Let me share with you a little conversation I’ve had with my husband on multiple occasions during our almost seventeen years together.
Me -“I’m getting hungry.”
Hubs - “Ok, we’ll go eat in about an hour.”
Hubs - “No? No what?”
Me - “Honey, by the time I actually verbalize to you that I’m hungry I don’t mean I might possibly be marginally hungry in an hour. When I tell you I’m getting hungry what I actually mean is I’m already quite hungry and if you don’t connect me with some food in a short amount of time I might be forced to resort to cannibalism and you’re the biggest hunk of meat I can get my hands on right now.”
“Oh! Ok. Let’s go eat then.”
Moral of the story – Don’t let Stephanie get too hungry or she’ll eat you alive and pick her teeth with your bones.
Seriously though, no one likes to be hungry right? If being hungry were a comfortable, warm, fuzzy feeling we all loved, losing weight would not be the number one New Year’s resolution on almost everyone’s list year after year after year.
So aside from spousal cannibalism what is the solution? I have two words for you my friends, Meal Prep.
I know. I know. Those two words usually elicit about as much joy in most people as the words budgeting, pap smear or colonoscopy. However, I have found that once I have a good, solidly executed meal plan in place it eliminates about 90% of my struggle with food. Let me ask you. How does making at least one aspect of your life 90% easier sound? I know right! Yes please! Which line do I get in for that program?
Since I paid for my body building challenge I’m not allowed to share with you my exact menu but I can give you some general ideas on how I work through my food prep. I usually end up doing about twenty to thirty minutes of food prep work twice a week. I don’t count cooking time because I’m usually doing other things during cooking times.
Frozen vegetables, bagged produce and family sized packs of beef and chicken are my preferred choices because they’re usually a) more cost effective and b) require less prep time. I’m all about efficiency.
My tools are two very large Pyrex bowls (one of them holds one pound of shredded cabbage and the other probably holds two), one knife, a cutting board, one cookie sheet, a nonstick mat, a kitchen scale and about fifteen million Rubbermaid containers. Ok, maybe I’m exaggerating that last number just a teeny tiny bit, but seriously there’s a lot of them. I measure all my foods directly into my prep containers or the bowls I’ll be eating out of eliminating extra dishes to wash.
I prep my breakfast, morning snack, olive oil for roasting veggies, pre and post lifting meals and protein sources about four to six days ahead of time. The meat gets trimmed, seasoned and slow baked in one big batch. Then I cut it into bite sized pieces and weigh it out into single meal portions. My vegetables for each day get roasted every morning. I think they taste better if they’re not cooked days in advance. When I wake up in the morning I let the dogs outside and get the oven preheating. I start my breakfast cooking and grab all my veggies for the day out of the freezer. I dump all the bags onto the nonstick mat on the cookie sheet, drizzle them with olive oil and pop them in to roast for 30 minutes while I eat my breakfast. That’s it! After that, the only thought I have about my food is getting it all eaten. The best part is when I’m on the go (which is a freakin’ lot) I just grab my cooler bag, toss in the containers I need for the next meal or two or three, my water bottle and I’m on my way and still on track. If I’m at home I heat up my meals, if I’m away I just eat them cold. Either way I’m not hungry and that makes me very very happy.
This happy and not hungry girl is three weeks into the challenge and I’m feeling strong. Lifting heavier than week one and hit a couple personal bests as well. People are starting to comment on the changes they see and that never gets old. I wasn’t expecting to see much change in my progress pictures this week because…well…you can’t make huge gains all the time right? It just usually doesn’t work that way. I was happily proven wrong. My front pictures don’t show much change at all this week (which is fine, I’m in this for the long haul not a quick fix), BUT my side and back pictures show a good amount of lifting and narrowing in my booTAY!
My stats from week one have also seen some significant changes as well. My weight has barely moved at all which is fine with me. I'm not stuck on a number on a scale. I want to be strong not light. These are the three benchmarks I'm most excited about though.
Body Fat down 5.7%
Muscle up 3.1%
Body Age down 5 years
All in all a really really great week of hard work and rewarding progress. I’m ready for week four. Bring it on baby!
Stephanie Neher is a Tennessee belle living in Minne-SOH-ta with her very own Paul Bunyan. She homeschools their 2 little blue oxen, and keeps her figure red-flannel-ready through Zumba, lifting heavy pieces of iron and anything else physical that strikes her fitness fancy.