Dieting is harder at the weekend.
I realised this shortly after I’d bitten into my second chocolate chip cookie of the day. I don’t know how it happened. It was like a blackout. I went into town to have a wander about the shops, maybe to buy some new exercise clothes, and the next thing I knew I was standing in front of the bakery counter in M&S staring at the biscuits.
I avoided the bag of five for £2. I knew I’d eat them all. So I selected two individual cookies and popped them in a bag. Then I thought – if I’m going to eat two, I may as well get three. Three for luck. So I slipped another in.
The thing is, I had bad period pains. It felt like my uterus was being dragged out from between my legs, so I didn’t feel like walking around. I felt like reading my book and eating biscuits.
After my second cookie I was full. More than full. I felt wretched, weak, frustrated with myself. And then my hand reached out. It took hold of the last cookie. My brain said ‘let’s just eat this so there’s no more temptation.’ And I ate it.
It was a sorry sight.
I went to get my haircut. My hairdresser was friendly, chatty (they always are). I told her about my diet, and she said she’s always on a diet. She hates carby foods – she only ever eats vegetables. How can this be?? Where does she find that self-control? Why doesn’t she eat too many cookies in a guilt-ridden frenzy? As she hacked into my hair I thought ‘I’m going to be more like her’.
Later I had dinner with friends. I asked if we could go to an Italian so there would be more salad options. I chose a pizza, and half a bottle of white wine. That wasn’t supposed to happen. But how could I sit there gnawing on a lettuce leaf when everyone around me had big cheesy pizzas? I LOVE pizza.
I didn’t eat it all. I left about a third, secretly knowing that if no one else was there, I’d have demolished the whole thing.
I know some people don’t have a problem with food. They eat when they’re hungry, they don’t fantasise about cakes the way I do. Some people – like my mum, can open a bar of chocolate, eat one square and wrap the rest up for another time. My mum actually loses bars of chocolate around the house. If there’s a bar of chocolate in my house, I know about it. I think about it. It plagues me. I can’t stop thinking about it until I’ve eaten it.
What is wrong with me???
My saving grace is my love for exercise. I love being outside moving almost as much as I love food. Almost.
I wonder if I am an ’emotional eater’. It’s not that I eat more when I’m low, it’s just that I don’t have the strength to resist. Food for me is a happy thing. When it’s dinner time, I can sit down and all I have to do is eat. Nothing else. No other obligations or pressures. I don’t sit there spooning ice cream into my mouth crying like Bridget Jones.
I think perhaps I’m just greedy.
Whatever it is, it’s psychological – and I’ve got to get a handle on it if I’m ever going to uncover the six pack I know is hiding underneath my blubber.