Adventure 13: Three Square Meals

Hmmm . . . I’m about three posts behind right now. I still need to write up Christmas (it’s finally all in my head, so I expect it to be on screen soon) and Bedtime Prayers (a very scary adventure, as you will see — probably tomorrow), but for now, I feel it’s high time for me to start in on this week’s adventure. I need it.

So far, writing this blog has been very good for my home, my family, my spirit, and (as near as I can tell) my soul. It has, however, been very bad for my figure.

If x is my ideal weight, x+y was my weight when I started. My weight now, four months later, is x + 2y. Not so good.

There are, of course, many reasons why this has happened — laziness, inclement weather, a really busy schedule, pasta, laziness — but one of the biggest factors has been a barely controlled eating problem. I like to eat. More than I should. I eat good food — I love veggies of all kinds, fruits, and wholesome, “real” food whenever I can get it — but I have a lot of trouble controlling how much I eat and how often I eat it.

Why do I blame this problem on the blog? Simple: when I’m disciplining (read: depriving) myself in other areas, I have less will power left over to control the eating thing.

So, when I gave up meat, I ate. (Macaroni. Lots of it.)

When I turned off the Internet for a week, I had a wonderful time, I got lots of exercise — and I ate.

When I baked bread, I ate bread. (Yum.)

When I celebrated Sabbath, I feasted. (I have faithfully and very happily feasted every Sabbath since.)

Throughout my old fashioned Christmas festivities, I ate. And ate. And ate.

Now that the holiday is over and the New Year is upon us (and none of my pants fit right), it’s finally time to use some of my blog-inspired discipline to address my eating habits.

Once upon an old fashioned time, overeating and excessive weight gain were isolated problems. Underweight was a much greater concern for most folks. This wasn’t because people didn’t like to eat. People ate whatever they could — yes — but there wasn’t as much to eat, and what they did have often needed to be shared among many hard-working mouths and carefully rationed for the meager times. Gluttony was a recognized “deadly sin,” and meals tended to be generally simpler, blander, and smaller.

We’ve come a long way, haven’t we? I ate two breakfasts this morning and two lunches. I had at least two snacks. I almost had two dinners. I still might, actually. (Yeah . . . best not to ask.) My kitchen is always open, and my belly is never, ever empty.

My belly may be empty some this week, though. Starting bright and early tomorrow, we’ll be jumping into our next adventure: our own personalized take on the old fashioned concept of “three square meals a day.”

What will this mean for us?

  • Only three meals. (Four for the children, who will get a healthy afternoon snack.) No second breakfasts, no second dinners, no endless grazing between meals and straight into the night. The kitchen will be open at regular mealtimes and closed the rest of the time.
  • “Square” meals. For our purposes, “square” means “wholesome,” so we’ll be looking to load up on the fruits, veggies, lean protein, and good carbs — and lay off the junk.
  • Old fashioned portions. It’s been well documented that plate and portion sizes have grown in the last few decades. We’re going to wind the clock back by avoiding dinner plates the size of hubcaps and instead using what folks now call “dessert plates” (and used to call “plates”) for the week.
  • No second helpings. This’ll be tough for me. Desserts don’t tempt me, but entrees really do. I have no trouble finishing off my plate, going back for seconds (or thirds), and then nonchalantly helping the children clean their plates as well. (“Another bite for Bebe. And another bite for Mama. Another bite for . . .”) That’s going to change, though. This week, there will be one helping for everyone — including me.
  • Clean plates. With my mother and grandmothers’ voices ringing in my ears, I’m going to do my best to clean my plate and help others clean theirs — and, to this end, I will try to avoid serving anyone at the table more than they reasonably can and will eat. This will hopefully allow us to recapture another dying art once practiced in bygone days: preserving and repurposing leftovers. (Honestly, most days it’s so much easier and more fun just to polish off the pot myself than to find room in the fridge to store the leftovers and then convince the family to eat them before they spoil.)

It’ll be tough, but doable — and I expect it will be nice to feel like I’m taking control (at least temporarily) of a part of my daily life that has been sadly neglected of late. I’ll let you know how it goes next week.


5 thoughts on “Adventure 13: Three Square Meals

  1. My Christmas present to myself this year was a new set of dishes. I wanted white dishes (boring) because they look better in my photographs. I purchased side plates and only side plates. They are about 7 inches square (I wanted something about them to be interesting) I also purchased little bowls, much, much smaller than the ones I had before. We Americans seem to like to fill our plates, and huge plates (mine were 13 inches in diameter) make for huge meals if filled nicely. I wish you luck on your adventure, and I look forward to reading the outcome!

    • Thanks, Erica. Great idea with the dishes! If I had it to do over again, I would not have bothered to register for “dinner” plates before my wedding all those years ago. Loaded to the brim, each of my plates holds enough food to feed the entire family!

  2. oh I’m in love with you. always have been. you write my mind onto your blog like we shared the same heart though you belong to Ken and I to Chris and all of us to the Lord. Can I be Dianna to your Anne? (lest anyone think odd of this).
    I would encourage you to take a second approach to food. Perhaps an all day grazing in lieu of 3 square. Very Bohemian. Breads, cheeses, fruits, veggies, smoked meat… See you inspire me! as for no hot water it’s waiting until June.

    • You’re too sweet! How ’bout let’s both be Anne — much more fun that way, I think. Your Bohemian spread sounds delicious, by the way. I think I chose the three meals (even though health folks generally advise against it) because I desperately needed to place some kind of time boundaries around my food intake — boundaries that were, to be honest, just hadn’t been there at all for a long while. But I’ll have more to say on that tomorrow or the next day. 🙂

      June sounds like a much more sensible time than January to forego hot water. I might even do it with you if you want until June!

  3. Pingback: Adventure 13: Three Square Meals (recap) | Life, Old Fashioned

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