making excuses! There are plenty of inexpensive items that are decent for you. And the crap: don't eat as much of it! Cut out the wine and mayo for a while (those aren't necessary!). Eating smaller portions will SAVE you money! If you can afford to buy wine, you can afford to buy some vegetables. In my neck of the woods, cheese isn't too cheap either. (Obviously I'm being hard on you ;) you asked for it).
You know what you need to do. You have been successful before, and you will be again!
10-03-2012, 03:48 PM
Thanks, that is exactly the type of stuff I need to hear! Ways to make processed foods like canned veggies healthier, and I totally needed to hear "If you can afford to buy wine, you can afford to buy some vegetables".
You're absolutely right I need to cut out the alcohol and the mayo.
Any ideas on cheap healthy meals? I'm even open to meatless dinners, I don't have to have meat and I don't mind eating vegetarian, at least some of the time.
10-03-2012, 03:57 PM
when that out of control craving happens, what I do is....
I let my body go absolutely crazy for a day or two or three sometimes..
and you will get to a point either you are sick of yourself or your stomach will actually feeling sick.
after getting a good night sleep, you wake up with all swollen from sodium and crap ...
I start to detox. usually works for two days and on the third day, I ease into eating gentle low sodium (and smaller amount of) food.
and re-train myself that way.
Never feel bad or guilty about what has already happened but move forward and enjoy your progress with smile :)
10-03-2012, 04:05 PM
Hi Eagle River - how about a big glass of water every time you're craving the "crap" as you said.
Living in Alaska must be beautiful - how about a walk in nature to get the endorphins going to hold off the cravings...
And for goodness sake - cut out as much sugar and simple carb's as possible - that only makes you crave more crap!
I vote for making small changes: Drink more water - less wine. Move more - and eat less sugar.
10-03-2012, 04:12 PM
PS - A head of cauliflower can be used a lot of ways - steam it and mash it for Smashed Cauliflower or grate it and steam/microwave it in a covered dish for 5 minutes and it becomes Faux Rice! Inexpensive yet tasty and feels like comfort food!
10-03-2012, 04:21 PM
beans, dried or canned(rinsed of course), whole or mashed cheap n full of fiber n protein n brown rice. whole grain wheat wraps,diced veggies of ur choice for ur own salsa add a lil cider or balsamic vinegar (no sodium/lots of flavor)!
10-03-2012, 04:51 PM
Good ideas ladies! I'm going to try the cauliflower thing today, I think!
10-03-2012, 05:03 PM
Okay Dee, if I can feed five of us on a single income while paying down debt in the same town as you, I know you can manage some creative solutions, too ;)
Frozen veggies from Costco are great, if you have a membership. Shopping the meat sales at Carrs and the marked down almost-expired packages saves us tons. Buying turkey and ham year when they are at their cheapest and freezing them is great, as is supplementing with fish we've caught at Eklutna or dip netting in Chitina/Kenai/etc.
SOUPS! Nothing stretches the food like soup. I make broth out of any bones I have leftover and freeze that to use as bases for various soups. We usually have chicken and turkey broth frozen, and I freeze leftover ham hocks for split pea soup, too.
Groceries are more expensive up here, it is true. But Costco is the bulk of our produce, and we supplement in with good sales at Carrs and Fred Meyer, and do quite well.
My basic menu is eggs for breakfast; lunch is usually big salad and a sausage/chicken breast/sardines/etc on the side; dinner is often a piece of steak or turkey, berries, and a side veggie like green beans or broccoli. Even getting my ribeye for Mike's Meat and chopping it up into 4oz-ish portions, I'm still spending less than $3.00 per meal, on average. And I eat more extensively than my family, who is happy with more starch and less whole protein than me. So their per-serving cost is less, by a significant margin. It can be done, it just takes cooking yourself, shopping around for discounts, and making stretcher meals as needed :)
10-03-2012, 06:10 PM
Great ideas, and I admit my Costco card is under-utilized. I do have a membership, and definitely need to use it more. My hubby did well on filling the freezer with Salmon this year, we've been eating Salmon at least once a week, and halibut every other week or so. That part's nice, since it's already paid for an so yummy. We have no game meat in our freezer, tho. Hubby didn't hunt this year. So when we want something other than fish, we're stuck with store prices.
I am in awe of how far you can stretch a dollar, that is amazing. I have so far to go! We only have 3 in our household and I'm proud when I can feed us all for $10. Clearly I have a way to go! That probably goes straight back to not using my Costco card enough and buying too much at Carrs instead.
10-03-2012, 06:41 PM
That's not bad for three teens/adults - it helps that my kids are little, and for a family dinner I'd say $10 for four servings, including meat, is pretty average for what me and my friends tend to spend on food. And we're all of the frugal bent, too! It is costly up here.
My husband's heading to Costco today - the biggest savers are getting paper goods (paper towels, toilet paper, baby wipes) when the coupons come out for them every other month, and the same is true for Cascade for the dishwasher. Paper goods are on right now, so we're stocking up while they're discounted.
Then our regular Costco buys that are more cost effective than the smaller stores are frozen veggies (I always have mixed veggies, broccoli, corn, peas, and green beans in my freezer, and pick one per meal for the kids or throw them in soups as easy bulk), salad veggies (lettuce packs, mushrooms, cucumber, bell pepper, carrots, avocado), potatoes and onions, fruit (always have apples and bananas on hand, plus one seasonal fruit), tuna, spaghetti sauce, and our dairy (cottage cheese, sour cream, cheddar, Gouda, feta for salads, butter, whole milk, 5 dozen egg packs). I keep my garage stocked with canned fruit and beans, as well as spaghetti noodles, all from there as well.
That leaves some condiments (we get salsa and ketchup at Costco, for example), coffee, green onions, specialty baking items, some pastas I cannot find there, sunbutter, sardines, etc etc. Meats are always purchased on sale from other places, with the exception of a few sausages from Costco and cuts from Mike's. I bake my bread and breakfast foods one day a week here at home, or we have cheap items like oatmeal and eggs most days of the week. New Sagaya is cheapest for seafood, especially in the summer, and they're great for more exotic condiments and produce, too.
Honestly, that's most of our daily food. I make a point to cook from scratch for both health and cost, so I need a lot of ingredients and eschew most prepackaged food. That keeps the costs way down. I'd still say, with paper goods and the occasional date, we're at about $900 a month for groceries. But that's about the cheapest I've seen in my little circle, many families are more like $12-1400 for 4-6 members. You just do the best you can, and Costco isn't the cheapest for ALL items, but I have found for most of the staples we go through once or twice a week, it's hard to beat their prices.
The other upside, is we shop there so much that the cash back at the end of the year actually pays for the next year's membership! :D