Though I am a man of above average willpower, I have my weaknesses: shiny Italian bike components, for example; skinny jerseys with elbow length sleeves; and doughnuts.
My urge to eat doughnuts is primal. It’s that irresistible ratio of sugar to fat that our bodies evolved to crave in the interest of species survival. I’m blaming genetics, is what I’m saying.
As a cyclist, each time I return from a bike ride, deep into calorie deficit and prowling the kitchen, nose in the air like a bear emerging from hibernation, I am vulnerable. Had I the strength I would lift the fridge above my head and tip the contents down my waiting gullet.
If there happen to be doughnuts lying around the idea of resistance is laughable.
Scientists now believe the great leap that saw Homo Sapiens dominate the animal kingdom and reach the top of the global power list can be traced back to the first Neanderthal who accidentally plopped a ball of delicious, sugary dough, into a vat of oil. The oil was accidentally propped atop a fire and had fortuitously reached a temperature of almost two hundred degrees Celsius.
In the three to five minutes it took him to fish it out, the dough had cooked.
The Neanderthal lost his tiny mind in the ensuing blood sugar spike.
And with many thousands of years of refinement – the addition of filling, toppings, shapes and sizes – we arrive here, with me, standing before a set of bathroom scales that say: enough, cyclist…your power to weight ratio is a joke!
That potent mix of deep-fried loveliness that dragged the species to pre-eminence now drags me, in cahoots with gravity, slowly down the Strava leader boards. The only saving grace being that now we’re required to pay for them (the leader boards), the competition has thinned out.
If only the same could be said for my midriff.
Don’t get me wrong; I have made progress. A couple of years ago I taught myself to make my own doughnuts, at home. They were outrageous. I was clearly in the grip of some kind of death wish.
One minute I was sitting at the kitchen table like Tony Montana in Scarface, face down in my drug of choice, and then the next few days were a blur.
There may have been frosting. It’s possible custard and sprinkles were involved.
Thankfully that was a blip, and I no longer buy either doughnuts or the ingredients to make them. I dodged a particularly delicious bullet.
But sugar and fat, you may be aware, are tricky to avoid. I found myself, post-ride recently, devouring slice after slice of bread slathered with butter and honey. An improvement, health-wise, on doughnuts, I think we can agree.
But only I know the strength of character it took to avoid deep frying them.
(Top image: pixabay.com|Scarface image: https://fi.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tony_Montana_(hahmo))