Once upon a time perfect food prep was my security blanket against losing a body I had worked (and over worked) to create.
Every day I knew exactly what I was eating, when I was eating it, and how much I was eating.
My formula for lean was set in stone.
In fact, I was so strict any event, travel plans, or appointment that could possibly put a hiccup on my strict schedule was a source of stress.
I thought nothing of avoiding an event that would make it difficult for me to adhere to plan or arrive at appointments completely food prepped w/ tupperware or canned tuna.
Hiding my food in my purse or car to evade judgement was very common.
Seriously, I once excused myself to go eat oatmeal in the bathroom of Mezza Luna because the only carb I’d allow myself to eat at dinner had to be whole and completely plain.
In essence, I lived the life of a figure/bikini competitor who never intended to be on stage.
At the root of all of this was a woman DEATHLY afraid to give herself permission to TRUST her decision making.
A woman so afraid she’d fall of the wagon and regain her weight that the idea of EXPANDING her food choices was too terrifying to explore.
Had my daughter not come along… who knows how long I would have kept up these behaviors.
And thank goodness pregnancy was enough to kick me out of my comfort zone and focus on growing a healthy baby!!
But you see, it’s BECAUSE during fat loss I had spent all of my time and energy married to ONE FORMULA I ended up missing a CRITICAL part of finding my “forever formula” –
learning how to tweak and change my diet based on my lifestyle!!
The learning curve was rather brutal postpartum as you might imagine!
Grocery shopping while sleep deprived leads you to forget items off your “perfect” list.
Items you cannot just get up and grab because breast feeding time or nap time are always just around the corner.
Morning workout sessions on broken sleep don’t really make for a stellar fat burning performance either.
There I was utterly frustrated, trying my hardest to recreate a PAST way of eating that had NOTHING to do with my present!!!
Finally, and with no single major epiphany, I began to TAKE INVENTORY of what was broken, what was salvageable, what was do-able, what needed to wait, what was no longer a fit for me etc…
What about that “perfect” formula actually worked vs what about that formula was simply results from consistency!!!!
BAM! Mindset shift from robot to detective.
Instead of looking at my old way of eating as THE ONLY WAY, I have let my new mission become more about finding what about healthy eating I could repeat under my new circumstances.
That mind frame has served me well as my life, and I’m sure yours too, seems to take big shifts and turns about every 5 years.
Peace! Freedom! Making sure healthy is STRESS LESS!!!!
One of my biggest wins has been to find the MINIMUM amount of prep needed to make things flow at our house.
Huge shift from the tupperware life.
Not that tupperware doesn’t help with consistency. It does!
But I find most families can only handle that kind of preparation once-twice a month max!
Because of the time, effort, and team work needed to execute a week’s worth of tupperware, consistency suffers and frustration rises.
So what I’d like to see is a shift from striving for the max amount of prep to finding the “just enough” and getting real consistent there.
Remember, after that, you can ALWAYS level up. You can always add a little bit more precision if needed. But if you can’t it’s literally NO BIG DEAL!
So, with all of that said, I thought you might want a peak as to what the MINIMUM looks like at our house.
It’s super basic. Super simple.
But isn’t that exactly what we need to stay consistent when life throws us those nasty curve balls?
3 DINNER PROTEINS:
This minimal list is not about repeating recipes. I can google or use www.gatheredtable.com to find what I need.
These categories are about releasing guess work.
I know I need one crock pot meal a week because cooking isn’t something I can or want to do daily.
I know that when I’m hungry for lunch, if all else fails thawed out tenderloins marinating in dressing are life!
I can make sandwiches or salad in 10 minutes from that.
Burgers and tacos go over real well here so always having some sort of ground meat here saves the day!
This is my formula. My kids know it by heart. I literally walk around the grocery store saying… do I have something salty for them? Gotta go grab their fruit?
In fact, the times they’ve made their own lunches I’ve heard them double check themselves listing these five things.
I am no super woman and no one should feel like they have to be. Tuesdays are my brutal days and I’ve simply decided that I’m not even going to worry about packing stuff for myself this day.
My mom has the kids that day, the husband can survive on his own, and this momma is either ordering Mason Dixon pre-prepped meals or stopping by Zoe’s to pick up dinner.
I coach at Sweat from 4pm-7:30pm so I’ve come to understand that outsourcing this one day is HUGE!
We are a huge breakfast family. In fact, we could all eat breakfast 3 times a day and be happy.
Therefore bacon and eggs are kind of life here.
My heart also belong to coffee and peanut butter so that has to be kept around.
In other words what goes on this list are the easy “fillers” that jazz things up during the week. Items anyone in your family sort of craves or loves to have around.
AND THAT’S IT GUYS… those categories, that framework is the MINIMUM this family has to have so things won’t fall apart going out to eat all over the place or staring at the fridge with the “what are we going to eat” dead stare.
When I watch people struggle to tackle their goals, I’m usually super impressed by the amount of stuff they’ve laid out for themselves.
It’s a lot… usually way too much!
So if this feels like you… the person constantly striving but that can’t find a way to get in rhythm… to get consistent…
Have you ever thought that maybe finding that minimum may be more important than achieving the max?