Weight Loss Challenge Week 2: Grocery Shopping & Eating Differently

Blogger Mandy Dawson, a mom of two kids, has made it her mission to get healthy and lose 50 pounds. Over the next eight weeks, she'll be working with wellness guru Debi Silber to get on the right track to meeting her fitness goals. Check back every Thursday for an update on how she's doing in our Weight Loss Challenge series.

“Well,” Debi said over the phone from her snowy New York office while I walked into the California sun from my office “how was week one?”

I sat at the metal picnic table in front of my office and thought for a moment, “Not too bad, actually.” If she’d ask me how it had gone that first week on day three, I would have bemoaned my lack of bread products. The truth was, after a few days – and knowing I’d have to “confess” any transgressions to you – I honestly stopped thinking about what I couldn’t have and set out to discover new ways to prepare what I could have.

There’s some freedom in this way of eating. No longer am I measuring portions, doing mathematic decathlons with the nutritional information, or wondering what I could do to make a dish lighter. The truth is, my grocery shopping is contained to the right hand and far back portion of the store: produce, meat, and dairy. 

It helps that I have access to an amazing Farmers Market once a week where I stocked up on daikon to make “fries” and fresh made hummus, grassfed beef, and free range chicken. My own hens are keeping me supplied with a couple dozen eggs a week. To be honest, for the first time, my food choices are inching up to 90% local. All of the items I use to purchase in packages – grains, pastas, breads, rice, sugar – are no longer on my shopping list. 

Walking back from my Farmers Market, bags loaded with inexpensive and fresh produce and my mind full of recipes, I felt healthy.
Debi and talked about my first week’s food log. She expressed delight in the various ways I’ve “treated” myself, from making the aforementioned daikon fries to the grass fed burgers with a chilli garlic aioli. As for myself, I was happy with how well the first week had gone, though I’d had a hard time on the weekends. While I didn’t “cheat”, I wasn’t properly prepared which meant I let myself get too hungry. If I’d been in any other week, I might have easily gone for the hot dogs being sold at the ball field.

“I’d like for you to focus on being prepared,” she said as I explained how my carefully prepared jars of salads and snacks ran out on Saturday.

This week, not only did I focus on being prepared, but I found that keeping a few snacks in my handbag was a huge help. Little bags of marcona almonds, an apple, and one of Debi’s Mojo Bars kept me from getting too hungry when Little League practice went late or I was stuck in a meeting and they decided to order out for Mexican food and work through lunch.

We also spoke about the program and how it differs from South Beach and Atkins – something all of my friends have been wondering about. The big difference is that Debi focuses on the whole person rather than just nutrition. She describes it as a table and if you just use nutrition or even fitness to try to stand the table up, it’s going to fall. 

Unless it’s one of those fancy modern art display pieces. Which I’m not.

Instead, she’s going to work though my lifestyle, self-image, mindset, fitness goals, and nutrition. “Expect the unexpected,” she said. 

So far, as week two comes to a close, I’m down 5.2 pounds. Considering that’s twice what I lost the entire month of February, I’m already getting unexpected results.

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