Busy Busy Busy
May 21, 2015
Things have been pretty frantic here at Hudson HQ in the past two weeks. It’s always the same at this time of the year – one of my major writing projects takes up most May every year and sometimes I don’t even know what day of the week it is, let alone what time of day it might be.
Interestingly since embarking on my mission to shed the pounds and change myself I find I am much more conscious of my behaviour and tendency. I can now also look book and identify the cause-and-effect processes which led me to gain weight.
One of my worst habits was boredom eating. I am not good when it comes to being bored. I would find myself “mooching” (or deciding to have “a little lie down” or “an early night” if either were possible). I would head to the fridge or the cupboards and hunt out snacks… not because I was hungry .. but because I was bored. I hadn’t realised just how strong this “default” setting of mine was until I started to concentrate on what I ate and drank, how much I move, and to focus on all the aspects that, in combination, resulted in my not-so-slow expansion. I have learned that keeping busy is one of the strongest “tools in my box” in terms of keeping me away from the biscuit barrel.
The downside of keeping is that I lose track of time. Again, in my “erratic past” during those times that I was battling against a writing deadline, or trying to finish a quilt on time, I would often get so immersed in what I was doing that I would completely forget to eat or drink. I would lift my head up after several hours of work and be astonished that it was close to bedtime. So close, in fact, that I would decide not to risk having a drink (not even a glass of water) lest it kept me awake and resulted in late-night-loo-trips (the downside of my little mid terraced house – upstairs bedroom/downstairs bathroom and no room for an ensuite… ever…).
I would also consider making myself “a quick sandwich” or some other snack, but would almost invariably reach the conclusion that it was so close to bedtime that it wasn’t worth having anything to eat. The result would be that I would wake up the next morning feeling terrible. I know now that the reason I felt terrible was because my body was, by that time, running on empty and was desperate for fuel. I also didn’t realise just how quickly the early symptoms of mild dehydration can start to kick in – it is a lot sooner than you might realise. Of course, by morning time I would be extremely hungry and my quick and easy default recipe for “filling up fast” would be a fried egg sandwich (or three) and a mug of tea.
Since joining WLR and being able to pick the brains of the experts on the site and benefit from the shared knowledge of all the other members, I am amazed how just how much more “educated” about all aspects of my dietary needs. I am also far more self-aware and make a conscious effort to respond to the signals my body is sending me no matter how busy I am. If I am engrossed in typing but then realise my lips are dry.. I force myself to leave my desk and drink some water. If I am aware that I feel hungry I do my double-check (just to make sure it’s not comfort eating or some other emotional reason making me believe that I need a snack) and once I’m satisfied that my body is asking for food because it needs it and not for any other reason, I will make sure that I eat something. Nowadays the fried egg sandwich is an extremely rare treat – I have had only had two so far during 2015. I keep the fridge stocked with my favourite “staples” (lean ham; cottage cheese; vine tomatoes; red onions; wholemeal pitta) and so I know I can make myself a delicious, nutritious and satisfying sandwich in a matter of minutes.
I will admit that to begin with it didn’t come naturally. It was a gradual process of changing my “default settings”. I had to reprogram my brain to react differently. Instead of ignoring the dry mouth; instead of blocking out the rumbling tummy, initially I had to make myself take action, often feeling resentful that my train of thought had been interrupted or muttering in annoyance that my thirst meant that I couldn’t concentrate on the words on the page as much as I wanted to. But that was in the beginning. Now I never procrastinate. I have come to learn that keeping hydrated means that I can concentrate for longer periods of time; by eating healthy food at regular intervals my mind and mood stay on an “even keel” and my productivity rate soars. Being busy, busy, busy is a great way of making sure I don’t indulge in “boredom eating” and by giving my body what it needs.. I find I am able to be busier than ever. The benefits just keep on coming!
Have a lovely weekend (whether it is busy or laid back) and keep up the good work on your journey!
With a hug