I was doing so well with my *non-diet, and then my family got sick and all my good intentions took a hike. I’ve always known that stress plays a role in my ability to stick to a diet, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen it quite so clearly. I think—drum roll—that the reason dieting of any kind is so damn hard is because you have to put yourself first. I usually tend to see to everyone else, and then when all of those boxes are ticked, I get a turn (which invariably includes “rewarding” myself with a cuppa and a snack before I tackle whatever’s on my agenda.) The habits of a lifetime are hard to break.

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If you’re at all familiar with the children’s game Whac-A-Mole, that’s pretty much what I’ve been doing lately. Just waiting for the most urgent problem to spring up, and then pouncing on it, and then turning my attention to the one that pops up two seconds later, etc. It makes for some odd dietary choices, but since time is at a premium and there’s a need for you to be fueled up and ready to go, you don’t give it much thought. Despite having had breakfast, I didn’t hesitate to buy an iced coffee at the petrol station at five in the mornning (on my way to pick up my Dad for a sparrow’s-call hospital admission.) Munching on a kazillion calorie donut while he was in surgery made perfect sense, as did grabbing a pizza for dinner when I screeched in the door at stupid o’clock after a marathon day. And when my sister had a sudden, serious health problem too, I stopped in at the bottle shop and bought some sweet cider, because in my experience, a glass full of golden bubbles makes the world look a little brighter.

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I’m happy to report that my dad is cancer-free, and my sister’s stroke was minor. They both need ongoing treatment, but the danger has subsided. My sons have also finished their exams (during that time…you’ve gotta love the way things work.) And I’ve signed another book contract, which I’ll tell you about in more detail once I’ve got this “10% more or less non-diet thing” back under control.

Wishing you health and Happiness,

Chelsea

*Increasing all that’s good by 10% and reducing bad stuff by the same amount

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