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No More Excuses – Starting Jenny Craig (Closed)

 I’ve been keeping a little secret.  Over the last 4 weeks, I’ve been participating in the Jenny Craig weight loss program.  I will be sharing my experience over the span of 3 posts.  And each will include a giveaway!  Woohoo!


 I’ve never been one to follow any fad-type diets.  Years ago, I watched a friend of mine go on some sort of cabbage diet.  She lost 100 pounds in the span of something like 3 months.  When I saw her a few months later, after she had begun eating “normally,” she had gained back all of her weight, plus extra.  And her health had deteriorated dramatically.

And while DIET to me is a 4-letter curse word, I have always felt that it’s best done safely and slowly.  It’s about a lifestyle change, and coming to terms with the reasons why we may overeat, or eat to satisfy something other than hunger.

When I was approached to review the Jenny Craig program, I was thrilled.  Mostly because I remember well seeing Valerie Bertinelli’s weight loss journey, and how incredibly wonderful and healthy she now looks.  We’re the same age, and I figured that if she could do it, I could as well.

After agreeing to get on board with Jenny Craig, I did a little research into the program and saw that it was not so much of a diet but rather a positive lifestyle change.  I was also reassured to know that I would have a trained consultant hold my hand through the program, and “talk me down” if needed.

I’m not expecting the weight to just drop off. I should only expect to lose 1 to 2 pounds per week which is a healthy rate. I am only looking to lose about 15 to 20 pounds.  Which may not sound like a lot, but on a Mrs. Shorty McShorty like myself, it feels like much much more.

Over the years, I’ve documented my weight struggles.  Which usually begin with an O and end with another O.  Just this last year I boasted about losing 20 pounds when because of health issues, I went on a vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free and mostly raw foods diet. However, when I began to eat normally again with my family, I gained 10 of it back.

I hadn’t learned to make positive choices.

And while I do eat a healthy type diet, I have a problem with portion control and cravings.  And then there is the inevitable self-pity eating which usually involves a column of Ritz Crackers.

And so the journey begins.  No more excuses.  I’ve stepped on the scale and documented my measurements.  Which, if you’re wondering, are pretty much the same all the way down.  Giving me the appearance of a sausage.

The “before”.  Could also be used in an episode of “What Not to Wear.”

 A Giveaway!

If you would like an opportunity to win a $100 Visa gift card, courtesy of Jenny Craig and BlogHer, please answer the following question in the comments section of this post:

“Do you have a surefire way to curb those inevitable cravings?” 

I’ll be taking notes, y’all.

 The Rules:

•  No duplicate comments.

•  You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

a) Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post

b) Tweet about this promotion and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post

c)  Blog about this promotion and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post

d)  For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

 •  This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older.

•  Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail.

•  You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

•  Visit the Official Rules.

The sweepstakes will run from 10/10 until 11/6, therefore, I will leave comments open until Sunday, November 6th, at 9:00 PM, EST.

For more chances to win, please visit the BlogHer’s Prizes and Promotions section page!

Disclaimer:  As a participant of the Jenny Craig program, I received the Jenny Craig food for free.  All observations and opinions expressed in this post are my own.


127 Responses to No More Excuses – Starting Jenny Craig (Closed)

  • The best way not to give in to cravings is not to buy the offending foods at all. What I find difficult is when I go and snack on what my HUSBAND picked up for snacks (he is an evening snacker on crackers, peanuts, ice cream etc) because I try hard not to buy much of that stuff. The kids are no longer at home so I don’t have THAT excuse.

  • Cravings suck. I’ve been treating mine with a warm cup of tea and a brisk walk. If I’m not in the kitchen, I can’t eat!

  • I just don’t buy junky food. If it’s sitting around the house, I’ll eat it, so I only buy food that I will cook into meals. That way, it’s more of a discipline in the grocery store than at home (which is easier, because with a limited budget, avoiding junk food means you can buy more veggies and stuff for meals!).

