|Venus of Willendorf, by Matthias Kabel|
I knew I was in trouble from the moment I could tell Mama from Dada. They were both healthy, active people but while my mother was permanently on a diet she was never anything less than...er...substantial. In contrast, my father ate like a horse, yet was built like a greyhound. You can guess which traits I inherited from each parent. I love my food. It adores me in return, so I'm in constant danger of turning into the Venus of Willendorf. I'd love to excuse my weight problem by blaming it on my family, but there comes a time when everyone has to excuse their genes and accept responsibility. But cake is so delicious, and celery's not a comfort food–no matter how you dress it up.
Writing all day doesn't help me. Sitting is fast becoming the new smoking here in England, where we have a real obesity crisis. Strapping my keyboard to the treadmill to make a standing (or walking) desk hasn't been too successful. So what's the answer? In my case, there's no substitute for eating less and moving more. Reducing portion size is horrible. Using a smaller plate and chewing every mouthful forty times is no substitute for that lovely "full-up feeling", to quote Lionel Bart's Oliver! again. Driving ten miles to the gym and back eats into writing time, so I had to find a different exercise regime, that fitted in with my lifestyle. In theory I use my non-electric treadmill to jog for twenty minutes every other day, but sometimes that's just too much like hard work.
Wearing a pedometer helps, as I have a competitive streak. During an uninterrupted writing day, I'm lucky to clock up 2,000 steps. That only burns about 24 calories, according to my pedometer. On the bright side, that would earn me all the celery I could eat. Knowing how hard it is to "earn" treats is a powerful incentive to keep my step-count going.
|Venue-The School Run|
Smaller portions and more exercise has kept my weight stable for several months now. To actually lose weight, I'd have to cut down on food still more and run harder, too. The trouble is, exercise makes me hungry and fills me with a gnawing sense of entitlement ("I got up in the dark and did all that running in the cold. I'm entitled to another slice/chunk/handful!") Increasing it can only make things worse, which means temptation will be ten times harder to resist. All things in moderation–including moderation!
|And my children cook like this...|
Christina Hollis writes both contemporary and historical fiction–when she isn't cooking, gardening or beekeeping. Her books have been translated into over a dozen different languages, and she’s sold nearly three million books worldwide. You can catch up with her at http://www.christinahollis.blogspot.com,on Twitter and Facebook, and see a full list of her published books at http://www.christinahollis.com