With mixed feelings, I returned to work last Tuesday after a yearlong maternity leave. Above all, I will miss spending time with my kids: trips to the library, kinder jump and play; play dates in Hamilton, window-shopping at the mall and hanging out at home.
Going back to work also means a new environment. An environment with close proximity to a Metro (grocery store), two Tim Horton’s donut shops, a Dollarama (chock full of discounted chocolate bars) and peers bearing baked goods and junk food to celebrate birthdays, holidays or just because. On the flip side, it also means a structured day and a commute that includes a 2 KM walk from Union train station to my workplace.
So how did my first week back shake out? Did cognitive therapy make a difference?
It went well. Therapy made a big difference.
During the last week, I ate chocolate and cookies every day. I enjoyed regular snacks. On some days, I enjoyed dessert such as Cold Stone ice cream and hot chocolate. I even went to McDonald’s one day for lunch. I’d say that the week went well. I believe I thought and ate like a thin person. I even lost weight.
Let me explain:
“I ate chocolate and cookies every day.”
That’s a small handful of animal crackers and chocolate chips.
“I enjoyed regular snacks.”
I ate up to three Satsuma oranges and two Gala apples during the work day and shared a couple of apples after dinner with my oldest son and husband.
“On some days, I enjoyed desserts such as Cold Stone ice cream and hot chocolate.”
I should add that I had a second serving of ice cream on Saturday night with my husband.
“I even went to McDonald’s one day for lunch.”
Instead of ordering a McChicken combo, I now order a cheeseburger with small fries and a diet coke.
In addition, I brought my breakfast and lunch from home (whole wheat English muffin with PBJ for breakfast, sliced deli meat and havarti cheese on a toasted bun for lunch) each day and I only bought food when necessary - buns for sandwiches, sushi lunch with friends I had not seen in a long time and a Panago pizza on my first day back to work. I also increased exercising walking 4 KM each work day and about six hours of gardening, pulling hundreds of weeds from our lawn and gardens.
However, the most noticeable difference in returning to work after therapy was what wasn’t there. I didn’t crave timbits or Dollarama’s discount chocolate bars. I didn’t miss the McChicken sandwich or bigger serving of fries. I didn’t hunt around the grocery store for some sort of sweet treat. I didn’t even consider buying something at Union station that is full of junk food options: McDonald’s, Mrs. Fields cookies, Dairy Queen, Cinnabon etc. I wasn’t tempted to eat any of those foods. I had no cravings. I didn’t feel like I was missing out on something. I was satisfied. To me, this is how a thin person thinks.
2 weeks / - 6