Sunday I slept in late (9:30ish) and honestly felt like just going back to sleep. I was sore from Saturday’s workout but really I was having nice dreams and wanted to just crawl under the covers and sleep some more. I got out of bed and enjoyed my breakfast–an English muffin with homemade blackberry jam (which was delicious) and then went to the pool. My swim was excellent and felt good on my sore muscles but it was bittersweet. Half-way through my swim I realized it was probably my last swim at the gym. 🙁
After my swim I went home and Michael and I settled in to watch the first Harry Potter movie. I’ve never seen the movies and didn’t read the books (except the first one) but decided to start from the beginning and watch them all. Michael made popcorn on the stove (from scratch, the only way we eat popcorn) and we watched the movie. It was a lazy day. Fat Kitty snuggled on my lap during the movie. My lunch was popcorn and I made myself a salad: fresh tomatoes and basil from the yard with mozzarella cheese, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Then I had strawberries for a snack.
It was the laziest day I’ve had in a long time. It was kind of nice. No laundry, no errands, no cleaning (all done on Saturday). Michael had plans Sunday evening (fantasy football draft…save me!) so I was on my own. While we do spend time apart on weekends when we have separate plans with friends, it’s not often that we spend a meal apart on weekends.
I could have made good choices about food. I had lots of options in the house. I could have defrosted a salmon fillet and made that for myself. There were two pieces of leftover pizza that Michael said I could eat. I could have made a big salad or a sandwich. But around 5pm I started to crave Chipotle. No idea why. I rarely crave fast food anymore. In fact I haven’t eaten at Chipotle in years. For some reason it invaded my brain and I couldn’t get it out. I went online and did some research on what I could order that wouldn’t be an insane amount of calories.
I hemmed and hawed about whether or not to get Chipotle for dinner and finally decided to just do it. I ordered the Burrito bowl–with all the fixings I wanted (guacamole, rice, black beans, salsa, carnitas) and according to the website calculations it came to about 800 calories. Honestly that’s not bad for dinner.
I like that they put the calorie information on the menus and the ordering board. They have the calories in a “range” which is vague but better than nothing, right? I got home and I added my own light sour cream (probably saving myself over 100 calories). This is what 800 calories looks like:
I added some of our own tortilla chips for less calories than the Chipotle chips, too. First: the dinner was SUPER salty. Holy cow was it salty. Second: it was a lot of food. I probably should have eaten half and saved the rest for lunch. Oh well!
On the way home from the restaurant with my food, I had a thought: Would my healthy lifestyle be as successful as it is if I wasn’t so busy?
It’s funny. The “before” me had tons of time. My life was dedicated to spending weekends on the couch. I’d watch entire seasons of television shows in one weekend. I’d be glued to weekend marathons of Law and Order on TNT or Sex and the City reruns. And of course that meant food while I was on the couch too. What is my life like now? I have no time for weekend marathons of TV shows. Or I should say, I rarely have time.
Between yard work, house chores, my vigorous workout schedule, our training rides on the bike that can take entire days…who has time to sit around and mindlessly eat food? I’m so busy and preoccupied I rarely sit down and binge on food. Rarely. It happens once in awhile, but it’s not often. I do believe that part of my old eating habits were partly out of boredom. Sitting in front of the TV with no projects, nothing to do, it’s easy to just stuff my face.
It seems like a no-brainer but it was quite the “lightbulb” moment. Keeping myself occupied has prevented me from thinking about food in unhealthy ways. Of course, this lightbulb moment made me wonder: if I quit the gym, will I start binge eating? Will I gain weight because I’m not as busy? It was a scary thought. Logically I think the answer to that is no. While the weather is nice I always have the option to bike to work. I could do that 5 days a week in fact. That would be enough fitness to stay on track (and it would get my bike mileage up very nicely).
As you can see, I’m having some major anxiety about the gym. I don’t like being in limbo. I like stability and routine. I like knowing where I’m going to be at any given time.
QUESTION: How much does boredom factor in to your weight gain/loss? How do you prevent binges?
