And this week I have mainly been counting to 60…

Yes, you may be thinking ‘Sixty? That’s a lot. Can you count that high?’ and rightly so. I tend to get a bit lost round about 40 and not sure if I’ve done that one twice *sigh* but the general gist is the same, be it 16 or 60.

In week (what are we? Six now?) let’s say six, I am supposed to be pausing. Pausing for 60 seconds, less if I can’t make it that far, before I overeat or compulsively eat something. Now, obviously, there’s a little conflict there; eating something compulsively means not pausing and not thinking about it but this week, maaaan, it’s been an interesting one.

The idea is that, if you can get it together, just before you put the whatever in your gob and try to do it with your metaphorical and possibly physical eyes closed, you stop and count to 60 before you do it. The major point is you can still do it. You can still eat your eleventh flapjack if you want to. You can still eat one more Babybel, crouched on the floor with your head in the fridge. But you just stop and just see what it feels like and then when you’ve counted your count you can just carry on. Or not.

And, curiously, more often than not, I haven’t carried on. If it’s a flapjack I usually have because, hellfire, they are just SO good that no isn’t really a sensible answer. But it’s been quite a frightening experience. It’s been frightening to stop and be forced to think about what you’re doing and why you’re feeling the need to put something, anything, in your mouth and to realise that if you don’t then there’s a scary, yawning void I more usually fill with a Digestive. It’s hard to know why it’s so unsettling. It’s just a biscuit and it’s just not eating a biscuit, it’s not warfare or abseiling. But it’s just not having anything to hold on to, the lack of anything to distract your attention that makes me quake.

As the week progressed I kept forgetting so I’ve not been pausing, but I remembered again today and it’s been a bit better. Sometimes I just don’t feel brave enough to face up to going without, facing whatever it is that I’m avoiding (I haven’t quite put my finger on what it is yet) but when I do, oh when I do count and decide to put the Dairy Milk back there’s a tiny glimmer, a wee whiff of what it might feel like to break the cycle. And that feels good.

Flapjacks (too good to say no to)

This recipe is scaled up to a factor of four (yes, four times bigger than it really needs to be) , from John Seymour’s fabulous self-sufficiency bible, in order to fill the baking tray that I usually use. Admittedly, I sell them in the market so I need a decent sized batch. At least that’s my excuse….

250g (i.e. a whole pat) butter – go for organic if you can

300g golden caster sugar, ditto on the organic/Fairtrade/whatever debatable do-goodery you might be indulging in

4 tbls golden syrup

500g ish rolled oats (jumbo organic ones are the best for not turning too porridgey)

Chuck everything except the oats into a saucepan and melt it all together – try to melt the sugar as much as your patience will stand. Add the oats and a grated apple if you feel like it, stir until it’s combined and then put in a great big baking pan. Cook on about 180 for about 20 mins – watch it carefully and whip them out when they’re looking golden brown. They’ll be wet when they come out but fear not, they will set as they cool down. After about ten minutes is a good time to try to divide them into squares. Leave them to cool completely and then put in a tin. Ok, wait ten minutes and then eat them while they’re still floppy and warm. Go ‘mmmmmmmmm’ especially with a cup of tea.


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