Do you have an internal monologue whirling round your head every second of the day? I do. It quietens down when I’m watching four back to back episodes of Lark Rise to Candleford because every dark recess of my mind is concerned about whether Laura will marry Daniel and whether Alf will stop thinking of Minnie as a sister, and whether The Squire and Lady Adelaide will ever move back to town and, and, and what hilarious scrapes Thomas and Margaret will get into next.
Anyway, I’m always babbling on to myself. Not out loud. I’m not completely addicted to the sound of my own voice. But there is always some sort of chatter going on. Most of the time I just narrate what I’m doing ‘writing a report, writing another report, going to make tea, writing a report, going to the loo because of all the tea, writing a report’ is my favourite weekday refrain. At home I might try a monologue of ‘cleaning, cleaning, angry because I’m cleaning, what is dust? Just one more load of laundry and then LRTC’ (Lark Rise to Candleford for the uninitiated). Usually this noise is in the background, I forget about it unless I’m in the house alone and scared of murderers or in a high state of anxiety, but sometimes a little gem will tumble from my subconscious right into my … conscious? I’m going with it, right into my conscious thinking mind and real life me will get a taste of what suppressed mad-woman-in-the-attic-Bertha-Rochester-me really thinks.
About half way through the working day (1.5 days into my Clean and Lean resolution, may I remind you) such a gem popped out:
I love cake. I l o v e c a k e.
It startled me. I wasn’t hungry. I didn’t feel like I was suffering particularly badly from the dreaded sugar withdrawal, or the caffeine cut-down, or the lack of alcohol (it was only 1pm). I don’t even think I genuinely do love cake. I like it. At times I have found it delicious, and satisfying and beautiful. But cake has never made me feel good about myself (apart from that time I baked at WI and then I didn’t eat it), and it has never made me richer, or happier. I have never sat down and really savoured a slice and spent time adoring it. It’s the sort of food I would have if it was there, or if I felt like being domestic, so I baked one and ate half. Okay, more than half, Anthony is very moderate. To me it’s a cram in your gob and swill it down with loads of tea sort of food.
I don’t even have a sweet tooth. The foods I love are mashed potatoes, shepherd’s pie, sausages, roast dinners – nothing I can’t make healthy versions of and eat in moderation as part of this new lifestyle.
I found it so odd that my mind had just flipped a switch and BOOM! Cake! Then I got thinking, if I wasn’t making a conscious effort to eat clean, would that subconscious thought have stayed lurking in the background and made me impulsively buy a chocolate gateau on my way past Waitrose on the way home? They do have a magnificent selection of gateaux. I always wondered what made me eat so impulsively and now I know, my brain is broken. It’s babbling loads of untrue rubbish – like I love cake – which I bloody do not!!! It’s the cerebral equivalent of loads of eight year old girls circling you in a playground, shrieking ‘you fancy him! You fancy him! You do, you do!’ and no matter how much you protest that you certainly do not fancy him. He is disgusting. In fact you don’t even know if you like boys yet, you might end up liking girls instead. But the more you deny it the more they think you do, you definitely, absolutely do LOVE HIM.
Ladies and gentleman, the truth of the matter is my brain is a gaggle of horrid eight year old girls and it’s influencing me to get fat without real life me even being aware.
This is war mad-woman-in-the-attic-Bertha-Rochester-me, if you want cake you are going to have to come down here and fight me for it!
On a more serious note, I do think I have trouble with emotional eating. That’s why I think it is so important for me to get my diet and lifestyle right, the better I eat, the better I feel and the better I continue to eat and the better I continue to feel. It might be tough at first but soon it will become a habit that I really won’t want to break. This week I am going to focus on distracting the emotional eater in me, I think the emotions that most whet my appetite are boredom and anxiety. I hope welcome distractions will be plenty of exercise, some time outdoors and some calming activities like a lazy morning of reading in bed and a long, hot bath.
How are your resolutions going? Are you having a 2014 health kick, and if so, what do you miss the most? For me it’s the wine (always the wine).