It Will Do…
December 18, 2013
It’s that time of year again. Late night shopping (aka Late Night Snacking)
Where I live the stay-open-later night is Tuesday. The five weeks leading up to Christmas day mean we hit the high street with vengeance… and on Tuesdays we get an extra few hours to spend, spend, spend.
I am one of the many who take advantage of the extra hours. A busy life means that from 6am to 6pm my schedule is pretty packed and so I am grateful that in the run up to the festive season I have one day where I have three hours to fit in my Christmas shopping. But as well as the late night shopping… there is the temptation of late night snacking too…
Is it just me and where I live, or does every town and city now have a main shopping area that is a half-and-half of shops and “eateries”…?
Not to mention the “seasonal” influx of catering vans offering hot turkey and stuffing rolls; roasted chestnuts; and hot-chocolate-with-cream-and-marshmallows…
And don’t even get me started on the “continental market” that mysteriously appears in the main pedestrian area.. complete with four “brockwurst” stalls (a particular favourite of Lovely Husband).
I have to confess I am somewhat ‘off schedule’ this year. Normally I have Christmas done and dusted by the first week of December but this year I’m cutting it fine and very grateful for the fact that the shops are still open after I’ve left my day-job-desk. But it does come with peril.
I usually head home from the day job and have something to eat before cracking on with my evening’s activities… but late night shopping sees me getting into town, parking the car, and doing battle on the high street. It also means that I’ve had a long day, am feeling tired and am tempted by the food and drink options that are in every second doorway.
I am pleased (and proud) to report that I resisted temptation. I confess to seriously considering heading into a well-known fast-food outlet for some nuggets and a vanilla milkshake…but didn’t. I thought briefly about a bag of chips… but decided against it; I contemplated a number of fast-food, quick-fix options... but then remembered the carrier bag in my hand - the one containing my New Year's Eve outfit. It is not what I would really love to wear, but is clothing that I am selecting all too frequently. I call it the “It Will Do” range. I’m sure many WLR members are familiar with that particular line of clothing and, perhaps like me, have far too much of it in their wardrobes.
I am utterly resolved that this year will be the last year that I am wearing “It Will Do…”; next year’s festive season will see me wearing “it was exactly what I was looking for” or “it shows off my shape so well” But that is not going to happen if I don’t learn how to resist temptation… and practice makes perfect! So, instead of avoiding temptation completely, I found myself facing it full on… from thick milkshakes, to German sausage; the particularly hard-to-resist hot pork roll (with apple sauce and my bodyweight in stuffing) to the special offers in the continental chocolate shop. I passed them all… and several more besides…
Each time my nostrils were filled with the scent of their seasonal offerings and my brain sent the “you know you want to…” Message… I gripped my carrier bag that little bit tighter as a reminder of exactly why I knew I “didn’t want to”.
I’m not saying that I will never again have a calorie-laden milkshake or a festive fast-food-roll, but right now I am not having them simply because a big part of my weight loss journey is about changing habits. My habits are what have led me here. My tendency to use food as a means of dealing with a situation that is completely unrelated to food. A bad day at the office would see me reach for something quick and easy (and calorific); being frustrated and angry would see me reach for something sweet as a comfort; and doing battle with fellow festive shoppers straight after a busy day at work would see me eating on the hoof as I dashed from store to store trying to find exactly the right present… (How can people you have grown up with; people who have been in your life for the whole of your life, and who you know inside and out suddenly become so difficult to buy for when it comes to selecting the right gift to put under the tree… It’s a mystery to me year after year… and if any of you can solve it for me… please let me know!).
We are well and truly into the Christmas countdown now, which may well mean venturing out several times during the day as well as later in the evenings, in order to check off everything that is on your list… and the closer it gets to the Big Day, the shops get fuller, the streets more crowded, and the mission to find those few final gifts becomes more stressful.
If you do find yourself out on the high street surrounded by bad tempered shoppers; a rumbling tummy and the temptation of fast food all around you… be strong. Avoid temptation by making sure you have the right tools with you – from a banana or Satsuma or some walnuts in your bag, to a mantra in your head reminding you of all the positives that will come from not having the burger/sausage/chocolate.
Stay focussed on the task in hand… Handle it like an SAS mission – get in, get out, get on… and don’t give in.
This time of year food plays an important part in our seasonal celebration. I am sure, like me, many of you will be enjoying your festive favourites… but will have planned and prepared for them, so they can be something to be savoured and enjoyed. Don’t let the distractions of the high street distract you from your mission to stay in control and to overcome temptation. I promise you, if you can stay on track, the treats you enjoy in the knowledge that they are planned and accounted for and which are simply part of your WLR journey (not the thing that sends you off course) will taste all the more wonderful.
With a Hug.