Health and Fitness

Thursday’s adventure: Dieting

As you know, or maybe you don’t so you should go read this, I am trying to lose a moderate amount of weight and become generally healthier (aka, not binge on junk food all the time and be able to take a hike without wanting to die at the end). I am reluctant to call it “dieting” because dieting is a fad, and I plan to implement this healthy change of eating habits for the rest of my life.

I would like to start writing a weekly weigh-in post, both for myself and for any of you who are trying to become healthier, to record a general overview of my weekly menus, changes that I have found to help, encouraging articles I’ve read, healthy recipes I’ve found, and my personal stats (weight, measurements), and anything else I’ve found throughout the week that I think helps.

I am not an extreme dieter, as you will see. I am cutting out all sugars except fruit sugars, and any white flours, but I’m not giving up dairy as I know a lot of people do because 1. I only ever have dairy in the morning, and 2. I personally think that some forms of fats are good for you. (Dairy– in moderation–, avocados, nuts, etc.)

So here we go!


  • Long-term: 140lbs/size 6-8 jeans/38″ hips
  • This week: reach 159lbs, start walking


  • Weight: 161.2lbs
  • Waist: 28″
  • Belly: 37″
  • Hips: 44″
This week’s menu:


  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned or quick oats, 2tbsp honey, 1 cup milk (or, depending, 1/2c milk and 1/2c water), berries/bananas/whatever else is good in oatmeal
  • 2ish 8oz servings of coffee with half-and-half

Time it takes to prepare: 5 minutes or less to toss it all into a container, plus 3 to cook it in the microwave at work.


  • Handful of salad greens, tomatoes, mushrooms, cucumbers, and whatever other veggies are in the fridge
  • Rice, balsamic, raspberry, or apple cider vinegar dressing
  • Fruit of some sort. Lately, watermelon and plums
  • Occasionally, string cheese.

Time it takes to prepare: less than 5 minutes. I throw everything into a baggie or container without cutting up my veggies, and bring a knife to work so I can chop it all up while I’m there.


  • Small portion of meat (fish, pork, chicken, whatever.)
  • About half a plate of loosely piled salad/veggies
  • one serving (small) of grains such as brown rice, whole-wheat pasta, or Quinoa (I love Quinoa!)
  • More fruit.


  • Peanut butter pretzels (no sugar added)
  • (rarely) Sugar-Free ice cream.

I am not usually hungry enough to want a snack so long as I’ve eaten all of my breakfast and lunch, which makes me extremely happy. I’m getting into the habit of only eating when I feel hunger pangs, and drinking water if I’m craving something. And yesterday, I didn’t even want a very delicious-smelling oatmeal cookie from the batch that Mr. Owl had made. This is progress.

Also progress: the worst thing I’ve eaten so far this week was macaroni and cheese yesterday for dinner. Might not sound progressive to you, but the big thing was that I recognized I was full and didn’t go back for more like I might have a few weeks ago.

I haven’t been able to exercise yet thanks to a persistent cough and occasional fever (if I’m not well by tomorrow, I’m going to the doctor), but once I am well I plan to start walking and pushing myself a little further every day.

Lastly, the two really encouraging things that I keep going back to when I start feeling frustrated are: Selective Potential‘s two posts about weight-loss (1, 2), and the answers Sarah With a Bow sent me when I asked about how she lost weight and has kept it off for years. And the little voice that keeps reminding me the measurement and weight I would like to be. That definitely helps when I’ve got my hand on a bag of chips or someone offers me something I shouldn’t eat, to just think “140lbs”. That’s my goal, and I know eating even one snack-size bag of chips will throw me off.

I hope you all don’t mind this new feature, which I want to keep up until I’ve reached my goal. If you have any tips or encouraging thoughts that have helped you in your journey to being healthier, or if you want to share your own health goals with me, please do! I would love to hear what you all have to say!

Have a wonderful Thursday!


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  • Sarah With A Bow

    You’ve got full support from me over here (both in your ventures and with this feature). It’s your corner of the internet! As for motivation, something I didn’t tell you in that email was that I took the most unflattering photo of myself as I could and looked at it–often. I think I put on a pair of pants that was near the size I wanted to be and allowed all the unflattering bulging to happen and snapped a picture of my belly then. It’s hard to rationalize extra snacks and whatnot when you can literally see the extra mass on your body, you know?

    Here’s to a healthier & happy you! <3

    • Eccentric Owl

      I need to do the unflattering photo thing! I may actually take a picture of myself now in my exercise pants and shirt, and keep that to look at. Cuz those pants don’t hide nothin’! It’s a really good idea. 

  • Feathers & Freckles

    Good for you!! I love that you are doing this the healthy way and making it a long-term goal rather than a quick crash diet. 

    A few years ago I made drastic changes in my daily diet and exercise habits and I’ve stuck with them since – little changes make a HUGE difference in how you look and more importantly, how you feel. Setting realistic goals for the near future create long-term results that will become new habit. And if you don’t change your overall habits, then nothing sticks. 

    • Eccentric Owl

      I’ve never been interested in quick crash diets. I have an aunt who has tried every crash diet you can think of, and she always gained back every pound plus more when she was done. So, y’know, I don’t want to gain it back. 

      For sure! It’s hard to stick to the changes, but eventually I know it’ll become habit. And it’ll get easier.

  • EverestSays

    It will be a change for the better Sarah! Coincidentally I am also starting to be more aware of the food & exercise for a healthier lifestyle! Let’s do it together! 🙂

  • Comy

    What can I say?

    Good luck! I know you can do it! 😀 Keep in mind though, that a piece of chocolate every now and then isn’t bad (seriously, black chocolate is healthy in small amounts).

  • Meanz Chan

    Good luck Mara! I look forward to these posts of yours. I’m always looking for ways to eat healthy and encouragement. I still have a ways to go before my goal weight, but it’s nice to know there’s someone else out there who’s trying!  I am getting ready to start my workout again and I’m really looking forward to it!