Women Are Superheroes, But Our Multitasking is Making Us Fat
One of the things I marvel most at about women as a gender is our ability to multitask. I’m conversely fascinated that it’s AN EXPECTATION of being a woman, not the Herculean feat it actually is!
Today women are juggling SERIOUS careers. Gone are the days of being the secretary who brings coffee to the boss. We ARE the boss! We’re the one managing the staff, the money, the office. Which is, frankly, sometimes exhausting.
But oh wait, we’re also charitable, so we’re volunteering at our church, through our Rotary, fundraising for Autism, MS and a host of other diseases we’re intent on curing. Not to mention selling cookies, wrapping paper and whatever gift cards our kids’ school is selling that month.
And then, as if all that work and all that service weren’t enough… Oh yeah, we go HOME to manage our families. Our kids just don’t go outside and play anymore – they have travel baseball, karate, ski club, dance class, Scouts and a busier evening schedule than we do. And that’s before their homework! Our spouses/partners are working and volunteering like we do, and trying to help manage the car pool, class snack and making sure someone gets home to let out the dog. Because of course you have a dog, you have kids!
So it is any wonder that our meals have become whatever we can zap in a microwave, pick up from a convenience store or drive through on the way to our next appointment?
As a society, we no longer value the family dinners. We’re still answering emails from the day, confirming the kids’ schedule for the weekend, etc as we mindlessly eat the pizza, wings or burgers someone picked up on the way home. We’ve forgotten how to sit across a table and just sit, just sit and talk to one another about our days, about what’s going on in the world.
When I started my weight loss journey nearly six months ago, Mr. Big and I had a long discussion about what some of our habits were that were contributing to our unhealthy lifestyle, and what we wanted to change. We wanted to be more physically active, sure, but we also wanted to be more mindful about HOW and WHAT we were eating.
Now, when we get home at night, Mr. Big and I make a point to put the cell phones away while one or both of us make dinner. We talk about the day, politics, news, whatever’s going on. And that dedicated time has enabled us to be more fully engaged with one another, which is an added bonus to our relationship.
Now, on Sundays, I take time over breakfast to figure out what our schedules look like for the week, which nights we’ll eat dinner at home and what’s on sale at the store. Then I menu plan out my meals for the week, ensuring I’m getting enough variety, eating enough healthy oils, etc. After the gym I hit the grocery store, and then I spend an hour prepping my breakfasts, lunches and some cut raw veggies, salads, etc for snacks. It’s absolutely a 1-2 hour process, but it has fundamentally changed WHAT we eat. And it cuts down on the prep time throughout the week, when we’re not getting home until 8pm anyway.
For me, an average day usually looks like:
- Breakfast is 1/2 c of egg whites with sautéed kale, mushrooms & onion. I usually add half of a chicken sausage, a slice of low-fat cheese and a dry English muffin. At least one espresso, if not two.
- Coffee mid-morning with 2 Tbps fat-free half-and-half.
- Lunch is 6 ounces of protein, two veggies prepared with 1tsp olive oil.
- A piece of fruit and more coffee with 2 Tbps fat-free half-and-half mid-afternoon.
- A cocktail when I get home, and 6-8 ounces of protein with two veggies for dinner, usually prepared with 1-2tsp of olive oil. And maybe a salad.
By forcing myself to plan ahead, I’ve been better able to control what I put in my mouth, and that’s been a tremendous advantage to my weight loss. By forcing myself to slow down and focus on my food, I’ve also been better able to focus on my partner, which is a tremendous benefit to my relationship. Talk about win-win!