When it is just too much work. . .

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Joined: May 11
Posts: 47

Posted: 20 May 2011, 14:46
Okay, so my diet partner and I are eating much more healthy food and it is showing up on the scale. But we are both getting extremely tired of how time consuming it is and how much work is involved. We're sharing some of the shopping duties, but really, we have to shop twice or more each week or the veggies and fruits go bad. Then there is the washing, pealing, chopping, dicing, broiling, steaming, weighing ounces, measureing, not to mention all the additional dirty dishes. And my diet partner has an extra problem in that her family is not willing to eat low calorie, low carb, or low anything else so she ends up preparing one meal for them and another for herself. I live alone so don't have that problem.

I'd hate to lose my partner in this and would like to know how others have managed a new way of eating while in a household of thin people who have no intention of changing their eating habits.


Joined: Jun 10
Posts: 3

Posted: 20 May 2011, 14:52
If you can't stay focused on the weight loss aspect of it, then think of it as staving off Alzheimers, Parkinson's, cancer, heart disease, etc by eating fresh vegetables and all that. The time you put into it is insurance for your health. You don't want to spend the last 20 years of your life in a wheelchair.

That's what I think about - and go right on with all the work because I'm worth it.

Joined: Jul 10
Posts: 1,712

Posted: 20 May 2011, 15:46
It IS time consuming. You can probably save time by consolidating prep work, spending a little extra money for items that are already chopped/portioned, cooking in advance and freezing individual portions or even having your groceries delivered. I also have bought more measuring cups and spoons so I'm not as likely to run out and need to wash them on the fly. But there's only so much you can do and in the end, its a matter of priorities. I'm sure you could find several hours a week that you spend doing far less meaningful things than taking care of yourself, so you might need to do some rebalancing. Like most things in life, you get out of it what you put in- you have to be willing to invest the time in yourself. Ditto what avianne says- You're worth it! If you internalize that, you'll find the time you need to make it work.

For your friend, I would also suggest experimenting with healthy dishes that don't taste like it. The Eating Well website has a lot of ideas, and there are also a number of chefs on the food network that cook healthier dishes. It's amazing how you can eat foods you already love by making simple tweaks and substitutions or by eating a small portion with more veggies. If she has kids, though, she REALLY needs to be including them on her healthier eating habits and is not doing them any favors by going it alone.
- Natalie

Joined: Aug 09
Posts: 31

Posted: 20 May 2011, 16:18
I looked at the Eating Well site and I liked the idea of putting bulky vegetables into stuff you're already eating/making.

Like a hidden layer of spinach or broccoli in your mac and cheese. That way you can make the same dish for you and your family, but you can bake two dishes of it, a small one with veggies and a big dish of it without spinach for the rest of the family. Make enough of the one with veggies to eat as leftovers.

That wouldn't work with everything, but I could see it working with a lot of things: shredded carrots and diced onion in your hamburger, spinach or broccoli in your mac and cheese, extra beans in your chili, white beans instead of hamburger in your spaghetti.

Maybe a good idea to think about little changes to the food your friend has to prepare for her family so she can build on that effort for herself, and still eat healthy, rather than having to tackle a whole separate effort.

Aunt Keeks

Joined: Dec 10
Posts: 102

Posted: 20 May 2011, 17:33
over time my family has learned to love the healthier choices. They ask for healthy food. They scarf the healthy leftovers (including Red Qunion patties). Honestly if I cop out with a pizza night they are disappointed. I would rather eat clean and workout and only clean the bathroom 1/2 as often. Health, wellness and fitness are my priorities.
You can get there from here.

Joined: Aug 09
Posts: 282

Posted: 20 May 2011, 18:37
Hmm. I don't find it that time consuming, but I didn't eat a lot of processed food before either and I kind of like walking to my local shops and buying fresh produce every other day or so, for me that's a fun outing and a little exercise too. Maybe (definitely) I am very boring. Wink Also as you get more used to cooking you get faster at it. I second the chopping/cooking in advance advice above - making a big pot or two of something on the weekend means you can live on those things most of the week. Getting the whole family on board can be a challenge though - my strategy is to only make one meal, but make sure there's at least one thing on the table my 4 year old kid will for sure eat, even if it's just bread or raw carrots or something. This was also the recommendation I read in a book on feeding picky eaters. And I have found she's more willing to try stuff after a few weeks of what you see is what you get. And I'm not worried because I know she eats at least one healthy thing at dinner. (and I often cave and let her have some healthy cereal before bed) Anyway, don't know how old her kids are, but if they are teenagers - maybe another answer is that if they don't like what she's making they have to go make their own dinner. Nobody should have to make 2 meals, imho.

