“I can resist everything except temptation” – Oscar Wilde
Never a truer word spoken.
We all suffer from it in varying degrees. We are all guilty of it whether it be the temptation of forbidden love or the temptation of a new purchase be it shoes, clothes or cars (one of my particular failings) but mostly we suffer from the temptation of some extra calories.
I do not believe anyone can remain 100% true to their diet for weeks on end without a slight slip up, whether it be a sneaky pint, a relaxing and indulging glass of wine or a sugary treat (again, my failing). It is human nature to be tempted. Since the dawn of mankind there has been a modicum of seduction designed to do one thing only – trip us up enough until we fall and indulge. Whether it be calorific or wallet emptying we cannot stop until we have “scratched that itch”
I am very guilty.
Let’s face it, you don’t get to my size without having the temptation breaking strain of a cheese straw.
In the past I have fallen at pretty much every hurdle put in front of me. Always thinking that tomorrow would never come so I had better get that burger down my neck rather than get with the program. As I have matured though, I have learnt to resist far more easily than I may have before. Yes I still fall but I manage to pick myself up and carry on not letting catastrophic thinking take hold. In the past I was always a good time guy who would be happier in the pub with a pint in his hand than sat at home with a glass of water. I would be happier sat in my chair in front of my widescreen TV rather than going for a walk or going to the gym. Now however, I am less likely to be inactive and more likely to take control of my activities.
A good example of this happened to me last week.
On Friday I fell, I crash landed but instead of wallowing in my failure, I picked myself up, dusted myself down and got back on my metaphorical horse. You see, I am a sucker for bad things. It matters not what they are, I want them. The amazing thing is, I know I am actually allowing myself to go ahead with the purchase of the badness. They don’t simply appear in my cupboard by magic; and no one I know will actually buy them for me because they don’t wish to be viewed as an enabler.
The temptation started after a walk. I had been as good as usual after my two days fasting on Monday and Tuesday (yes folks, it’s fasting day today….) I had eaten sensibly that morning and I had decided to go for a walk with a pal to burn off a few calories. That was where the trouble started. We finished the walk where according to my app gadget, I had used 404 calories during the course of my exercise and was headed home to make a carb free lunch of scrambled eggs, low-fat bacon and low-fat sausages, when I remembered that I had forgotten to get some pickled peppers to add to my dinner later that day. This would involve a quick trip to the supermarket on my way home. No sweat I thought I know what I want, I will be straight in and out even though my tummy rumbled so much it sounded like a growling toothache afflicted grizzly bear.
Not the best way to start shopping.
So I went in and picked up the pickled jalapeños and the milk, some lettuce and vine tomatoes, all so far so good. Then I crashed. I literally couldn’t stop my legs from shaking. They honestly felt like they would buckle under me at anytime. My body started crying out for something sugary and sweet so I went to the cake counter and picked up some sticky buns; and an iced fruit bun; and two chocolate covered flap jacks just to be sure. I couldn’t help it. I was on auto pilot. I went to the till and paid, and as I paid I thought I should get a Latte to go with my cake. Very civilised. After making my Latte at the self-service desk, I took myself and my wobbly legs out to the carpark and got in the car where I had a little picnic of iced buns and Latte coffee. Not so civilised after all.
This was not good. I got home and instead of making my low-fat carb free dinner, I had peanut butter on thin bread. Another fail. Even more so when you consider I have completely given up bread yet was still able to find some after hunting the kitchen and freezer. It was all falling apart. What was I going to do? Well I carried on and I ate even more stuff that I shouldn’t. I didn’t get a takeaway at least but I didn’t treat my body like a temple that’s for sure. As I sat there though, I recalled that a couple of days previously I had returned from a brisk walk and found myself feeling the same thing although on that occasion I had not over eaten to compensate, I had taken it as feeling a bit under the weather and gone to my bed. Maybe the two were linked.
After a while I began to realise how crazy my behaviour was so I decided to use one of the tools offered to me by the Bariatric Clinic. The Dietician. I wouldn’t normally call the clinic about anything but I felt this behaviour needed me to ask the question. So I called Caroline (Dietician) who very kindly listened fully to what I had to say and then offered me her conclusions. It turns out that I had allowed my blood sugar levels to crash to such a degree that I was reacting to the lack of food that I had eaten not only that day but the previous four days especially the fasting days. After some questions, she simply recommended that in future, I eat prior to the walk and if I can’t, at least have a banana at hand to compensate. This was good news but it wasn’t helping my desires for calories to abate, they were still there.
There was only one escape. Go to my bed and read my kindle. It was the only way I could stop obsessing about the calories I was determined to put in my body. Not an easy task for sure as I know many of you will have gone to bed hungry and know that sleep never comes easily to a growling stomach. However, eventually it relented and I was able to drift off.
Now the reason I know I am back on the horse is that when Saturday started I was back to normal. The reset button had been pressed. I had my usual porridge for breakfast. I had my lunch of the scrambled egg, low-fat bacon and sausages and THEN I went for the walk. I had enough energy to walk for an hour at a good pace and return home without the wobbly legs or the craving for sweet sugary foods. Result. I was tired however so after a nice homemade Duchy Tomato soup I had a nap on the sofa where I woke up on Sunday morning with a stiff neck. Not the best way to meet the day but in the right frame of mind non the less.
So we are here on Monday morning at the start of another fasting day. I have proven to myself that I can fall off the horse and even though it was a reaction to getting my diet wrong, I haven’t allowed it to blow the entire weeks achievement. Good news because in the telephone conversation I had on Friday with the Dietician, she let slip that I had been recommended as being ready for surgery and the operation was just awaiting scheduling. With that now at the forefront of my mind any more falls between now and then will be met with the same recovery because failure along with temptation are no longer options.
Stay out of the fridge.