I happen to take “creature of habit” to the extreme (again, I have that type of personality). I routinely wake up, do the same things everyday, eat the same foods at the same times, shop at the same stores, drive the same routes, and so on. I’m basically on autopilot. Obviously, things come up that disrupt my typical schedule: kids, travel, meetings, or other unprecedented events. Fortunately, sets of routines allow for me, and most people, to feel “much calmer and in control of your life.”
I will share with you the predictability of my day-to-day life: I wake up, eat breakfast, take my kids to school, exercise, shower, eat lunch, pick my kids up from school, we all take a nap, have a snack when we awake, then play outside, followed by dinner. The routine continues with bathing and putting the kids to bed, and then, finally, taking a deep breath. Next, and ultimately, comes time to myself, or time with my husband. With his company or without, I refer to it as “party time.” I choose to celebrate the end of another day by sitting in front of the television stuffing my face with chips, ice cream, bowls of cereals, and anything else I may crave… in the most uncontrolled way. I reward myself at night for sticking to my “rules” during the day, and for that, I allow myself to binge late at night.
Studies specifically reveal “rules” of eating to maintain a healthy weight, heart, and lifestyle. According to U.S. News and World Report, “Research consistently shows that people who eat late at night weigh more than those who eat all of their food earlier in the day.” Or, people should eat a heart healthy breakfast. “You want to aim for a breakfast that combines good carbs and fiber with some protein,” says Erica Giovinazzo, MS, RD, a nutritionist at Clay Health Club and Spa, in New York City, who is quoted in an article by Health.com. Or, according to American Heart Association, “prepare and eat healthier foods at home.” Finally, medical experts urge athletes to take days off of exercise; that it’s imperative for your body to recover. Elizabeth Quinn, sports medicine expert states, “Rest is physically necessary so that the muscles can repair, rebuild and strengthen.”
Despite these clearly identified health principles, I, surprisingly, choose to neglect them, and make my own rules. Not because I don’t believe they are accurate, but because I have established an eating and exercise routine in my daily life that has allowed me to maintain a consistent body weight, be fit and healthy, and eat the foods I desire. So here are my top ten rules…
My Top Ten Rules:
- Eat the same breakfast everyday. It’s my favorite meal of the day, and a great start, too! I enjoy a muffin top accompanied by a cup of coffee. Not just any muffin top. A muffin top from my favorite bakery in West Bloomfield, Michigan. You’re wondering how I am able to have them in Baltimore? Yes, they ship! Thank you Jen’s Gifts of Love for providing me the perfect taste each and every morning!
- No snacking between breakfast and lunch. I haven’t actually ever acknowledged I do this, it just happens everyday. Sure, here and there, if I am hungry, I will grab a piece of fruit, or even gummy bears. But, that’s about it.
- I typically enjoy eating a salad everyday. However, if I eat a salad for lunch, I will not eat a salad for dinner.
- Exercise daily; given that I am able to, and healthy. Obviously, things come up, whether I get sick, get a blister, or travel. But given all is well, exercise! “You will feel better after,” says the voice in my head, even on days I am not motivated.
- When having coffee, I must have a snack with it. When I have salad, I must have bread with it.
- Do not eat chocolate before 8:00pm (unless absolutely craving it, in which case, eat it!). But, I am not tempted by chocolate anyway until my late night “party.”
- Never turn food down that I actually desire. Deprivation, ultimately, creates cravings, and eventually leads to unhealthy binging.
- Eat lunch foods for lunch. This includes sandwiches or salads. Let’s be honest, you will not see me eating a burrito from Chipotle for lunch, or throwing down slices of pizza and pasta. Yes for dinner, but not for lunch. My rule.
- Dessert is to be eaten after dinner.
- Eat as many gummy bears, fruit snacks, sour patch kids, or swedish fish as I want each day. As you can imagine, I have a gummy addiction. If you see me running into Walgreen’s quickly, I am probably coming out with bags to satisfy my fix. (My husband is a dentist. I just had my first cavity in my entire life. He searches every few months for them, and shockingly, this habit has not rotted my teeth…yet!)
I am who I am. I am happy. I am healthy. I like the way I do it. It works. Do you have rules that you didn’t even realize were rules?
This blog is dedicated to my husband, Jon. He declared them as “rules.” When he asks me if I want something, and I, respectfully, decline, he responds back with, “Oh, I forgot about that rule.” I love you for loving me for who I am!