The Magic of Meal Planning A look into the FATKitchen


The FAT Project isn’t our first rodeo…Paul and I have cycled through good times and challenges with our diet over the years.  What we know from experience is how we work best…and that a little planning and preparation goes a LONG way.  We are very good at rationalizing more than regular restaurant trips and poor choices at home:

  • I had a (insert emotion here) day.
  • I’m hungry now.
  • What’s for dinner?  Don’t know?
  • I’m craving.  Let’s go out for dinner.

When we take a few minutes to plan what we want to eat and create a grocery list something amazing happens.  WE EAT THE FOOD IN OUR FRIDGE!  I don’t have to spend time thinking each day about what we are having for dinner, that decision has already been made!  What’s more, I have all the ingredients I need sitting in my fridge and pantry waiting for me (well…most of the time).  Aside from eating more nutritious meals at home, when we plan our meals, our fridge stays clean.  No mystery food in containers hanging around our kitchen.  Knowing what we are having for supper helps us make better decisions about our food intake throughout the day and simply having a plan pushes us toward following through with it because, well, the work is mostly complete.  The sum of these factors is our household staying on track.

In the spirit of sharing and accountability, #FATKitchen will post our weekly supper plan.  Most of our breakfasts and lunches are routine, so at this point in the journey we will focus on the evening meal.  Here is this week’s plan and grocery list:

Menu Plan for the Week of October 17-23

Saturday: Fish, zucchini noodles with pesto, broccoli

Sunday: Roast Chicken salad, biscuits, chopped veggies

Monday: Dragon Bowl with tofu and peanut sauce

Tuesday: Chicken fingers in panko, roasted potato, stir fry veggies

Wednesday: Baked Mac and Cheese with beans/ziti, frozen veggies

Thursday: Beef roast, quinoa, green beans

Friday: Homemade pizza, roasted cauliflower


Grocery List

  • Cottage Cheese
  • Yogurt
  • Coffee
  • Little Big Bread/whole grain bread
  • Quinoa
  • Zucchini
  • Tofu
  • Peppers
  • Fresh fish
  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Romaine Hearts
  • Pickles x 2
  • Cauliflower
  • Grapes
  • Frozen broccoli and cauliflower
  • Lactose free old cheddar
  • Pepperoni
  • Lunch meat
  • Broccoli
  • Small potatoes
  • Kale
  • Snow peas
  • Bananas
  • Other fruit (apples, pears, berries)
  • Garlic
  • Pine nuts
  • Basil
  • Old cheddar
  • Cucumbers

Weigh In and Medical Check-up


I had my first follow-up appointment today at the weight management clinic, and Joel from RoadWest Pictures filmed the entire thing.  The clinic was very open to the cameras and I look forward to sharing our discussion with you soon, but first, the results of the first 10 days of the FAT Project:

Drum roll please…

  • 9 lbs lost for a current weight of 408 lbs
  • 122/88 blood pressure, down from high 140’s over 90 (I may have had a little white-coat syndrome going on during my initial reading, today’s is much better)

Note that I do not weigh myself between these sessions, and the next one is scheduled for November 30, 2015.

Targets from the Nutritionist considering the results of my Metabolic Test that shows I burn 2750 calories at rest, daily:

  • Proteins 5 Servings
  • Grains 6 Servings
  • Dairy 3 Servings
  • Fruit 3 Servings
  • Vegetable 5+ Servings
  • Extra Fat 4 Servings

I really appreciate all the comments and interaction in the #FATProject Social Media feeds, please keep it up!  Some family and friends have raised concerns about the Diet Pepsi that has had a supporting role in a few of my food photos, concerns that it doesn’t belong in the diet of someone undertaking this kind of project.  I appreciate hearing all thoughts and concerns, and I look forward to learning more and fine-tuning my diet over the next few years.

My current philosophy when it comes to the food going into my body is that it should be reasonable – reasonable portions and reasonable choices.  I will continue to be open and honest about what I consume and sometimes I will make less than optimal choices.  Instead of feeling guilty about a choice that could have been better, I will feel good about it.  The FAT Project will never work if I place too high of value on deprivation or ‘good’ vs. ‘bad’ food.  If for now a can of Diet Pepsi fits, I am pleased to make its acquaintance.  Tomorrow I may choose differently, but I will always aim to be in control of the choice.

There are two promises I make to make to myself for the next few years:

  1. I will eat delicious and beautiful cake on my birthdays
  2. There will be no restricted foods on this eating plan, I will eat reasonably



So is this like ‘Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead’?


Over the last few weeks, I have had a number of people say to me, “Hey, is this like Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead?”  For those of you who don’t know, Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead (and its sequel) document the journey of Joe Cross as he uses juicing as a catalyst to create a healthier life, inspiring others to follow his lead.  I admire Joe Cross’ journey with juicing to make his life better; I found it to be a powerful example of commitment and weight loss.  Many people found Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead inspiring and I think it is worth a watch:

The short answer to the question is no, not really.  I have set a goal to achieve, healthy and fit enough to complete an Olympic distance triathlon in 3 years time.  While the FAT Project will document my journey to health and fitness,  I have not landed on one path to achieve my goals.  I am beginning my journey in a medically supervised program using a slow and steady approach to make lasting changes.  I will take 3 years to cement lifestyle changes that I can maintain – not bad considering it took me over 30 years to build the habits that led me to put on the weight that I carry.  I am open to trying different things, maybe juicing or meal replacements, and I look forward to figuring out what works best for me.  We are all individuals so it makes sense to me that we each need to find our own way.

At my first clinic visit with the Dr. we talked about how the process of losing weight will be about 80% diet and 20% exercise, and that there are many unique factors that make up my personal situation.  I will be working with the clinic to identify what those are for me – perhaps hormonal challenges, my thyroid, sleeping issues or depression.

Another factor that I will address so that I am never obese again is to delve into the emotional issues that I carry around.  How did I get to 420 pounds?  What keeps me obese?  My father was here for Canadian Thanksgiving last week and he graciously consented to letting us film him answering the question, “Dad, why am I fat?  My dad and I had an amazing conversation for nearly 40 minutes.  I am grateful for the conversation and I think it will contribute to my long-term healing.  My partners at RoadWest Pictures and I look forward to sharing the footage with you soon.


Documenting Your Food


On the two medically supervised diets I have been on previously there was a lot of focus on a food log.  Recording everything I ate or drink with guidelines provided  the by the doctor.  This work well, but it was a bit onerous.  Then Apps came along like MyFitnessPal that have made the entering of what you consume easier.

This is now my 7th day of the FAT Project and I have Instagrammed everything I have eaten:


It has been one of the greatest experiences I have ever had on a diet. Firstly, I make sure my food looks pretty good before I eat it – which enhances the whole eating experience. Second, it slows the process down for eating so I can’t just dive in, including helping me rethink choices because I just can’t shove it in my mouth.  Lastly, the whole preparation of it feels like a challenge, one that is honouring my body for what it is, with quality food that I deserve to eat.  Now this is just the first week, so we will re-assess this about a month in to see if I still feel this way.

I have had a few people ask me how they could get involved in the FAT Project for themselves.  My first suggestion os to publish everything you and drink. Try instagram, it is super easy and it is the right medium for this kind of thing.  @thefatproject will promise to follow you so at least you have some accountability to me.

I also need to give out huge thank yous to all the new followers on all the platforms, we started at nothing a week ago. We are at:

Facebook 118 Likes
Instagram 28 Followers
Twitter 25 Followers