Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Work Out Wednesdays: The Pantry

On my mission to live healthier, the first step of the journey was organizing my diet. I swear I've read somewhere that weight loss is 85% diet and 15% exercise, so it made logical sense to start with diet.

When it comes to food decisions, I can behave for breakfast and my packed lunch for work, but I instantly derail when I get home everyday. I'm always starving and, even in the amount of time it takes to microwave a Lean Cuisine, I start grazing on the snacks in the pantry.

In order to combat my cow-like tendencies, I organized the pantry. My logic was that once it was organized, I would be able to easily find the healthy snacks and hide the destructive ones from my line of sight without having to sadden my husband by throwing them out. I have no will-power and if I see something good, I'll eat it. I was gambling on the fact that if I couldn't see it, I would forget it was there.

This was our pantry before. It was a mess. I tried to develop a system when we moved in but that instantly dissolved. Because of the odd shape of the pantry (who builds a triangular pantry?) and not knowing our routine and eating habits at the new house, everything became perched on the very edge of the shelves and you could never find anything easily.

The Pantry: Before

To battle this, first I went to Target and bought some large cereal tupperware. The cardboard boxes don't fit properly on the shelf so they end up in odd places and block off the healthy snacks. Then, I pulled absolutely everything out of the pantry. In the laundry room, I divided things into piles based on similarities. I didn't create categories until they emerged from grouping similar items, but it quickly became baking, cooking, snacks, breakfast, and random staples (mainly things that needed to be refrigerated once opened). Next, I chose shelves for them based on health and use. The cooking stuff was put at eye level so I would be motivated to make dinner rather than to eat four handfuls of Goldfish. Staples went on the bottom shelf and baking on the top since they don't get used that often. Also, once snacks went on its shelf, the cookies and brownies were hidden in the back corner.

The Pantry: After

This system has worked pretty well so far. I had to sit Dan down and explain to him where everything was and threaten the safety of his kneecaps if he dared screw it up. It'll probably need maintenance every couple of months, but it is lightyears past where it was originally. I know it's not that impressive, but it's a start, people!

So, onto the more important part of this post: my weight loss progress thus far.

My graph shows my weight for every day over the past week as well as the trend. I've gone from 147.6 to 145.6, so a loss of two pounds! It's not much, but it's a start. I keep telling myself that it took a long time to put it on so it's going to take a long time to get it off.

One observation from this graph: I eat a lot of salty foods over the weekend. I ate relatively the same amount of calories, but I ate so much more salt that my body acted like a sponge. Fortunately, most of the bloat disappeared quickly, but I've got to start being more careful about my salt intake.

And hopefully, over time, the graph will look less frantic as the hills and valleys smooth out. This time, I'm refusing to let one or two bad days kill my spirit. And I know I'm going to really have to stick to that philosophy this weekend as it's someone's birthday and I plan on feeding him very well.


  1. The key is to write down EVERYTHING you eat--It'll make you think twice about what you put in your mouth and whether you really need to or not. Also, estimate the amount of calories in everything and write that down too. Lastly, don't look at your weight every day because it can fluctuate by a couple pounds from day to day as you saw ;) . Pick one day a week at the same time (preferably right when you wake up) and weigh yourself then. That way you only see the 2 lb loss rather than the ups and downs along the way.

    Something like this will help you: . I used this website for a long time and it definitely helped me keep track of everything. Good luck Carolyn! You're going to rock this diet :)

  2. I completely agree with you with the once-a-week weigh-in, but that's what got me into trouble before. It's really easy for me to justify any slight weight gain over a week with "It must be PMS" or "I just had a big dinner last night" until it snowballed. I plan on going back to the once-a-week when I get closer to my goal. But for now, I like doing it everyday so I can really see the affect of what I'm eating on my body.