The Incredible Shrinking Woman

Days 277 to 298 – Santa Claus Is Coming To Town 3 December 2008

How the hell did December come around so quickly?  As you can tell by the three week gap since the last post (oops) it’s a crazily busy time of year for me.  Not only do we need to tie up 2008 and get ready for 2009, but then there’s the whole Christmas madness to contend with.  And that is a challenge and a half.

It occurred to me the other night, when I finally tumbled through my front door and collapsed thankfully in front of the TV, just how difficult it is to be sensible about food (or, for lighter lifers, avoid it) at this time of year.  The ad breaks on the TV are wall to wall with adverts for delicious Christmas treats, luxurious meals and special offers on those things that we love but know are terribly bad for us.  Everyone is in a more sociable mood and offers of nights out, drinks after work and long Sunday lunches are plentiful … not only that but well-meaning souls start doing festive things like bringing chocolates into the office.  For anyone trying to lose or maintain their weight, it’s a nightmare.  Despite the financial doom and gloom that’s filling every available column inch and news broadcast, people seem to still be adopting a ‘to hell with it’ attitude to Christmas at the moment.  There’s a real sense in the air of ‘indulge now and worry about it later’, or that’s what I’m sensing in my little corner of London, anyway.

As any veteran dieter will tell you, too many of us simply don’t worry about it later.  I’ve often asked myself how I ever got as big as I did, and the simple truth is that I didn’t act upon the consequences of my over-indulgence until it had got out of control.  Shifting half a stone once in a while would have been so much easier (and healthier) than waiting until I had to face shifting many, many stones all in one go.  And, as I’ve said before, I’ve still not quite cracked it.  Pairs of jeans that I bought in the summer, at the end of abstinence, are feeling a little tighter now because I’ve succumbed to the cold weather, the Christmas spirit and, frankly, my own weakness.  It’s unthinkable, and it makes me cross with myself!  I’m still trying to get that balance right … how long will it take me?

I’m still keeping up my training, despite a couple of setbacks due to my workload.  My clients are based about an hour and a half from London, and a succession of all day meetings over the past few weeks has played havoc with my gym schedule.  I’m trying desperately to keep at it … it would be terribly easy to say ‘oh, I’ll be good in January’, but that would mean beginning the year significantly heavier and much less fit to boot.  And I’m still trying to lose weight, dammit!  Plus, I can’t face the disapproval of my personal trainer … he’s got the measure of me, I can tell you.

So I guess I’m trying to be festive without being silly.  My plans to remain on the wagon went completely to the wall, but I’m finding it easier to order gin and slimline tonics these days rather than vats of red wine.  It’s noticeable how much difference that makes, which is heartening.  And I’m trying to balance calorific evenings or lunches out with penitent eating the following day.  Clearly that will all go to pieces over Christmas itself, but I’m not too worried about that.  For the first time in my life, I will feel as if I’ve earned it.

And for all of you who are in abstinence at the moment, I have to say that I take my hat off to you.  You deserve medals, you really do.


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