By the end of last year, I was gymming regularly and eating fairly healthily. I was able to control what I ate - in fact, once I'd set out on that path, my cravings for unhealthy food pretty much disappeared.
Instead I craved Dr Oz's green drink, which I found to be the most satisfying thirst quencher during the blistering summer months. (Okay, I have to admit - the first time I tasted it a few years ago, I had to fight back the overwhelming urge to hurl. But 3 glasses later, I not only became accustomed to the taste - it actually became my beverage of choice.)
And then, one night at the beginning of this year, I decided to take a harmless bite of chocolate while watching Vampire Diaries. This led to another - and another - and another - until I'd devoured the entire slab.
And then, as I've seen my husband do, I alternated a teeny bit of something sweet, with something salty. This way I could continue to munch away through 4 episodes of Vampire Diaries without becoming nauseated.
So, over the months, even as our nightly dose of Vampire Diaries was replaced by the newest episodes of New Girl, Arrow, Revenge, The Following and Revolution, my ritual of something-salty-something-sweet which accompanies our TV time, persists. This is bliss for me - I look forward to it all day. I can't wait for the moment that all the kids are in bed, when I can just be transported away from my reality (with grumpy, argumentative, disobedient and cheeky kids and domestic turmoil) to the land of vampires/ quirky room-mates /gorgeous arrow-wielding heroes/ freaky serial killers /brilliant savvy heroines.
But just as the final episode for the night ends, so my guilt begins. Why did I eat so much? I didn't even really feel like that last piece of chocolate. Am I following on the path my father travelled - diagnosed with diabetes one week and then dying from a heart attack the next? And so on and so on and so forth.
This frustration also filtered into other areas of my life. Or perhaps it's fuelled by the stress of the other areas of my life. Either way, I've been feeling really out of control, which just seems to have fuelled the cycle of frustration and over-indulgence. I eat to feel better, but then only end up feeling worse.
But 2 Sundays ago Mo and I decided that enough was enough. Seeing each other's growing paunches reminded us of our own. So, after months of inactivity, we decided to head out for a brisk walk on the Green Point promenade. Although we didn't quite manage to accomplish what we'd set out to, the seed was planted. I started to feel more motivated during the past week.
Then, last Sunday we went to gym after goodness knows how long.
|Shakeel (14), Tharaa (11), Nuha (8), Aisha (3) and I heading to gym - with purpose and determination (with Mo obviously playing photographer)|
The kids headed off to the pool with their dad, while I did some cardio. As expected, the first few minutes were excruciating, as my lethargic muscles were so rudely awoken from months of inactivity. Then, as if my body remembered what it is capable of, the pain subsided and my pathetic gasps were replaced by even breaths.
I was actually reluctant to end my workout, but it was my turn to watch the kids so that Mo could re-acquaint himself with the exhilarating feeling I had just experienced.
I must admit that as I entered the steamy humid pool area, I felt a bit dizzy. But I managed to remain alert enough to keep Nuha (8) and Aisha (3) from drowning, watch Tharaa (11) perform her usual pool antics and applaud Shakeel (14) as he swam underwater across the pool with just one breath.
|Enjoying having the pool to themselves|
Thankfully Mo returned before I collapsed and we headed home to enjoy a fairly healthy lunch.
Admittedly, I have not cut out chocolate completely. But I have cut down. I'd like to say that I know for sure that I will not have one tonight or tomorrow or the next day. But I can say that I definitely will try - and what's more, for the first time in a while, I feel like I might not need it to reach a happy place.
Now let's hope that none of the kids bring home party packets this afternoon.