Sweets in the Morning

I used to eat brownies for breakfast. I also ate cookies, candy and cake for breakfast on occasion. If there was something sweet in the house, my 300 pound self would find it and eat it before the children got up.

I used to eat brownies for breakfast. I also ate cookies, candy and cake for breakfast on occasion. If there was something sweet in the house, my 300 pound self would find it and eat it before the children got up.

I know, most of us eat unhealthy foods for breakfast every now and then, but I used to have brownies and sweets appear as a regular feature on my breakfast menu. I didn't really plan on making sweets when I planned our weekly meals, but whenever I was feeling sad, happy or bored, the smell of brownies began wafting throughout the house.

A big pan of brownies should have lasted our small family for several days. However, because there was one big overweight me, all the remaining brownies disappeared by the next morning.

From the minute I woke up, those brownies seemed to call my name. I would start out by eating half of one, and tell myself that was it. But 10 minutes later, I heard the brownie call again and the other half would disappear. One half by one-half, I would consume what was left of the brownies. Sure, I felt guilty. 

Instead of dwelling on my obesity, I would waddle off to the kitchen to make another pan. Why? Because when John came home that evening, he might wonder who ate all those brownies. So I would make more so I didn't have to explain where 12 brownies went. (Not that he ever made me feel bad, because he didn't.) It was my own guilty conscience. Later that day, when the second pan of warm brownies came out of the oven, I had to eat some. That way the right amount would be sitting on the plate. 

When I finally started losing half my body weight, I knew I needed to break this unhealthy habit. I needed to stop eating so many sweets altogether, and I also needed to start my day with a healthy breakfast. Surprisingly, this wasn't an easy habit to break. I had a very hard time stopping baking and not eating sweets when I first woke up. Looking back, I think my body had become accustomed to sweets all day long, and it was difficult to stop.

Breaking that habit involved some concentrated effort and some stern talks with myself. Over time, I got further and further away from having brownies for breakfast most mornings of the week. I replaced brownies with healthier foods like oatmeal, cereal, and egg white omelets.

I still bake brownies and I'll admit that I have tasted the corner of a leftover piece on an occasional morning, but it's not a compulsion anymore. This habit was just one of many I had to break and control. I'd encourage you to pick one unhealthy habit this week and replace it with a healthy one.  

4 Steps to Shedding Your Pandemic Pounds

Forgive yourself, and start walking toward a healthier you.

For those of you who have put on the Pandemic Pounds or added several new COVID Curves, you are not alone. Alarmingly, the American Psychological Association has recently published that almost half of all adults in their survey now have a larger physique. In fact, 42% of people reported gaining roughly 15 pounds (the average published was surprisingly 29 pounds but that included outliers) over the past year. Interestingly, 20% of adults in this survey lost about 12 pounds (I am surely not in this group). Clearly, there is a relationship between stress and weight change. In addition, one in four adults disclosed an increase in alcohol consumption, and 67% of participants distressingly revealed that they have new sleeping patterns.

This past year has brought about what has been called the 'new normal.' Social isolation and inactivity due to quarantining and remote working have sadly contributed to the decline in many people's mental and physical health, as demonstrated by the widespread changes in people's weight, alcohol consumption, and sleeping patterns. Gym closures, frequent ordering of unhealthy takeout, and increased time at home cooking and devouring comfort foods have had a perceptible impact. In addition, many people have delayed routine medical care and screening tests over fear of contracting Covid-19 during these visits. Unfortunately, the 'new normal' has now placed too many people at risk for serious health consequences, including heart attacks and strokes.

Keep Reading Show less