It’s the middle of the night. I wake up to go to the bathroom, and walk by the kitchen counter. I see the leftover cake from the 4th of July party I hosted, and immediately start to salivate. I’m now hungry. But it’s the middle of the night?! Why am I hungry? I go to the bathroom and think about that cake the entire time….
I get back on my journey to my bedroom, and I tell myself, it’s fine. It’s just a piece of cake. 3 minutes later, and I’ve finished a palm size piece of cake, and now I NEED milk. Go into the fridge, and I see that my kiddos left their slushies in the fridge, so I go to throw them away, but not before I take a sip of one, I mean I don’t want to waste it! Get myself a glass of milk, guzzle it down, rinse my glass, and head to bed. My now seemingly innocent trip to the bathroom cost me 10 minutes or more of sleep, and 350+ calories, most of them being sugar. I lay down and doze off. I wake up with a screaming headache, feel the sugar crusted in between my teeth, and my gut feels heavy. Guilt starts to set in, and I immediately am searching for comfort. I go to the kitchen and rummage through the kitchen to see what I can find. YES! A blueberry muffin from starbucks was waiting for me from my husband who was sweet enough to get me breakfast before heading off to work. I scarf the whole thing down, and feel instantly better. That muffin was SO GOOD……STOP.
How many of us have seen or experienced scenarios like this? How many of us have felt the loss of control of our eating, fostering the urge to eat out of emotional strain, stress, or simply a lack of planning your meals? Let it be known, we all have. We are human, and society actually advocates for this kind of lifestyle. Things are always on the go, strapped for time, with a thinning schedule that doesn’t allow for balance, structure and YOU time. But let’s consider the bigger question, how much do you know yourself, and how can you navigate through things you can’t control, and try to find balance in the things you can? Let’s take a look at the above scenario.
Jenny walked into the kitchen on an empty stomach. She didn’t eat much at all throughout the day, and got so busy, she pretty much forgot about food. That was until it was right in front of her, in plain sight. Jenny knows she can overcome temptations by simply not having them available, using the out of sight, out of mind technique. Without or with at least less temptation, there is a greater chance of success for Jenny. She knows this about herself. She learns more about herself daily by her actions, and reactions to situations she is put in, or puts herself in. Jenny ventured further into her kitchen, and her body was telling her the cake wasn’t enough. It had been woken up, and was hungry. Anything would do at that point, and she took what was in front of her, and almost completely forgot about the milk! Our mind can play some pretty crazy tricks on us, and I bet you will think about this the next time you venture into your kitchen 😉
Ever heard of the tip to not eat prior to going to sleep? Do any of us know why that is? Or why people say breakfast is the most important meal of the day? Well, let me put my teaching cap on for you. Our bodies are living, breathing, oiled machines. We take a bit to warm up, but once we are going, we are on hyper speed. Our bodies are in a semi-form of fight or flight using our sympathetic nervous system throughout most of our day. Even more so with the working world we live in. We are under a lot of stress, and forced into agendas that we submit to, because we believe we can handle it. Our body always will compensate, and help you get through your days. But only for so long. Our bodies then reach a mode called “rest and digest” . In this mode, we reach out to our parasympathetic nervous system, which helps us to slow down, while biologically and physiologically shifting our gut into neutral. Our bodies are made to consume foods when we are most active. Some of our most active parts of our day take place in the morning or early afternoon. By evening, we are winding down, watching a movie, and putting our feet up after a long day, or diving into our favorite book or crossword. As our lifestyle shifts, so does our gut, and the rest of our body.
Let’s think of some other common habits we have created with a busy schedule:
- Eating food super fast
- Going long periods of time without eating
- #2 creating a binge later in the day, the body becomes hangry and wants anything
- We eat later, causing disruption in our sleep
- We eat for convenience and lose track of prepping with purpose
So how can we contribute to changing these things? Are we in so deep that it just is what it is? You may think so. But what if we could come up with ways to navigate each of these?
- Slowing down. Making time for dinner. Finding what other things are taking precedence, and brainstorming TOGETHER with your family on how to make time for each other to enjoy a nice warm meal at home.
- Scheduling out your meals/snacks. Just like any other important part of your day. Try to fit it in, even if it’s just 10-15 minutes at your desk. But remember to make it intentional. Mindless eating creates overeating, naturally.
- Avoid the binge, keep your metabolism and your blood sugar stabilized throughout the day to prevent the “hangry” inside of you.
- Doing #2 and #3 will help you to avoid #4, and will allow you to eat something small and light in the evening, and cause less commotion in your tummy!
- This one can be tricky, BUT first things first. Is an apple just as convenient as a muffin? Is a boiled egg just as convenient as a Mcdonalds egg white delight? What if we found convenient foods that provide more nutrient value, and see what that does to our hunger? Higher nutrient value = that wonderful feeling of being full for longer 😀
So take a look at your life, and the way you lead it. Take a second to reflect. How well do you know yourself? How much of your life is about you? How do we prioritize our time? What fills our bucket? If you are unsure of where you are at, what you need, or where to start. Please know that someone is out there for you. A support system, a life coach, a best friend. Our wellness coaching program starts here. With YOU. If you are ready for that next step, coach Jen is ready to take it with you. You may contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or simply stop in her office, and she would love to help you in the journey to finding your best YOU.