Tuesday 15 October 2019

Brendan O'Connor: 'Crisps... ...their part in my downfall'

'I'm promiscuous with the crisps'
'I'm promiscuous with the crisps'
Brendan O'Connor

Brendan O'Connor

I act like I don't know why I'm getting fat. Every time I am surprised to step on the scales to see that I have put on another pound or two. And every time it feels unfair that I have to temporarily retire another pair of jeans or a shirt. I act like it's got nothing to do with me. But in reality, I know why this is happening.

On the surface it's happening because I have a large bag of O'Donnells crisps, a sharing bag that is not for sharing. And I think I'm not really eating them because I just have a few, maybe in a little bowl. So it's not like eating a full regular-sized bag of crisps. But you end up eating the full bag in dribs and drabs. And sometimes I get tired of O'Donnells, and I'll switch to Hunky Dorys. Six pack on a deal. And they are small bags, so it's not so bad, so I'll have two at a time. Maybe a glass of milk to wash them down. And then I see Taytos are on a deal and I haven't had them in ages. I'm promiscuous with the crisps, but they all share that sweet spot, that salty, starchy, sweet, sweet spot.

And then after crisps you have to have a biscuit, don't you? Some days I feel like chocolate Hobnobs but then other days I go old-school with some chocolate Digestive. But look, what's that? Own-brand caramel wafers in SuperValu. They have that nostalgic taste of the original Tunnock's ones. And they are each a bar so you'll only have one, unlike the biscuits where you might eat half a dozen. But then you have another one, because you can. And sometimes, if I'm in M&S, I'll get their posh biscuits, for a little treat, because I'm working hard and I deserve it. But equally there's something about the cheap stuff that gets me. Own-brand bags of wine gums and toffees are 49c in Tesco. And they're handy to have because you might just have a few for a sugar top-up, and that would save you from having something more elaborate, but of course you have something more elaborate anyway. The wine gums are an in-between treat top-up.

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And pasta, which makes me hungry while I eat it. You'd have to have a bit of Viennetta after pasta. I got the Viennetta to stop me eating Magnums and Crunchie ice-creams that are always on a deal. I figured I'd eat less of the Viennetta. But then because I'm all grown up and it's my house now and we don't have to share the Viennetta among a large family, I can take as big a slice as I like and I can come back and have more too. And the mint one isn't bad either.

And of course all of that happens at the worst part of the day, after dinner. I can keep some lid on myself all day. I exercise moderately. I eat quite well. Not much processed foods, lots of veg because I happen to like veg, as much raw stuff as I can stomach. But then with the evening stretching before me, having worked hard all day, and maybe having to sit through a lot of news for the evening or do a bit of work, I deserve little treats, to keep me going.

So it has to stop. And it will. Because I know where this is going. A few extra pounds is now an extra stone, and that'll easily become an extra two stones. And it all only goes on in one place at this age, on the place around the middle where your jeans won't fit you and your shirt won't tuck. And, of course, it becomes harder and harder to lose it at this age.

So yet again, I'm going to stop, do something extreme for a month or two to get back into the optimal range, and then slowly reintroduce myself back into the wild. And I need to stay out of supermarkets.

It's not their fault, mind you. It's my fault. I'm just not strong enough for them and all their deals and cheap crap. And I have to remember that pushing down boredom or stress or tiredness or whatever it is with sugar and salt and starch is a short-term solution.

The sad thing is I'm mainly doing it because I don't want to buy new clothes...

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