Thursday, July 22, 2010

Mix it Up

Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper.....

The person who coined this phrase probably lived a century ago when times were much different.  Folks rose at the crack of dawn and had farms to tend, livestock to feed, crops to plant and harvest. They ate large breakfasts to provide fuel for the many tasks at hand, stopped for lunch in the late afternoon, and before crawling into bed at sundown, enjoyed a light supper.

Life is different now; as are our eating habits.  Most of us don't even eat breakfast in the morning.  Some of us are so busy at work that we often skip lunch and then make up for it with enormous dinners. Skipping meals and then overindulging later will eventually compromise our health and our waistlines. 

I have been thinking about my own eating habits lately. I eat well, I don't binge, and very rarely indulge in foods that are fattening or unhealthy.  Given the way I do eat, I should be a stick figure but instead I am carrying around extra pounds I don't want. I have especially noticed this over the past year and I am not happy.  Yes, I am in my late forties, don't exercise as often as I should, and I am going through menopause.  These could be contributing factors.  Genetics can also play a part but I have worked very hard my whole life to avoid being obese like the majority of my family. 

I can and should exercise harder and more often but "the change" and aging I can't do anything about. 

My life has changed in the past year.  My jet-setting, wild and crazy lifestyle came to a screeching halt when I fell in love and decided to give my first relationship in ten years an honest effort. My guy and I only see each other on the weekends and occasionally one night during the week.  We tend to eat a lot of pasta when we are together.  I am a vegetarian and he would never be satisfied with the tofu, grains, greens, and salads I eat.  We usually have dinner together late at night and he doesn't want me to prepare two different meals; he wants us to share one.  Some kind of mararoni dish seems to be the only choice that will make him happy. Before I started dating my guy, pasta was something I very rarely ate.

 Now that I am in a relationship, I go straight home after work most evenings rather than going out with friends.  This is a big change for me but I am certainly not sitting around snacking alone all night. I don't even have anything in my house to really snack on

So why am I having issues with weight?

 Some friends and I are participating in a Conscious Eating Experiment.  We are learning to be fully aware of what we are eating, when we are eating, and why.  I am giving this an honest effort because I don't want to be carrying this weight around any longer.  It makes me tired, unhappy and self conscious. One of the major things I have noticed, besides my current less than glamorous lifestyle, is that I tend to eat dinner late every night. By the time I get off the train after work, come home, unwind, feed the cat and prepare and cook something to eat, it's 9:00PM.  I am the most energetic in the morning and afternoon.  At night (unless I am out)  I want to chill, work on the computer or watch TV.  So I am eating a big dinner late at night, sitting down, expending very little energy, and falling asleep on a full stomach.  This can't be good!

Combine my big late night dinner with my need for more exercise, the big change in my lifestyle, my age, and the fact that I recently entered menopause.  Sounds like a recipe for weight-gain!

I have decided to mix things up a little.  I usually eat breakfast mid-morning.  It's a healthy breakfast but not a very large one.  If I add more protein to my breakfast it will keep me going until late afternoon.  I can eat my lunch around 2PM and make that meal larger than what I am accustomed to.  My lunch will be more like dinner. When I get home later after work I can have something light like soup, a salad, or some lean protein and fresh steamed vegetables.  Consuming larger meals during the day when I am expending most of my energy will cause me to burn off the majority of what I eat.  I am willing to give it a try. 

Now, if I can just find another spot to put all those clothes draped over my treadmill, I should be thin again in no time............

And this is my Daily Cyn..........

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