This half term has been eye opening in terms of healthy eating. This isn’t a post about being healthy on actual holidays away from home– although we both successfully managed this last year and will be posting about that soon. This is about how I’ve managed to have a week without the structure of work, meeting up with people for lunch, sitting in my house with a cupboard full of food, and still stay relatively on track.
Any teachers reading this will wholeheartedly agree that half term is something you count down to the second you’re back at work (25 days until Easter, guys). However much I love half term and school holidays there’s always been a tiny dread in the back of my mind about going off-track with the diet and every year I would resign myself to the fact that I’d put on a few pounds and go back to work on Monday with my trousers a lot tighter than they were the week before. I daren’t even mention the 2 weeks at Easter and the 6 week summer holidays (if you’re not a teacher please don’t troll me for complaining about this aspect of all the holidays here, the time off is amazing and I love it so much but anyone who has struggled with their weight will understand how daunting 6 weeks without structure and routine can be). Sometimes I would make it to the gym or go on the odd run but in general school holidays were a write-off health wise.
I’m writing this post after going out for a lovely lunch with some school friends ending in a tasty peanut slice followed by a coffee and walnut cake at my mum’s. School holidays will always have more cakes and (full fat, flavoured) coffees in them than your average week but you can’t let one thing (or two things in this instance) change your whole direction.
I’m currently deliberating what to have for tea. It’s taken me a long time to get here but I completely see that I should have a healthy tea because I had 2 slices of cake, not even though I had two slices of cake. If this was half term last year I would be writing off the rest of the day and suggesting Ric brought a dominos home for tea because the day has basically been ruined because I HAD TWO CAKES. I didn’t binge eat them, I didn’t secretly shove them down my throat while no-one was watching, I thoroughly enjoyed every mouthful of them both and thoroughly enjoyed the company as I ate them, and as a hard working teacher and regular exerciser I like to think I deserved both of them.
Looking to tomorrow, I’m already planning what to have in my bircher or whether to go for avocados on rye bread as I’m not at work. If you’d spoken to me at this exact point last year I would have been working out how far I had to run and what minimalist breakfast I’d punish myself with the next day because of two-cake gate. It wouldn’t have mattered though because by the following evening I would have had a huge bowl of pasta with gb and cheese because if the week was ruined on Tuesday you can only get back on track on the following Monday. I don’t know who wrote that rule but I’m re-writing it, you should get back on track as soon as you can and I’m doing it tonight.
You can, and will, treat yourselves on days off work. You will at some point during healthy, well structured work days days go off track too (cake is my Achilles heel as you may have guessed but you might prefer a McDonalds or a big bag of Doritos) but it’s what you do next that counts. Don’t punish your body even more by putting more crap into it, or by starving it of the good stuff it needs. Make yourself a healthy tea and start tomorrow as you would any other day. Don’t let one instance of eating the wrong thing become a whole week of it.
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