This Week’s Menu: If I Only Knew

The thrill is gone (actually, my stomach would hate me if I had some of this).

I’m not sure if this has anything to do with menu planning, but here goes . . .

I have struggled with my weight for as long as I can remember. When I was younger, keeping my weight down was all about appearance, but in the last couple of decades weight control has been less about being thin and more about feeling good. When I’m carrying around too much extra weight I don’t feel good. When I’m overweight my joints ache, the bursitis in my hip flares up something fierce, and I just generally feel sluggish and out of sorts.

Over the years I have counted calories and counted points in an effort to shed pounds. I’ve followed the Atkins plan, eaten a lot of grapefruit, and tried the Scarsdale plan and Jenny Craig meals without any noticeable results. Nothing lasted for very long, and any weight I lost quickly reappeared when I went “off plan.” I was obsessed with food and eating, always trying to find the “right” formula,.

And yet here I am now losing weight at a rate of around two pounds a month, and I’m not even trying. After all these years, why now? I gave up carbs/starches early in the year because of a stomach issue (GERD) and a rapid weight gain (three to five pounds per month no matter what or how little I ate). I expected to lose a few pounds at first, but the continued steady weight loss has been an unexpected but welcome side effect. I have no idea how long it will last.

Losing weight, or wanting to lose weight, is a curious thing. It’s also a very personal thing, unique to each individual, and what works for one person doesn’t for the next. My weight has been a frustrating struggle for most of my life. but in this past year it seems I have finally made peace with my body, both inside and out.

OK, back to menu planning . . .

This week for dinner we’re having:

  • Tuesday (this evening): Grilled chicken thighs; broccoli-raisin salad; bread (the salad has been requested again. Also, no bread for me)
  • Wednesday: Turkey divan casserole (turkey, cheese and broccoli for me)
  • Thursday: Hot turkey sandwiches; stuffing; steamed broccoli (I won’t be having bread, but I will have 1/4 cup of stuffing because I have to)
  • Friday: Leftovers for Brett and me (team spaghetti dinner for YaYu)
  • Saturday: Slow cooker honey-sriracha chicken wings; steamed rice; Japanese cucumber salad (I’m skipping the rice, and hoping the wings aren’t too spicy)
  • Sunday: Breakfast for dinner: scrambled eggs, bacon, toast, fruit (no toast for me)
  • Monday: Slow-cooker beef & broccoli; steamed rice (no rice for me)

We’ll be needing cucumbers, bok choy, papayas and bananas at the farmers’ market. We’ve gotten broccoli at the market the past couple of weeks, but we can’t count on it so are going to buy a big bag of the florets at Costco tomorrow.

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15 thoughts on “This Week’s Menu: If I Only Knew

  1. Hawaii Planner says:

    So timely. I’ve finally had some progress on my own weight loss this month. Basically, losing about a 1/2 a pound/week. I haven’t given up carbs altogether, but although my calories are close to being the same, I’m finally dropping weight again. As a natural result, more fruits & veggies, & increasing the protein. Your menu looks great. Per the usual, we’ll be eating leftovers from Friday/Saturday/Sunday. Risotto, grilled burgers, broccoli & cheese soup. We’ll also likely eat out at an Italian restaurant (I have an expiring Groupon).

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    • Laura says:

      Losing weight is way more complicated than anyone knows. Science is still trying to figure it out. My losing may end next month, but I’m thrilled with the loss so far, and just from giving up starches/carbs. I’m really looking forward to it getting a bit cooler here so I can get in some more exercise.

      Btw, it’s still too hot to make that broccoli-cheddar soup, but Costco sells it so I’m going to see if ours stocks it and will get that. Only 5 carbs per serving!

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  2. quesoit1 says:

    Congratulations on your weight loss success, Laura! Going low carb has been the key for me, too. I don’t miss bread products, chips, cereal, sweets,, etc. It’s easier for me to abstain completely rather than moderate my intake of the white carbs. The one exception is white rice. As a Japanese American I grew up eating it every day and I can’t live without it, so I limit myself to 1/2 cup a week.

