60 Days To Save Your Life With Tanya Sweeney
Tanya Sweeney embarks on the #60daystosaveyourlife project with Lisa Wilkinson! See how she getting on in week two.
Fallen Off The Wagon
So I have fallen off the wagon. Well, not so much fallen as swan-dived off it. It feels like I’m on the ground and the wagon has just hurtled off towards the sunset. Getting back on the wagon is, therefore, going to require what seems like a huge amount of effort.
There are many reasons for the swan dive. Firstly, it’s Easter, and woe betides anyone, even Lisa Wilkinson and her wondrous team of wellness experts, who gets in between me and a hot cross bun. And some chocolate. And some more chocolate. And sure you might as well wash it down with wine. Sheep as a lamb and all that. Say I can’t, and I will come for you and yours.
A Dark Week
But other things have been afoot. Emotionally and psychologically, it’s been a dark week for me and for all the women of Ireland, from the Repeal debate and recent rape trial in Belfast. In my weekly appointments with Tara the psychotherapist, there has been a lot of emotional digging. Some of it good, most of it challenging, none of it easy. Tara is a woman that has heard it all, but I reckon both of us are surprised at how much shit is surfacing.
And, as if to prove to myself that timing is not my strong suit, I decided on a huge house clear out. Psychologists say that this in itself can be a huge upheaval, and they’re not wrong. Putting all your old copy-books and infantile drawings – evidence of nascent talent, in fairness – in the recycling bin is much, much harder than I thought.
All in all, it’s amounted to quite the emotional collision course. And what do I do when things get rocky? Well, not the downward dog at any rate.
And so it has been three days full of to-hell-with-ordering-veggies-instead-of spuds, crisps washed down with wine, the gratifying pop when you behead a chocolate bunny with your teeth. I feel like I haven’t had the emotional strength to keep myself on the straight and narrow.
All bullshit, obvs. But I decided to give myself a breather after a very, very tough week.
My problem is that once I see the bandwagon bugger off towards the horizon, my first instinct is to sit back, the reason that I’ll never catch up with it anyway.
“When life gets me on the ropes, my first reaction is never to fight back”
When life gets me on the ropes, my first reaction is never to fight back. Some people are great at this: using bad energy and frustrations as a propeller, or a catalyst to get them into less choppy waters. Me, I’d lie down in the middle of the road. And then, when the ordeal has had its way with me, I go for cake.
Comfort or emotional eating, giving into temptation, treating oneself: they’re sides of the same greasy coin. Caitlin Moran summed up emotional eating perfectly: “In this trancelike state, you can find a welcome, temporary relief from thinking for 10, 20 minutes at a time, until finally a new set of sensations—physical discomfort and immense regret—make you stop, in the same way, you finally pass out on whiskey or dope,” she writes. “Overeating, or comfort eating, is the cheap, meek option for self-satisfaction, and self-obliteration.
Choosing Food As Your Drug
“In a nutshell, then, by choosing food as your drug—sugar highs, or the deep, soporific calm of carbs—you can still make the packed lunches, do the school run, look after the baby, stop in on your parents and then stay up all night with an ill 5-year-old—something that is not an option if you’re regularly climbing into the cupboard under the stairs and knocking back quarts of scotch. It’s a way of screwing yourself up while still remaining fully functional because you have to. Fat people aren’t indulging in the “luxury” of their addiction, making them useless, chaotic or a burden. Instead, they are slowly self-destructing in a way that doesn’t inconvenience anyone. And that is why it’s so often a woman’s addiction of choice.”
Back On Board
Anyway, I’m going to try a different tack this time around. I’m going to try and run, catch up, and get back on board the wagon. Maybe I’ll see if Vinyasa flow and Fig Rolls can do the same restorative job. Wish me luck.