The Incredible Shrinking Woman

Days 189 & 190 – The Best Laid Plans … 18 August 2008

I fell off the wagon on Sunday and ate lots of pies …

No, not really.  But I did fall off the wagon.  In fact, it was less of a fall and more of a graceless slide.  On Saturday night, at Walthamstow dogs, I caved in and drank three pints of beer.  I was saved from drinking any more than that by the fact that the place was packed to the rafters and the bar queue was a good twenty minutes long.  I was with two of the most hardened drinkers that I know and even they couldn’t face the wait.  I have to say that it was a brilliant night, though.  The atmosphere was amazing … what really struck me was how many families were there, and families who are clearly local to the area and have a long-standing relationship with the track.  All around us we could hear people being addressed as ‘Auntie’, ‘Dad’ or ‘Grandma’ rather than by their names … in many cases there were three or four generations of one family there celebrating the end of 76 years of racing at the track.  Of course there were lots of tourists too, and Londoners (like me) who aren’t exactly what you would call regular dog racing enthusiasts!  I was very glad that I was there, but I do wish that I’d steered clear of the bar entirely.  Oh well.

On Sunday I went down to Chiselhurst to visit my friend’s flat, which is absolutely gorgeous.  The weather was lovely and he’d booked us in for lunch at a pub on the edge of Chiselhurst Common.  I simply didn’t have the heart to sit and watch him eat on his own, so went for what I thought was the most sensible option and chose a chicken caesar salad (with the lardy dressing on the side, of course) rather than the attractive but carb-laden roast dinner.  Frankly, I don’t feel very inclined to eat roast dinners in the summer … for me they belong to cold winter afternoons and it feels odd to tuck in to roast potatoes when the sun is blazing outside.

So far so good … OK, I’d broken my vow of abstinence but was at least behaving sensibly.  It was after lunch that it all went horribly wrong.  We took a leisurely stroll back, via a couple of local pubs, and soon the bottle of wine we’d shared over lunch became two bottles.  By the time we got back to the flat, two became three.  I’ve said many times before just how much I love red wine, and I’ve been really disciplined about avoiding it over recent months, even now I’m officially allowed alcohol again.  Well, all that unravelled yesterday and I was far from sober by the time I crawled under my duvet last night.  The good news was that it didn’t make me eat more … as I’m sure many of you will recognise, drinking alcohol suddenly makes snacking seem very attractive.  Apart from a few twiglets at my friend’s flat, I didn’t feel the urge to stuff my face with rubbish once the alcohol had kicked in.  I was mightily pleased about that when I woke up this morning, I can tell you.

In an attempt to repair some of the damage I was up with the lark and in the gym by 7am.  I did a full hour’s workout, which is the longest to date, and felt really good about it afterwards.  I can’t undo what happened over the weekend, but I can try to make up for it.  Clearly my plans to abstain this week have gone out of the window, so I’m going to have one meal and three packs every day between now and my weigh-in on Thursday.  I’ve also upgraded my gym membership (for a very reasonable £6 extra a month … thank-you, Fitness First!) so that I can use any of their outlets.  This means that I can now go to the local gym down the road on a weekend, and I fully intend to do that.  I think it’s a sign of how much my attitudes have changed that I’m excited about that … I used to loathe gyms but I’m now starting to feel good about exercising and, in some ways, am now viewing it as my insurance policy against a return to fat me.  Ideally I’d be swimming, but I’ve contracted some strange ear problem (like an adult version of glue ear, apparently) which means that it’s out of the question for the next few weeks at least.  So the gym is the way forward at the moment.  I’ve even (and anyone that knows me well will choke on their tea when they read this) considered signing up for some sessions with a personal trainer.

What’s happening to me?  Am I still the same person inside that I was before the diet?!


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