September already? Where does the time go? One minute it was Eurovision, the next, the summer’s almost over. And in that time, there have been the Euros, the ‘Lympics, the Paralympics, my brother’s wedding, lots of drinking, and a few more creditors banging on the door…oh, and I had a ‘special’ birthday, too (which is probably why I went into hiding, truth be told).
It’s obvious I’m pretty crap at keeping a proper blog, but having the ‘special’ birthday made me realise how little I’ve actually done with my life, and also made me reflect on the many wonderful things that *could* have happened, had I actually got off my bottom and made some kind of effort. Stuff like getting fit, or making room in my selfish life to maybe share a bit of it with someone else. Perhaps having a few kids? You know, the little things…
One minute, I was 25 and confident of conquering the world. The next, I blinked, and fifteen years of my life had rushed by faster than Fernando Torres on a Pendolino out of Lime Street. Some of my peers have children who are about to go to university. That’s just wrong. When you’ve got a ‘3’ in front of your age, you can deal with anything, nothing’s a problem. But when that ‘4’ takes over, something happens, and it’s not nice, not nice at all. I thought I’d be in Hollywood by now, drinking Martinis on the balcony of my uber-chic apartment in Burbank, umming and ahhing over which script to work on next: the sequel to my 2007 Oscar-winner, or the indie gem that Chris Walken had promised to star in before he died. But I’m not. I’m in a castle turret, in Everton, writing bad sex by day and listening to even worse sex through the walls, at night.
So for the last few weeks, I’ve been getting quite introspective, reflective and downright spiritual. I’m determined that, when I turn Special Birthday + 1, I will have moved forward with my life.
First stop, yes, it’s obviously the diet. I am in the worst profession, ever, for staying fit. My fingers are probably the healthiest part of me. I am three stone overweight, and it’s only my height that offers any kind of shield to this fact. I’m not a great diet fan, though. I don’t know who is. The thing is, I’ve never been an overeater. If anything, I undereat. I often forget to have my lunch or my tea, because I’m simply just not hungry. I don’t even like chocolate. It’s just that the things I do eat, aren’t particularly good for me. Bread. Cheese. More bread. Maybe a bit more cheese. The two most hated enemies of Dietdom. And alcohol’s a bugger. A million calories in a glass of Pinot? Apparently so. Which is a bitch.
But no matter! Because that’s why God invented vodka.
So, to Saturday September 1st, when I found myself signing up to the cheapest online weight loss programme I could find, determined to get this low fat party started. I want my 21-year old body back, and I want it, well, in a year. Why an online club, and not a Fat Fighters meeting in some draughty church hall? Mainly because I’m incredibly anti-social. And also because I like filling in lists and seeing charts, and watching calculations happen right before my eyes.
Starting on the first of the month was vital, too. I’m a bit anal like that, and it wouldn’t have ‘felt right’ if I’d begun half way through a month. In my head, I’d have been thinking “but half the month is gone…so let’s just eat some more cheese and start on the first of next month, right?”
When my mum found out I’d paid money for someone to tell me cheeseburgers weren’t good for me, she just sniffed and said “you’re wasting your time”. Which was just about the biggest incentive I could have had. I love proving people wrong. Even when they’re right.
The reason I’d not really done anything like this before, is that I always had the excuse “oh, but when I go out, it all goes to pot, so what’s the use?”. For instance, going the match. Didn’t do it much, last season, just too expensive. It’s still expensive, but once the season kicked off, the planets did conspire to get my arse a mile up the road to see the City and Hearts games, which also meant several hours, before and after, in the boozer. In years past, then, it was a Catch-22. Do the football, can’t do the diet….Do the diet, can’t do the football.
But all that has now changed, by Jiminy! Because I can do anything I set my mind to. Yes, I can. I really, really can. To achieve my target of losing 3 stone by Special Birthday + 1, it means dropping a pound a week. My Virtual Diet Master has given (yes, given) me, 1300 calories a day, in order to achieve this. By the end of Saturday 1st September, then (when I didn’t go out, or speak to anyone all day) I was on cloud nine. This was so easy. I was even 200 calories under. Ha! I’d lose five stone by Christmas, surely?
Then I remembered what was happening, Sunday. The match. Arsenal were coming to take a look around. Could I really go the whole day without a drink? No. Of course I couldn’t. But then I discovered that a Tesco ‘Eat me!” banana contains the same number of calories as a double vodka and Diet Coke. Dilemma over!
While it’s true that, after the result, quite a few bananas were consumed that day, and I did go over my budget a bit (turns out a Bailey’s has 6,342,115 calories!), I nevertheless managed to get back on track on Monday. I was not defeated!
This week has been busy, and even though I did spend half an hour searching out the instruction manual to my oven, I have passed the week with flying colours, and am ready for my first weigh-in tomorrow morning. I even managed to go and interview Brendan Rodgers at Melwood, mid-week, and not fall into any of the pubs either on the way there, or on the way back.
So, from hereon in, I will be boring the pants off absolutely everybody, with a weekly progress report on how the Deane Diet is going. If I come across any handy hints and tips, I won’t be selfish and keep them to myself. No. I’ll share them with you, because I’m like that.
I’ll be paying special attention to debunking some of those diet myths, especially about so-called ‘healthy’ foods, and I’ll also be warning you about phony exercises (that probably originate from America), that can actually damage your health. For example, hula-hooping. Don’t be fooled by the harmless-looking, hollow tubes of plastic that you see kids running round with. Hula hoops can be fatal. I tried it, twice, this week, and each time it put my back out. So I’m telling you now, hula hooping will kill you. Move away from the hula hoops.
So, tomorrow’s weigh-in looms, and I’m very excited, mainly because I get to fill in numbers in my graph. I’ll probably even spend two or three hours playing around with the different colour labels I can use for each axis. I was going to do this when I first signed up, but then decided that too much spreadsheet excitement all at once, can be a bad thing. Just like hula hooping.
Feel free to add your own ‘tips for healthy living’ and, together, we can make this world a better place.
I’ll start off.
Tip #1: When going out, drink Guinness and, if you’re in a round, make sure the Guinness is ordered last. This way, it takes an hour to arrive, and you won’t get drunk as quickly.
UPDATE: Week 1 Weight Loss: 3.25lbs