Look at it, in all its battered goodness. How can something as innocuous as a sausage on a stick create a warzone?
Yesterday I was at the Royal Melbourne Show all day, showing two of our cats, Fuzznut, a Selkirk rex and Buck, our Bengal stud.
I'm sure you can match the name to the cat. As it happens, the cats did quite well, very pleased. But it also meant I was at the show from 7am until 6 pm with 2 children. And the Royal Show is not a place known for it's health food policies.
The cats are set in their cages and judging will commence soon. The two Showbag pirates are chomping at the bit to get going and see who can buy the most enormous showbag with the most ridiculous toy inside. (Skateboards won). Already, as we wandered across the showgrounds, the air was filled with the smell of show food....sugar and fried fat molecules dancing the tango in aromatic streams in the air. But my mind was STEEL, I would not cave, I was not hungry, I had a good breakfast. Begone fairy floss fancies! Retreat hot chip harlots! I will have none of you today!
( Touch of self righteousness there, no?)
So that was test one passed. Test two, the showbag pavilion was looming, beckoning with chocolate covered fingers.
Due to indecision, we did the showbag pavilion not once, not twice, but three times. I passed those Bertie Beetle bags at least a hundred times. I found myself thinking, " Just one, won't matter surely, how many calories in one?" Well as it turns out, there are only 50 calories in Bertie Beetle. Not much. BUT! There are 10 Bertie Beetles in the bag and Bertie hates to leave his brothers behind, so realistically, that Bertie Beetle was going to be 500 calories. Off the list.
So the only thing haemorraging was my wallet and lying limply in my hands exhausted, it was time to look around the rest of the show.
I had tummy grumbles by then, it had been 4 hours since breakfast and I had that niggling " I'm hungry" growl from the lion that lives in my belly. And you don't want THAT to wake up with Bertie Beetles hanging around. Fortunately, in the Paddock to Plate Pavilion, there were apples for $1. I bought one for each of us and that was enough. So test 2 and 3 ticked. Survived the Showbag pavilion and found some clean food to snack on.
I returned to the Cat show while the Showbag pirates headed off into Sideshow Alley. So proud of my dear sweet little children. They come back within 10 minutes, penniless and carrying a big blue...thing. Some sort of animal, I'm assuming a bear/dog hybrid.
Look at those sweet innocent faces. So tell me, why, when I caught sight of them, did they yell out across the WHOLE cat show with all these respectable cat breeders and lovely judges....
" LOOK WHAT WE WON PLAYING BLACKJACK!!!!!"
Now all embarrassment and possible poor parenting aside, cat show judging is a long process. A long slow process and it wasn't long before the internal growls began again. And I ignored it.Over and over again.
Two hours later, the internal growl had become a gnawing pain, as if whatever was growling had given up and just decided to eat their way out. I had bypassed hunger and was now RAVENOUS. I set off to find something good to eat, more substantial than the apple I had already found and wouldn't break the calorie clean eating bank. Literally since breakfast I had only one apple in 8 hours. And all the while, those tangoing sugar and fried fat molecules danced around my head.
I fought off the popcorn and fairy floss stand. I roundhouse kicked the donut stand to the ground, I poleaxed the Peters icecream van. I said NO to all those things and the starving feeling just got bigger and bigger.
And there it was.......the Dagwood Dog Van.
Lined up in delectable rows were those battered sausages on a stick, resting temptingly next to the pot of tomato sauce. They didn't have to wait there long, as I watched they skipped out of the bain marie and into the lucky hands of those who just bought them, and were now licking the tomato sauce off their fingers and biting into that batter-y goodness. I could smell them so delicious, hell I could even taste them. My mouth was salivating and my will power muscle failed. It had been overused throughout the whole day and now like any other muscle fatigue...it quivered and died.
But then, like a miracle, as I joined the queue for the Dagwood Dog, a rallying charge of willpower reinforcements hit. To my left was a sign pointing the way to other food...woodfired pizza, jambalaya, pasta. Now I know jamabalaya is mostly vegetable and with that thought and a long, longing look back at the bain marie, I wrenched myself away and made the better choice.
Now lets not over celebrate too much. Yes, I resisted a choice that was certainly not the clean eating I've been striving for. But I made 3 basic mistakes that by now I should not have made, knowing what I do know and after a year on 12 WBT. What were they?
1. I didn't plan ahead. I know after several years of showing cats that it takes forever. I know I was going to a place where there would be masses of temptation. I know I should have packed food to take with me, and plenty of water as well. But I didn't do any of those things. I failed the most basic lesson I learned during 12 WBT... PLAN AHEAD.
2. I overused my willpower muscle unnecessarily. I put myself in the way of temptation. I didn't HAVE to walk past all those things, I could have taken a different route, or not gone out as many times as I did. But I constantly circled the places and smells that I knew would drive me mad eventually and it did.
3. I ignored my body signals I waited until I was too hungry and less able to make a healthy food choice. I ignored my body saying LOUD AND CLEAR, " Feed me, I'm empty" My levels then dropped and all I could think about was a fast energy hit...fat and sugar. I didn't want to wait to find good food, I wanted to eat RIGHT NOW. If I'd listened to what my tummy was saying earlier, I would have had more time and less desperation to find something to eat.
The war has been won. But I almost lost the Battle through carelessness and complacency.