Sunday 3 January 2010

Not the Mediterranean diet

15st 6lb, 2.0 units. I was feeling quite pleased with myself yesterday evening, what with my breakfast orange, glass of orange juice and salads at both lunch and supper meaning that I had pretty much hit my “five a day” target, without having to crack open a packet of Rowntree’s Fruit Gums or waddle down to the boozer and have a go on their fruit machine. But then Mrs H unhelpfully pointed out that in the course of the day I had also consumed a packet of pork scratchings, a pork pie, a strawberry tart with lashings of whipped cream, half a pizza, most of the packet of Minstrels I had bought specifically for her, as a treat to cheer her up, two glasses of sweet Marsala and some chocolate biscuits. And that was only the stuff she knew about. “It’s not the Mediterranean diet, is it?” she asked pointedly, and I had to concede that it was not. I am further prepared to admit that it may also be making a contribution to the fact that I feel how shit would probably feel, if it had any feelings, which I’m sure it doesn’t as, if it did, some bastard would undoubtedly have published a big academic study for the express purpose of making us feel guilty every time we flushed the loo.

So I definitely need to lose some weight. Again. Having successfully eaten myself back to the level of obesity I had attained when I first started writing this blog. The bloke with whom I had my successful dieting bet between New Year and Easter 2008 is also back where he started, but somehow that affords scant consolation. Not least because I have never thought of him as being fat. Because, I suspect, he does not think of himself as being fat, and so neither does anyone else.

The importance of this attitude of mind was brought home to me years ago by a neighbour in London, who was undoubtedly a bit on the chubby side. Let me put it this way: back in the mid-1980s his employers gave him a Peugeot 205 as a company car, and when he drove it for the first time people remarked that there wasn’t a single window in the vehicle that did not seem to have his pinstriped suit pressed against it. Yet despite this handicap he had an attractive (though admittedly barmily hyperactive) girlfriend. They once came to my house in Northumberland for a walking holiday and she ran around him in circles as we climbed the hills. It was like going for a hike with an overstuffed sofa that had made best friends with a Jack Russell terrier with a drug problem.

One evening, over a glass of whisky, I asked him to explain how he had forged this successful relationship while I apparently could not get my leg over under any circumstances. In those days, even whores left their shop doorways when they saw me coming.

“It’s because you think you’re fat and unattractive,” he replied. “Whereas I don’t. In fact I never think of myself as being fat at all.” I made some crack about maybe buying himself a bigger mirror, but I was secretly relieved. For an awful moment I had feared that he was going to tell me that the secret was to trade down to a Peugeot 205.

Anyway, I (or rather we, that is Mrs H and I) resolved that the first day of my healthy new lifestyle would start today. It began quite promisingly with smoked salmon and scrambled eggs for breakfast, but then it became depressingly clear that Mrs H had to be taken out for a meal. She is a lively, sociable person, and was going stir crazy after spending the whole of Christmas confined to barracks with an anti-social git. So I agreed that it would be a great idea for her to text her large circle of friends and see who would like to join us for an early supper in a local pub. Then I did my utmost not to snigger when no-one texted her back. I fear that the fairly new Git Factor in her life may be narrowing her social horizons. Eventually, after she had modified her suggestion to a late lunch rather than an early supper, three people volunteered to come out with us (I wondered whether they had been chosen by lot, out of collective sympathy for Mrs H’s dilemma). Mrs H and I sat at our very large reserved table in the pub for over half an hour, fending off other hungry parties, until they finally turned up, and learned the important lesson that if you are going to arrange these things by text you might as well add “ds evry1 wnt the Snday rst?” (or whatever the approved abbreviation for “roast” might be) since the generally desired beef then took a further 45 minutes to roll up.

Still, it was worth waiting for. A generous portion, too. Indeed, as I lay on the sofa this evening I could have sworn I heard not just my trouser belt but my skin groaning under the strain.

Enough is enough. The new regime starts tomorrow and will be recorded here each day in an attempt to shame myself into sticking to it. Well, it worked last time. I think that counts as a New Year’s resolution, and I further seem to remember that most such resolutions are abandoned within one week. Let’s see how long this one lasts.

No comments: