Before I started cooking dinner tonight, I made my lunch for tomorrow. I packed it neatly away in various little containers, ready to pop into a cool-bag and take with me on the hour and a half’s drive to my first aid course in the morning.

Why do it before dinner?

Because tonight I took a calculated risk to do with food. I planned a ‘treat’ night.

It took me a while and a few clarifying conversations with various members of my family, to work out what to have. It had to feel sumptuous, indulgent, luscious….so it couldn’t be takeaway, bought in mass manufactured cardboard or plasticky boxes. It had to be full of taste and enough that there was the possibility of more if we wanted it.

I toyed with the idea of creamy salmon pasta, or fish with a caper butter sauce. Perhaps something with masses of garlicky mashed potato, or what about something stuffed, crumbed, then shallow-fried?

I took Sam shopping with me and wandered through the aisles with him. He was tired after a week’s school and sports but he almost uncomplainingly pushed the trolley behind me as I meandered up and down the shelves, taking things down, examining them, putting them into the trolley or back onto the shelves.

We travelled that way through the supermarket. Him talking, me answering over my shoulder, sometimes stopping to laugh with him or share a hug, his tall frame bending to drape over my shoulders. Strange thing, my child being so tall now. He’ll be a man in the blink of an eye.

Finally I settled on a piece of pork for roasting, baby red potatoes, peas, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, gravy and apple sauce. To be followed by apple pie and ice-cream. Andy had specifically asked for Magnum ice creams, so in they went too.

Things for lunch were being added too. Dark, soft, sweet figs. Honey scented peaches, a very ripe paw paw, a bunch of black grapes. So many lovely fruits in season now. Things for a salad…rocket, a couple of paper thin slices of procsciutto, a few olives, tomatoes, a small block of parmesan for shaving with a vegetable slicer.

I find supermarkets and outdoor markets strangely therapeutic. There’s something about switching off and just moving slowly through produce that feels irresistible to me.

For before dinner, there were dips and corn chips. A Greek Taramosalata, Salmon and dill and Feta and bacon.

A planned night of over indulgence. Planned, as opposed to the other night when I just wanted to inhale calories. I’ve thought about it for a while. A friend of mine has takeaway Fridays and recommends it. It’s how she keeps herself on track for the rest of the week but I wasn’t sure it was such a good idea for me. Until now.

For anyone quietly scoffing about first world problems, you’re right. In some ways, this is ridiculous. I know it. But I made a decision to peel away 13 years of weight caused by over indulgence and self pity. I followed that decision with a promise to give it my best. This is my current best.

Dinner was just as delicious as I’d hoped it would be and I was full much sooner than I ever have been before. I’d include a photo but they’re not wanting to upload for some reason.

There was something so good about letting it all go just for one meal, knowing that tomorrow was already taken care of, prepared for. I feel quieted, calmed, satisfied. Ready to get back to work.

I read an article today, about a woman called Dr Helena Popovic, author of a book called “In Search of My Father-Dementia is No Match For A Daughter’s Determination” She said something that resonated with me,

“If we keep chipping away at something patiently, lovingly, daily- even if we don’t see progress for a long time- one morning we wake up and find the world has changed”

Oh and today was a yoga day, just to add to the general bliss 🙂

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