Special thanks to Jenny Craig for their sponsorship of this post.
Last fall, I made the fierce proclamation that I would lose 42 lbs for the arrival of my 42nd year. Deeming it a catchy “42 for 42“, I was determined to find my healthy in the year ahead.
So, as you likely know, 42 has arrived… and you might be wondering how it’s going. Well, I’d say it’s going pretty well! As a status update, I’m just shy of -30 lbs down since I started back on the Jenny Craig program*, and I’m INCREDIBLY grateful for this process. *Avg. weight loss 1-2 lbs/week for members following the program.
Thirty pounds into this journey, I thought it would be a great time to reflect on what I’ve learned so far…
Fun fact: The pic on the left was taken at a wedding over Labor Day Weekend last year, and the pic on the right was taken from a wedding in late April. It’s happening!
Bodies Don’t Operate Well on a Deadline
I used to say things like “I want to lose weight before that photo shoot” to “I want to grow my hair out by summer.” After many years of trying this deadline-based approach, I’ve realized THAT JUST DOESN’T WORK for me. Bodies are weird, and my goodness… who can make hair grow??? When I have a deadline I’m working toward, I get anxious when my body doesn’t participate and that added cortisol becomes counterproductive, complicating everything! What’s happened in the past is that I end up quitting before I achieve said goal, frustrated that I’ve “failed again.”
This time around, I just said I wanted to lose the weight for my 42 year old self and that’s EXACTLY what I’m doing! I’m less than 14 lbs from my 42 for 42 goal and have plenty of year left to achieve it.
Even the Best Laid Plans…
Just because I’m on a healthy living kick, doesn’t mean that life stops and everyone else jumps on board as well. Parties still get planned; surprises inevitably pop up. When this happens, I do my best to give myself grace when I eat outside the lines. At the same time, when I’m eating outside the lines, it had better be worth it! Example: My friend Ashleigh got married last week, and her wedding cake was orange blossom flavored. You’d best believe I tried that, and loved every bite…
I’ve had holiday events, happy hours, business travel, a funeral, vacations, and so much more to contend with, and none of them has made me give up. I’ve even traveled with Jenny Craig food when I could (packing a cooler in my suitcase a time or two!) and I’ve made the best possible choices in restaurants when I needed to.
My Best Advice: Get Back on Track
My staying 100% on plan is not my greatest success with Jenny Craig. My greatest success is getting RIGHT BACK ON PLAN after a slip-up, a planned event, or a holiday.
When my Grandpa passed away in November, I was supposed to be gone for three days but that quickly turned into a five-day trip. In my family, when you travel to a funeral in a town that you grew up in but haven’t lived in for years, you end up taking a foodie trip down memory lane. You visit the local italian restaurant that has the best chicken parmesan you’ve ever had, to the place where you celebrated your grandparents’ 50th wedding anniversary, and the hot dog shoppe in town that’s both basic and delicious. You eat and drink your way through the experience, and because you’re also living that hotel life, you eat out every single meal.
When I came back from Ohio, I was emotionally spent and completely over dining out. My first stop after arriving back in Colorado was to the grocery store. All I wanted were veggies and Jenny Craig food. I was craving routine, and the program let me settle right back in. I very easily could have continued down the path of dining out and drinking wine every night… but in the spirit of actually obtaining my goals, I bounced right back onto my plan.
Sometimes, it’s easy to get back into a routine. Other times, I go down kicking and screaming. Either way, I get back on board and as quickly as I can to assure that I’m moving toward the goal.
Pre-Planning for the Week
I still meal prep every single week. Considering that my frozen meals are ready to go for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, I know this may come as a surprise. I need a plan for the week though, and there’s nothing worse than realizing I don’t have the right supplies on hand.
While it looks different depending on the week that lies ahead, I typically count apples to make sure I have one for every day (after all, an apple a day… and girl needs to have her fruit!) I also like to make sure I have ample staples in the house for volumizing my meals. Key ingredients include: raw spinach, red onion, tomatoes, garlic, red cabbage, and spicy things (hot sauce, pepper flakes, fresh jalapeños, etc.) I also like to have a veggie on hand that I can snack on if hunger strikes: Cauliflower, shishito peppers, and cabbage steaks all fit the bill.
I also like to have a few free items on hand that I can snack on if I need them. Two essentials: Sugar Free Jello and Aveda Tea. Both are a sweet treat – – jello more for where I feel the need to EAT something, and the tea has become a go-to pick-me-up when I’ve already eaten through all the snacks of the day.
Every Day, There are Choices
We live in a world where socializing is heavily centered upon eating and drinking. When you’ve got a set plan you’re trying to follow, sometimes you have to make hard choices. On Christmas Day, I really would have preferred to have eaten my sister in law’s homemade biscuits and gravy, but I instead chose Jenny Craig Cinnamon Rolls. I went to a team builder this week at Coors Field. While I have been strangely craving a hot dog (I know, right?), I opted to walk to the other side of the ballpark to find a salad stand and picked up an easy salad with light dressing for dinner (while my colleagues ate burgers and fries).
There are times I say no to socializing. I say no thanks to cake a LOT (monthly sheet cake at work, for example.) I also say no thanks to happy hour quite a bit.
However, I will say this… I never say no to events that are important, to moments that matter. That might mean I eat dinner before I go. It might mean I graze on the veggie trays like it was built for me.
Good choices are what will propel me further on this journey. Good choices are going to be what we celebrate in 14 lbs.
Lastly, It Takes a Village
I am extremely grateful for my Jenny Craig consultant who I meet with weekly, who answers all of my questions, and is my own personal cheerleader on this journey. She understands that my journey is my own and helps me navigate and PLAN for anything that comes up! Special shoutout to Norma for sharing her wisdom, knowledge, and positivity each week! I couldn’t have done this without her!
Thank you to each of you for your support along the way. I’m excited to reach my goal in the weeks ahead and set off some fireworks to celebrate!
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Jenny Craig; however, all of the opinions and comments about the program are exclusively my own and do not necessarily represent that of the brand.