This past year I watched a friend of mine lose thirty pounds using Nutrisystem. Compared to me, she looked great before dieting. Now, she looks like a Barbie Doll. I still look like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man’s twin sister.


I’ve been walking around in this fat suit for a few years now. I’ve become quite accustomed to it. I’m even comfortable in it. After all, I’ve already paid for the wardrobe  and it seems like a lot of time, effort, and money to have to change. Anyway, that’s what I’ve been telling myself, lo these many years.

But the time has come.

We went on a winter vacation down to New Orleans. Had fun. Ate our way through that part of the south. I gained ten pounds to my already ridiculously overweight body. I could barely walk five blocks without having to stop and rest, and the last night of our vacation, I seriously thought I was having a heart attack. My arm and jaw still hurt the entire next day. It was time to either make peace with leaving the earth, or make some kind of effort to live.

I’d ordered Nutrisystem right before we left for our seven-day vacation. I knew it would be waiting for me when I got home. It was the perfect time for me to re-start my life and get control of my weight. I’d had two days of feeling worried about my heart and health, then I came down with a stomach flu which gave me cramps and a need to race to the bathroom every time I drank water, so yes… minimal food intake was something I was even looking forward to.

Today is day-four using Nutrisystem. This first week is a jump-start where I’m getting 1,000 calories or there-abouts each day. I’m doing fine, although I always feel a little hungry, which isn’t killing me. I’m hoping I can get to a point where feeling a little hungry feels good. I’ve been running on full for way too long.

The funny thing is the portions. Seeing them makes everything so black and white. I look at the tiny little ½ cup of stew in the package I get for lunch and think… well, no wonder I’m fat. This is smaller than most appetizers I eat. Do they fill me up? Well, for about an hour. If I eat some vegetables with it… and I can have as many non-starchy veggies as I want, I can certainly get two or three hours out of that little serving. I’m assuming there are some nutrients and vitamins in the prepackaged entrees that keep me going. I’m willing to trust it. But yes, after a few hours, I kind of need another meal.

Not to worry! With Nutrisystem, you eat six times a day and drink a horse tank full of water! The water seems like a huge pain the ass, but the six little meals are needed. A basic day can look a lot of different ways (this first week). It might be a muffin or a power bar or a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast. Then a turbo shake which by no means should be compared side-by-side with a milkshake, but I’ve come to enjoy them quite a bit. Lunch might be a lunch power-bar, or a little bowl of stew. Then half way between lunch and dinner, I have a crunch bar… yet another kind of power bar. I usually cave around 4:30 and have ½ cup of carrots, and that’s fine. Then supper comes along and I get a package of maybe Rotini with meatballs, or a little pizza. Something warm. With that, I eat whatever vegetables I have on hand, like green beans or cabbage or pea pods. I sauté them and eat them with the meal. Oh, and I really fill my plate with the veggies, almost to the point I’m tired of eating them before I finish my meal. But again… the program encourages that. There is no limit on non-starchy veggies.

This first week, that’s all I get, and I’m doing just fine with it. I don’t know what next week will bring, but I assume I’ll be able to add in a little more here and there along the way. I’m looking forward to fruit… never thought I’d type those words… and I’m eager to keep trying the different entrees they have.

And that brings me to the point where I have to say I really like this program so far. It’s hard to change the way a person cooks/prepares food, and the prepackaged meals which are labeled: breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, take all of the worry of meal planning out of the equation. That’s the most difficult part of adjusting how one eats, at least for me.

I’m obviously not a person who craves veggies, fruit and salads, nor do I enjoy cooking low-calorie foods. And I love to cook and create, but I do it with cream and cheese and butter and pasta! Can I make a lean Chile? Probably. But my instincts want to use sausage and hamburger and refried beans to make it nice and thick… oh… and then I want to serve it with a dollop of sour cream, a sprinkle of cheddar, and some chopped green onions! Then I’ll want to have seconds because it’s so goooooood!