  • Surefire? Are you kidding? I’m sure the best thing I could possibly do is not to buy the snacks/treats in the first place. But I don’t do that. Post-baby (the baby who is now 13 MONTHS old), I’m looking to lose about 15-20 pounds. Doesn’t sound like much – but I totally hear what you’re saying because I’m 5’2″. Lately I’ve been hoping that if I just start exercising, I can still eat my snacks and treats. But I’ll bet I’m wrong there, too. And again, I’ve yet to start exercising in earnest.

    Best wishes on the Jenny Craig!

  • Drink a big glass of water. And then think “Do you want that _______ or do you want to buy a smaller pair of jeans?” 🙂

  • Aside from not buying junk food, when I get a craving, I find something to keep my hands occupied…or at the very least out of the kitchen. Laundry, crafts, cleaning…ANYTHING besides using them to put food in my mouth…and the farther the activity is away from the food, the better. When I give in…it shows on the scale the next morning. (I also weigh myself daily…that gives me the morning reality check when I’ve overdone it the day before. 🙂 )

  • I have wanted to do Jenny Craig for a long time, but cost has kept me from doing it.
    As far as cravings?! I usually give in…and it shows:(

  • Good for you, DeeDee!

    Nine years post (first) child, and I’m still trying to lose the weight I gained… Sadly, it’s a bit more difficult for me than most, BUT… That having been said, I’m totally with you on the whole portion control thing. Ugh. I can never eat just ONE cookie (or whatever it is I’m craving).

    However, I agree with the other posters – if it’s not in the house, I can’t eat it (if my husband would just stop buying snackies! :O), and drinking water or a big glass of milk really helps. Actually, if you add a *little* chocolate syrup to the milk, it’s a FANTASTIC way to stop chocolate cravings and snack cravings all at the same time. :O)

    Anyway, I’m rooting for you! :O)

  • I find that if I plan out two or three snacks throughout the day, I’m less likely to give in to cravings. I’ll pre-portion out things like trail mix, carrots/hummus, cheese & crackers, etc.

  • Usually, except for about four days every month (ahem), I can stop cravings in their tracks by having a cup of coffee. And I don’t mean a doctored up cup with lots of calories in it. But there’s something about the heat that takes away the boredom type hunger.

    Wish you lots of success! I’m more of a Weight Watchers girl, but different things work for different folks. 🙂

  • ummm…. surefire? no… but what I have been doing is mid morning and afternoon snacks of maybe a small cup of grapes or a couple crackers with small pieces of cheese. This gives me something to munch on and will keep me feeling comfortable until it is time to eat. I also like to keep a box of small granola bars handy.

  • Well, I reach for a Coke Zero. I know that’s probably worse than just eating whatever it is that I’m craving, but I always rationalize the 0 calories. I’m a willpower wimp and a rationalizing champion.

    Back in July my husband and I signed up for Weight Watchers (I know, I know…this is a Jenny Craig thing. Maybe we’ll try that next). He’s lost over 30 lbs. I keep losing and subsequently finding the same 8 lbs. I have fought it all my life too. I get so weary with it sometimes. When I do, I just pour myself another Coke Zero and quote Scarlett…”tomorrow is another day…”

  • Yes, yes I do. I’m looking into getting my jaw wired shut! ::fingers crossed::

    Are we twins separated at birth?? Just had a picture taken (against my will) of me presenting my son’s b-day cake to him. I was a tad taken aback (ok, a lot!). I need to lose abt 30.

    Are you going to model a bikini like our gal Val did when
    you’re done? I will if you will ( we are practically the same
    age, sistah!). Note to self: stock up on bleach now.

  • Drink water! Don’t buy it! Then if you still want it I have a small portion, slowly! If I hear I can never have something it makes me want it even more!
    Thanks for letting us follow your journey!

  • I just don’t buy the junk food. If I have a major craving I go to Publix and buy one cookie. It usually works!

    …..from the bakery….

