Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Why Saturday and Sunday may not be the best days of the week.

“I’ve been good all week. I think I will have a burger in celebration.” “Wine? Yes, please and keep it coming.” “I don’t feel like cooking. Let’s just order pizza.” “I should go to the gym, but Miss Congeniality is on TV again.”

Sound familiar? We all have a tendency to over indulge on the weekends. I am guilty of it myself. I can honestly say that up until a few months ago, we relied on takeout for meals Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. We would order sushi for dinner and sandwiches to watch football. It was my family’s bad habit. I justified it by telling myself that we are city dwellers and takeout is just a part of city living. Well… I took a look at my credit card statement a few months ago and was embarrassed at what I saw. Not only was takeout costing my family an arm and a leg, but it consumed most of my purchases. At that moment, I decided we needed to change and I was the person that needed to start the revolution. I made an internal commitment to my family that I would cook healthy meals, educate myself on what I was putting into our mouths, and spend my money on food that would nourish our bodies not deteriorate them. And I would do all this EVEN on the weekends.

Why your weekends might be ruining your attempt at weight loss…

I just read an article in Health magazine that stated on average a person consumes 1,000 extra calories A DAY on the weekends. Think for a moment about your average weekend. You probably over indulge in wine, beer, or takeout. You don’t think much of it because you have been doing it for so long, but what if you adjusted your bad habit? What if you cooked dinner for yourself on Sunday night instead of ordering pizza? What if you made yourself a sandwich instead of going to Potbelly? What if you drank one glass of wine instead of a bottle? Small improvements can mean big results and I would bet that if you changed how you ate, you would find yourself at the gym on Sunday instead of on your couch. That’s the awesome thing about treating your body kindly… it feels good and you want to keep doing it!

So… did I keep up with my commitment? I would be lying if I said I cook every meal all weekend long. On an average weekend, we order out one night. We have put a stop to ordering food during the day and I started buying enough lunch food to last seven days instead of five. Also, I routinely make dinner Sunday nights. These were small steps, but they have made a big difference not only to our health, but also my credit card bill.

On another note… we had a baby girl! Hazel Martin Crane is officially 2 weeks old and it is already hard to imagine our family was ever without her. She is wonderful.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Can I have a moment, please?

Well, tomorrow is the day! Drew will no longer be an only child, we will no longer only have one kid to care for, and I will no longer have time to shower or sleep or sit down or read a book or cook… the list goes on.

Ending pregnancy and starting a new chapter of motherhood comes with such a juxtaposition of emotions. I woke up this morning before Kyle and Drew (as I do most mornings), came downstairs, made myself a cup of tea, and thought about the moment. I love the mornings. I get up before the family and steal some quiet time just to myself to read or write or just catch a glimpse of Matt Lauer before Drew needs my attention (usually a very short glimpse since Drew wakes up at 7AM almost every day).

I realize my laid back morning routine is a luxury of being a stay-at-home mom and I love it. I don’t have to get up and shower or be at work by 7AM, like so many moms do. In fact, if I don’t have to get out of my pajamas until Drew and I have to go somewhere, I usually won’t.

My time in the morning adds to my happiness throughout the day and today was my farewell to it for the next few months. Happiness will be added to my life in a different way and I am excited/nervous/anxious for the change, but I will be looking forward to when I can have this time again. AND eventually, both kids will sleep through the night and in a far off month down the road, I will be able to get up at 6AM, grab my latest chick-lit novel, a cup of tea, and have some quiet time to myself before the house explodes with noise.

Change is wonderful, but on this morning the day before one of the biggest changes in my life, I want to pay homage to the moments throughout the day from which we gain our energy. They are important to the soul, mind, and body. If you are having a hard time finding those moments (as I will soon), let’s make a pact to seek them out. Grab a cup of coffee, find a quiet corner, and recharge… even if it is only for a moment.

Monday, April 5, 2010

What Type of Eater are You?

Easter has done it again. Not only did the entire family indulge in Easter candy, but it is still lurking around the house. It is in a cupboard, a leftover Easter basket, or a plastic egg that my daughter has yet to find (Kyle didn’t take stock of where he hid them). Luckily, the candy will stay there causing moments of temptation, but most likely, will not get eaten and will eventually find its way to the garbage. Why would we throw out perfectly good candy? Here are some thoughts on indulging and how you can change your mind and your body.

A few years ago, a study was conducted on people’s eating habits and the motivation behind their actions. The participants were broken into two groups: people who diet and people who don’t. They took the groups of dieters and non-dieters and one by one brought them into a room. The people conducting the study asked them questions and halfway through the interview, made up an excuse to leave the room. What they left behind in the room was the true test of the study: a plate of cookies. They wanted to see how the two groups of people would react to a plate a cookies left at their disposal.

Here is what they found:

The group of dieters hesitated from grabbing a cookie. But after some hesitation, dove right in. Not only did they have one cookie, but they had several.

The group of non-dieters went for the plate of cookies, had one, and stopped there.

Why did the “dieters” eat more cookie when they were supposed to be watching what they ate? The study pointed to two very different mindsets when it comes to food.

Dieters tend to look at food as the enemy. “If I could only stay away from candy, I could lose weight.” “If I stop eating all carbohydrates, I will get skinny.” “I need someone to put meals in front of me that are healthy. I can’t make them for myself.” Why did they eat more cookies? The study found that the dieters looked at the day as being “ruined”. The food had won, so why not give in to indulging and eat the whole plate. They had a “Since, I already eat one why not eat the whole thing? My day is shot anyway” mentality.

The non-dieters saw the cookies for what they were, a treat. Something to enjoy in moderation.

What does it all mean? As I have stated before, eating healthy and working out isn’t a diet, a quick fix, or something that in six months you will stop doing. It is a mindset, a lifestyle, and with that comes a shift in how you view what you put in your mouth.

Next time you reach for a cookie think about how you view eating it. Are you going to order a pizza for dinner because you already indulged in the cookie, so why not indulge in something else bad for you? OR are you going to allow yourself to have something sweet every once and a while and not feel guilty, BUT not continue to indulge the rest of the day?

So, my Easter candy will stay where it is for now. In a week or two after Kyle has eaten a few more chocolate bunnies, we will most likely throw it out because we had our fill. My butt won’t be bigger, my jeans will still fit, and I will have enjoyed a little bit of candy on a holiday that insists we all take a moment and be thankful for the life we’ve been given.