I think I just identified my problem. It’s not that I like to cook. It’s not that food tastes better when fatty foods are part of their creation (it does, of course!). It’s that I’ve got no damned self-control! I’m a brat who needs to be told “NO!” and then redirected to something more positive. Eating is the easy way to make myself feel better. It’s the band-aid for boredom and anger and sadness and joy and worry and self-loathing and exhaustion and it’ll never be something I can quit altogether. I have to eat. Every day. We all do.

So, yeah. I have to find self-control and that’s something I’m not too good at. I can do it… but I have to dig really deep. Maybe Nutrisystem can help me do that. So, wish me luck. So far so good. Oh, and I’m 6 lbs down, but then again, I was 10 pounds over, so I guess I’m still climbing up hill, but hey… at least I’m climbing.

21 thoughts on “WISH ME LUCK

  1. tricia Lynne says:

    I’m proud of you Gina, and I miss you, tons. Good luck with everything, I am trying to get healthy. I won’t say lose weight, but I want to be able to walk more without panting, and feeling achy. So I am dancing once a week, and trying to eat less and walk more.

    • ginabarlean@gmail.com says:

      Thanks. Good for you, too! Conference is coming soon. We’ll have to wine about things in someone’s room.

  2. Sue says:

    You can do it! About a year ago I needed to make some changes too and I chose The Whole 30. It worked great for me. Find what works for you and get-r-done!

  3. Charlie Volnek says:

    Go, Gina, go! It’s a challenge to be controlled and lose weight. But I’ve never seen you turn away from a challenge! 🙂 Rock on, Muse sister.

  4. Awesome. Keep up the good work. Each pound off is worth celebrating. I do a happy dance if I go down each week–even if it’s only a few ounces (some weeks are better than others).

    • ginabarlean@gmail.com says:

      Funny you say that about the dance. I was just thinking that maybe a music channel and a little dancing could be something I could enjoy. (Provided I don’t get caught doing it!)

  5. Carol Wuenschell says:

    Good for you! Go for it! And here’s wishing you all the luck you need.

    My hubby is working on his weight, all on his own. More will power there than I’ll ever have, but still he back-slid over xmas. Looks like he’s started down again, though, this last week. It isn’t easy. If you need any encouragement, just ask.

    • ginabarlean@gmail.com says:

      Thank you, Carol. I really appreciate it. I think I really need to avoid TV and all the food commercials! That makes it so hard.

  6. Awesome, GIna. I’m eager to hear how it works. I gained 10 pounds over the holidays and have dropped 9 of them by cutting back on quantity, but I’ve always wanted to hear how someone really made Nutrisystem worked (other than Marie). Keep us informed! And do pictures!

    • ginabarlean@gmail.com says:

      Thanks, Hope. I need the support! I think recording what you eat is a big part of getting into changing my lifestyle. I sure hope it works. I need to feel better so I can do more.

  7. Best of luck to you! Nutrisystem has helped a lot of people, and just as you said, having prepared meals takes some of the stress and work out of the process. So cool that you’re doing this. I’ll be rooting for you!

    • ginabarlean@gmail.com says:

      The coming weeks will allow me to add in more regular food and then flex meals. I’m hoping after a half year or so, I have a grasp on eating right.
      Interesting, it advises not to exercise the first week. I love that. Exercise is hard when you’re overweight and low on energy. I’m hoping by next week I’ll be ready to start doing three 10 minutes stints a day. I think that will be a good way to baby-step into the pool.

  8. Sue B says:

    I tried Nutrisystem a few years back and I thought the food was awful. I figured you lose weight on it because you don’t eat! I threw most of the food out, it was so gross. Maybe it’s my taste buds, but I couldn’t stand it. Hope you have better luck that I did. (Maybe they’ve improved since I tried it.)

    I’m going to Immanuel Hospital now. They have a good program that works to change our minds more than our diet. (Although we eat healthy. I miss chocolate the most.)

    • ginabarlean@gmail.com says:

      I’m trying to get in the mind-set of eating to live instead of living to eat. You’re right though. The food is more fuel and fun, for sure.

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