“Oh, What The Hell.”

Giving in to temptation is so damn easy. I’m an adult! I can make my own decisions!

I wish that feeling cropped up in important situations, rather than when I feel like a glass of wine would be SO GOOD with that pot of mussels I just cooked up (in white wine, naturally).

Why don’t I have that feeling like when I could put myself forward as a candidate in the upcoming local elections? Or when I get frustrated that young people in our area of the country are saying they can’t afford to go to uni because they’re worried they won’t get a job to pay off the debt, so I have a thought that I could start a charity.

How come I don’t fling my arms over my head in crazy abandon and yodel, “Oh, what the hell! I’ll DO IT!”

Because I guess public service is not addictive. Because my subconscious is going, “What is she on about now? This won’t cheer her brain up. Quick, stop her. Make her think of nice things like wine and junk food and checking her email again and those opiate painkillers in the bathroom drawer and gossiping and retirement fantasising and ranting on Twitter.”

And That’s Why Rules Are Helpful

So, that’s why I make rules for myself. My old drinking rules were “Don’t drink alone!” Yeah, so in lockdown that’s not a very difficult rule to follow. I’m never flipping alone. I have to go to like extreme lengths to get alone.

My very old drinking rules were even looser before I worked out the Don’t Drink Alone rule. It was, if I get home to feed my cat, and I wake up and can make my bed my drinking is totally under control. I set those visual cues. Cat fed? Check! Bed made? Amazing. I can do anything. Sometimes the cat got fed at 5am, but that was good enough for me! No one consulted the cat.

My old eating rules were, hm, something like have super tiny regulated magazine healthy meals and go nuts at snack time because I mean who’s looking. Especially if I’m also drinking already and I’m like a rodeo cowgirl, yee haw! Outta the way! What the hell! They weren’t exactly what you call highly effective rules.

A few days ago I must have been confusing myself with a superhero because I thought I could eat like an old French guy, without the benefit of a cafe, a smoking habit, and a bunch of local mates walking by desperate for a long agreeable chat.

That experiment has, lets call it spluttered. I still think the measured eating concept is interesting, but truth is just focussing on eating a sensible meal and not snacking is quite frankly hard enough. Because the reality of the situation is my days are still rocked by interruption, one hot on the heels of the next until the critical last “Could you just” request tips me into a sweary cyclone. Just to make the humans GO AWAY FROM ME.

And as I pant in exhaustion from a very impressive but incomprehensible rant, I have to congratulate myself on not only not drinking but not tipping my head back and sedating myself with a family bag of pretzels. Regaining possession of my language skills, I tiptoe up to Homeschooling Kid and say, “Um sorry I lost my head back there in the middle of Daddy and me heaving a chest of drawers up the stairs at the request of the carpet fitters while planning ahead for the tiler, and thank you very much for warning me the pot of milk was boiling up all over the stove.”

Go me. The new carpet looks quite good. But the homemade yogurt can f*#! off.

6 Comments

  1. I love this, I hear you on a lot of it. The interruptions thing is major and you write about it in such a funny way. I too have been way too often reaching for unhealthy snack food. I loved your description of eating slowly a small snack in the last piece. I think stil with that, and/or for me my strategy is going to be hugging a warm mug of my favourite hot drink, and sipping it very slowly. The point being to be mindful and present with what I take in, instead of stuffing down the lonely-in-a-crowd feeling, or my feelings of general inadequacy. Thanks for sharing. :))

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    1. I’ve spoken with a few smart people this week about measured/mindful eating and they told me what it’s about is neuroplasticity and habituation. So if one can cultivate this as a habit it is very powerful, but trying to do it without being intentional, it’s just as challenging to do as pretty much any other habit. It isn’t by any measure “a little experiment”!

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      1. That is helpful and good to know. I was thinking too just a moment ago, as I nearly grabbed a hit of chocolate with my coffee, that things are definitely far more easier said than done. But with habit they become easy. One thing for me is realizing that I am actually very, very tired. When I’m tired I want to eat. I need to get more sleep.

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      2. Yes! I’m learning to announce my bed time when I’m ready to hit the sack. I don’t care if it’s 8pm or whatever. I used to drag myself along and I think that led to a lot of after dinner eating.

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