  • I don’t buy the things that I will crave. Which means no potato chips and cookies 🙁

  • Believe it or not – prayer! He is able to deliver people from their alcohol and drug cravings – why not us with our crazy eating?
    He can do ALL things, including changing our thinking!

  • If you want something, have it, but dont have it all, or just a taste of it. If you do not have what you are craving you will just eat more until you have it. Dont feel bad if you treat your self, just remember its a treat. And CELEBRATE every little bit lost!

  • Don’t buy sugar or sweets!!! That helps quite a bit!

  • drink lots of water with lemon!!!

  • I have a glass of wine each night. if i have a small piece of cheese with my wine it curbs my hunger for a sweet dessert (which often results in a second sweet treat)

    also, when i can keep away from diet sodas i crave sweets less. the trick is staying away from the diet sodas!

  • While I constantly struggle with this, I have found 3 things to be helpful. First of all, prayer. Secondly, not to have fattening or unhealthy snack/chocolate things around because I evidently cannot withstand the temptation and end up snacking way too much. Thirdly, I have had an open notebook on the counter and EVERYTHING I eat I record. The embarrassment of having to record ridiculous amounts of cookies etc. usually keeps me from eating it. =)

  • The best way for me to curb cravings is to picture what the “treat” will do to you. For example, french fries. I picture french fries as a pile of grease and salt that will clog my veins leading to unwanted health problems. I can do this with just about everything and have it work….. Well, everything but chocolate. Still haven’t gotten that one beaten. 🙂

  • I don’t buy my most favorite items, so it takes a concerted effort to attain them. I also make myself wait at least three days before giving into a craving, and even then I do whatever I can to minimize the damage (ie: buy the kids scoop instead of the double fudge sundae). Thanks for the great giveaway!

  • No, that’s why I’m fat. ;

  • Ahead of time – I’m sorry if this offends anyone. =)

    But honestly, I get frisky with my husband. lol! And the reasoning is two-fold…. My cravings for sweets usually only happens at night time when he is home (opportunity and gives me something else to do) and that then reminds me of why I don’t want/need to eat the BAD item (because that is usually the main time I’m self-conscience).

    Yep, there you have!

    **although I am still about 15 pounds overweight because of the last baby, so he isn’t THAT lucky of a husband right now. haha

  • I make sure to eat a lot of whole grains throughout the day. They take up a lot of room in my stomach and stave off hunger.

  • I drink hot tea or black coffee, or I snack on protein to curb my carb cravings. The healthy fats also help me stay away from the fatty fatty processed foods that tickle my tongue but punish me with pounds.

  • i just can’t give up the sweets

  • No, I don’t have a surefire way! But I do have a few strategies that have helped me…

    Stock up on the best fruits and veggies you can find. The more you eat them, the more it feels good to eat them, and the less you want processed stuff.

    Look for healthy foods that satisfy cravings – a handful of raw almonds and dried cherries is filling (stop when you’re not sure you’ve had enough, and in a little while you’ll realize you’re full), grape tomatoes with a little salt (satisfies the salt craving), a few carrots or red pepper strips dipped in hummus, grapes or an orange or an apple…

    Get busy. The more you’re involved with other things, the less you’re standing around the kitchen thinking about snacks. Take Mater for a walk, start a project from your to-do list, whatever.

  • I try to keep the things that tempt me out of the house as much as possible and keep healthy things on hand. Doesn’t always work but it’s the goal.

  • I eat a handful of nuts. It is busy work for chewing and is a filling snack.

  • sugar-free popsicles instead of that bowl of icecream I really want.

  • Curb cravings? Veggies!!! I keep sliced veggies in the house at all times. I notice that I go to the ‘bad’ stuff if I have no easily accessible veggies/fruits around.

  • I have been reading Lysa Terkeurst’s book Made to Crave and have really enjoyed learning to satisfy my craving with Him instead of food. Not as easy to practice as it is to say, but He is enough!

  • I chew gum to curb the cravings, or drink lots of water. I can’t say it works every time, though!

