What was that I was saying about distractions being a good thing and wishing for some more? Well, I did specify that I did not want the sort of distractions that have me reaching for a bottle of wine at the end of the day. And the major distraction that we are all experiencing right now – the Covid 19 virus – is definitely one that requires wine and crisps and maybe even some ice cream. If I watch carefully, I can almost see my already enormous tummy expanding like a lump of bread dough in a proving oven. It really is quite worrying. Just how big can it get? Will it pop?
Joking aside, I actually feel ashamed of whining about how social distancing is making me fat. When so many in the world are struggling to eat at all, how dare I complain that I have too much? I am damned lucky to have the wherewithal to get fat.
But acknowledging my privilege does not make me any happier about my super-size. I still want to be leaner and healthier. So much so, that lately I have been tempted by the adverts for a “new” wonder diet that pop up on my screen every 10 minutes or so.
I took a solemn vow a few years back, that I would never again pay money in order to lose weight. To me there is, as I have already mentioned, something almost obscene about rich fat folks using their money to eat less, instead of using that money to help people who haven’t enough to eat to stay alive, much less get fat.
In addition, I am firmly convinced that while any diet will work in the short term, ultimately a diet is something you are “on” and when you go “off” it again, you get fat again. From personal experience, and from a number of accounts I have read, one not only gets as fat as one was before, but usually, a bit fatter. That’s why serial yo-yo dieters end up bloody enormous. I know. I am one.
So, while the new diet is quite enticing, I will resist its lures. Which is not to say, I haven’t read about it and had a look at the promotional material for it. This particular diet is taking the psychological approach. I suppose the idea is that you unlock why you have unhealthy eating patterns and then tackle the root causes rather than merely alter eating habits. This makes sense, certainly. They are selling it as a “brand new approach”, but of course it isn’t. I have been thinking and talking about why I eat too much for as long as I can remember.
All the thinking and talking made me reach the conclusion that I am a comfort eater. I eat as a way of making myself feel better. “Poor old you, you deserve something a bit nice to cheer you up”. I have been saying this to myself my whole life. But here’s the thing: for most of that life I have had absolutely no need of comfort.
Growing up, I was one of the luckiest people imaginable. No money worries, no health concerns, no disabilities. A gorgeous, loving and supportive mother and a busy, happy family life. Academic success, a great career, lovely home, lovely holidays and, if you can believe it, lucky in love, too – a really lovely husband. Yet with all this loveliness, while I certainly wasn’t as fat as I am now, I still ate to make myself feel better and I was always a bit tubby. Ridiculous! If I could, I would go back and give my chubby chops a good slap and make sure I knew and appreciated just how little I was in need of any sort of comfort.
It was inevitable then, that when the fickle finger of fate (or whatever it is that balances the universe’s books) decided to deal me an actual nasty blow, my desire for yummy comforting things to eat and drink would grow exponentially. And the real bummer with this is that even when you have coped with your blow, and your life is more or less back on track, or at least manageable again, you are left looking like someone has stuck a bicycle pump up your backside. And, as we all know, looking and feeling like an elephant is not the greatest feeling in the world. Poor me. Pass the bottle of wine.