I remember once talking to a super-fit work colleague of mine about fitness and weight loss. At that stage, I was at the (real) gym four or five days a week. He knew I did this. Which is why he was surprised when I ordered cheesecake for dessert at a work lunch one day. "You're not one of those women who think you can eat what you like just because you exercise?" he asked me, horrified and genuinely perplexed.
Why, yes, I am. And it worked okay for me. Then. When I was in my twenties and deciding to lose weight meant dropping alcohol and chocolate for a week and watching the grams melt away. Not now, when I'm, er, older and I can drop chocolate for six weeks with no apparent effect. It goes on easier, it comes off harder. Mum told me it would be so. I didn't want to believe her.
But I can ignore it no longer. Which means, sigh, watching what I eat. Which is why I found myself out striding the streets of Fibrotown on the coldest afternoon of the year. Call it penance. In an insane fit of logic (which I can only put down to brain-freeze), I had decided that the only thing that would warm me up as I wrote in my empty house today was potato chips. Crispy, greasy, salty, yummy... where was I? Oh yes.
I ate them. Then felt the immense guilt that can only come after such pleasure. I emailed The Builder: "I ate potato chips in an attempt to keep warm. The layer of fat should help next week." He emailed me back: "I think a heater would be more effective than a potato chip."
By the time he came home, I had convinced myself that the only way to offset the problem was to walk to town, in the freezing cold (shivering for additional kilojoule-burning effect), to get ingredients for a dinner that I probably could have made out of my pantry supplies. He shook his head and waved me off.
Which is how I found myself dodging the autumn leaves swirling on the half-empty streets, wrapping my scarf around my head, walking close to shop doorways in an attempt to extract any vestige of heat that might blow out. All for the sake of a few potato chips.
Seriously, why do we do it to ourselves?
[image: Clearly the thing I really need to make a food diary work is new stationery, like these from greenchairpress/etsy]