True Confessions – Sewing Is Disastrous For My Eating Habits

Whoo-boy. Do I really have to admit this? I like to think of myself as a healthy eater. I’ll tell anyone listening about how I get my five-a-day. And then sewing enters the picture…

This is how it goes. I’ll wander past the sewing machine. (Ironically, it’s on my way to the kitchen.) Ooh, I’ll just do an hour or so of sewing, I think, easing myself into the chair and switching on the machine.

Fast forward. It’s five hours later and I’m in some whirly dirvish sewing frenzy. If I can just squeeze in another hour I might finish this dress! But my tummy has other ideas. You haven’t fed me, Karen! You had two coffees for breakfast, and no toast! Lunch time came and went and you totally ignored it. Feed. Me. Karen!

No! I tell my tummy. I’m busy, can’t you see?

Eventually, I’ll lose the fight. But I don’t want to stop sewing. So I grab whatever I can. A chunk of cheese? Done! Just straight out of the packet. Hummus and pitta bread? Yep, that’ll fill a hole. Fresh fruit and vegetables? Forget it! I don’t have the time to chop things up. At times like these, I’m not actually interested in the pleasure of eating, I just need to stop my stomach from getting in the way of sewing.

I feel so ashamed. Is anyone else like this? Can you at least recommend healthy snacks?!

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65 Responses to True Confessions – Sewing Is Disastrous For My Eating Habits

  1. Just the same for me. Chesse coffee and biscuits.

  2. Anne W says:

    lol, same for me! I did go through a phase of being “prepared” with little bowls of dried fruit and nuts… But propper food, naa, sewing is better than eating! hehe :D

  3. Raw fruit and veg (you know, you could chomp on a carrot without much effort)? Cheese is not necessarily bad, perhaps you might simply need to substitute a lower fat variety (or something along those lines) and have it with different crackers (this might mean some forward planning when you’re doing the weekly shopping, but if it means you’re able to sew – I mean, a little bit of sacrifice for a lot of pleasure? Not too bad, surely?). Slightly more in my granny mode, it’s not good to skip meals and then binge because it makes keeping the spread to manageable proportions much, much harder. Better to eat small amounts more frequently. So maybe have a jar of seaweed snacks by the sewing machine (pr something similar that takes your fancy) and then you can keep the tummy quiet AND get on with the sewing.

    • Kez says:

      The main problem with the jar-of-snacks-by-the-sewing-machine trick is that stray threads always seem to make their way into the snack…

      • LinB says:

        Or pins. Both threads and pins could do some real damage to your intestines. I usually practice fast-or-feast in real life. After I feel faint enough to realize how many hours it’s been since last I ate, I stagger down the hallway to the refrigerator and mindlessly stuff turkey and cheese and dill pickles down my pie hole.

      • Kati says:

        That’s really funny! I can picture that!
        Definitely have done it myself.

      • Leith says:

        I have been known to drop the pins in to my coffee instead of the pin dish…

      • Ah, yes, I see that could be tricky. Extra fibre?!

  4. coffeechocolatecake says:

    Oh, I totally get this… I usually keep a batch of home-made granola, due to my other half being permanently very very hungry. If there’s no granola, he just eats chocolate. And I want chocolate too, so it doesn’t work. Granola is suprisingly easy to make (10 minutes?) – if you can’t find a decent receipe, I’m willing to share mine – and you can put in whatever you want, in terms of fruits and nuts, and it keeps well. I tend to make a batch a week, which is one baking tray. It’s reasonably healthy (not much fat), and really really yummy. I also like, for short breaks, the sesame snacks you get in corner shops. And I keep emergency sliced bread in the freezer for a quick sandwich… Maybe some yoghurts too? Vaguely healthy, quick to eat :-) I don’t think you can eat healthily all the time – if it’s just me, I exist on pasta. And maybe some apples ;-)

  5. tailorfairy says:

    I am the same, even though my “hole-filler” is often also chocolate. ;)

    • I am one of those weird people who just isn’t that bothered about chocolate! It’s a standing joke that a bar of chocolate can sit untouched in my house for months on end. I am not proud of this fact.

