Monday, 11 October 2010

Beating the Midnight Munchies!

We are what we repeatedly do, excellence then is not an act, but a habit. - Aristotle
Last night we went out to the theatre and when I arrived home my first thought was "What shall I eat?" It was late - about 11pm and I WAS feeling genuinely peckish.

I usually make myself a big mug of tea (whenever I come in from anywhere!) but last night I went straight to the bathroom, removed my make-up and cleaned my teeth.

Isn't it funny how we can find ourselves in "This is when I usually eat" situations? I'd always have tea and often a late night supper after a night out, but last night I consciously broke that habit.

Another habit I must break is checking my emails when I come in after a night out. For me, checking emails can lead to surfing, to finding interesting articles...and me getting my second wind and being wide awake! Then I find it hard to switch off and sleep properly. If I am online late at night I am usually thinking "FOOD" and my instincts are to make tea and and a plate of toast and honey.

Last night I could have murdered a couple of slices of thick fresh white bread, toasted, buttered and spread with honey. However, even though I couldn't get the thought out of my head I told myself eating at such a late hour was out of the question. Time and time again I felt I would break, I'd have my toast and tomorrow was another day. I'd rectify my mistake then. But - last night my thinking was..."I'll add to my daily calories, I am about to go to bed, I shan't burn it off, toast will add to my weight, and am I REALLY hungry or eating out of habit/greed? It was a real struggle until I cleaned my teeth. When I did, the temptation had vanished. I didn't succumb and when I went to bed I felt a sense of satisfaction that I hadn't ruined my 'healthy eating day' in any way - that I'd been in control even though all my instincts were screaming at me to indulge in a late night feast.

That's another target to add to my list. No eating after a night out, no snacking after 9pm...I am even toying with the idea of not drinking tea after 9pm, but that might be a step too far! I may even add no going to the PC to check emails/articles after 9pm. I'd probably be moving more if I didn't use my computer as much as I do.

Oh, I have lost another 2lbs...over...I am not sure how many days. I suspect the extra movement is making a difference.

My plan is a rather woolly one, but it is taking a shape of it's own because I am building on the small steps I am making, and I am also learning (ever so slowly!) to discipline myself. I have a wild inner child who believes in living recklessly and throwing caution to the wind. I have to tame the side of me that believes life is too short to forgo food pleasures.

This is my plan...which can be tweaked depending on what I have in the fridge.

Enjoy a healthy breakfast every morning, first thing. (Usually a very, very small portion of whole-grain muesli sprinkled with desert spoonful of hemp, sunflower seeds, pumpkins seeds, sesame seeds and flax. It fills me up, takes some chewing and rides rough-shod through my insides. (I may have to spend more on rolls of toilet paper.) I wash it down with tea (of course) but drink plain water mid-morning. Before I shower and dress I try to use the exercise bike for 30 minutes.

Lunch has to be a big salad wrap...with cold chicken/turkey/ham, lots of tomatoes and spinach, carrots, peppers, onions, black pepper and a dollop of low fat mayo. I may have a plain yogurt afterwards, or an apple.

I drink a pint of water every few hours.

I try to cut down (down, not out) on pasta, rice and potatoes in the evening, and eat whatever I fancy, ensuring I include vegetables. I never deep fry anything. The only thing I ever fry is an egg...and I do that rarely. I don't eat anything wrapped in pastry either. So dinner can consist of almost anything although I naturally go for healthy choices. Having said that last week I had a big baked potato with crispy skin, cut open and served with butter and black pepper.. Yum.

I don't need puddings. I find them too sweet..I prefer a low fat yogurt if I feel the need for 'more' and it satisfies that need. One thin slice of toast and honey (wholemeal bread) is allowed if I feel a craving coming on.

Another rule is that I have to go to bed at a decent hour. I feel so sluggish the next day if I skimp on the hours I sleep. Sadly I am an owl not a lark and I often feel weary first thing in the morning.

I still like doughnuts but I avoid them altogether. I will eat them again some day, but I may even find I don't want them at all. I will have the odd cake or biscuit and feel no guilt. It's only when I eat a large portion/too many that I beat myself up and know my weak side has gained a victory.This may be a once a week treat and I have to be in control and eat consciously.

I try to walk a few miles on most days. By the end of the week if I haven't done enough walking I am beginning to feel it. I actually feel sluggish and grumpy if I don't venture outdoors.

Now, I am going to try the old clean-your-teeth-to-stop-yourself-eating trick every single evening. I have to curb my late night snacking. It has to be a rule.

In fact, I have to have rules for myself which I enforce. I don't always enforce the rules. I am not hard enough on myself ;)  I have to remember that if I imagine I am making sacrifices (I'm not, not at all) then I am doing it for me. As Michele pointed out in her reply to my last post, I have to treat myself well and look after myself properly. It's not an indulgence to do so.


  1. Progress seems to be happening! Good for you, breaking those habits is a tough one but it's the right thing to do.

  2. small steps are good..before you know it you have actually reached your destination.
    Whoohooo on losing 2 more pounds..keep up the good work.

  3. You have already thrown away 23 pounds. Your anti-diet is working! Jo

  4. It sounds like you have come up with a plan that you can work with-- and that is the trick. Different things work for different people. For me the first 10 lbs came off quickly and I got an instant reward for my good behaviour. The next 10 were tougher but good eating habits and exercise again were rewarded with a slow but steady dropping of pounds. These next ten have been a lot harder but I am not quitting now. You stick to your plan and I believe that you will be rewarded. Now plan that wedding day (smile).


  5. 'Now plan that wedding day (smile).'

    Ooooh Barb. Scary thought:)
    Much as I love my man (he truly is a great bloke, I love him to bits and I want no other) my 'independent woman' side wonders if I want a formal arrangement. It was soooo hard getting out of a bad marriage and it left deep scars. Most women would be planning a big day. I just jog along, not forcing the pace. I actually like my own space and guard it selfishly. I've been on my own since 1996. Oh we do togetherness really well too..weekends, holidays, trips away, ordinary days lazing about and pottering etc, but perhaps I don't need to 'fix' a good thing? I dare say if a shrink had me on his couch he'd have a field day with my avoidance strategies. I may WANT to be the centre of attention when I have lost a bit of weight, who knows, but right now, I think dress, flowers, ceremony, people looking on....and *shudder*.

  6. First, congrats on a nice weight loss! That must feel good.

    Have you thought about counting calories?? Jo has a great post about counting calories and asked readers for tips on web based tools for calories. Have a look: