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Tired and emotional – the sweet truth

It has been a long hot day.

I have spent about half of it creating one of my unruly Excel spreadsheets, which cleverly manipulates data in an unfathomable (to other people) way. Woe betide anyone trying to use it for their own purposes, or indeed to anyone attempting to use any of my other many xls-es. 

The reason for this new one was a renewed fear that I consume too much sugar. This was sparked by a newspaper article referring to waist measurements and the likelihood of developing Type 2 diabetes. After several cack-handed attempts at measuring my waist, then my hips (to create some daft ratio) and then my waist again to triple check, I determined that I am definitely in the At Risk category despite my comfortably ok BMI and my still much lower than average resting heart rate.

So, as my husband is currently keeping a food diary for other reasons, I thought I should do so too, and hopefully put my mind at rest. Or try to lose a few pounds if necessary.

I have been completely horrified at the results. I knew I had developed a much sweeter tooth in the past few years, but my consumption of sugar on a daily basis is astronomically above what it should be – and that’s from someone who drinks only almost black unsweetened coffee and tap water (most days), doesn’t eat biscuits or bread very often and chooses the ‘no added salt and sugar’ muesli. It seems that the vast quantities of dried fruit, the weekly Malteser binge and the two squares of dark chocolate that often turn into four have become dangerously bad for me.

As it has been so hot today and I was starting to become miserable, I took a short break to listen to a podcast – and was shocked to hear, on Kermode & Mayo’s Film Review podcast, of the death of a four year old boy. This boy was made famous by the show earlier this year when his father sent in a recording of him shouting childish rude words (Smelly pants wee. Toilet bowl. Stinky pants etc) whilst going through a Birmingham underpass on his way to chemo treatments at the hospital. Coming out of the blue on the usually chucklesome podcast, this floored me completely. I was, fortunately, on my own in the house at the time and cried hopelessly and helplessly. I suppose I should be glad that I had confined myself to the house due to the heat of the day – I normally march around the neighbourhood or the Park to the accompaniment of my various favourite podcasts and have frequently feared being caught with a damp cheek. This was rather more than that.

I gathered myself, and carried on with my wretched spreadsheet, now increasingly wondering why I was so worried about such things when others were grieving the loss of their young son.

Once the numbers of calories and sugar were fully investigated and added up to something far in excess of what they should be, I had my afternoon snack – a tiny but very sweet flapjack in a small plastic container from Graze – and realised that I should take away this sort of temptation. I went back to my laptop, and immediately cancelled my Graze home-delivery subscription.

And cried again – hopelessly.

How ridiculous to cry about cancelling a fortnightly delivery of snacks. OK, it is an indulgence but I am quite sparing with those for myself compared with many others I know, so it’s not as though it’s a hardship. Perhaps it was made more poignant by knowing that I only started this indulgence because the first few months’ subscription was bought for me several years ago by my own little boy (now 28) and it felt ungrateful of me to stop now, even though I have been paying for it myself for ages now and I know he won’t care.

I had a smaller supper than planned and only three quarters of my box of Maltesers.

It won’t last.


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