A week into The Molesworth Diarist’s Winter Festival of Exercise I have been hit with a rather confronting realisation. Despite my recent valiant attempts at hot yoga and dancing with grannies, all my exercising efforts will be in vain if I then stuff my face with huge chunks of delicious, calorific chocolate halva, as I have done today. In fact, I think an amended festival name is called for, to wit: The Molesworth Diarist’s Winter Festival of Exercise and Healthy Eating.
Notice I said ‘healthy eating’ instead of ‘diet’. The word diet holds less than great memories for me. My first food memory (apart from my Dad’s cold baked beans on toast) is of being on the Pritikin diet when I was about three. I wasn’t overweight, but my mother was, and for the sake of convenience with meal preparation the whole family ate Pritikin meals for about six weeks. I remember a strange dish with meat and vegetables moulded in aspic. There was a particularly nasty cold soup. Worst of all, there was no dessert! My little three year old mind spun with confusion: why did our family suddenly have to eat such horrible food?
I’ve felt the same way about diets ever since. When I was nineteen I put myself on an insane (I mean this literally) diet of my own devising. It comprised of diet yoghurt for breakfast, a giant cinnamon bun for lunch, salad for dinner, and lots of diet coke and apples. I got really skinny, for sure. I also came very close to developing an eating disorder, and from what I know about anorexia and bulimia that is NOT a good place to be.
Since that brief period of stupidity I have mostly embraced healthy eating. I cook most of my own meals, and I make sure I eat lots of veggies and fruit. But I could do a lot better. For a start, my years spent with The Ex have left me with a rather heavy coffee and cake addiction. When I’m bored at work (which is most of the time), I tend to find myself standing in front of the biscuit tin, without even remembering how I got there. And while I don’t have the worst diet in the world there’s a lot of room for improvement in my eating habits.
So, to put the ‘healthy eating’ into The Molesworth Diarist’s Winter Festival of Exercise and Healthy Eating I will attempt to do the following:
- Build a possum-proof enclosure so I can grow my own fresh veggies
- Eat a more healthy, balanced diet. This means the end of eating cheese and tomato on toast for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
- Cook healthy meals, with less meat. I made a delicious soup with roasted pumpkin and cumin the other day – yum!
- Take healthy snacks to work so I’m not constantly raiding the biscuit tin.
As always, Dear Reader, watch this space. I promise to keep you updated.