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Feeling Festive

December 9, 2011

Hello and happy Friday to everyone! The weekend is here, although for once I’m not so excited because it means that my week off is nearly over. I’ve just arrived back in Leeds after a slow and annoying drive over the Pennines from Chester. There was even some snow around Manchester, but I don’t think that it was sticking. I’m getting back into my normal routine after a little city break to Rome. I went for a 4 mile run this morning to get the blood pumping and shake off the stiffness caused by walking around Rome for three days. Brr – it was cold! I only had my capri leggings with me, so my lower legs were freezing and bright red by the time I finished. It reminded me of playing hockey at school when we were forced to play in shorts in the winter (yes, I’m a big fat wuss!) The sun was shining brightly though, so that almost made up for the bitter temperature.

I celebrated being back in the UK with one of my favourite breakfasts – chocolate and banana porridge, topped with a blob of peanut butter.


I didn’t have any cocoa on hand, so I used some hot chocolate powder, which wasn’t quite as chocolaty, but still tasted good. I love how peanut butter makes everything taste rich and decadent, but it’s also good for me in moderation. I can’t believe that avoided nut butters like the plague for so long!

For my lunch I made a spinach and mushroom omelette, with more spinach and some sweetcorn on the side.


I broke one of my omelette making golden rules because my pan wasn’t completely non-stick. That meant that this turned out to be more of an omelette/scramble, but it still tasted delicious and really filling. Afterwards I indulged in my favourite ever food – cantaloupe melon.


Mmmm … melon!

I’ve got a busy weekend coming up with a couple of festive parties. Tonight is my running club’s Christmas party, which is an Indian buffet followed by a disco and games. Tomorrow night is a charity Santa Pub Crawl in Manchester hosted by the rowing club that my friend belongs to. This will be my third year of going and it’s a lot of fun! Here’s a photo of me last year.


I promise that it was the flash of the camera that dilated my pupils, not any kind of illegal substances, OK?

I’ve seen this topic discussed on a few blogs lately because it’s the time of year to eat, drink and be merry, but I thought that I would stick my two pennies worth in too. I love food, I love eating and I do enjoy the odd tipple as well, but sometimes, for me, food can become too much of a focus. When I realised that I was going to Rome and had these two parties all in the same week, I admit that I did start to get a bit anxious about whether I would overeat on unhealthy food and end up drinking too much, and ultimately put on weight. I’ve really had to give myself a talking to (I talk to myself a lot – I’m a little strange …) to realise that although food and drink are involved, that’s not what it’s all about. When I was in Rome I enjoyed seeing all the things that I’ve dreamed about visiting for years and I loved spending some quality time with my parents. The food was great, as Italian food always is, but that wasn’t the reason I was there.

The running club Christmas party is about being sociable and getting to know the people that I run with. I haven’t socialised with them at all since I joined at the beginning of August and it’s time to make an effort. I’m at heart very shy and I don’t enjoy walking into a party where I don’t know people very well. I feel that I have been talking to more people lately, so I’m looking forward to getting to know them better.

The Santa Pub Crawl is out and out about having fun dressed in silly costumes, as well as making lots of money for charity. A couple of my friends will be there and Peter is coming with me as well. We hardly ever go out partying together, so I think we’ll have a good time. There will be alcohol involved. I would say that I was going to abstain, but I would be lying. However, we need to somehow get back to Leeds at the end of the night and I really don’t want to be knocked out with a hangover all week, so that will keep me under control a bit.

It really helps me to think about what I want to get out of an event or social occasion and take the focus off food. I’m very excited about the weekend now … I’m off to pick up my hair straighteners and put my party frock on!

Do you have any Christmas parties coming up?

Do you ever find yourself focusing too much on food and not on the occasion?

9 Comments leave one →
  1. December 9, 2011 5:48 pm

    I’ve got my work Christmas party tomorrow night and I am really looking forward to it! Although dreading the inevitable Sunday hangover 😛

    I used to dread this time of year to be honest, and went through a stage of making excuses to not go to events, or occasions where food was involved, believing that one night where I wasn’t in full control and couldn’t accurately calculate what I was putting in my body would ultimately make me put on weight.

    I am trying to get better at this, and I am still trying to get over my fears around eating out. I guess a little indulgence now and again never hurt anyone, especially at this time of year!

  2. December 9, 2011 7:13 pm

    I have two parties next week that I’m really looking forward too. I do know what you mean about focusing on the food, I have to say that becoming mostly vegan has been the best thing for me in this respect, even when I’m eating out its unlikely that I will over indulge on anything other than red wine as usually the vegan options just aren’t there! I’m hoping that this Christmas will be my first balanced one, i.e. being able to eat lots of delicious food but free from guilt and binging. Hope you enjoy those parties and have a wonderful time!

  3. Brittany @ Itty Bits of Balance permalink
    December 10, 2011 11:38 am

    I try my best to focus on the occasion and the kind of food I have available, as opposed to calories and intake. Sometimes you’re just in situations where you can have a food that normally wouldn’t ever be available– like my the wheat-free pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving that I devoured 😀

    P.s. Love the beard 😉

  4. December 10, 2011 1:01 pm

    I think you are being very brave with the running club christmas party and you know what, you will be so much more relaxed once you are there and chatting away 🙂

  5. December 10, 2011 3:23 pm

    Yeah, yeah, I believe you about it being the flash that dilated your pupils….! Hee hee, I know what you mean about getting worried about over-eating but yours is the right attitude; it should be about enjoying the occasion. And I think as long as people follow the 80:20 rule of healthy eating and exercise, they’ll be all right. One (or a few) over-indulgent days will even out in the scheme of things.
    Hope you have a good weekend – looks great!

  6. December 10, 2011 4:04 pm

    The Santa pub crawl sounds like so much fun! Just go out and enjoy it, eat and drink if you want, get a bit tipsy, just have fun 🙂
    One night off your incredibly healthy (and it really is!) lifestyle really doesn’t matter!
    I’m like you, I can really get hung up on the food at this time of year but what I tell myself (you’re not the only one who talks to themselves :-P) is that I love Christmas and that for me this is the most special event of the year, therefore I need to just relax and enjoy it as much as I can :-). If you gain a couple of kilos but you had a wonderful few weeks with your loved ones does it really matter? I know I’d rather have that than abstain and miss out!
    We can always rally together afterwards and lose it again!
    I hope you’re having a super weekend 🙂

  7. December 10, 2011 7:33 pm

    What a fun weekend!

    I used to focus on the food a lot more, but now I realize that I can head out for a run the next day and just focus on keeping myself fit and health and generally on track rather than worry too much about what I eat during a social occasion. I’ve definitely been enjoying myself more as a result!

  8. December 10, 2011 9:43 pm

    Your oatmeal looks great! I love how the bowl is almost overflowing 🙂

  9. December 15, 2011 3:47 am

    Hope you can go and have fun!!! Don’t focus on the food so much – you seem to live a pretty healthy lifestyle as it is – one night off won’t undo all the good you’ve done! 😉

    Your oatmeal looks yummy.

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