Janathon Day 6 – chocolate is my fuel of choice

Today’s blog is brought to you by Sainsbury's Taste the Difference Milk Chocolate Costa Rica Coffee, all 100 grams of it!

Yes, I eat therefore I run. It’s always been that way for me. Not necessarily running, but something aerobic. And I’ve never, ever, been on a diet.

When I was little I studied ballet (very, very, badly). As a teen it was swimming (until Jaws arrived at Sandown flea-pit: like many an Island-raised kid in the summer of ’76, I developed a phobia of the water that lasted right through the hottest summer on record) and in winter, school cross-country. I started yoga aged 12, when I gave up ballet, and have – pretty well – performed some asanas every day of my life since then. When I have a garden I spent most of my summer in it, and now I have an allotment, I spent most of my winter there, digging. I run, I walk the dog twice a day, I don’t drive when I can walk … does that make me sound like a sanctimonious health-freak? Probably. But I’m not.

I don’t know how people live without exercise. This blog is not called writing neuroses by accident. If I don’t get regular endorphin-inducing exercise I become miserable, faintly paranoid and deeply neurotic. The less exercise I get, the more narrow minded and unhappy I become. I don’t choose to run: I have to run if I want to be happy. If I get injured and can’t run, I have to do something else, exercise-wise, or sink into lethargy, despair and unhappiness. Five days is my limit – six days of inactivity begins my downward spiral.

On the other hand, I eat whatever I like, always have. My six foot one and a half inch tall OH and I eat the same amount. I’m five foot six and a size ten which is the size I’ve been since I was 12 years old. Since I was about 14, people (mainly women) have been telling me (somewhat sourly) that one day all the calories that I’ve consumed will ‘catch up with me’. Well I’m 48 and they haven’t so far, and as I generally only run 11 minute miles, I’m not exactly outpacing them, am I?

I eat chocolate every day. My passion is cherries in alcohol: whether it’s those cheapie ones you get in a quid shop, the Elizabeth Shaw cherry brandy liqueurs that tend to have crystallised into brandy sugar, or my top two: Montezuma’s kirsch chocolate cherries and Hotel Chocolat’s kirsch cherries. I will do anything for a packet of either of those (but I haven’t written the post about running, endorphins and orgasm yet, so you’ll have to take my word for it, for now). Denied top-quality cocoa-based products, I settle for Toblerone (or anything by Lindt) then the Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference range. If it comes to the crunch, then crunch is what I take: Crunchie from the Texaco garage on the corner!

Oh yes, I ran today. 4.26 k in the driving rain, with a blood test to punctuate the distance at the mid-point. It was absolutely bloody glorious – I loved every minute of it. I got home soaked to the skin, insanely happy, and starving. Two mugs of tea and one bar of chocolate later I am still insanely happy. Happy enough, in fact, to shove up a soaking-wet, grinning-like-a-maniac, post-run picture of myself just to prove that the calories still haven’t caught me …

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