LIES I TELL MYSELF
(and proof they're not real)
"I wake up STARVING every morning!"
There are times when I think "I'm hungry" and later realize it's something else. I'm not really talking about that. There are TONS of great blog posts on the topic and I'm sure I have my own take on it if I think about it for a while, but for ME, specifically, I always eat breakfast.
Not as a diet / nutrition axiom (everything I've EVER read on the subject insists you must never, never skip meals if you aim for long-term weight management and fitness - FUEL YOUR BODY!), but because it's pretty much the first thing I think about when I wake up most days.
"What's for breakfast?"
"Oh, I have to pee. What's for breakfast?"
And I'm not talking about having a nice fruit smoothie. Or a bowl of high-fiber cereal and a bit of Greek yogurt. I wake up thinking about eggs, bacon, sausage, and biscuits. Basically I wake up thinking about a Hardee's breakfast sandwich.
I've learned over the years that I'm not really all that hungry first thing in the morning.
Don't get me wrong, if you put that breakfast sandwich in front of me, I'm GOING to eat it. I will not hesitate. (Gotta work on that...) But if I have a shower, a cup of coffee, it wanes. The urgency fades. And, like a morning fog being burned off in my brain, the urge to eat ALL THE FOODS subsides and a more reasonable desire for breakfast takes its place.
Then I can enjoy my Greek yogurt with some granola or nuts. Maybe some dried fruit. Or maybe on a Saturday morning, a couple of eggs and a single piece of toast. Especially on a Saturday, when typically I'll get a fair amount of exercise and I need that extra bit of fat and protein to keep me going.
I've also learned that if I can get through this early morning desperate desire for food thing, I can control the rest of my day pretty well. I have VERY weak Resistance Muscles in the morning. Coffee helps, a LOT, but that usually doesn't come into play until after I've gotten to work. Until I've had my coffee... I'm vulnerable.
Oh... what got me thinking about this today? Here's what greeted me when I came in. This is not even lunchtime, people! Those aren't MUFFINS (at least that would be a breakfast food!) they're just DESSERTS.
I have developed a strategy to calm, pacify, and sometimes control this monster that is released each morning. (Jillian Michaels and a bunch of scientists have some sciency explanations for all this in her book and elsewhere, if you're interested. It IS nice to find I'm sorta normal.) It's not fool-proof, but most days I can count on it to keep me away from the drive-thru.
It's a three-step process:
Step 1) Get up late so I don't have time to make sausage and eggs and bacon and biscuits for breakfast. This is the easiest step.
Step 2) Keep ready-to-grab breakfast foods available at all times. This includes but is not limited to:
- Greek yogurt in tasty flavors that I'm likely to actually EAT. (Not that revolting banana atrocity I tried last week. Not that.)
- Cottage cheese - take 10 minutes on Sunday and put cottage cheese in 5 or 10 of those tiny Tupperware containers that hold a half-cup each. And don't forget to buy a vat of the stuff at Sam's Club. (And while I'm on the subject, I personally don't bother with Low-Fat or Non-Fat cottage cheese. It saves you TEN lousy calories per serving, and something delicious somehow gets turned into something noxious when they remove the fat. Just eat good tasty cottage cheese in an actual half-cup portion and you'll be fine.)
- Home-made granola bars or loose granola - tons of great recipes out there, take 45 minutes out of your weekend and you'll have a month's supply and it's delicious.
- Hard-boiled eggs. Who doesn't love a hard-boiled egg?
- I have been known, on occasion, to make ahead things like egg cups or hearty muffins, but lately that's not been my thing. Has worked just fine when I've done it, though.
- Protein bars - I keep a stash of them in my desk drawer, and I've been known to keep some in the trunk of my car and/ or in my purse.
So, once again, Screw you, lying voice inside my head. I'm gonna eat this yogurt and enjoy every bite. And later, I'm going to have a sensible lunch.