It’s never good when I reach the middle of the month and realize it’s already time to take my monthly body fat percentage measurements. In that moment, I feel like I’ve squandered the last four weeks, and I’m no better off than I was at the last measurement.
It also sucks when I look at my meal breakdown graph for that mid-month week and realize I didn’t learn anything from the previous month, apparently. Snacking — especially evening binge snacking — is a major problem.
Every Tuesday, before my weekly Weight Watchers weigh-in, I mentally check in with myself. Lately, I feel like I’m running up the down escalator when it comes to weight loss — not only that, but I get distracted midstream, so I’ll stop trying for just a moment and lose so much ground.
The question is how to keep myself focused. Granted, I’m pretty sick of being in constant weight-loss mode (hence why I let myself go off the rails sometimes), but that’s no reason to sit down and eat a fourth meal and two more desserts after my son goes to bed.
Since my obvious problem is after-dinner snacking, perhaps it’s time to reinstate The Closing Of The Kitchen ritual. The status quo earlier in the month had been to plod downstairs after the nightly bedtime ritual and beeline for the pantry to feed my emotions, and put off loading or unloading the dishwasher and cleaning the counters and whatnot until time for me to go up to bed myself. Instead of hanging out in the living room, munching on something and watching Good Eats on Netflix and waiting for my son to call me upstairs for whatever reason, how about I go immediately into the kitchen (where I can still hear him if he calls) and clean up?
Another focusing tactic that’s worked for me in the past is the daily photo-journaling of my meals, so that was an option. Then, in addition to Closing the Kitchen and photo-journaling, one thing I hadn’t tried up until this point was actually planning my meals ahead and pre-tracking them.
So, on my mid-month weigh-and-measure day, I started all of these. I sat down and planned out my meals from Tuesday through Friday, I photographed each of the day’s meals and snacks just before eating, I cleaned up the kitchen after my son went down for the night, I made a low-cal dessert (individual pudding cups, 5SP each), and I calmly enjoyed one in the sunroom after I was sure my son wasn’t going to get up again.
I also opted not to turn on any lights or watch any TV, although I did play on my phone in the sunroom until it got dark. Once it got too dark to see, it was time for me to get up to bed, anyway. I did a little yoga (although it was mostly stretchy and not strengthy, as I was too tired for proper form at that point), played on my phone for a little while, and went to bed a half hour earlier than normal (but still later than would be ideal).
The word “holistic” has a hippy-dippy connotation for me, but I really do need to take a holistic approach to my health. Everything’s related — mood, food, sleep — and I would be well-served to take care of all of them, instead of working on one at the exclusion of the others. (more…)