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Retirement and Eating
Old 07-20-2007, 08:27 PM   #1
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Retirement and Eating

Hi, I'm new here but have been lurking for a while. I'm 30, and looking to FIRE in about 15 years. My question may sound a bit odd, but it's a real concern, more or less.

I have a regular 9 to 5 job. I have found that on the days I'm not working (weekends, sick days, taking off early), I tend to spend an excessive amount of time in the kitchen/dining room and eating almost nonstop. Even when I exercise more self-discipline, I still eat way more than I normally do at work.

From the board discussions here, it doesn't sound like excessive eating is a problem. Maybe it's just me. Or maybe my body/mind will adjust once I RE (I think it's largely mental). I'm just curious--did people find it hard to adjust to new eating/sleeping habits after retirement? Does it take more self-disciple than what meets the eye? I don't want to turn into a couch potato!
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Old 07-20-2007, 08:57 PM   #2
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For about three months after retirement, I had no structure on eating, sleeping, exercising... (but I still lost a few pounds).

A lot of what I was doing while working (and for a while after) was stress eating. Looking back, I am amazed at how much I used to eat.

Then I realized I didn't feel good that way, and slowly created healthy eating, exercising, house cleaning patterns. I kept losing weight and feel much better.

I am a work in progress,and always will be.
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Old 07-20-2007, 11:32 PM   #3
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Working at home for years, and now retired, I have rules about eating.

In general, I can eat fruit any time (bananas, apples, raisins, dates). No snacks between breakfast and lunch. One snack at about 4 PM (when I'll have something like peanuts and beer), dinner around 6 and dessert at about 7:30.
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Old 07-21-2007, 07:22 AM   #4
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Thanks!

Thanks for your replies! I need to start thinking about rules for myself. I, too, think that it was a way to relieve stress, but not a healthy one. It's helpful to hear what others do.
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Old 07-21-2007, 08:40 AM   #5
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I think what you are describing is the "I work hard; I'm tired, I deserve this ..." psycology while you are working. That behavior isn't needed when RE.
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Old 07-21-2007, 08:44 AM   #6
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Eating after retirement worries me, too. Yesterday my close friend Frank took me out to lunch, since it was my day off from work and he works swing shift. As always I had a wonderful time and thanked him afterwards, and he said, "One day we will be able to do this every day!"

Needless to say, that terrifies me! Sure, I would love to eat lunch out with Frank every day, but the weight gain would be staggering. Even when I order the lowest calorie thing on the menu, it is usually more than I would eat at home.

He is going to have to get used to splitting lunches between us, or taking half home if we do THAT every day. And I am going to have to get used to telling waiters to grill that chicken with no butter and to get that French bread off the table and out of my sight! No ice cream with two spoons any more, either.
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Old 07-21-2007, 09:21 AM   #7
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I always watched what I ate so it really hasn't made a difference .As for exercise the first few months I was a slug but now I make myself swim or do something most days .
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Old 07-21-2007, 12:23 PM   #8
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Moemg, I'm still a "slug". After a little over a year of retirement, I still have not made myself DO THINGS. I've gained about 5 pounds since I retired and I do find myself in front of the frig more than I'd like. I am trying not to eat out quite as often as I did when I first retired. I think those first few months were about rewarding myself to a degree. I think it's about time for me to get down to business with my health.
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Old 07-21-2007, 12:48 PM   #9
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When you retire, you should have alot more time for exercise, so eating should not be a problem.

We eat out alot -- several times a week, but we rarely, if ever, eat more than half of what is put in front of us. We always take a to-go box or two home with us. Imagine taking half a Chili's hamburger home for next day's lunch! Also, they will serve steamed/sauteed veggies instead of fries if you like.
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Old 07-21-2007, 12:53 PM   #10
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I used to eat out a lot more when I worked, and frequently found myself standing in front of a vending machine in the cafeteria after some buttheads 10-12 meeting turned into a 10-2 meeting.

I cook more at home, probably eat a little more in aggregate, but its dang good food, not jimmy dean sausage biscuits from a machine thrown into the nuker.

One thing you can try is to engage a more complex diet with your spare time. Eat more and lose weight. The Ornish diet is good for this...the recipes actually produce some tasty and interesting dishes but theres a lot of ingredients, albeit cheap ones, and they take some time to prepare. Good news is you can pretty much stuff yourself and still lose weight.

