Today’s blog is written by my good friend with whom I have shared many years of weight ups and downs. Please join me in welcoming her:)
I never thought it was possible to discover a new obstacle to losing weight, but, alas, this winter I have discovered just that—the snow day! Who does not remember with glee those childhood days when we learned that school was canceled due to a major snowfall. What joy! We got to sleep in, bundle up in snow gear and play in the snow all day. When we came inside, we usually were greeted with yummy hot chocolate and some homemade treat made with love by mom. Whether it was cookies or gingerbread, the treats always tasted better on a snow day. Somehow the interruption of the normal school routine made everything more special.
Fast forward to today. As an adult employee of a school, I now realize that teachers are as excited by snow days as the students are—maybe more so. The extra sleep is a true gift and a day away from the rat race is an unexpected and welcomed pleasure. Yet, I realized that in my mind, the freedom from a normal routine also equated with freedom from healthy eating habits. It was a given that homemade sweets would be a part of the joyful day at home. In my mind, snow days meant indulging in foods I would not normally allow myself to eat.
Now, I know you will say that an awareness of this mentality is a step in the right direction. True enough. But the awareness did not prevent me from a day of indulgence. And really, one day of indulgence is easily overcome and sometimes can keep us from giving up entirely. But, as the snow continued to fall, my one snow day turned into eleven. Yes, eleven days off. About five days in, I began to feel the sluggishness that accompanies bad eating habits and decided to turn things around. Then, another snow arrived along with a loss of power (an unusable treadmill) and it was downhill from there.
As the days progressed, I received e-mails from several female friends who were also stuck at home. The echo in their sentiments was unmistakable. Snow days equal treats. Not just any treats, but homemade treats. Something about being stuck inside brought out the Suzy Homemakers in all of us. We were all lamenting the fact that we were eating out of control and yet could not stop baking. What is this about? All I can say is that we equate snow days with joy and joy with homemade treats.
What is the solution? Of course, one can snack on baby carrots, low fat string cheese and low fat pudding. But since we do this on a normal day, we want to treat ourselves to something outside the norm of everyday routine. I have to say that I still may treat myself to a homemade treat on the next snow day, but I will get right back to healthy eating the next morning—even if the snow day turns into a snow week. There are some things that make life worth living and a good snow day with snacks is a memory worth making. Just remember, once the snow day is over, get back on track. As a wise Weight Watchers leader once said, “The next thing you put in your mouth is the most important decision you can control.”