  • At work I don’t have a problem because their is nothing to snack on. At home is the problem. If I do have a craving I try to just eat a small amount and drink water to fill up.

  • One way I avoid cravings is to not buy the food that I know I will eat when I am bored, upset, tired, happy, etc… 🙂

    The other way is that I found an absolutely gross picture that makes my stomach turn. I found the ugliest photo of feet complete with fungus and open wounds and taped it to the front of the fridge (with a colored sheet of paper hanging over it so as not to terrify the rest of my family). When I feel like eating and I know it’s not out of hunger then I flip the paper up and get grossed out by the photo.

    (Yes, I’m a weirdo)

  • i haven’t found a sure fire way to not give in to cravings. not buying them in the first place comes to mind but having a hubby who eats what he wants means that oreos and puddings, chips, etc always end up in the house. sometimes you really just have to say no and go do something else to take your mind off of your craving.

  • I’m thinking if there were a “sure fire way” none of us with me having issues with over indulging. That being said, besides some of the ideas that have already been presented, I put a picture of how I WANT to look on the fridge door so I see it every time I’m in the kitchen. I’m excited about your journey….I’ve wanted to do Jenny Craig, but the cost has been a hindrance thus far. Good Luck.

  • For me, the best way to fight the craving is portion control. I’ve switched to all baked/not fried snacks which I package up in snack size baggies when I get home from the store. Now, how do I keep from eating all the week’s snacks in one day?

  • what i find best is if you really have a craving for something like chocolate, once in awhile, have a small piece of it and be done. and always eat with the correct portion size. if i sit down with a whole bag of chips, I’m def going to eat more than if I count out the serving size.

  • My way to curb those cravings is to make sure I have healthy snacks in the house…and no junks at all. So, whenever I craved something, I have a small portion of the healthy snacks with plenty of water. It works like a charm every time.

    amy [at] utry [dot] it

  • I have no tips – but I’m loving reading through the ones people have left you!

  • i just don’t let the stuff into the house – otherwise i know i’ll eat it!

  • stock up on low fat snacks sintead of the full fat ones

  • It’s an effort for me esp. with the inbetween meal cravings so I try to keep busy- read a book, walk, laundry, crochet, watch a movie- to keep my mind occupied on something else rather than an Oreo.

  • I try to wait…sometimes the craving will pass with a little time! It doesn’t always work though! lol

  • When I’m craving my favorites like chocolate, ice cream or cookies, I buys those foods sugar free, that way I can still have the foods I crave but I don’t add sugar to my diet.

  • Only keep healthy snacks in your home and when you get a craving snack healthy.

  • My kids are in college and I still use their births as an excuse. I can’t lose weight anymore and I don’t know why. (by the way, 2 ritz crackers with peanut butter between them, dipped in melted chocolate and allowed to sit until the chocolate hardens are wonderful…) I do find a nice long walk has a way of making forget about what I am craving.

  • ugh. Living in a house with a man and two boys it’s impossible to NOT buy junk food… So, at the moment, looking at the scale and seeing that my “FREAK OUT” weight is just two pounds away, I know that you heart is calling out to mine right now.

    I try to curb cravings by munching on ice put through the sno cone machine. Just ice… I haven’t had that thing out in months!

  • When I feel the urge to snack when I’m not hungry, I just drink a glass of cold water.

  • I guess my answer will be an immediate disqualifier but ….

    I, too, am aking notes here. With the intriduction of Home Hemodialysis these last wo weeks, I find that my appetite is returning.

    Sad thing? I never thought it left.

    So, I know I need to be careful not to put on weight now that I am wanting to eat more.

    Bye Bye $100 gift card!! Toodle-oo!!

    But, Hello Healthier Lifestyle11

  • No not really. I get cravings all the time. But the best way is just not to have bad food in the house.

  • A surefire way to get rid of cravings? Never found one. Only thing to do is make sure I don’t have any bad foods easily accessible.


