Hello, Chaos Crew…
A few weeks ago, I posted my theory on why married women with children gain weight. Researchers have found that those of us at home with husbands and kids put on more weight over the years than our partner-less or child-less sisters. But researchers were stumped as to why. My theory? Dinner. And many of you agreed, adding your own salient comments and anecdotal evidence to my theory. Here’s my original post.
And, since I announced that 2010 was a year of Health and Fitness for me, several Chaos Crew members have asked for an update . Several are waiting to start their own programs… and they wanted to know how mine was going. Love that. Been there, done that in terms of waiting to start a diet! So I am here to oblige…
I am following the plan of Dr. Mehmet Oz and Dr. Micheal Roizin called You: On a Diet, except it’s Me: On a Diet. I have always admired Dr. Oz and Dr. Roizin for their sound, fact-based medical advice. ( As opposed to wacky theories on food combining based on unsubstantiated health claims by actresses. But that’s just me. To read more about my “relationship” with Dr. Oz on Oprah.com, click here. ) I like to know what to do and why I am doing it. Also, the program emphasizes “waist size” and not “weight,” so there’s no torturing yourself over the numbers on a scale. And I find their focus on “vitality” particularly appealing, especially when vitality seems so fleeting. Or, in my case, fleeted.
So, I am on board with the whole grains, the flaxseeds, the salmon, the walnuts, and the Greek yogurt. I’m saying “no” to white flour, added sugars, and foods high in saturated fat. Lots of water, green tea, and a little wine occasionally after the meal– all good. The food aspect of the diet has been surprisingly easy. I think was ready to make changes– so foregoing the ice cream, mac and cheese and grilled steaks has been not too much of a struggle. And, the plan does a great job of giving you tools to get back on track ( called a You -Turn) after that slice of birthday cake.
Yup, the hamburger cake got me. But I didn’t let it take me down as I might have in the past.
But the biggest change for me has been habitual: Getting of the Kitchen Between the Hours of 3 and 7. Like I said in the original post, just the act of making and serving dinner added 500 calories to my day, and that wasn’t even from eating the actual dinner! That was from the four-hour buffet of snacking while making my growing boys one meal after another. Even if the quality of food in my immediate area was “healthy”– hummus, peanut butter, whole grain tortillas– I just didn’t need the quantity. So, a month ago, I announced to my family that I would no longer be standing at the ready in the kitchen all afternoon as had been my habit. I stocked the fridge with healthy foods, reviewed the stove, microwave and oven policies with my boys, and announced that I would make one meal served at 6:45 for anybody who happened to be home to enjoy. For any other meals, they were on their own. Oh– and please put your dishes in the sink and rinse out the yogurt cups.
Then, I walked away from the kitchen.
And walked is the operative word. I walked the dog. I walked around the track at lacrosse practice. I walked around the yard weeding and raking. I got out of Dodge– and very often that meant inventing excuses to leave the house. Let’s go to the library! Medicine Ball Madness! I was grateful for the excuse of the high school soccer season with games from 3 to 5; looking forward to volleyball starting in March! I have freed myself from the constant food prep that growing tween and teen boys mandate. The boys are taking responsibilty for more of their nutrition and I am seeing the benefits of my new regimen.
It’s hard. They still ask for the bowl of ice cream after dinner. But, I remind them that they can get off the couch and get it themselves. Which then, they don’t! So I guess they really didn’t need/want that ice cream in the first place. But, I think that’s a whole other study!
So, how’s it going? Slipped into a pair of blue jeans over the weekend that I hadn’t worn in, um, quite while. My hairdresser commented on the vibrancy of my skin. And, last week when I had that TV audition, I went Spanx-free!
It’s hard to go public with a diet because then you are on the hook for losing more weight and then keeping it off. And people want pictures and numbers– and that’s not my thing. But, because my column on dinner touched such a nerve, I thought I would share what I’ve discovered: Dinner is a meal, not a lifestyle.
Embracing my Chaos, Lian