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Although I’d best not complain too much in case they change their minds.

On Friday my diet faced its stiffest challenge yet. Not apathy, nor even forgetfulness. Something far more terrible.

I’d only set out to buy some milk.

But Lidl had put out all their Christmas goodies.

So many chocolates, biscuits, goodies and cakes, all for so little money. Marzipan sausages! Stollen! All those weird German biscuity things that you never otherwise see!

Even worse than the raw temptation of all these goodies (cherry liqueur chocolates!) is the rather annoying fact that, as is common with Lidl’s products, hardly any of them have nutritional information on the packets. Bad Lidl! How’re you supposed to cram goodies into your diet when you’ve no idea what they’ve got in them? Bah.

Clearly, there was no way I’d pass up all these treats. I bought marzipan sausages (of course), apricot puree filled gingerbread hearts coated in chocolate (how to even begin hyphenating that?), and about five packs of fancy biscuits. The stollen were £2.49, compared to £1.99 last year, so I’ll wait for the price to drop there. Besides, my cupboards are full. Full with delicious calories.

Amazingly, I didn’t scoff the lot as soon as I got home. Calorie-counting hasn’t taught me restraint in purchasing, but I have at least learned moderation in consumption. Which is quite a victory; no more scoffing sweeties a pack at a time! Alas. I’m planning to take some of my haul to Skegness next month, so I should be able to try them all without eating the whole lot to myself.

One thing this resolve-testing did do was make me consider: so why am I putting myself through this, then, when I could be munching marzipan sausages nineteen to the dozen? Why the diet?

It’s a tricky one. There’s the obvious reason, but I’m not sure how interested in that I am. Besides, it’s not like the diet and exercise are either necessary or sufficient. Helpful at best. There’s at least one course of action that, whilst still not necessary, would probably be more helpful (and less effort). And there’s the obvious course of action that’s pretty much necessary (and possibly sufficient), that I don’t even attempt. Well, it is a lot harder.

So probably not that then. What else? Perhaps the ability to directly control what I do or don’t eat, and therefore my body, is appealing? Perhaps it helps make up for the lack of control I feel in general over my existence? Possibly it could even persuade me that I have more power over my destiny than I think.

Maybe it’s just… Well, I’ve never really hated my body (even when I was very overweight, as a teenager), but I’ve generally been vaguely dissatisfied with various aspects; mostly the annoying flobby belly. Perhaps that’s the reason. Although why now, and not in 1995 when I was a fat teenager, 2002 when I was a student and weighed about what I weigh now, or at any other point? Possibly because it’s really the first point in my life when I’m both in control of what I eat, and don’t have to worry too much about what it costs?

Maybe I just like imposing restraints on myself, and budget is no longer an excuse, so I use calories instead?

Or maybe it’s just because I can. Or it’s the latest silly idea I have for a while and then forget about. Over forty days though, with measurable results. That’s quite impressive for me.

There isn’t really a satisfying answer there, is there? Sorry.


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