  • Well, I am sure my answer will be controversial, but I say “Give in!” If you constantly deny yourself your cravings, then you are not enjoying life to the fullest. So I do not go for these radical diets that say “absolutely no sugar” or “absolutely no meat” or whatever the latest one is. Now, I am not saying eat an entire bag of chips either. You have to keep it in moderation but just don’t deprive yourself completely. The way I have chosen to do this is that I am very good about eating healthy and making good choices 6 days a week, but then I call Saturday splurge day. Whatever I am craving during the week, I allow myself to have it on Saturday – within moderation, of course. I don’t mind skipping my Hershey bar today because I know I can have it on Saturday if I still want it! It works for me!

  • Drink a lot of water!!! That way you are not so hungry and may not give into the cravings. I am also a fan of the “everything in moderation” line of thinking.

    Keep up the good work, remember…a little at a time!

    Thanks for the great giveaway!

  • I brush my teeth if I’m craving something sweet. Or grab a few olives if I’m craving something salty.

  • It’s really hard, and I fail often. This is why I’m a size 12 and not a size 8. I crave sweets like mad, although I eat a diet with mostly foods low on the glycemic index, avoid white sugar and white flour, and keep my meals and snacks balanced with protein/healthy carb/fat. I also eat lots of veggies.

    Yet, the cravings hit like mad, mostly in the post-lunch 2 hours and the post-dinner 2 hours. I usually survive post-lunch okay with fruit, but after dinner, the only way to save myself is just simply have NOTHING fun to eat in the house. I’ve often resorted to eating chocolate chips from the baking supplies!

    Just don’t buy it. If it’s here, I eat it. A lot of it. And then I feel awful!

  • I drink water, plain water to help. Or, if the craving comes at night, I hit the bed earlier to stop it.
    tcarolinep at gmail dot com

  • I drink lots of water to curb cravings. In fact I have some right next to my computer. Hubby just offered me some chips and respectfully declined (lol!).

  • My only tip is to fill up on water, the more water in the stomach the more full you feel, however if it’s “mind cravings” or “emotional cravings” your best bet is to busy yourself with something or talk to a friend to take your mind off of it 😉

  • I wish I did. It’s an emotional attachment.

  • I don’t buy the foods I have NO self control with (like chips – I’ll eat the whole bag) Other foods I get cravings for I buy something either diet version (there are good diet ice creams) or I buy minis – like Hershey’s kisses – I have one and it curbs a chocolate craving.

  • Find something low calorie that you really love, then when cravings hit have that instead. If I crave sweets a piece of fruit usually satisfies or a low fat pudding. If I crave spicy I have a handful of spicy almonds. For salty some low fat popcorn.

  • I wish I did have a good tip to curve cravings. I just try to drink water instead of giving into the craving. It works sometimes. 🙂

  • when you crave something unhealthy eat something healthy in the same mouth-feel catagory, such as popcorn for chips

  • Food diary. Nuff said. Okay, I will say more. If you have to write it down, you are less likely to eat it. I eat a lot less when I have to record it because the pleasure of eating it is less pleasurable than the hassle of writing it down is unpleasant. And then, after the pleasure of eating it is all gone, I have to see it in print. So I just don’t eat it.

  • I have no idea. I try to limit when I give in to the cravings. If I don’t at least have a little bit of whatever it is I want, I tend to overindulge when I do give in! That’s all I got. 🙁

  • keep busy do anythings outside awa inside home , using internet 4 anything w/ good purposes

  • I don’t buy the junk food and eat low fat snacks

  • I don’t but I just heard this on TV. Brush your teeth when you feel a craving and it is suppose to help stop the cravings.

    gmissycat at yahoo dot com

  • Floss, waterpic & brush your teeth right after dinner. It takes me about 10 minutes for the whole routine and I don’t want a cookie badly enough to have to do the whole thing again. Can you say, “Lazy?”