      • Kati says:

        Have you tried Green & Blacks 85%?
        I was never bothered about chocolate before either, until I tasted that. Now I’m addicted! LOL

  6. Fwaire says:

    I am exactly like this. I usually go for chocolate but I find if I have a bowl of fruit nearby I tend to eat those and it means I don’t have to disrupt my sewing too much. Otherwise I just grab some toast or yoghurt or something.

    Thanks for reminding me to buy more hummus though, that is also one of my favourite sewing snacks.

  7. Kati says:

    I know what you mean, but I love my food so it barely happens to me. I’m really into nutrition and health, probably having some nuts and fresh fruit at hand is very useful. Also you could prepare larger batches of food so you always have something healthy in your fridge/freezer. By the way, it is a huge misconception that fat is bad for us, sugar and carbs are the culprits.
    On the good side, you will be slimmer and will have lots of lovely clothes to wear. :-)
    Have a lovely day!

  8. Vicki Kate says:

    My snack of choice is mature cheddar with those hovis biscuits, or digestives! Bananas also feature. I try and avoid chocolate being in the house! I do fridge raid though, open the door see what’s there and grab something! On the occasional day when I am left to sew all day (luxury!) if I remember I stick a potato in the oven on low once I’ve kicked hubby out of the door and dropped boy off. By lunch time all I’ve got to do is microwave some beans or grate some cheese.
    Most of my sewing is done late at night though so it’s usually a case of making myself stop so I can try and get some sleep before work the next day (but as I’m suffering with insomnia at the moment I’m starting to think I might as well just keep sewing, apart from the fact I’m likely to make stoopid mistakes…)
    The granola suggestion sounds really yummy!

  9. ruth says:

    carrots and apples would be my suggestion and I always think of flapjacks as healthy – have no idea why!

  10. Roobeedoo says:

    I often forget to eat when I am sewing. And anyway, I don’t want to get crumbs / fingerprints on my fabric. It’s fine as long as you don’t have a “hunger and a burst” – in fact, the thing to do is to call it the “Fasting Diet” and do it every weekend – terribly trendy at the moment, darling! 5 days of food, 2 days of starvation. You just won’t fit into your clothes any more… and then you will have to make more!

  11. poppykettle says:

    No help here. Were it not that I have someone to cook for, I would totally eat cheese on toast every night and be really quite happy about the situation… :P

  12. Stephanie says:

    I often lose track of time and then at 2.30 in the afternoon think I’m starving, then remember why! For snacks if I plan in advance its easy to have an apple, mandarin, or banana nearby, all of which are healthy choices, or if I’m feeling decadent its celery sticks into Tzatziki or Hummus, if I thought to buy any earlier in the week, sometimes with rice crackers. Rice crackers with sliced tomatoes are good as its easy to slice a tomato when you go food foraging. Low fat cheese and water crackers are also easy.

  13. Kathryn says:

    Best snack in the world is a warm pitta bread filled with half an avocado and slices of cheddar. It’s a bit of a fat/protein bomb, but at least it’s GOOD fat. The main hazard is trying not to burn yourself on the blast of super-heated steam that escapes from any toasted pitta.

    I can’t buy chocolate digestives any more because I’ll eat a whole packet while sewing, then feel too sick for any real food.

  14. adina says:

    Only 10 minutes of preparation. One evening before, just wash the vegetables and put a great amount in the refrigerator and the day after they will wait for you. bon appetite!

  15. sewbusylizzy says:

    I sew like you – like a demon when I have no interruptions! I drink buckets of black tea. I don’t tend to buy ‘bad food’ so it’s dry biscuits for me. The tasty sort with loads of seeds, they fill me up and I don’t have to stop and put toppings on – waste of time! Must sew!

  16. marianna says:

    Ooh, I’m way too greedy to ever skip a meal…. though I did once miss out on lunch whilst giving birth (extreme circumstances)…

    But if you have a sweet tooth, here’s a quick snack which you can make the night before: put an equal amount of oats and raisins in a bowl and cover with milk. Put in the fridge overnight if summer or if your kitchen gets warm and leave out otherwise. Whenever I start my day with this, the junk food doesn’t tempt me. Juicy, sweet, filling and so healthy.

  17. Rowena says:

    Dried apple chips! We have an apple corer/ slicer which makes mandolline thin slices. Put them in the oven overnight at 150f and you have tiny, crispy, satisfying snacks that take a while to eat!

  18. i think as with all healthy eating, preparation is key! i always have to get home and put my dinner on before i start sewing otherwise i would do the same, it would be 10pm and i’d be raiding the biscuits that i try to avoid. these biscuits are pretty healthy (not a lot of sugar and wholemeal flour) and totally delicious. you can whip up a batch in about 20 mins (even allowing for a couple of mins cooling so they don’t burn your mouth!):

    http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/7655/oaty-raisin-cookies

    as a breakfast substitute these are amazing (but less healthy):

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2012/jan/22/hugh-fearnley-whittingstall-honey-peanut-butter-bars-recipes

  19. Marie says:

    Hmmm, this could be your first confessional post that I don’t 100% relate to. I can totally understand how this could happen to people, but I love food too much to forget about eating! You must forgive me, I am Cypriot, so not even tragedy or illness can put me off my food…it’s sad but true! I often sew for much longer than I realise, but I will then grab some proper food no matter what time it is…skipping meals isn’t an option for greedy ole me! I do love snacking on healthy things whilst sewing though too and one of my favourite is apple slices spread with peanut butter. Not entirely healthy, I know, but you could replace the peanut butter with healthier health food store alternatives ;o)

  20. Shams says:

    Definitely! Cooking, preparing food, even worse, SHOPPING… it just takes too long!

  21. redsilvia says:

    Lots of good advice here. I like the idea of eating a bit every few hours to keep your blood sugar stable and in fact had a discussion about this yesterday with my herbalist. I like Kind bars, almonds, apples and Pop Chips (not healthy but delish). Cold cuts (especially salami) are a quick protein hit. I make granola too and have been using this recipe with my personal changes (half portion tho):

    http://everybodylikessandwiches.com/2012/09/morning-crunch-pumpkin-walnut-granola/

    Considering your sewing output, whatever you’re doing is working. If you got super food organized you’d be an unstoppable force!

  22. LLADYBIRD says:

    I do this too! My biggest issue with stopping to eat is that I eat way too fast (because, duh, wanna get back to sewing!) and then I get a stomachache… so I have to lay on the couch until it goes away and that sucks up even more sewing time. So I pretend like I’m not hungry and ignore eating. This is extra dangerous because low blood sugar tends to give me migraines. I can’t win.

  23. Szarka says:

    In the last two years all my bad eating and working habits caught up with me…I’m going through a second cancer scare, a genetic condition showed up that I now have to manage forever, gallbladder failed, and it looks like wheat is a bad idea. I’m 37 and athletic, but hey, things change. My body has become one of those frequent customer punch cards for biopsies and scopings. Drastic self-care that works for me: sacred routines, marked by alarms if necessary. 5-9 servings of fruits/veg daily …which translates to lots of smoothies. Also: recognizing (thanks to Gretchen Rubin’s book/blog The Happiness Project) that a lot of the fun of sewing for me is planning – so I don’t need to push myself to make every idea. Which makes room for the cooking, the sleeping, and the exercise I must do.

  24. I don’t exactly forget to eat, but I have had some weekends where it crosses my mind in hte afternoon that “someone” should take something out of the freezer for dinner to defrost or maybe start something that needs simmering time. That declines to thinking that the microwave works just fine. Then that further degrades to thoughts of a pizza that is in the freezer.

    My husband is horrible for not eating. I often sleep a little later than him, make a tea or caramel latte for myself. Maybe eat some fruit for breakfast. Then I putter off to do my thing. He on the other hand, surfaces from video games at 2pm complaining of being faint. When I ask when he ate last the reason becomes apparent.

  25. Nikki says:

    I also forget to eat when sewing and if there are things like chocolate, cake or biscuits in the house that is what I go for when my sugar levels are low – not great! Pasta is a good quick fix (especially the filled pasta) with pesto or if you can wait 15 mins with an oven bake sauce. I have a thing for beetroot, fresh and plain boiled, not the stuff you buy in vinegar. I always have some in the fridge when it’s in season, it’s great with grated cheese, you could also put a nice bit of crusty bread around it for some extra belly filling!

  26. symondezyn says:

    LOL I find naughty eating is a slippery slope for me… if I let myself have a cheat day it becomes two or three easily :P I will have cheat meals once in a while, but anything more than that and it’s way too easy for me to go off the deep end entirely LOL.

    For healthy snacks, I like to keep something easy on hand… recently I’ve discovered these little bagel toasts that are flavoured with olive oil and sea salt; they’re delicious, and if I have a handful of them with a couple slices of deli meat, my hunger monster goes away long enough for me to be able to prepare a healthy meal. Also, yogurt is amazingly good at filling the hunger gap!!

  27. pat says:

    It took me a few years to realize the reason why I like to sew from 4:00 – 8:00. I don’t have to think about dinner. However, other people in the house don’t share my sentiments. I tend to graze rather than eat big meals. A few tablespoons of peanut butter, some cottage cheese and crackers, or a huge salad. But since we are confessing, I have been known to eat a bag of microwave popcorn and call it a meal.

  28. Taja says:

    Forgetting to eat while sewing–or doing other things we enjoy–seems to be fairly common! I’m another one guilty of forgetting to eat!

    My go-to snacks are carrots and apples–not necessarily together! I always prep my produce when I bring it home so it’s ready to consume or prepare when I’m ready for it. During the spring/summer, peaches also are a quick snack. And grapes and cherries, in season.

    I’m getting hungry just thinking about food! *LOL*

  29. Dea-chan says:

    Mine’s usually more me sewing frantically for hours. My guy goes “babe, you want food?” and I go all dragon on him and roar about how busy I am and can’t he see that? I can’t take time to stop!

    Any meal that I have to do myself winds up being just yogurt, or just cheese, or just a whatever-I-find-in-the-kitchen.

  30. Sewer says:

    Hummus and pita and cheese are healthy snacks. The idea that everyone has to eat three full meals and two snacks every day is incorrect and has led to overweight populations in many industrialized Western societies. What matters is overall nutrition and calories.

    If I’m sewing away from home I may have a couple of packages of nuts and dried fruit.

  31. Clio says:

    Glad I’m not the only one guilty of this. My husband is my saving grace in this department. After too many hours without food and water, he will march into the Craft Lounge and demand that I take a break (often he’s already made us sandwiches or something). My other (less healthy, I admit) strategy is that I will bake while sewing, so the day goes: trace a pattern, make cake batter/cookie dough/bread dough (if cookies, eat some dough), cut fabric, pop goodies in oven, start sewing, take goodies out of oven (eat some), sew more while things cool, eat more cooled goodies…. praise self for productive multi-tasking day… ;-)

  32. raquel from florida says:

    all the way around for me. I’ve been loosing weight (no more bread, pasta, candy or sodas) and ALL my wardrobe I’ve been sewing is too big. Al my dresses from colette patterns (with nice fabrics) are hanging in my closet waiting for me to decide what to do.

