I didn’t really consider how it would look when I really took on last week’s challenge and then sort of sidestepped around this one. Admittedly, this week’s Monday Message involved like 100 tips about eating, none of which I follow in my normal life. Nicole Anziani, Barnard’s awesome new(ish) nutritionist, basically wrote her own blog post on how to eat healthier. It made me grimace. Suffice it to say, I don’t eat in a very healthy way. I eat too much, too fast, and too sporadically. I love food, but I haven’t quite gotten the knack of buying the right things, eating at the right times, or coming back from the grocery store feeling like I actually have food to eat.
Last Monday, Jessica told me not to try and take on all of the tips, and maybe just to pick one. I inflated into this self-righteous well-monster who would take on all challenges as they came, determined to do everything Nicole told me to do every day. Well, that lasted for about an hour until I got home, looked into the fridge, and realized I would probably be eating eggo’s for dinner. So I decided to focus on one thing: breakfast. I NEVER eat breakfast, unless you count coffee as a viable meal (I know some of you probably do). I’m just never hungry when I get up, and then I’m always running late, and I don’t end up eating until I’ve been awake and moving for hours, and the coffee is rebelling in my empty stomach, and then I still don’t eat, because I won’t wait in the Liz’s Place line out of principle and…
So yeah, I have a lot of excuses. I decided to just make myself eat breakfast all week, even if it was later than I meant it to be, and even if it was not a particularly well-rounded meal. Most days it was after the 90-minute period I remember Nicole told us we have between getting up and eating. Mostly, my “breakfasts” consisted of a bagel, or an apple cider doughnut, or a piece of fruit, or leftover pasta. If I’d actually kept a log of what and when I ate, it would have been appalling (Ok, I did, and it was). But you know what? I did it. I ate something every morning before the time I normally would have eaten. And it wasn’t horrible.
In Well Woman, we always talk about how change needs to be realisitc and incremental. I obviously wasn’t going to break years of bad eating habits in a week, and I certainly wasn’t going to be including more than 1 food group in my breakfasts right away (unless, of course, coffee counts as its own group). But I think that’s OK. I managed to force something down my unwilling maw every day, and I think that’s about all I could have asked for. And you know what? Even within the week I started getting hungry earlier. A week later, I find myself sort of wanting to nibble on something in the morning. Maybe in a few weeks, I’ll actually want a meal 90 minutes after I wake up. And I probably won’t always eat it, but perhaps in some future existence, when I am a little more put-together and/or don’t have homework to keep me up all night, I’ll actually sit down and eat something in the morning. I might even plan it. Who knows? There’s really only good steps to take from here. So, if you’re not a breakfast-eater, or you’re a burrito-binger, or you’re a bad-snack-er (or, like me, you’re all of these things), just trying to make one little step in a different direction could be all it takes to make a mildly noticeable change in some habit you feel sort of guilty about. It’s not about having low expectations, it’s about having realistic ones.
This is a picture of me and coffee. I couldn’t find one of me even being around breakfast foods, but somebody commented below it, “Coffee. Of course” which was fitting.