Update: We’ve been following Shirley‘s journey since 2015. She wrote in to share how cooking healthy meals use to be a challenge, but now she’s a true fan of meal prep. Shirley lost over 70 pounds and has gone from a size 22 to a size 10. At 58 years old, she is fired up about health and fitness.
After my initial weight loss, I tried everything in the world not to cook, predicated by various excuses;
- I don’t have time
- I can’t cook
- I can just eat low-cal frozen meals, etc.
None of those worked and I could feel my weight slowly starting to creep back up. I talked to the counselors at Quick Weight Loss and began a 9-week program. At first, I tried cooking on my own and had the same problem: I couldn’t cook and my food was nasty. As before, I didn’t want to eat it, which meant I would eat things I had no business eating. I bought the program’s cookbook and the rest is history.
Now, I’m constantly seeking out new recipes. I buy Cooking Light and Eating Well magazines, and they are full of tasty, healthy recipes. I also started reading books by Michael Matthews (aka. The Shredded Chef) and all the pieces fell into place for me. I used his cookbook this weekend and so far, the meals are amazing!
Prepping is EVERYTHING. I now cook meals on Saturday and Sunday. By Monday, I’m ready to grab and go! I was working out four times a week but I had surgery in November 2016 and that took me out of the gym for over a month. Now, I re-united with my old trainer Dionysis Warren, who is just the best trainer ever. He helps me not only with working out but with my psyche. You have GOT to wrap your head around this process or it won’t work. Food cannot be your life; as Michael Matthews says, it’s just fuel. Yes, it needs to taste good or you’re not going to eat it, but you have to do a lot of “unthinking.”
I grew up on fried foods; fried fish on Friday and fried chicken on Sunday, including fried corn. I thought my taste buds would never want anything else, but I was so wrong. I eat something fried every now and then, but no more than once a month. Surprisingly, I don’t even want it anymore. It’s just not that good.
Now, I have wine and a splurge meal on Saturdays and my weight stays within 2 pounds of my goal (I actually went two pounds BELOW my original goal and that’s where I now stay). I wear a size 10, down from a 22. (If the sizes are split, I wear an 8/10.) For the most part, I wear medium tops and I use to wear a 3X. I would love to get to that 8, and I may do that, but right now my focus is on maintaining and living a healthy lifestyle.
Most importantly, I actually enjoy cooking now! I like finding new recipes and trying them out. It’s like an adventure! Cooking/meal prepping is the most important part of this journey. The more you do it, the more it becomes a way of life. You have to let go of all of the things/foods you thought you needed before, because you don’t really need them. Your body certainly doesn’t need them. It performs much better (as God intended it to perform) when you feed it right. Be good to your body and it will be good to you. It’s just that simple.
I’m very interested in coaching others like me and have been looking into becoming a health coach. When I say I turned my life around, I mean it. I’m 58 years old, so all the crap about you can’t lose weight after 50 is just that–crap. Anyone can do this. It takes time, planning, and focusing on YOU. That’s it!
Want to know more about her weight loss journey? Check out what she shared with us in 2015.