Not all my habits are this good
I was thinking today about my first blog, when I said, I was a bit addicted to walking. And that I feel bad if I don’t walk every day. That’s true. And it’s one of my better habits. But, it’s not all good. If I’m going to keep going with this blog, then I’d better declare ownership of a dirtier little habit I indulge when I’m not walking.
I have a sweet tooth. A sugar habit. ‘White death’, a friend calls it, to frighten me. It does.
On the days when I’m up at 5.30 and out at 6am to wander round the farm, or London streets or wherever, by 5pm I walk straight into a craving – I mean craving – for a sweet fix.
It’s ridiculous. I cultivate this walking habit so piously. But, around 5pm, I consider the rice cakes and the celery sticks – and then I look at the biscuit tin and the ice cream. And I brace myself.
All I’ve done here, is line up the weapons belonging to each side in the internal guerrilla scuffle about to break out inside me – celery sticks or homemade raspberry ice cream? I’m uneasily aware this might not be a fair fight.
All the time, another part of me is standing back incredulous, thinking …
“What is so great about your bad habits that you defend them so ferociously when it comes down to the wire – & it’s fruit versus fruit cake?”
One side of the forces I muster – to give victory to the rice cakes – puts forward the strength I gain by having cultivated good habits of caring, and working, and walking.
But then – the other side throws in a sneaky one. My enemy-me soothes me into dropping my guard. The enemy narrative goes, that today is different. Having done all the goody-goody stuff, I am now tired, or I’m stressed. Or both.
I start to wobble and fall out of my life a bit. I say, I’ll get a grip tomorrow – and walk tall, resilient and cake free. But today I deserve not to be making such a bloody effort all the time – NOW gimme the shortbread!!!
(On that note, I think the existence of the chocolate covered rice cake is a bit of a low blow to us anti-sugar warrior/worriers. It’s a spy! Looks like a rice cake. Real identity – a chocolate bar.)
I offer the goodies – that aren’t any ‘good’ – up to my son, who sometimes walks with me.
‘No thanks, Mum,’ he says, ‘I’m not that bothered about sweet stuff.’ And I stand there, tin in hand, amazed, as if he has grown another head. Can I have given birth to a creature who cares nothing for a triple chocolate dream cookie?
I’m not sure if I’ll be walking it off tomorrow – or just building up the appetite for another one. Doesn’t matter. I can only keep putting one foot in front of the other, and stop beating myself up with the cake tin.