Eating Season

We are coming out of eating season.

I can eat pretty well from April through August. Then things get sticky.

For us, the kickoff is the Greek Festival in September. It is a reminder that within a couple weeks our pants will be tight, so we need to ramp up our workouts and vegetable intake.

The season hits full swing with my birthday, followed by the State Fair, which we typically visit at least three times, shoving fried cheese and cinnamon rolls in our gaping maws. On the heels of the fair come my mother’s and Mr. B’s birthdays, which bookend Halloween. Then we have a brief lull, during which we mainline the leftover Halloween candy and I test recipes for Drawl’s holiday issues. Then Thanksgiving, then Christmas, then New Year’s, then the back to work January slog when no one can bring themselves to stop cleaning out the fridge and freezer of its leftovers with one’s face.

I was a little worried at the beginning of Eating Season this year. I was down ten pounds from this time last year, and last year I was ten pounds down from the year before. I do tend to drop a little weight when I go back to full time teaching in August, but this year I’ve changed my workouts and some of my habits, and the drop has been more significant.

I decided not to worry.

I did okay with my eating and I ran at least once a week, twice most weeks, sometimes thrice. I made sure I got seven hours of sleep each night. I tried to drink at least two liters of water a day. I weighed myself almost every day just to keep tabs on the damage. I didn’t get too bent out of shape about the numbers, though I was cautious when I returned from a trip to Vegas and had a five pound spike.

As Christmas crept closer, I got busier at work. A few times I caught myself ravenous late in the day, realizing I’d missed a meal or even two. Over the holidays I found myself with a growling stomach after bedtime, having done so much running around I’d just burned through whatever I’d eaten.

I’ve never been one to forget to eat. Something has clearly shifted. Even as I worked to change eating habits over the last few years, at times my focus on food grew even more intense. For whatever reason, it’s not the same. I’m not depriving myself or even dieting, but I’m finding food just isn’t as big a deal for some reason.

Don’t get me wrong; I just kicked back a slice of eggnog cake with a cocktail chaser. I’m not being a health nut, and I know this fooditude adjustment may be only temporary. Now that I’ve put it in writing, I’m liable to wake up tomorrow obsessing over pancakes and spending the next week on a bender out of the blue.

Two weeks ago I canceled my Weight Watchers membership. The program was good for me for a long time and helped me develop some healthy habits, but I’ve found that the tracking I’ve needed this year has been to keep my nutrition at a good level, not just to manage calories. If diet management again becomes a problem, I can always rejoin. Many people I know (including myself!) have had huge success with it; it’s just not for me right now.

At any rate, I stepped on the scale yesterday after a few days away to survey the holiday damage. I actually lost a wee bit of weight.

After a week off for holidays and minor illness, I’ll be back on the trail to run in a couple days. I stocked up the kitchen with fruit and vegetables for my first day back at work from our break. Here’s hoping that I’ve broken a cycle (but I’ll still stay very aware!).

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