I bought myself an Easter egg yesterday. A whole one, just for myself, well over six weeks before Easter. You see I absolutely love Easter egg chocolate and, as an adult, well I simply don’t get enough of it. I justified this purchase on three counts: One – it was only €1.49; Two – in terms of Easter eggs it wasn’t actually that big; Three – my husband was going to be out rehearsing for a show he’s going to be in next month and so, as I don’t get out that much anymore, I deserved a treat.
And now it’s gone. Every last bit of it.
It was delicious.
But enough is enough.
This has to stop.
You see, I want our little man to be a good, healthy eater and I know that will come if we lead by example. And at the moment I wouldn’t exactly say I’m a good example. I just love chocolate too much. Plus it’s convenient. To be honest I eat fairly well, but I still love junk food. I always have.
But now our little man is nine months old and he’s noticing everything including, I’m pretty sure, the eating habits of his mum. So I have to begin to adopt the healthy lifestyle I’ve always wished I had. I’m one of these people who, no matter how much I ate, it didn’t affect the way I looked too much. But post-baby and being that bit older, that’s now changing.
Plus I don’t really exercise that much, pre-baby I’d be doing daily walks up and down hills (we live on a hill), post-baby that’s not happening any more. I’ve never been great at exercising, unless it was dance and, at the moment, I haven’t the funds or time to fit regular dance classes into my schedule.
Despite all this I know things have got to change. I want my little man to grow up with a healthy mum who eats well and is physically fit. I’ve let myself go a bit and I’m not happy about that. This isn’t about losing weight; it’s about feeling better in myself and introducing a healthy lifestyle into our home (before our little man realises that there wasn’t one there in the first place!).
In the eating and exercise department I haven’t got the best willpower, I think because I always got away with it before, so I have to come up with a plan that will work. I figure that writing about this is the first step because once I write about doing something I feel that I have to follow it through. Not only that, this isn’t about just me anymore, it’s about my little man too. He needs a good example and he needs me to stay as healthy as possible. To be honest I think that’s all the willpower that I need.
So where to start? In terms of exercise I discovered Lucy Wyndham-Read’s 7-minute workout a couple of months ago. Between my little man, spending time with my husband, work and pursuing a writing career, I might not have much extra time left in the day but surely I can fit in 7 minutes of exercise?
With regards to food I did think about “doing Lent” as they say in Ireland. Having been raised a Catholic I have attempted to “do Lent” many times over the years, usually not very successfully. My greatest Lenten success was when I gave up crisps aged nine. It was one of the hardest Lents of my life, but I did it! However, I don’t think that “doing Lent” will work as well for me now, I’ve noticed that anytime I tried to give up something for Lent as an adult I soon gave up giving up. Giving up something for Lent was definitely a more powerful exercise for me when I was a child.
So I’ve decided not to give up but to cut down. There are certain food stuffs (mainly chocolate) that need to have a limit on their intake. I know if I ban myself from it altogether it won’t work. Then I need to carry on with the lunchtime salads that I’ve been having during the week. I actually love salad anyway so that’s not too difficult. I also need to remember how much I enjoy cooking and just get on with it.
Growing up, and even to this day, my cooking has always been a bit of a family joke. Most of my cooking lessons in school produced fairly disastrous results including a tin of crumbs that were supposed to be flapjacks and a raw quiche that could have caused a family illness if my mum hadn’t spotted the fact it was raw before too much was eaten (I thought it was cooked). I couldn’t be bothered with cooking; I was more interested in reading or writing or playing music. Cooking just (pardon the pun) ate into time I wanted to spend on things I loved.
However in the past few years, as I’ve grown to love more cookery programmes, I’ve come to enjoy cooking and I’m not bad at it. I went off it when I was pregnant as I felt so sick all the time. Then once our little man arrived I was so busy it just seemed like another massive chore that I could do without. Well, no longer!
So here’s to healthy eating, exercise and being as good example as possible for my little man! Wish me luck!