Joined: Aug 09
Posts: 269

Posted: 20 May 2011, 19:49
One of my favorite quotes ever:

"If we do not have time to be sick, we have to make time to be healthy."

Vegan, P90X grad and happy Smile
Feel free to send me a buddy request!


Joined: May 10
Posts: 1,400

Posted: 20 May 2011, 20:11
@JustMe65, I'm hearing a couple of things in your post: 1) that the effort it is taking to ensure you are eating healthy food isn't worth the trouble, & 2) you're concerned about your partner losing her motivation & leaving you high & dry, so to speak.

1) Mimi's quote basically says it all. If you don't make the effort on the front end to put healthy food in your body, you'll be forced to put it in on the back end with lethargy, dr. visits, & all the other consequences of being overweight & unhealthy. Only you can decide if it's worth it for you. What is the alternative, go back to easy, processed convenience foods & have more time to feel like crap & wish you were healthier/weighed less? That said, there are ways to streamline your process if you are motivated to do so. You can buy fresh veggies once a week, cut them all up at the same time & portion them out for the week ahead. You can freeze the half you know you won't use before it spoils. Like some of the others mentioned, with proper planning you can cook in bulk & freeze for the coming week. Think about why you decided to start doing all this in the first place. How has your life improved since then? Are you willing to give that up?

2) I started my weight loss without consulting my husband & kids. I just did it. At first there was little impact because the only meal we really ate together was dinner, & I kept cooking the same stuff because I was doing SlimFast for breakfast & lunch. Then I started a low-carb diet in December. The only difference it made to my cooking was that the starch is always prepared separate from the rest of the meal, like roasted potatoes as a side dish rather than a noodle casserole, for example. Because my kids are old enough to prepare food for themselves (13 & 9), if they don't want to eat what's for dinner they know they will have to make themselves a sandwich or something. It's understood in my house that that's how it goes. As far as you losing your diet partner, it's going to be on her to keep her commitment to her own health. You can support her & give her ideas, but if she is going to let her circumstances derail her there's nothing you can do about that. And if you're dependent on her for motivation, you're going to have to find it elsewhere...if you can dig deep & find it within yourself then you can't fail. I promise you.
Kat | NO EXCUSES, JUST RESULTS | Next milestone - 256: 60 lbs lost
2013: still up from 1/1, but coming back down...
2010: 50.4 lbs lost | 2011:17 lbs lost | 2012: 1 lb gained
How I did it: http://stubbysticks.wordpress.com/weight-loss-summary-by-month/

Joined: May 11
Posts: 14

Posted: 20 May 2011, 20:37
I wish i could "like" the post above @kstubblefield. I couldn't of said it better myself!
mrs smith1

Joined: Apr 11
Posts: 62

Posted: 20 May 2011, 20:54
In the end, I have to do whatever it takes to continue on my journey especially if I am seeing the results! YES, ALL THE WORK IS A PAIN IN THE ASS BUT SO WAS BEING 337 POUNDS! Shock Actually the more you do the prep the easier it gets.

No easy answer! Yes, it is time consuming, I cook for the week on a fri or sat night, my family at first did not eat with me so like your friend I prepared 2 separate meals, for a while, I slowly started just making their meals a little healthier, for instance I make spaghetti with ground turkey instead of ground beef, I use low sodium items, I use many different spices but no salt or very little butter.

I have a 12-year-old son and he likes no veggies!!Doubt I just gently introduce him to different things. I guess the big thing is I still cook regular food, I just prepare it healthier Very Happy I allow him to have his hot wings or pizza I just make better choices when I read the labels. I choose the things with the least fat, sodium, whatever if it is. For instance, I may make the hot wings instead of buying the processed ones, I buy the skinless chicken strips and I sauce them and put them in the oven. I have the problem with the veggies going bad on me a lot, certain things you just have to shop more often.

