Once again, I have gotten very fat, slow, unhealthful, and tragic.
I can’t tell you what I weigh because it’s too mortifying, but normally at this weight I’m eight months pregnant with a giant baby.
I realized I was crashing every afternoon at around 2PM. I was snacking too much. My I-can’t-believe-I-had-to-buy-jeans-this-size jeans were starting to feel kind of snug. My pre-menstrual symptoms were getting completely out of control.
Despite being very careful about feeding my kids balanced meals, I was not doing the same thing for myself.
So a week ago I decided to make one tiny step, and I broke up with toast.
OH TOAST I LOVE YOU SO MUCH BUT YOU DON’T LOVE ME.
I’m not trying to say that I have a gluten intolerance, or a wheat allergy, or anything like that – I just know that unless I plan ahead a little bit with breakfast and lunch, I default to toast because it’s easy. Two pieces for breakfast! Then a sandwich for lunch! Don’t ask me about the occasional english muffin before bed. Eep.
That’s a lot of empty calories in the run of a day. No wonder I’m fat.
So, first step – I committed to eating only protein and fruit for breakfast. Every morning. It means getting up a little earlier so I have time to prep something, but after just a couple of days I noticed a big improvement. No 10AM slump. No headache.
Nothing succeeds like success, so starting just this weekend I decided that I’d tackle lunch next. I asked my healthy friends for their thoughts and Nicole suggested a smoothie and some nuts.
I will starve, I thought to myself. I will starve and die, because no one can survive on liquid lunches and what the actual fuck, is that what it takes to be thin? I’m only 36 years old, am I really going to not have sandwiches for lunch ever again?
But I tried it. Day one I played it safe and my smoothie was strawberries, mangoes, peaches, plain yoghurt, milk, and a handful of raw oats. It was nice. Refreshing. Day two I went with yoghurt, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries, water, more oats. That was even nicer. Both days I didn’t topple over mid-afternoon. I had plenty of energy. I didn’t want to snack.
So today I took a deep breath and tackled A Green Smoothie. Green smoothies have all sorts of weird associations for me; fit healthy people swear by them, and talk about them, and post links to them, and my usual gut reaction is I’ll bet that’s got chunks in it. Ewwww. And then I go have a cookie, or something.
Getting a lump of anything when I drink liquid instantly turns me off. Just thinking about it kind of makes me want to gag. But since the green-smoothie common denominator is “fit healthy people” I figured I should at least try.
I started with this one, since Nicole is my go-to for this stuff and I know she wouldn’t post a recipe that hadn’t been tested pretty thoroughly. I replaced the coconut water with just water and left out the hemp seeds because SEEEEEEDS EWWWWW and also I am not the kind of person who just has hemp seeds on hand. As per her instructions I put handfuls of spinach in the blender with just the liquid and blended the ever-loving hell out of it before I added the other ingredients.
It tasted… really good, if you like bananas, and I do, so we’re all good. The colour would be completely alarming if you were afraid of green things, but I’m not, so that’s OK. I actually couldn’t finish all of it because I was too full. Too full! Crazy business. And I can confidently say that I would never have eaten 4 cups of spinach for lunch, otherwise.
Here’s a weird thing about me – if I start the day off right, food-wise, I’ll keep it going all day. I had that super-healthy breakfast, I’ll think, so I don’t want to spoil all that rectitude with a cookie NOW. On the other hand, if I have a not-so-good breakfast, I’ll think bah, day’s wrecked anyway. COME HERE POTATO CHIPS, GET IN MAH BELLEH.
It’s a damn silly thing, and it’s a very self-defeating way to address getting healthy. I don’t know why I have this all-or-nothing mindset, but there it is. So I need to recognize my own limits as I try to stick with this new regime. Every day at naptime I have one small treat; either a single chocolate, or one cookie. I wait until I’m alone. I savour it. I make sure I’m really enjoying it and not just hoovering it because I’m cranky from the morning grind.
Today I found myself not even craving it; my tea & cookie break was nice, but I could have gone without it.
I realize we’re only a week in, but I’m feeling so much better that I can’t imagine not sticking with it for a while. My pants are already fitting better. I haven’t had a headache in days. I’m drinking more water and eating smaller portions.
Maybe this time it will work? I don’t know. I know that I have a birthday tomorrow… that I have three energetic kids to keep up with… that I’m tired of having sore feet and aching knees… that I want to wake up every morning feeling good.
I’ll keep updating. Meanwhile, if anyone has favourite recipes for smoothies or breakfasts – I love eggs, eggs are great, so anything egg-based would be lovely – please share links in the comments!