Someone once told me that the best way to get over writer's block is to just sit there and write rubbish for as long as it takes until something inside "clicks", the light comes on and the story starts to unfold itself again.
I'm that way with my weight at the moment. One day, I'm counting points and "good"; the next day, I blow it all on chocolate. Or cheese. For what seems like forever, I've been treading water: up a pound one week, down a pound the next. It's not what a I want to do - I'd like to get to my "real" goal weight please - but wanting and doing are two separate things. (Oh, and while we're at it, I'd like a flat stomach, please, and a waist.)
I said as much at Weight Watchers on Wednesday night. My head isn't in the right place. I can almost cope at home, when I'm in charge of the cooking, but let me loose in the outside world and it's as if the Eating Olympics have started and I'm representing Australia. My social life seems to revolve around food - either in restaurants or a takeaway eaten on someone's sofa or a meal cooked by a friend keen to show off her culinary skills. Oh, and those days when I'm too tired to cook? Please someone, keep me away from the takeaway menu!
Throw into the mix that it's a fact of life that I travel for work. At least one week in four, I drive to Site for 3 days/2 nights. Excluding the last time, every single trip I have made left me feeling that I was at the mercy of restaurant chefs. If there was something healthy on the menu, it was bound to involve prawns (and I'm allergic to prawns). And of course the menu item that caught my eye (or smelt so good wafting from the kitchen) was bound to involve a zillion points.
Why, when I'm eating in a restaurant do I feel compelled to order something I wouldn't cook at home, usually covered in cheese or cream sauce or laden with pastry? Actually, maybe that is my problem: I'm a damn good cook. We eat such a varied-but-WW diet at home, that the list of things I don't make is quite small and skewed to the things I don't cook because they're too high in points. My brain rebels, demanding "why restrict my order to pan fried fillet of salmon with a side of vegetables, when I came home with 14 fillets last time I did my supermarket shop? I could make that at home. What haven't I had lately?". (The healthy choice in a restaurant is nearly always salmon. Why are British chefs so narrow minded?)
After three days away, I normally return home feeling as if I'd applied a layer of lard to the inside of my gut and smeared my belly with double cream.
On the face of it, the trip last week was very little different. Since us contractors have been banned from the Refinery's canteen, I stopped at Marks & Spencer on the way up to buy lunch for the three days. Maybe I was earlier than usual so they had some stock, or maybe they've expanded their range, but their Count on Us sandwiches caught my eye and for the first time they had choices I would eat. So I bought two chicken wraps and a chicken sandwich and pointed them when I got to work - 4.5 points each and I'd solved the problem of lunch for three days.
That night, in the hotel, I ordered dinner the way I normally do: choosing whatever menu items that caught my fancy. This hotel was a new one for me, but the Programme Director is a regular and raives about the food. For my starter I had scallops, pan fried with lardons of bacon and served over a mixed leaf salad. My main course was grilled duck breast on a bed of vegetables, lightly dressed with plum sauce. My major impression of the lovely meal I had? The chef is Weight Watcher. Dinner was beautifully prepared and presented. There was plenty of food. It tasted delicious. But it was lightly done. I began to feel like, maybe, just maybe, I can cope with this lifestyle after all.
Of course, I managed to blow the whole thing out of the water again when I got home. I've eaten takeaway food at least four times in the last week (or is that six, if you include the leftovers in my lunchbox on two separate days?). [sigh]
So there I was sitting at Weight Watchers on Wednesday, shaking my head when Denise asked "Did you have a good week?". "No. My brain isn't right. I can't get my thinking straight." I'm not going to stop attending meetings. I need this. It's just that I'm fumbling for the switch to turn it around; I haven't managed to make it click just yet.