I feel fat. I don’t know why. I’m not sure that I look any bigger, and my clothes still fit just fine, but I feel odd. I’m getting the strange sensation of looking in the mirror and seeing my old, chubby self looking straight back at me. Now, because the weight loss on this diet is so rapid, there is much discussion about your mind catching up with your body. A lot of people struggle to adjust to their new physique. The weird thing is that for me, the opposite was true. I felt like a thin person from about the second week of the diet (in fact, from the minute that I started throwing clothes away) and have been unable to recognise myself as the person I once was. So how come, almost six months down the line, I feel ‘old me’ creeping back into the frame? It’s not a pleasant feeling … perhaps I just got too used to rapid and consistent weight loss every week, perhaps it’s because I’ve missed a meeting and feel a bit rattled about that, perhaps (horror of horrors) I am actually gaining weight again … whatever the reason behind it, I don’t like it.
Other than that, things are going well. One of the great things that I’ve learned on this diet is that we rely too heavily on carbs. My diet consists pretty much entirely of protein, salad and vegetables. I thought I would miss bread terribly (I used to eat sandwiches or baguettes pretty much every day) but I’ve not missed that at all. Of course, for the sake of convenience, I’ve often thought it would be nice to just pick up a sandwich when I’m out and about (and I must confess to a duck and spinach wrap over the weekend when I misjudged my mealtimes) but it’s no great hardship to avoid the dreaded carbs. I even found myself snacking on half a bag of watercress yesterday that I had left over in the fridge at work. Snacking on watercress? The old me would have laughed in my face for such ridiculous behaviour … probably cramming two slices of toast and peanut butter into her mouth as she did so. It’s amazing how things change.
I also went back to the gym near my office. I joined it in a fit of enthusiasm back at the end of last year and signed up to a three month programme … the idea is that you state your goals, have a workout regime constructed for you, and have your progress monitored by one of the personal trainers. I was weighed, measured, poked and prodded a little and promptly instructed to do 15 minutes warm up and 20 minutes rowing three times a week. 20 minutes rowing? Not on your bloody life. I tried (and failed at) this for two weeks, literally fighting back tears on the damn rowing machine, then suggested to the trainer that it really wasn’t going to work for me. I was told (and I quote) ‘you’re not here to have fun, you’re here to lose weight’. I ran away and never went back … well, until Monday. The thing is, they have a pool there. It’s a tiny pool, granted, but there’s never anyone in it, they give you a nice fluffy towel to use and you don’t have to swim through suspiciously warm patches because there are kids around. As I splashed up and down it occurred to me that my chances of a fitter and healthier life are going to increase dramatically if I get into the habit of using a gym that’s conveniently placed about three minutes from my desk. So I’m going to invest in a tracksuit (or whatever the hell you’re supposed to wear in a gym) and brave it one more time. If the thinner me still hates gyms as much as big me, then I’ll finally cancel that membership, stick to the local pool and spend the change on lipstick. To hell with it.