This article was written for Annabel & Grace, which is now part of Rest Less.
When I say piling on the pounds, I just wish I meant sterling rather than avoirdupois. What I can’t understand is my mindset isn’t programmed to eat well at the moment. OK, I’ve just had a massive birthday and perhaps I’ve been comfort eating.
Was discussing this weighty subject with a good friend over lunch recently (a healthy Japanese nigiri followed swiftly by a tiny piece of chocolate cake) we just couldn’t figure out what we are doing wrong. Perhaps, to coin a phrase of my mother’s, by indulging our tastebuds we are cutting off our noses to spite our faces. Or more precisely, stuffing naughties into our mouths to spite our bodies.
A couple of times a week I hop (well, gingerly step) onto my bathroom scales. I try to wear as little as possible on these occasions – just a bra and pants usually. I stand there, toes hanging off the edge of the machine (I like to think this deducts a few ounces from the reading) and gawp at the dial. Almost always this is a depressing experience so, with a deep sigh, I remove my underwear and tiny stud earrings to make myself lighter or in case the scales aren’t “working properly.” As I stand there shivering, my unharnessed bosoms wobbling like oversized strawberry jellies, my weight has usually increased. How that happens I have no idea – must be a quirky feature that the manufacturers incorporate just for a laugh.
So, faced with the undeniable fact that I am, inexplicably, pounds over my ideal weight, I suck in my stomach and pull my shoulders back (improved posture makes you look as if you have lost half a stone – perhaps the scales will be fooled too?). Weirdly this doesn’t seem to help.
So I mull over how I’m going to pull myself together and become less lumpy. Usually this entails drinking a simple chicken broth all week because that’s only 150 calories a bowl. What’s a week of constant chicken soup if it means I am going to be able to get into every single thing in my wardrobe again by the weekend? It’s a small sacrifice. Even with the farting. OK. Am definitely going to do this. Nothing will stop me.
It’s 6pm. I am gasping for a glass of chilled Sauvignon. “No Grace”, I reprimand myself “that’s like drinking a glass of sugar.” “Well, that’s fine because I’m only having chicken broth tonight”. “What about that Pecan & Maple Danish you gobbled up at the BP petrol station this morning?” “Well, that’s OK, I’m only having chicken soup tonight.” “Have you forgotten about the chocolate cake?”. “Oh God. OK, I won’t add any noodles to the damned chicken soup.” “Oh Grace, how are you ever going to reduce that muffin top?”. “For goodness sake. Bugger off and leave me alone. You’ve made me so miserable now I’m going to have that glass of wine and wear my smock tomorrow.”
If, like me, you were logging in with Zoe during the pandemic, you might like to read Professor Tim Spector’s ideas on healthier eating. Unlike me, he knows what he’s talking about, so we could all do with at least reading what he has to say.
This could also be worth a read – more info