  33. Jacq C says:

    I do love your confessions series, hilarious! I’m a very enthusiastic eater, usually constantly grazing. The only time I ever forget to eat is when I’m crafting and my family chase me and tell me to eat – apparently I’m grumpy if I’m hungry so it’s in their interest to keep me fed! Peanut butter and cheese sandwiches are my favourite – it has to be crunchy PB and you have to grate the cheese, perfect! :)

  34. Tilly says:

    I have the opposite problem. I love food far too much and think about it pretty much constantly. No matter how important the thing I’m working on, I will stop to cook an epic lunch. (I also have to eat every couple of hours (preferably every hour) or I a) start growling at people, b) feel really sick, c) pass out, but that’s another story.) It’s something I’m trying to work on at the moment – quick meals that are still delicious so I can get on with my work. Or perhaps I should come round and cook for you and you can do my sewing for me??

    • Oh goodness. How do you cope with some of our epic sewing shopping trips like Goldhawk Road? Do you have to have snacks in your handbag? I have a friend who, when she needs to eat she NEEDS to eat.

  35. skipseagirl says:

    I have the same problem. Cheese and bread are my nemesis (but oh so good…) along with taramasalata by the tub, preferably with toasted pitta but occasionally neat!
    I wanted an evening of knitting on the sofa this evening and had to force myself to cook something healthy (spicy prawn pasta with rocket) before even entering the lounge!

  36. Jo says:

    Have you tried graze boxes (google it)? They may seem expensive but I find they stop me snacking on unhealthy stuff, plus they come in lovely little boxes! Dried fruit, nuts seeds, crackers with dips, flapjacks etc. Mmmm getting peckish!

  37. Faye Lewis says:

    I’m ashamed to say that I have the very same problem. Sewing hungry until I reach the point of dizziness. Not good at all. I have seriously been contemplating creating some interesting and tasty crockpot meals on Friday night in order to have something nourishing for Saturday’s marathon.

  38. Salma says:

    LOL, personally I’m a big fan of leftover pizza for my sewing madness days – I mean for breakfast, lunch AND dinner (don’t ask me why I have so much leftover pizza to begin with, almost like I subconsciously pre-plan it).

  39. I am completely like this & my recent sewing binge has meant a concurrent potato chip binge. Last night I even had the start of a lovely soup on the stove but opted to persevere with sewing until 1am & sitting the pot directly into the fridge so I can hopefully finish it up tonight (but that might not happen until tomorrow!).

  40. Pin Queen says:

    For some reason when I’m on a sewing kick I end up making loads of cups of tea which typically all go cold! I try to make myself stop after a couple of hours, have a cuppa, may be an apple, but of toast and then go back to it. I think my sugar level drops because if I don’t do that, I end up losing concentration and making mistakes. . .

  41. maddie says:

    My tip is to NOT have temptation around. If it’s not there, you won’t eat it. So get all the UNHEALTHY things that you tend to eat when your ravaged out of the house!

  42. sewexhausted says:

    I am bad. :( But I am trying to do better! I like Fayes crock pot idea for sewing days. I LOVE long sewing days and planning something like that seems like a good idea. It also means I don’t have to worry about feeding anyone. When they are hungry they can dip in to the crock pot! No interruptions that way!

  43. Does everyone have the same shocking sins or is it just me. All these sins you’ve confessed -me too. Except I don’t go for a somewhat healthy hummus or cheese. I steal the potato chips, cream biscuits & chocolate meant for my teen boy who can never get enough of any food ATM. Must put hummus on shopping list!

  44. Lucy says:

    I feel your pain, I often forget to do anything (other than sew) when I’m sewing, sleep is a big one. oh it’s 3am and I have to be up at 7am darn you I guess I’ll … I’ll just finish this little thing… and the sun’s up, oops. Too the coffee machine! Also on more than one occasion I’ve got to the point where I’ve can’t quite wear what I’ve sewn because it’s not quite done but I also have nothing else to wear because I haven’t done any washing!

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