  • always wanted to try out Jenny Craig

    the food looks great


  • I’ve always been curious about Jenny Craig. Thanks for the insight!

    mona at kirida.com

  • no but i wish i did sometime i eat fruit and that helps alot

  • surefire – no. When snacking – use portion control. NEVER eat out of the bag – you don’t know how much you eat, and it’s SO, SO, SO, SO hard to stop. Believe me. Lol! Don’t stock up on junk food in the house. For me, one of the biggest help is brushing my teeth and so I won’t eat anything else (junk food or not) at night

  • Sometimes when I feel the urge to eat something bad for me because I’m bored, I go for a walk instead. Usually the urge passes!

  • Eat real food instead of processed carbs. Then less cravings happen because you are full of good stuff.

  • I’m definitely not the person to ask about curbing cravings!

  • Hot tea works for me in the winter … though not always. And sometimes I’ll tell myself that I need to finish some task first and because of my forgetfulness, I usually forget about the snacking desire when I’m done (not always, though LOL!)

  • Drink a glass of water before you give in. It will give you time to think about it and make you fuller before you scarf down those oreos!

  • One thing that has helped to curb my cravings is to eat as “naturally” as possible with organic and fiber-rich foods. I also stay away from sweeteners because they actually make one crave sweets more. A handful of almonds also does the trick when I’m hungry but it isn’t time for a meal. Eating breakfast in the morning is important, too, even if you are not hungry.

  • Wow, sure wish I had an answer to that question! The only thing that helps me is to not keep junk food in the house and when I do buy it, I get the smallest package possible.

  • sugarfree lollipops keep my cravings at bay

  • “Do you have a surefire way to curb those inevitable cravings?” Yes, my way is to give in and satisfy them with appropriate substitutes.

    The best place to exercise self-control over eating is at the grocery store. If you don’t put it in your cart (or basket), it won’t end up in your mouth, in your stomach, on your thighs, etc.

    So I fill my cart with healthy food, and when I crave something sweet and decadent, I go for sliced strawberries and bananas with some melted dark chocolate on top.

  • keep your blood sugar up by eating several small meals during the day and drink enough water so you don’t get dehydrated which can mask as hunger

  • Curbing cravings? Not a clue. I guess just don’t buy it, then you can’t eat it!!

  • My biggest hang-up is the fact that I am a food addict. Food has always been my drug of choice. I eat pretty healthy (organic, natural, vegetarian) but my portion sizes are WAY out of proportion. Just trying not to eat as much is the
    most difficult aspect for me. So..LOL…short answer, I have no clues on how to handle the cravings. I’ve tried everything from meditation to redirecting my cravings to another addiction. Nothing has worked.

  • Sorry, I have no idea.
    MCantu1019 at aol dot com

  • I keep lots of fruits in the house and drink a lot of veggie juice. I’m over weight but I have been loosing the lbs slowly over the years. I am going to keep going! =]
    Thank You!!

  • I try very hard to not give in by drinking. Water. Lots of it. The only downside to that is you spent a lot of time in the bathroom. LOL.

  • I eat really well during the week and save the treats for the weekend. That works well for me.
    Thank you very much!

  • When I get cravings, I’ll indulge but just a little bit (a bite of cake instead of a whole slice (or a whole cake!!) for example). I’m too OCD so if I didn’t allow myself whatever it was I was craving, would just want it that much more.

  • Maybe not entirely the healthiest, but I keep low/no cal beverages in the house. I have a terrible sweet tooth, so often the best way for me to overcome it is to drown it with kool aid or a diet root beer. 🙂

  • I always try snacking on popcorn or nuts to curb extra unhealthy snacking
    tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com

  • I have 1 serving of dark chocolate per day to crave my sweets craving. sweepmorey at gmail dot com

  • I do not eat processed foods, nor do I keep them in my home. If I have a craving, it’s usually for the bad stuff, never a head of broccoli. If I don’t have it nearby, I’m less like to eat it. Also, drinking green tea throughout the day seems To curb my appetite.

  • No surefire ways. Just try to do better the rest of the day if I give in to cravings or wait until after a workout.