Is Busyness Keeping You from Losing those Last Ten Pounds?
We live in a culture that prides itself on busyness. In fact, you probably have at least one conversation a week with someone who’s complaining about how EXHAUSTED they are!
Moms have it especially hard. We feel like we have to do more, be more, give more, have more, etc. We feel guilty when we can’t do it all…especially when it seems like a lot of our friends CAN! (I’ll let you in on a little secret. They probably feel the same way you do!)
Busyness can disrupt our lives in so many ways! Some of which we are aware of, and some we aren’t.
For example, did you know that busyness can actually keep you from losing that last 5-10 pounds? You know the ones. They come on 3-5 at a time, once or twice per year. You don’t really notice them at first.
But then…You go to slip on your nicest pair of skinny jeans for your long, anticipated date night, and you can barely pull them up all the way. Buttoning them is out of the question.
It can be so frustrating, hopping around to pull up the same jeans that fit just fine a year ago.
For those of us in our 40s and beyond, the weight really seems to come out of nowhere.
Should we just give up on ourselves?
Chalk it up to middle age?
Commit to starting a new a diet on Monday?
No! None of the above.
But It does mean that we have to pay more attention not only to what we are eating – we officially can’t eat like our teenagers anymore – but also to HOW we are eating.
Don’t worry. It doesn’t mean you have to deprive yourself of all of the foods you love. You get to keep your fresh baked homemade chocolate chip cookies, and your chips and salsa at your favorite Mexican food restaurant.
There’s more. It also doesn’t mean that you have to resign yourself to eating a boring, bland diet of steamed broccoli and boiled chicken.
There are actually a few simple changes you can make. The good news is, they involve absolutely no deprivation!
Simple changes? Maybe you are thinking this sounds too good to be true.
To better understand if busyness is keeping you from losing that last 10 pounds, you can ask yourself three questions.
- Are you stressed out when you eat?
Busyness = Stress!
Eating in a stressed state activates the sympathetic nervous system, which diverts the body’s energy away from digestion. You won’t be maximizing nutrient absorption or calorie burning.
In fact, You may also end up eating more as a comfort measure to help alleviate your stress.
Oh, and if you are sitting there feeling guilty and ashamed about the fact that you are eating pizza again this week, or that you chose french fries as your side item instead of a salad, then you will initiate the very stress response that is wreaking so much havoc on your body!
- Are you eating out a lot?
Busyness = Eating out more!
Eating out often means we sacrifice quality in our food. Very few restaurants use farm raised meats, imported cheeses, organic fruits and vegetables, etc.
Our food quality plays a definite factor in our weight.
Conventionally raised foods often contain hormones and other toxins which throw our endocrine systems out of whack.
This disequilibrium can have a negative impact on weight.
Plus, we all know that restaurant portions are usually huge, often coming in at 800-1000 calories per entree. If you are a member of the clean plate club, or if you aren’t really listening to your body’s hunger and satiety signals, you will likely be eating a lot more than your body needs.
- Are you distracted when you eat?
Busyness = Multi-tasking = Distracted Eating!
If you are eating while standing at the stove, working on the computer, watching TV, or driving in your car, then you’re not giving your meal your full attention.
So, even if your physical body gets the required calories it needs for energy, your brain may not fully register the meal, which means you will be left feeling hungry, and likely wanting to eat more.
Eating is truly a full sensory experience. Your body AND mind need to truly EXPERIENCE the meal – taste, texture, appearance, and aroma.
Otherwise, we could just do like the Jetsons and take a pill to provide our caloric requirements. I don’t know about you, but this sounds miserable to me!
So, if you are hanging onto those last ten pounds, but really don’t want to give up bread, or those occasional treats, then instead try reflecting on the three questions above. Maybe a few tweaks to your routine are all you need to get back into those jeans!
Incorporating these changes will help you to give your nutrition the attention it deserves, so that you will be able to have your cake, and (mindfully) eat it too!