I was expecting belt-tightening when we gave up an income but not the one around my waist. Nevertheless since I’ve finished work my trouser belt has had to be tightened an extra notch to the extent that I may soon be looking to return to the leaner size I outgrew as a sedentary office worker.
Perhaps this shouldn’t come as a great surprise. My work days were filled with binge eating to get through the day. It would start with a morning pastry on arrival in the office, require some mid-morning snack, often a sizeable lunch and as often as not an afternoon Kitkat, before coming home to a full cooked dinner. Combine this with 30 mins at best to get out of the office for lunch and it’s not too surprising the pounds piled on.
Now as a stay-at-home dad my food intake is completely transformed. There’s breakfast cereal as before, sometimes a spot of toast shared with Tilly and then nothing until her nap at lunchtime. Lunch now takes the form of either a home-made sandwich with fresh bread – and certainly none of the heaps of mayo you get in the shops – or a healthy soup. That’s it then until dinner with my wife once Tilly is in bed. While I don’t walk huge distances every day, I now have a decent walk on my ‘day off’ each week, plus at least one trip to the town centre with the pram and back every day. Sometimes we’ll be more adventurous and walk to the adjacent villages, which is a good walk out.
Part of the reason for eating less is less opportunity to do. Much of my days are spent actively entertaining and engaging with Tilly. We have great fun and it’s rewarding, so there’s little opportunity or need to consider eating. When the opportunity does come, I’m in the fortunate position to be able to buy fresh ingredients throughout the week to make sandwiches that are far more delicious than any high street chain could produce. It tastes better and it’s cheaper, so a massive win all round.
Chances are there are some environmental factors at play too. I’ve replaced lightless, airless hot offices with fresh air and activities. It feels like it’s doing me good and perhaps my body agrees. The work routine I’ve given up was also pretty relentless (even by childcare standards), rushing between long commutes work and getting Tilly read for nursery and bed, and I suspect it may have led to some comfort eating. Being a full-time dad isn’t a quiet life by any stretch of the imagination but our days feel a good deal more under control than when we were both working full-time.
We’ll have to see whether this weight loss trend continues (and no, I shall not be posting weekly weigh-ins). Fingers crossed it will though, I’ve still some more office-acquired flab to see off yet!