    The broccoli-raisin salad sounds good. Do you use the entire amount of sugar in the recipe!

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    • Laura says:

      The best part about losing this time is that I’m not even trying! I’m just watching my carb intake, eating lots of fruits and vegetables and trying to get in a little exercise every day, and I’ve found I’m eating less now without even trying. I’m beginning to think that even though I watched my portion sizes before, the carbs were messing with my metabolism.

      I so get what you’re saying about the rice. I was that way about bread, but I’ve finally been able to let it go. I still miss it and want it though.

      I think I cut back the sugar a little – it did seem excessive.

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  3. JJ says:

    I was always thin until I hit age 45 and then I started to gain weight (I’m in my early 50’s now). I know it has to do with getting close to menopause and it really is a frustrating time of life. I exercise regularly yet I see absolutely no difference in my weight or appearance. I’ve also tried cutting various foods out of my diet and still no difference, so I’ve given up on that. I still exercise because I enjoy it and it keeps me strong and able to do things, but I realize now that I’ll never look like I did when I was younger and will just have to accept it.

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    • Laura says:

      I didn’t gain a whole lot of weight both before and after menopause set in, but what changed was that it became a whole lot more difficult to lose weight. Even with counting every calorie and getting lots of exercise, the weight just wouldn’t budge. It was very frustrating. I exercise now because it makes me feel good, and I want to be in good shape for our upcoming trip (which I wasnt when we went to Japan last March – that was an eye-opener!).

      When I was younger I wanted to be thin. I was so unhappy with my body for so long, but have made peace with it now. I just want to be healthy these days.

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      • JJ says:

        I’ve only been to Japan once, but it definitely is a culture where walking and biking are the best ways to get around, so you have to be in shape before you go! I agree about exercise. Now the goal is to do it for health, not so much for appearance, which is the opposite of why I exercised when I was younger. Ah, oh well! Being healthy is the important thing.

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      • Laura says:

        I wish I had figured out the healthy aspect of keep my weight managed a whole lot earlier. It would have made things easier and I would probably stayed a decent weight instead of always being on a diet, giving up and then regaining because I didn’t look like a model no matter how much I lost. I got a lot of pressure from my family about my weight growing up (and I would do anything to be that thin again – I was NOT fat but was made to feel that way), and there still is so much pressure from society (ads, magazines, celebrities, etc.) to look a certain way – I hope I’ve done a better job with my daughters re. their body image.

        Being in shape and able to walk long distances is key for enjoying a visit to Japan or living there (as we sadly found out this past spring).

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      • quesoit1 says:

        Definitely on the same page with the three of you. Exercise and diet for me now is all about maintaining a good quality of life and having the ability to do the things I love, like traveling, volunteer work, and dancing. Appearance isn’t the focus anymore.

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      • Laura says:

        As I said to Reader JJ, I sure wish I had figured this out a long time ago. When I’m in shape, I feel good, and that’s the most important thing these days. Looking good is just an added benefit.

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  4. Laurel says:

    Your weight loss is inspiring. I do find it harder and harder the older I get to stop the upward creep. I don’t eat a lot of carbs, but maybe I need to just eliminate them and see if that helps. My stomach does guide a lot of my diet now, though, as things that weren’t a problem when I was younger seem to be now. Specifically, I went to a family BD gathering this week and ate a rich cake (an old family favorite…who can resist?) and I really paid for it the next day. Not to mention the disturbed sleeping I experienced even after an antacid. Ah, the joys of aging.

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    • Laura says:

      The funny thing with my weight loss this time is that I can’t claim any credit for it other than I cut out carbs. That’s it! And maybe that’s all it took all along, but I was in the “everything in moderation” camp. I’m naturally eating less these days without the carbs – lots of fruits and vegetables, but I don’t seem to need as much on my plate to feel satisfied, and I guess that’s making a difference too.

      If I ate a piece of cake now, I would pay for it. I occasionally try a bite of something, but that’s all – a bite. My stomach gets angry if I have any more.

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