Warning: the last time my wife and I went on this diet, she got pregnant...
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Old 07-21-2007, 01:44 PM   #11
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Moemg, I'm still a "slug". After a little over a year of retirement, I still have not made myself DO THINGS. I've gained about 5 pounds since I retired and I do find myself in front of the frig more than I'd like. I am trying not to eat out quite as often as I did when I first retired. I think those first few months were about rewarding myself to a degree. I think it's about time for me to get down to business with my health.
But you were also greiving and the first rule of greiving is be good to yourself .Just start slowly ,join a gym it will be a double benefit exercise & company .
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Old 07-21-2007, 02:08 PM   #12
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We eat more frequently but less content each time. When we eat out, we either share or bring home half. We have a pretty blonde friend who eats out every day, sometimes both lunch and dinner. She eats about a third of what is served. Never takes any home. So you can do it W2R.
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Old 07-21-2007, 03:07 PM   #13
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When you retire, you should have alot more time for exercise, so eating should not be a problem.


Exercise is really important. Last night I was introduced to Putin, pronounced (and possibly spelled PUTEEN). I had been to a swing dance with lot of college age and early 20s people. A huge workout; no one sat down for 4 hours. Afterward I followed them next door to a late night deli that served this stuff. Fries with gravy, topped with cheese curds! Apparently it's the delicacy with these Vancouverites and Bellinghamers who come down for dancing. The Deli added it to the menu just to accommodate them.

All these people were slim, slim, slim!

Also, I find that I am more and more inclined to make a meal of meat or fish, and a whole bag of Trader Joe mixed salad, doctored up with onion, tomato, cucumber etc. This cuts down on work, tastes good, and helps keep the weight off.

Since I moved to the city and became more active I have lost almost 10 pounds that I didn't even know I had.

Ha
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Old 07-21-2007, 03:28 PM   #14
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I am eating about the same since retiring, except for better lunches (no more brown bagging! Hot lunches at home or cold salads in the park).
The thing that has changed is mindless, stress eating when not even hungry.

DH actually lost a good bit of weight upon retirement because he no longer had to take antidepressants (Zyprexa) now that he is not working!
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Old 07-21-2007, 08:34 PM   #15
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Warning: the last time my wife and I went on this diet, she got pregnant...
Either you're doing it wrong or that diet calls for a fairly interesting intensive cardio session.
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Old 07-21-2007, 10:32 PM   #16
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I eat far less than I did while w*rking. I guess that's mostly because I'm a lot busier than I used to be, and I don't stop to have snacks. I still eat a small breakfast..usually a bowl of oatmeal and a slice of toast.

Lunch (if I eat it) is normally a lunch meat sandwich with cheese and lettuce. Whereas, when I was w*rking it was a full blown meal (with desert!) from the local grocery deli for lunch.

Dinner is still usually a "meal", though sometimes we just have a burger or other hot sandwich of some sort, but normally it's a full meal. Tonight it was BLT's with fresh, home grown tomatoes from our garden! YUM!!

I VERY seldom snack between meals anymore. At w*rk I used to have a snack of some sort about every 90 minutes.....chips, popcorn, candy bar, cookie, whatever. In fact today is the first day in several weeks that I had a snack. I was out doing some gardening and remembered I had a Milky Way in the house that I got in Branson back in May! I hadn't had a candy bar since May!!! (if I was still w*rking, that candy bar wouldn't have made it past 9am....the day I bought it!)
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Old 07-22-2007, 12:07 AM   #17
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Either you're doing it wrong or that diet calls for a fairly interesting intensive cardio session.
Eh, we both think its just because she was a little extra healthy. At 42 and with various other conditions her gynie pretty much told her a pregnancy wasnt likely. Then BOOM...that whole relaxed by the pool early retirement thing sort of changed a little...but its a GOOD change.

Or maybe its just cuz we both lost 5-10lbs and couldnt stop jumping on each other. Who knows?

Anyhow the original point remains...some healthy foods take a long time to make. Now you have the time. Just dont get knocked up
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Old 07-22-2007, 02:13 PM   #18
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We can both attest to the loss of weight improving both libido and the quality of the exercise itself. So far so good. Lick my lips: no new kids!
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Old 07-22-2007, 03:47 PM   #19
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Last night I was introduced to Putin, pronounced (and possibly spelled PUTEEN). Ha
No, it's not the Russian president, it's POUTINE, and it's a heart attack waiting to happen.....

Vive la poutine! - A Taste of Canada: Our Homegrown Cuisine - CBC Archives
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Thanks everyone...
Old 07-26-2007, 10:17 PM   #20
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Thanks everyone...

for your great input! It was very encouraging. In the past week, I actually decided to join the gym, so I can be in better shape. So far so good.

I had thought about joining a gym for a while but was quite hesitant because of 1) the monthly expenses, and 2) it seems to be one of the most talked-about ways that people waste money (ie, they sign up but do not go).

However, I've changed my view lately. Going to the gym has made my workdays more fun (or at least more tolerable). Even though I just started, it already made me feel better. Also, since my health insurance gives a partial subsidy if I go at least 12 x a month, it gives the cheapskate in me extra incentive to go.

I'm glad I am practicing what I learned on this forum: It's good to LBYM, but don't let saving money squeeze the fun out of you.
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