I’ve realized now when josh isn’t here at dinner i totally eat out of boredom… Back in my single days I ate microwave popcorn just about every night because I liked having something to munch on.
if you’ve got cable some of the exercise TV stuff on the on demand is great for the lazy unproductive moments in life-they have some short workouts (theres at least a dozen or so that are 15 minutes or less) and it gives you that little healthy something instead of finding a snack or whatever
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That’s a good idea. I totally should have done yoga instead. 😉
I think boredom plays a big part in it. And having a partner with you keeps you from mindlessly eating. Not that that’s Michael’s job by any means, but when we’re together we stick to the same eating plans and eating times.
I think boredom plays a huge role.
I’ve noticed on days where I am at home studying instead of running around on campus or doing errands, I eat so much more, because the food is all right there in front of my face.
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Yep–out of sight out of mind! I rarely eat candy at home because it’s not there. But at work? That’s another story!
Every tool I use each day works to guard against a binge. Accounting for my food, writing it down, refraining from the addictive foods.
Changing my eating behaviors has been one of the keys that keeps the binge monster out of my life. I do not eat things that are hand-mouth-hand-mouth-and-repeat. I do not ALWAYS have X with Y and Z. I do not reward myself with food.
Perhaps most importantly, I had to learn to live with myself without food and without substitutions for eating. I had to learn how to be alone and relatively inactive and still be at peace – so if the day comes when I am ever forced to be inactive or alone, I can cope without the release of a binge – and the insanity that precedes and follows it. I hope this is in anyway helpful.
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“I had to learn how to be alone and relatively inactive and still be at peace” <—That is such a good comment. I agree!
And the "I always have X with Z" is a trap I've fallen into….the "I always have a big glass of milk with my chocolate." etc etc
I love that you called it a ‘trap.’ That is exactly the term to describe an action that is not hurtful by itself but when it becomes a habit or develops into giving us a feeling of entitlement it can trap us.
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Boredom plays a huge role for me too…but I honestly don’t think I should be bored. I always have stuff to do! I can play a computer game while watching TV so my hands are busy. I can read a good book. I could take up knitting or something while I watch TV. As you can see…it’s the loafing around that is dangerous for me. If I’m out and about or doing housework, I’m not thinking about food as much. But if I’m just lazing around, which we all need to do sometimes, I think about food more. I think if I could keep myself busy while allowing myself to laze around, if that makes sense, I wouldn’t turn to food out of boredom. Hmm…which hobby to take up??
I used to do scrapbooking while I watched TV. That definitely kept my hands and mind occupied!
Did my Chipotle lunch the other day get you craving?
I used to eat a big burrito all by myself back in the day. When I get the salad, I leave off the beans and rice and even with cheese and sour cream it is only about 500 calories max – pretty good for a ride day!
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YES!!! I didn’t want to call you out Lori, but it looks so damn good. 😉
I’m not too worried though, I didn’t go over my calories for the day by eating at Chipotle. I just think I could have made better choices…I wish I’d gotten the salad instead of the rice too.
I attribute a lot of my eating/weight issues due to boredom. I don’t like being alone very much despite being an only child. I like “alone time” and I need it – but I love having people to interact with or just be around. When I’m in limbo with plans I tend to struggle the most with snacking. On days when I’m not bored I hardly think about food and eat moderately. It’s weird. I wish I could only be so mentally stimulated every day. The ironic part is if I was super busy every single day then I’d get really stressed out and eat because of that. It’s such a catch 22! So instead of wishing my life were different, I make it exciting after work hours in moderation and am constantly working on how to eat in moderation, too.
I’m no expert at any of it, but I am loving that I have maybe 1 or 2 nights a week when I truly feel bored and the rest are spent doing things I like or with friends or running errands (that’s not fun but it keeps me from being bored). This prevents me from going too nutty with eating.
I do have a fear of what I’d do if I ever got seriously injured and couldn’t do the active things I love now…but I realized I don’t have to worry about that because for every person’s situation there is a way to still be active. I just would have to take time to think outside of the box.
I know our irrational thoughts is just the fear of returning back to our old habits and who we used to be but we can be confident that regardless to what happens to us – after learning how to be healthy for so many years, all we know about nutrition, about exercise, how to live healthy – there is no reason we’d ever actually go back to how we used to be! …did I just go off on a tangent?? sorry if I did.
When I got injured last year I worried about my eating habits as well. Staying active and working out allows me to splurge more than I normally would and not see the number on the scale move. But if I’m injured and can’t exercise??? I’d have to be really serious about my food choices.