Well, it has only been three months, nine days, twenty hours and fifty-nine minutes so far, but who’s counting? I decided that for 2014 I would give up junk food: chocolate, lollies, baking, sugar-laden desserts, cronuts… you get the picture. I did the same thing for lent last year and it was a piece of cake (pun intended) but I then attempted to continue for another six weeks after Easter and it was a total disaster. Many pieces of cake were involved but not the ones I really wanted and the rest of the year continued as a bit of a food fail for me. I found that I was almost completely without self-control around food and was overeating with disturbing regularity. So, thought I, time to shake things up around here!
The plan is simple: eat whatever and whenever, but keep away from the junkies. If somebody has gone to the effort of preparing you something sweet it is fine to have a little but one piece should certainly be sufficient and there will be absolutely no need for further servings. If need be, cut the first piece in half so that when that MOOOORE feeling hits then you can eat the second half. Initially I did great and would snack on fruit when I was peckish between meals. When I ate $25 worth of (expensive at $0.50 each) dates in a week I decided it was probably time to start reducing the crutch that fruit had become. This was going alright, and then got an extra kick when Lent started a month ago but then the feasting began.
I know, feasting in Lent: what? But it’s the unfortunate truth. Along with the annual St Joseph’s Day, St Patrick ’s Day and Feast of the Annunciation; I celebrated my birthday a few weeks ago and was lucky enough to visit my family who live out of town the weekend before. My sister made me a lovely cake and we were all away on holiday so there were some yummy treats for us to enjoy as well. Those most delicious treats were devoured by the end of the weekend and I was more than ready to renew my commitment to be healthy from that point on, even resolving to make myself an amazing looking healthy birthday cake (a), which I somewhat succeeded in doing (b). Thankfully Harry was wonderful enough to throw me a surprise party with the most splendid cake to beat all cakes which was decidedly chocolate (c).
(a) (b) (c)
And then there were the gifts. I received the best most delicious most amazingly incredible chocolates in the world (d) from not one, not two, but three different people. Apparently my penchant for the liquid gold is well known. Since then things have been almost completely downhill. I was helping a friend last week with a gift for her husband which involved counting M&Ms. We needed at least 730 so this task took a fair while and ended up looking a lot like (e). I think caressing the little pebbles of joy for so long killed whatever new self-restraint was growing inside me because after that episode I found a half-finished bag of the wonders in my kitchen and promptly devoured the lot. New lows, people: new lows.
And so, with Holy Week just around the corner, I have decided to flip the leaf once again and get back on the straight and narrow. I keep trying to remind myself that this is primarily an exercise in self-control which will help in everything from my prayer life to getting out of bed in the morning but I’m finding the task to be quite a monumental challenge at the moment. I’m hoping that by writing about it here I’ll have a little more accountability to myself and a source of encouragement to persevere. If anybody else is on a similar journey or has stories to share I’d love to hear about it.
I have to say though that Harry and I were both pleasantly surprised at the depth of the healthy eating movements that are around and we were able to find many recipes that suited our tastes which were carb, sugar and fat free. There are now numerous products gracing the shelves of my pantry that I had never even heard of six months ago, and the idea that I would be voluntarily making trips to the grocery store to buy some of them (bran?!!) would have caused me to fall off my chair laughing.
Anyway with less than nine months to go I’m almost on the home stretch, right?