Last night I came perilously close to unwrapping a left over Christmas present (liqueur filled chocolates) meant for somebody else but which still sat under the Christmas tree. Five days into the New Year, the tree still stands with twinkling lights, encouraging my optimism that the silly season is not yet over and I can therefore continue shovelling sugary delights into my gob at top speed.
Somebody aware of my struggle with weight asked me before Christmas how I was going to cope with the holidays. We all know that for some reason I cannot explain, we centre our entire existence at Christmas around food, alcohol and indulgence. The real question should then have been, “how will you deprive yourself when you are constantly being offered and surrounded by high calorie treats?”
“It’s just food!” I replied, “I’ll be fine”. On reflection I’ve realised what a silly response this was. If it is all “just food”, why in the hell am I so overweight, jiggling at the slightest hint of a sea breeze? Having spent the last week at the beach, being constantly reminded of the jiggle factor, I’ve coped by generally depriving myself. (Let us not talk of the day I drove by a friend’s camp site, throwing a fast food wrapper out of the window, screaming “Hide it!” as I left them in a cloud of dust). You see, nobody likes a wowser and there are only so many little containers of nuts, fruit and smoked salmon one woman can pull out of her handbag quietly. The end result has been a hell of a lot of shovelling in the past few days, particularly of the soft white roll variety.
I have spent months supplying my own meals when visiting friends, sometimes forcing myself not to slam my pathetic plastic container onto my plate. That container and I have developed quite a relationship over the last few months and it knows (yes I’m assigning it human like faculties such is my calorie deprived delirium) how I feel about it. When I pull it out, I can hear it scream to those around me – I’m unhappy I’m here, I’m unhappy I’m overweight, I’m unhappy that I’m eating another bloody chickpea but most of all, I’m unhappy you don’t have to.
I try to reframe my current eating habits into being a choice. I choose to eat this way, I choose to be healthier. And really, I cannot blame anybody else for getting this fat in the first place…or can I (more on that another time)? No, I can’t really. So why the rage? Skinny and slim are words that leave my mouth with significant amounts of spittle attached, such is my anger towards them. But really, all that anger is about my own condition and a deep disappointment that I am a young overweight woman. Blah blah, human condition, blah blah, we know.
What was it about those chocolates under the Christmas tree that seemed so appealing when I was completely satisfied (physiologically only, lets face it) with my chickpea/brown rice dinner? Is the label “bad” too tantalising to resist? Hot chips (bad!), chocolate (bad!), cheese (bad!). Why is it bad? Can’t we all just get along? Hot chips meet my friend taste buds, enjoy yourselves responsibly and part ways before you make each other sick.
A perfect summer romance…