Everyone had great suggestions! I hope this all helps bottom line it is all for each of us first as individuals then to pass to our families so our kids do not have the fat struggle we had.

I want to break the bondage of this fat cycle!!
Work in Progress

Joined: May 11
Posts: 17

Posted: 21 May 2011, 08:34
Time management and planning are key here. You need to devote one day at the end of the week to planning out the next week. My method is as follows:

I find it easiest to stay on track if I sit down on Saturday or Sunday morning and plan the menu for the week. My husband and I are already in the habit of planning out the menus a month in advance and shopping once a month for meat and dry goods and once a week for more perishable grocery items like produce. Hubby learned long ago that I won't make separate meals, so he either eats what I make for dinner, or he's on his own and going hungry. Your friend should give that method a try with her family. Chances are, it wouldn't be a bad idea for them to be healthier as well.

So with dinners already planned out, I'll sit down once a week with my recipes and load them into fatsecret so I already have the nutrition info ready. I'll also decide what to eat for breakfast and lunch. On Sunday evening, I'll portion out small tupperware containers of fruits, veggies, wheat crackers and hummus, sun chips, pretzels, and whatever else I'll be taking as snacks during the week. They go in a crisper drawer so that all I have to do is grab them and toss them in my lunch bag on my way out the door.

I'll admit that I was not so successful on my diet last week and it was because I didn't devote that few hours on Saturday morning to planning. A few hours now or a few pounds later... the choice should be an easy one if you're really committed.
What I really need are minions...
Ed Endicott

Joined: Sep 10
Posts: 140

Posted: 21 May 2011, 10:24
I think your eating partner needs to lay down the law....in a nice way. Make larger portions of the healthier stuff. If her family wants to eat more then let them eat more healthy food like vegetables. If they want to eat something different, then why can't they make it or buy it for themselves? I think they'll catch on after a while.

As far as the time constraints, if you buy fresh, use the stuff that doesn't freeze well first, then the stuff you can freeze second. I use frozen veggies all the time. If you buy frozen, check the packaging and choose something that doesn't have added salt - or if you get something that does have added salt, then don't add any when you cook it.

I prepare a lot of food on weekends for the rest of the week. It makes things a bit easier. This includes baking bread, portioning oatmeal breakfasts, butchering and cooking a whole chicken every week or two (whole chickens are much less expensive than packaged chickens).

It's a different lifestyle but it is sustainable.

Joined: Aug 09
Posts: 269

Posted: 21 May 2011, 10:43
Another way to put it:

Being fat is hard. Getting fit is hard. Pick your battle Wink

Vegan, P90X grad and happy Smile
Feel free to send me a buddy request!


Joined: Apr 08
Posts: 118

Posted: 21 May 2011, 12:51
my family doesn't like alot of casseroles , things must be separted,so I basically eat what they eat at dinner. They like hamburger helper but only the strognoff so i usually just thow a chicken breast in the oven and eat what veggies they are eatting with a salad. I don't want to cook two different meals either so I eat as healthy as I can during the day so if I want alittle rice or mash potatoes at dinner I eat them.

Joined: Jul 10
Posts: 82

Posted: 21 May 2011, 17:00
I can relate and feel the same way. I then think how much better I feel when I fuel my body with un-processed foods. I use tupperware fridge smart and my broccoli and lettuce will last almost a month. I know about busy lifestyle. I think we all feel. Where is the time? Try to prepare a monthly or weekly meal plan for your family including snacks and side dishes. I make a 2 week plan and it saves so much time in not thinking. Good luck you are not alone.
My world is filled with divine abundance and unlimited potential.

Joined: May 11
Posts: 47

Posted: 22 May 2011, 11:03
My thanks to all who took the time to write your suggestions. We're back on track with this and will be spending the afternoon chopping and dicing and steaming and preparing stuff for the coming week. We both love and appreciate the motivation to keep at it.

See you all on the thin side.

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