Operation Skinny Jeans: Planning for Success by Kate

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Planning for Success by Kate

HAPPY 4th of JULY everyone!!! I am here celebrating on the beach at Camp Pendleton, the Marine base with my family! Hope you enjoy your holiday and remember the men and women who give their lives daily in the pursuit of our freedom :D

Here is another one of my favorite bloggers Kate from Widgeon Nest! Check her out :D

Hey everyone! My name is Kate and today I'm filling in for Jess while she's off gallivanting in California. Like Jess, I'm on a weight-loss journey. I blog over at the Widgeon Nest and you can usually find me participating in Jess's Weekly Goals Check In Link Party. I find that her link-up is a great way to get my bearings and formulate a game plan for the week. We all know the old Pinterest adage:

Which apparently should be attributed to Anotine de Saint Exupery...just FYI

I've found that planning and evaluation have been key to my successes so far in my weight-loss journey.

Sometimes when people ask me about losing weight, the conversation shifts to their lifestyle. I don't like to impose my beliefs or methods on others, and honestly, I find that the topic can be incredibly awkward. So it's almost always the other person bringing up their own weight and lifestyle. And more often than not, when the conversation shifts to their weight, I hear some derivation of the following:

"I'd love to lose weight, too. But I just don't have the time."

I hate hearing that. And yet, I get it. I mean, I blog about diet and exercise, I train for races, I'm constantly tweaking my workout schedule and my diet. I track through Weight Watchers and follow registered dietitians on Twitter. I spend about two hours every Sunday night prepping food for the next week's lunches, breakfasts, and snacks.


To an outsider, it probably seems like too huge a commitment to take on.

The thing is, they're seeing the lifestyle that developed over 1.5 years. When I started, it wasn't nearly this all-consuming. It doesn't have to be this way--not everyone has to geek out over diet and exercise to the extent that I do (and it only feels fair to throw in the disclaimer that I am not nearly as obsessed as some).

Have you heard this excuse before? Does it drive you nuts? Let's look at what it takes to lose weight and why it's not that bad.


A lot of people assume that to lose weight they need to put in hours at the gym every day. Not so. In fact, shorter, higher-intensity workouts are more effective.

You can lose weight working out for 25 minutes a day. There's a reason Jillian Michaels is so popular--her workouts are dang effective. And you don't need to belong to a gym, either. There is so much you can do with a pair of 5-lb weights and your own body weight.

And aside from that, you just can't beat a good morning run. Sixty minutes a day is nothing.


I think when people talk about not having time, they're mostly thinking about working out. But what I wish more people realized is that you can lose weight even without working out. You might not be very toned, but you will lose weight. When I joined Weight Watchers in November of 2011, I was not working out. Like at all. I didn't start running until the following February and didn't start adding in additional workouts until a month or two after that. I had lost about 20 pounds before I ever began working out.

It's so much easier to cut 500 calories out of your diet each day than it is to burn 500 calories in exercise.

Perhaps it's the prospect of cooking that scares people off? Maybe they dread eating Lean Cuisine for dinner every night? Luckily, frozen dinners aren't the only quick options we have at our disposal. Here are some examples:

Frozen smoothies--for breakfasts or snacks--buy bags of frozen fruit, shove some spinach in the blender, splash with milk, should take no more than 5 minutes.

Oscar Mayer Carving Board Chicken--it's precooked chicken in fairly large hunks. Find them next to the lunch meats, then try one of these ideas:

  • Buy a bag of mixed greens and whip up a salad in one minute.
  • Get one of those caesar salad kits, buy some low-carb, high-fiber tortillas, and make a chicken caesar wrap.
  • Eat the chicken plain with a side of veggies.

Rotisserie Chicken--use it in wraps, salads, or by itself. One chicken will last days. In fact, here's an article that will tell you how to stretch out that chicken, with a week's worth of food. This menu does require some cooking, though. The beauty of a rotisserie chicken is the work is done for you. Have some raw veggies on the side (carrots, snap peas, etc) and microwave a sweet potato (5 min on high, done), and you're eating in less than 10 minutes.

Hard-boiled eggs--easy, portable, protein-filled snacks. This is the easiest hard-boiling method I've found.

Tuna--mix with an avocado for a salad or take the can to work and drizzle fancy olive oil on it. Enjoy with whole-grain crackers. *You may think of tuna as a light lunchtime option, but it's a lean protein with many health benefits, and that makes it worthy of your dinner table. Plus, opening the can takes less than 30 seconds.

Fish--seafood microwaves very well. You'll have to thaw it first, but you can quickly zap a tilapia filet and serve next to raw sugar snap peas or green beans for one very quick meal. Throw some butter on top for a healthy full fat.

Crockpot chicken + Salsa--yes, it takes about 5 minutes in the morning, but when you come home, it will be ready to eat--throw it on salads, sandwiches, wraps, pasta, rice (you can get 5-min microwavable brown rice in the freezer section), or eat it alone.

Greek yogurt--portable and protein-packed. Enjoy with fresh berries. No prep necessary.

Veggie steamers--buy a few bags in the frozen section each week. They're a godsend when you're trying to whip up quick, balanced meals. Throw in a pan with some chicken and some store-bought sauce for a quick stir-fry.

Pre-formed turkey burgers, chicken sausages, etc.--slap 'em in a pan or on a George Foreman grill and you're good. A side of salad is simple when you buy bags of mixed greens.

Ingredients meals--your food doesn't have to be hot in order to be nutritious. If you're pressed for time throughout the week, there's no shame in eating uncooked and random items that are nutritious. For example, a few slices of deli turkey with some mixed baby peppers, some snap peas, and half an avocado drizzled with low-sodium soy sauce will keep you full for hours and hit every macro. Or heat up some pre-cooked shrimp, drizzle with butter and sprinkle with curry powder and enjoy that with some raw carrots.

Fast food--you can eat healthy while on the go, as well. Order a salad at Subway (or a sandwich on multi-grain bread), get a burrito bowl with brown rice at Chipotle, order off the secret power menu at Panera (may I suggest the power chicken and hummus bowl?). Get a small whole-grain Tuscan Linguine at Noodles & co. with a small Med Salad.

Initially, it may take a little time to come up with some healthy meal options, but the Internet is rife with ideas. The next time you hear someone say, "I just don't have the time," just tell them to read this post. I also pin tons of ideas for quick meals and quick workouts on my Pinterest boards (this one and this one).

Do you have weight-loss related pin boards? Favorite healthy fast food options? Please share in the comments!

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  1. You speak the truth! I have just as much time to get healthy as I've got to get fat. I'm trying my best to chose to put my time towards being healthy. :)

  2. Great post! Thank you. I am now following those two boards on Pinterest :)

  3. Those are great ideas. People don't realize how easy it can be and that you don't have to spend hours in the kitchen.


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