My lard-busting efforts are like an old manual focus lens on a crummy SLR camera. This could possibly be the crappiest analogy I’ve ever come up with.
I remember this ancient Pentax I used in my photojournalism class at uni. I would peer through the viewfinder and wrap my chubby mitt around that lens, twisting the dial til it got in focus. But it never seemed to stay there for long. The slightest false move, the smallest tremble, and everything went blurry again.
So that’s how it’s been lately. Focusing. Losing focus very easily. Feeling fuzzy and blurred. Refocusing. Over and over again.
The couple of weeks have been completely out of focus. I am one of these people who does not thrive on chaos. I like routine. I like planning my exercise for the week, ordering the groceries, laying my clothes out every night for the next day, getting to bed by a certain time. As soon as anything unusual is thrown into the mix (Mothership visit, weekend camping trip) I don’t cope well.
And that’s in spite of all my forward planning for these events. I plotted healthy meals for Mum’s visit and packed healthy foods for the camping trip, but none of that counts if you eat the healthy food and then eat a whole pile of crap ON TOP OF IT. Mum ended up staying an extra night, so instead of cooking something healthy I suggested we get a takeaway curry, aka a steaming bowl of grease. Then while in the Highlands on the weekend, I easily persuaded myself into an ice cream cone, a large serve of greasy chips and a handful of shortbread.
It’s like as soon as I venture outside of my home/work routine into the Real World, all my planning and logic fades into the background and I give myself licence to chow. As though calories don’t count if they’re eaten in the non-everyday Super Happy Fun Zone.
The eating is always so mindless, I don’t feel guilt or remorse and I never stop to think, Is this something I really need to eat? It wasn’t until I got on the scales yesterday and realised I was up 2.5 lb (1.1kg) that I remembered all that crap I ate.
. . .
Yesterday I felt so bloody fat and cranky and ugly. My face was all puffy and itchy, my legs were a mess of red blotchy bites; I had a severe reaction to the midges (small, annoying Scottish insects) that attacked us on the weekend.
So I was in a small, shitty supermarket for the sole purpose of buying one red onion to put in our homemade bean burgers. Why is it when you feel fat and ugly you want to eat crap that will make you feel even more fat and ugly? I selected my onion then prowled the aisles, all reckless and defiant, wondering what rubbish I could cram into my gob. I wanted to grab anything and everything. But this particular supermarket is tiny and poorly stocked, I could only huff at the lack of decent ice cream; the paltry selection of chocolate and crisps. Sure I wanted a binge but I wanted a binge of decent QUALITY. Long gone are the days when I’d be happy with Home Brand ice cream and cooking chocolate.
In the end I just lined up in the queue with my stupid red onion. I put it on the conveyor belt and waited for the old lady ahead of me to painstakingly count out small change to pay for her beef mince, solitary apple and pint of milk. So I paced back and forth to the ice cream freezer at the front of the store, eyeing the Magnums and Soleros and Mars Bar Ice Creams. On my third trip I thought, FUCK IT, I’m going to have a Mars Bar Ice Cream!
But then I remembered a moment from last year, when I’d just moved in with Gareth and was feeling confused and overwhelmed by the whole cohabiting/marriage thing. I’d sneaked off to the shop for a Mars Bar Ice Cream while his friends were visiting. I stood at the bottom of the hill scoffing it down then looking for somewhere to stash the wrapper. I remember it didn’t taste anything special.
So I just went home with my red onion.
I said hello to Gareth then went straight to the kitchen and stuck two fat pieces of grainy bread into the toaster. I slathered them with an obscene amount of peanut butter then gnashed it all down with two huge glasses of milk. I ended up giving Gareth half a slice, but I ate enough to feel satisfied. All those peanuts and grains jabbing my gums and sticking in my teeth, it was all rather violent and messy.
I dunno what comes over me sometimes. You’d think after 5.5 years of fat fighting I’d have learned not to confuse eating and emotions, but it never ever stops. To Gareth it just looked like I was eating a piece of toast, but for me it was a compulsion that I couldn’t ignore. I won’t kid myself there’s a cure. But as I’ve said before, if I can’t eliminate these episodes altogether, at least these days the damage is less calorific, and I can put a stop to it a helluva lot quicker.
I’m going to have a quiet weekend. Clean up and cook and write and exercise and settle down again. Think about what I want and what needs doing.