Saturday, 17 September 2011
That Shrinking Feeling
I am currently thinking about trying to retain some of the benefits of Ramadan both spiritually and in my routine. However a peripheral benefit has been the impact of this sacred month on my diet and eating patterns.
The days were long during this Ramadan and with so many hours of not eating and certainly no grazing in between meals, I found that the sugar has dropped out of my diet. This is no mean feat for someone who loves coffee, coke, chocolate, jelly sweets, cream cakes…you get the picture. Having had an abundance of these things in my diet in the past, I found the first week of Ramadan physically extremely demanding. I was barely awake, extremely exhausted and physically in quite a lot of muscular pain for most of the first week. I was struggling to understand what was happening to me, especially the pain, but looking back I am convinced it was my body reacting to the sudden loss of a sugar high which had been steadily maintained for a good 15-20 years.
After the first week, this became easier and I didn’t miss the sugar much or crave it. I had a bit of mithai (Indian sweet) on Eid and that was it. The effect has been drastic. I have lost over a stone and my weight is still very slightly dropping. My skin is also much clearer as I have stopped getting spots. I feel ever so GOOD. My old clothes fit again, I am not self-conscious of how my clothes look and I feel happy in my self at the moment.
It brought home to me how much sugar can creep into our diets through the day without us realising and the damage it does.
However as the days of Ramadan recede, I am starting to find my appetite coming back and I am trying to be more disciplined. I am trying to surround myself with fruit and veg and healthy options, I am trying to recognise and manage my trigger points and time (when I get back from work at 4.30 I am so hungry I am past caring and will eat anything). I am trying to set a good example for my children by avoiding any ideas of dieting and moving the focus to long-term healthy eating habits (particularly after Gorgeous’ announcement of “No thank you mum, I don’t eat vegetables”). Not easy with a traditional Punjabi diet and a love of eating out!
I’m also trying to build some exercise into my routine. I am hubby used to be prolific walkers, but he is so busy at the mosque that we don’t seem to be bale to do any walking. Mum-in-law can’t walk very fast, but I might ask her if she wants to be a walking partner (an hour after work whilst the kids are at madrassah?).
What advice would sisters give about trying to keep their diet healthy and trying to work some exercise into their day?