So it's the end of Week Two of the new job! I think I have lost a few pounds because of being more active and taking public transportation. While I haven't purposefully made any specific changes, I have noticed that by necessity (i.e. walking more just to get to bus stations, more stairs than just those at my house, etc.) I have started racking up some miles here and there. Due to our financial situation, I still have been meal planning and have been accounting for snacks and other options. My first week was Not Good health-wise. I was very, very hungry, and then would come home craving salt. I have been trying to practice mindfulness when I get a hunger signal to accurately pin down what I am craving versus HUNGRY NOW ALL THE FOOD. Specifically with hunger cues, I use the HALT acronym- when I think I'm hungry, what is really going on? Am I H
ired? I try to drink a glass of water and sit with the feeling for about 15-20 minutes. If I'm still hungry, I try to pinpoint what I am hungry for, hence the salt cravings last week. Last Tuesday, I did something I haven't done at least for fifteen years; I ate a can of Campbell's Soup (which was leftover from my mother's stay. I rarely keep processed soups in the pantry and use them to cook with maybe once every two years. I've probably had the same cans of tomato soup we moved in with three years ago!). I knew that was bad
If I was craving salt, I figured something was going on with my electrolytes. I was downing coffee like a champ; there's a Dunkin in the building! So by last Wednesday, I had significantly upped my water intake and told myself to lay off the coffee, or at least make sure I had some home-brewed with me versus Dunky. When the water intake regulated, so did the salt cravings (and the Dunky cravings, get thee away from me, Dunky!). Huzzah!
Then came the hunger pangs. I wasn't sure what was going on here: I knew somehow I wasn't properly fueling myself, seeing as I wanted to eat a client by the end of the day! While I was continuing to pack healthy lunches, I let the snacks fly by. I was having difficulty figuring out when to eat, and also the amount of time I would have to eat IN, which is also when we were doing rounds. Since I had taken another client food shopping on Saturday (at Aldi, LOVE ALDI), I knew I had plenty of options now of fresh fruits and dips and healthy choices. I started throwing things in my lunch bag, and so far, for at least the past three days, things have been improving.
The past two days, I did something I don't think I have ever done: I started tooling around and counted calories. I have been eating relatively 1400-1600 calories by the time my shift ends, which is actually pretty good. I have noticed I am struggling a little bit when I come home from work. I am not sure if it's because my body thinks it's dinner time, or because of the bus ride, or what's really going on. Tonight, I came home and really
wanted a burrito. After checking nutritional stats, I saw it was 860 calories
! Holy poop! That was enough to deter me; well, that and having to leave my house. So, instead, I decided to make myself a hodge podge plate.
Pretzels, cherries, CHEDDAR PENGUINS OMG, baby carrots, celery stick (really, I'm trying with the celery), pepperjack cheese, whole grain and honey mustard, and some spicy hummus in the middle! All from Aldi except for the cherries this time around, and the honey mustard- no idea where that came from.
I used to love making these things, incorporating some salty, some crunchy, some spicy, etc. One of my favorite combinations is fruit preserves with crackers and goat cheese, but alas, no goat cheese.
Side note: Burrito craving has gone away after consumption of plate.
Anyway, I wanted to post here to see about feedback. Has anyone else had difficulty with adjusting to a new work schedule when it comes to health-related issues? Also, I was curious if anyone else practiced mindfulness with food and hunger cues.
Hope all is well and folks are doing okay out there!