So I'm currently battling with that whole middle-age phenomenon of "bottoming out". You know, packing on the weight particularly in the mid-section, butt and turning what used to be legs into undefined tree trunks.
The older we get the harder it can be to lose weight and remain toned.
The steps we used to take to remain fit and healthy no longer seem to work.
The hormonal changes in menopause (or even perimenopause) can see weight gain in the tummy region but really, it's probably less about the hormones and more about ageing and lifestyle changes.
Whatever it is, it's common. Weight gain occurs as our bodies adapt to new hormone levels and make the changes needed to leave our reproductive years behind.
Just because it's common, doesn't mean it's mandatory.
There are many things we can do like cut down on sugar, get rid of the white carbs and ditch the alcohol. Plus of course we can increase the exercise.
Right now I'm trying to train myself to get back to no white bread, pasta or rice. Plus I'm also attempting to ditch the sugar by refraining from cakes, sweets and chocolate. "Attempting" being the key word here as all three have been in my life in the week I've "gone off" them.
The older we get the more this whole sugar and carbs-that-convert-to-sugar thing matters. If our blood glucose levels are high and we start to approach insulin resistance our body will convert every calorie into fat. (Source: www.Womentowomen.com)
Apparently many women of perimenopausal age have "insulin sensitivity" with glucose levels higher than they should be which is a recipe for weight gain.
So anyway, after reading this it got me to thinking about my need to practise mindful eating.
Mindful eating is simply eating with intention and paying attention as you do it.
You're probably thinking that's a no-brainer. We all intend to eat and we all pay attention to the eating as we do it. Don't we?
The other night I ate a raw quiche because I wasn't paying attention.
Well, that is a bit of an overstatement. For dramatic effect. I didn't eat an entire raw quiche, but I DID eat raw puff pastry without even realising I was doing it.
I've already told you why. Because I wasn't paying attention.
It was Wednesday night and I'd been working in the office job all day. I raced home after school pick-up to make a quiche for dinner because the big grown up step daughter was coming over, the hubster was working late, we had to get my boy to indoor soccer training and I had to drive towards Goulburn to pick up the teen who'd been in Sydney on secret model business with Nanny. I needed something already cooked for when we all eventually came together at 7.00pm.
Anyway, while I was making the quiche my mobile rang. It was a client. Then I put her on hold to answer another call. It was another soccer parent. Then I put her on hold to answer another call (losing the first in the process). It was my mother. Juggling three callers while making a quiche was proving a tad challenging.
At the end of it I popped the quiche in the oven and turned to collect the remaining puff pastry cut-offs to ball up and freeze for next time.
There were no puff pastry cut-offs.
I scanned the kitchen. Nothing. I looked in the bin. Nothing. Then I started to focus on my mouth and stomach. I could still taste it. Raw pastry. I'd eaten it. All of it. About half a sheet of puff pastry now sitting like a lump in my stomach.
There was nothing mindful about that. Nor was it particularly intentional.
In other news I also put bacon in the quiche because I forgot about the vegetarian in the house. Oops. Her big sister made her an omelette instead.
I'm definitely not doing this "permimenopausal, I'm off sugar, I'm off carbs, I'm trying to get back to my ideal health and fitness" thing any favours by chowing down on raw pastry.
So now I've decided to get back to the habit of mindful eating. Eating that is done in a mindful and intentional way. By thinking seriously about each meal I'm about to eat. Weighing up the pros and cons of each component. How will this meal benefit me?
Plus I need to treat food as its only separate activity. Not eating while sitting at the computer or talking on the phone or watching TV. Sitting down and eating as a whole activity on its own.
Savouring each mouth full. Concentrating on the chewing. Taking note of the textures and the smells and the taste.
Slowing the process down and making it a sensory experience rather than a mindless reflex.
That's what mindful eating is. It's a life skill that helps us enjoy a satisfying, healthy and enjoyable relationship with food. (True story! I googled it.)
Are you in the habit of mindful eating?
Ever eaten a raw quiche?
Could you be perimenopausal?