Emptied of expectation. Relax. (tinyjo) wrote,
Emptied of expectation. Relax.
tinyjo

Triggers?

I had what may be a blinding flash of the obvious last night - I think I figured out one of my dieting problems/eating triggers. A lot of diet books talk about this sort of thing and mostly they focus on eating when you're bored and when you're upset, neither of which quite rang true for me but when talking to Alex last night I suddenly realised: I eat when I'm tired.

This takes a few forms:
1) When I'm tired I am way less likely to be motivated to cook. This means that more often than not, we end up eating take out.
2) When I'm tired I'm much more likely to reach for a snack to keep me going because I feel the need for the energy boost. This tends to take the form of something carby.
3) When I'm tired, I'm much more impatient, so I'm much more suceptible to thinking "gah this diet isn't getting anywhere/is too slow/whatever so I might as well just give it up".
4) When I'm tired I am much less likely to be prepared to do exercise when it can be avoided (e.g. I'll drive to work instead of walking/cycling).

I've been tired a lot this week. This has been due to the fact that we had a couple of late nights at the start of the week and partly due to poor sleeping conditions. I sleep in fairly short cycles and I'm very sensitive to noise unless I'm quite deeply asleep. We've had problems with Charlie this week where if we let her in she'll decide to sharpen her claws on the mattress at 5am and if we shut her out she scrabbles at the door either at 5am or while we're trying to go to sleep. Really, we need to train her to not do one (or both) of these things but effective training is hard to pull off at 5am when you're already tired.

My thoughts about this currently are currently focusing on two main things - how can I avoid feeling tired and how can I avoid overeating when I do?

As far as avoiding tiredness goes, the ideas I've come up with so far are as follows:

1) Go to bed earlier (well duh!). The main problem here is the aforementioned short sleep cycles and light sleeping for large parts of them. If I go to bed earlier and then Alex comes up an hour or so later, it's almost impossible for him to avoid disturbing me. How do I find out what my optimum hours of sleep are anyway?
2) Get up earlier. This sounds crazy but hear me out. I've noticed a frequent pattern recently where I'll wake up around 6:30 or 7 quite suddenly. There generally won't be anything apparently to cause this and I'll feel quite alert but I look at the clock and think "too early" and settle back for more sleep. I suspect this may be putting me at the wrong point in my sleep cycle when I wake up at 7:30 with the alarm.
3) Deal with cat noise at night. Possibly shut them downstairs? This seems mean to Cassie because she is nice and well behaved in the spare bedroom but might work.

I suspect that the best plan for these is going to be to obsessivly diarise for a few weeks to figure out what works well and what doesn't but any suggestions/comments are welcome.

Then there's avoiding overeating when I do feel tired.

1) Force myself to exercise. This is a reasonable idea in principle but I am cautious about it mostly because I have a very strong antipathy to most exercise anyway. If I force myself into it when I feel less than good, is that going to risk putting me off it altogether? If I only did light exercise on those days would that make any difference or does it have to be at a certain level for the hormones to kick in?
2) Plan some low/no cook meals for days when I don't feel I can cope with cooking. The limiting factors here are going to be finding things that really do taste good so I brighten my mood and the size of my freezer, which is very small and mitigates against a lot of cooking in advance (although you could have some stuff like that). I have got some ready meals in there but I bought them because they're low fat ones and while they're not bad, I don't find them satisfying. It occurs to me that finding some ready meals or pasta sauces or whatever that I do find satisfying is likely to be less calories than take-out even if it's more calories than other ready meals. Any suggestions?
3) Corollary to (2). Stop feeling guilty about occasionally asking Alex to prepare said low/no cook meals. As long as it's not all the time (and experience suggests it wouldn't be) then it's perfectly fair and he's said before he'd be happy to so accept that it's a shared thing, damnit! I'm so used to being the one that feeds us that it's hard to get that head off.
4) Find some low calorie energy boosters which can be used as a temporary measure. No particular ideas for any - any suggestions?
5) Do something upstairs rather than watching TV downstairs on evenings when I'm tired - to physically make it more effort to get any snacky stuff.

Any more ideas?
Tags: weight
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