One Meal At A Time: A Nutrisystem Journey
I was selected to blog about my experiences with Nutrisystem — sharing my progress, successes, and failures while using the program for six months.
I started on November 1st. I'm excited about this on so many levels. First, maybe this will finally be the program that helps me lose weight successfully! Second, I am thrilled that Nutrisystem food is pretty much prepared and proportioned for me. As a single mom of two (highly demanding) young boys and a business owner, one of my biggest challenges has been preparing three healthy meals per day that meet our family's nutritional needs while still maintaining our schedules and running my business. I have been known to try and satisfy hunger simply by eating whatever is left on my kids' plates after each meal, which is neither satisfying or healthy! Finally, I'm extremely excited because Nutrisystem is sponsoring this journey and providing me with the Women's Basic 28-day meal plan for each of the next six months.
So, let me give you a quick background about me — so you can understand my excitement over starting Nutrisystem a little better.
I've always struggled with my weight. I was not huge as a child, but always heavier than the recommended weight and always seemed to be bigger and heavier than my friends. I was active. I played sports, worked as many hours as I was allowed while still going to school, but it didn't help me lose weight.
After having two children, I've tried many times over the years to get the weight off. Instead, I've only continued to gain weight. Every once in awhile I'll lose some — 10 pounds here, 15 pounds there — but it always finds a way back.
Part of it is my career. I spend an average of 10 hours a day in front of a computer. I'm a full-time writer and internet business owner. Eventually, I'd love to get to the point where the business runs without so much hands-on involvement and obviously work less hours, but for now...it is what it is. Sitting in front of a computer for so many hours a day is not great for losing weight.
I have a membership to a local gym. Unfortunately, and I know everyone says this, but hear me out: It's really difficult for me to get to the gym. Sure, it's open 24 hours, 5 days a week, and 12 hours or more on weekends, but I'm a single mom, and the gym membership is extremely inexpensive because it doesn't offer day care or any fancy extras — like a hot tub or something.
Can't I go while the kids are in school? Oh sure, and then instead of working until midnight, I'll be working until 3 a.m. to make up for lost time. (I'm working on this.) I realize I need to find time for exercise in order for all of this better eating to work, but I haven't quite worked out those details yet. As far as I know, there are only 24 hours in every day, and I need at least four of them to sleep, preferably six.
My Weight Loss Goal
The MyOptumHealth.com Healthy Weight Range Calculator decided for my height, I should be between 111 and 150 pounds. This means I have a weight loss goal of 96 pounds to fall at the weight I would like to be. To do this over six months, I'd need to lose 16 pounds a month, or about 4 pounds a week. Nutrisystem indicates the typical results are weight loss of 1 to 2 pounds per week; so my goal is a little on the aggressive side, but I don't think it's entirely unreasonable. Besides, it's better to have a bigger goal to strive for than to cut yourself short.
I'm taking it one meal at a time.
After the 6-month sponsorship is over, I can either continue on my own to reach my goal, or I can see if I've learned how to portion my own meals and go back to meal planning and cooking.
First Impressions of the Women's Basic Plan
The UPS guy pulled up and lugged a box up to my front door the other day. It was completely unmarked, which is nice if you're afraid your neighbors might notice your delivery and if you're a private person who doesn't want the world to know you're on Nutrisystem. Clearly, I don't have these privacy issues, considering I'm blabbing — I mean, blogging — about it to the world.
Once I opened the box, I had a moment of shock. It was a LOT of food. I received 28 breakfasts, 28 lunches, 28 snacks/desserts and 28 dinners. And nothing has to be refrigerated or frozen (unless you open and do not eat it all at once, although, considering the small serving sizes I can't believe anyone would really do that). I was a little uneasy about the idea of this food not needing refrigeration, but I haven't gotten sick so I figure they've figured out how to make this safe!
So in addition to having a lack of exercise in my daily routine, I know exactly why I haven't been able to lose weight after looking in my first Nutrisystem shipment. My serving sizes are at least 3 times what they should be! Most days, I don't just sit and eat all day long, and I feel like my meal choices have been fairly healthy overall, but my meals are always bigger than they should be.
I've also not been eating at the right intervals throughout the day or getting the right number of fruits, vegetables and dairy and all that jazz — so my blood sugar has regular spikes and crashes throughout the day. I'm interested to see how using Nutrisystem can help that, as well.
You can follow my overall experience and progress weekly here at HealthyTheory.com. If you want a more detailed, day-to-day account of the challenges and successes I experience as a single-mom-business-owner on Nutrisystem, you can follow along at BestOnlineWeightLossProgram.com, or @debbiedragon on Twitter.
Nutrisystem is providing their program free of charge for my participation in the Nutrisystem Nation Blogging Program.