Welcome to my blog. I write about fitting in, sticking out, and missing the motherland as a serial foreigner.

Time to shape up

A bunch of things happened all at once and suddenly I'm determined to eat better.

First, at long last, at the beginning of May, it is now too hot to go running every morning, as has been my wont for lo, these past six months. I enjoy exercising for the health benefits, but to be honest, I also do it to support my sometimes atrocious eating habits. Read on.

Second, it's true that I haven't eaten candy since December. But I have, uh, overcompensated in the ice cream department. Part of this is not my fault: the small grocery store on campus recently started stocking Ben & Jerry's ice cream. It is magical and delicious, but it is not a good thing because that store is literally a 2-minute walk from my front door.

Third, the health center on campus was offering a free body fat analysis the other day. I haven't had one of these done since high school and back then, the results put me somewhere in the range of "you could be an extra in a movie set in a concentration camp." Not so this time. My weight is fine, but my fat vs. muscle ratio is in the undesirable range. (Also, you have to love how doctors don't sugar-coat things here. When the results came out, the doctor said, "You have too much fat." That's it. I appreciated her brevity.)

Fourth (I'm almost done, I swear), I've finally come to terms with the fact that it has been 2.5 years since I gave birth, and my tummy has reduced about as much as it's going to on its own. There is no more baby chub left. It's all me. (Except for that extra skin stuff. I lay no claim to that.)

I'm not too worried about exercising. Once this semester is over in a little more than a month, Jeremy's schedule will be flexible enough to allow for running in the evening or, gasp, indoors on the treadmill at the leisure center. Then in the fall, spinning and aerobics classes will start back up until it cools down enough to run outside again.

It's the eating that threatens to do me in. I've shied away from putting absolute limits on my eating habits since my problem with anorexia, so it's a little scary to reinstate a few rules. But my ideas are that:

1. Candy is (still) not allowed.
2. Other sweets/treats (ice cream, etc...well, if I'm being honest, it's really just ice cream) are allowed on one day a week. I'm thinking Friday. It will just make the Sabbath BETTER, you know?
3. I'm considering an exception for if we're out and about and get ice cream as a special treat. Like how IKEA has chocolate ice cream cones for 1 dirham on weekdays. I know, right?
4. I'm also considering imposing an extra condition that the sweets/treats I consume on Fridays (in the unlikely event that I choose not to eat ice cream) must be homemade. Like, it can't be Oreos or donuts. It has to be cookies that I've spent time making myself. (Or donuts I've spent time making myself, I guess.) That puts a little obstacle in the way that could curb my inclination to indulge like crazy on that day.

What do you think? I swear I'm not posting this as a "keep me accountable" tactic. I just wanted to talk about it and see if anyone else out there also exercises so they can eat what they want. Or if anyone else out there has a 2.5-year-old "baby" and is just realizing it.

Also, perhaps now is a good time to mention a few of the unique challenges that face the SAHM when it comes to eating habits. We give birth and are left with a ton of extra weight as well as a tiny infant whose needs make it really difficult to give a lot of thought to maintaining healthful eating habits. Then, we get used to grazing all day long on whatever is available, partly for the aforementioned reason but also to support breastfeeding. Even when that stage is long past us, part of being a SAHM is that, hello, we are home all day. Guess what else is at home? A pantry and a fridge, just waiting to be opened when the kids stress you out or they're finally down for a nap or you need to feed them a snack and you decide to join in yourself. It seems like being out of the house for a good stretch of time would do a lot toward instilling more regular eating habits.


Why I'm reading Ender's Game right now instead of working on my research paper