ON the first day of my Christmas holiday the battery in my bathroom scales died. I had two choices, I could pop to the shops to buy a new battery and brave the Christmas stampede, or I could stay at home and not bother.
It didn’t take long to make up my mind. I put the scales away. This may not seem a very remarkable thing to do, but to me it is. I use the scales to control my weight. I hop on every few days or so, just to monitor weight loss or gain. Left to my own devices, without the trusted scales, there’s a real danger I could end up the size of a house.
I decided to throw caution to the wind and go without. ‘It’s only a few days,’ I reasoned. ‘I’d manage without them. It would all be fine.’ And it was. It was actually quite liberating. Unfortunately, just the thought of not having to get weighed had me reaching for the chocolates.
After being so strict with my eating in the run up to our wedding in June, I was happy with this new freedom. I deserved it! I ate more and drank more than I usually do. I have a good appetite anyway, but this was just greedy. Popcorn and crisps watching Back to the Future on TV, as well as chocolate and biscuits, not to mention the big dinners. I did a few easy runs, but I knew this wouldn’t burn off all the extra calories. ‘It doesn’t matter,’ I told myself. ‘It’s Christmas. I’ll pick up the pieces in the New Year.’
And by this I don’t mean dieting. I don’t do diets. I don’t believe in them. I believe in healthy eating. So I had a vision of come January I’d stop eating so much rubbish, and nothing but healthy food would pass my lips. By this time, I’d have also bought the batteries for the scales and would be back to monitoring my weight. So I had a plan and I didn’t feel like I’d put on much weight anyway.
But then January arrived and off we went to Nostell parkrun, where this picture was taken.
On its own it doesn’t show much, but I’d been writing my review of 2017, which included this picture taken in May.
‘Good God!’ I said when I compared them. ‘Look at the size of my face!’
‘You look pretty,’ my Mum said (bless her).
‘Pretty fat,’ Chris and I both said together.
I looked again at the photos. ‘Perhaps Mark’s camera has a zoom lens that makes everything bigger.’
‘The camera never lies,’ Chris said. And showed me this picture that had been taken of him.
It appears I’m not alone in the weight gain. Chris is not the svelte man I married.
‘We need to do something,’ I said, and immediately I went online and ordered the batteries for the scales. Then it was back to work and I had that image of being Miss Healthy in January.
I had clearly not thought it through. January is such a miserable, bleak, dark, crappy month. Why would I want to cut down on cake and chocolate and all the nice things in January?
After my first day at work, I went to the fridge and cut myself a slice of my home-made chocolate orange cake. I did not feel guilty. I am not giving up cake or chocolate. Yes, I will cut down. Yes, I will run and work out. But give up cake. No!
I’ve also decided that January is probably not the best month to get weighed. The batteries haven’t arrived yet anyway, and when they do, I’ll wait a few weeks. What’s the point of depressing myself even more, when January is depressing enough.
‘What about facing up to it?’ Chris asked.
‘I’m not facing up to anything.’