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.