Of Weight Loss and Weekly Dinner Planning

We’ve had a couple of huge things happen to us this past couple of months.

First thing was that during the summer my husband and I decided that we needed to take a look at how we were managing our finances. Our church was offering the Dave Ramsey 9 week course called Financial peace University and we jumped in at the opportunity. The course aims to teach you how to save, get out of debt and plan your finances so you can “live and give like no one else” in the future. It was a huge blessing for us. We were able to take a hard look at how we were spending our money and come up with a plan on how we wanted to spend it from now on.

I’m not saying it has been easy, quite the contrary, it’s been hard work and we have to be intentional in everything we do.

The second thing was moving. I remembered all over again why I hate it and how difficult it can be. Once everything was packed we had no choice but to eat out so much that our unhealthy habits started creeping back up. One of the areas we find rather tricky to manage is our food expending and consumption. I tend to go through cycles of unhealthy habits and utter laziness. Moving did not help at all.

Third thing was my grandmother passing away right in the middle of us moving. We had to drop everything and fly back home, which meant eating out and spending some more.

It just pushed us further and further into this cycle of unhealthiness. I tend to punish myself for my lack of control and for just being lazy, which is not a good thing. After this past guilt trip, I decided that enough was enough. I had to change. Not only for me but for the health of my family. I started wondering what I could do to help me stay on track, keep myself accountable and have a plan so I can reach my spending goals and my weight goals at the same time.

The first thing I did: I restarted keeping track of my food consumption. I know there are tons of apps and websites that help with this, but I love My Fitness Pal. Let’s start with the fact that it’s free, it’s very convenient to use and their food registry is huge. I love the fact that I can even create my own recipes and save them on my profile for future reference.

I gave myself a pat on the back because it was a huge decision to go back to tracking my food consumption. I know that for others it might not work, but for someone who has no self control around food (a.k.a. ME!), it gives you the accountability you need.

Then I wondered what else I could do, and I had a wonderful idea. I’m not saying I have been the first person to come up with this, I just remembered something I had seen. We had visited some friends a couple of weeks ago and I remembered how they had a blackboard on their kitchen wall with their entire weekly dinner menu. Although I thought it looked beautiful, it wouldn’t be practical for me since I wanted something I carry with me to reference when grocery shopping. I looked online and found a ton of meal planners. Nothing I found was appealing or practical, I just wanted to get something simple that just concentrated on dinner right now. I didn’t need something that planned the whole month, just a week to start with.

After much debate, I came up with the following Google Doc:

weekly meal planner

I thought it would be nice to share with you all. It is entirely customizable. I just wanted to make a template that would be useful for my family as well as anyone else that might be going through similar things.

Hope you all enjoy! Please let me know what you think.