I knew it would happen. I said it would, and it did. Just in case it wasn’t obvious enough to me that my willpower is sporadic and hopelessly dependent on me never leaving the apartment, I well and truly fell off the Weight Wagon this weekend, and from a spectacular height.
The week had gone OK, and I’d been very disciplined; plenty of CSF’s, fruit, yoghurt, water, fresh vegetables etc. But I’d had a tough week, work-wise, and there just didn’t seem to be enough hours in the day. By Thursday – when I was heading over the water to cat-sit for friends – I was shattered. I’d had four ten-hour days sat in front of the laptop; reading, researching, writing…and my head hurt, really hurt. When I shut the lid at about 3pm on the Thursday, then packed my bag to go meet Ali from work, there was nothing on this earth that was going to stop me from sinking a couple of very large VDCs in the pub, before we jumped on the train.
I met Ali in All Bar One on Derby Square, which used to be a relatively cheap place to drink. But they soon found themselves on my Never Again List, when they asked for nine quid for a VDC and pint of Peroni. Still, even though the VDC left a nasty taste, we went for round 2, and made it to Oxton around 6pm. I hadn’t thought about what we’d do for tea, but as is normal for people going away for a few days, there was nothing in the fridge and nothing to cook, so Wagon Wobble No.1 reared its ugly head pretty quickly – I had to decide between pizza, or the chippy. The chippy won and, although the sausage dinner was just beautiful in every way possible, the guilt was all-consuming. I softened the guilt by hiding behind a few more VDCs, but thankfully it wasn’t a late night, because Lee and Ali had an early start for their drive down to Wiltshire, so an early-hours Singstar session was narrowly averted.
Friday, I was still up against it, work-wise, and because I’m crap at multi-tasking, I couldn’t think about going to the shops to get supplies, until I’d finished what I had to write. I settled down to focus, and 7 hours whizzed by in a heartbeat, with no chance of me moving anywhere. I just couldn’t be bothered. I had no energy, no inclination and, because I was out of my home environment, where discipline really does rule, I did not feel in control of myself at all. By the time Brenda arrived a short while later, I was already on my second double VDC.
I was crap company for Brenda, of that I’m sure. Not only was I feeling tense, a bit stressed and just exhausted from the week, but for the last three weeks I’ve been deaf in one ear. I have noisy neighbours, so I wear ear plugs a lot, even when I’m trying to work, and especially at night, when I need absolute silence and blackness to sleep. Consequently, there are times when my ears get blocked. This time, I just haven’t had time to get them syringed (my ears, not the neighbours), and the usual warm olive oil method has had no effect. When you can’t hear properly, it throws you off balance, you’re not aware of everything around you, and it can be quite unnerving. You also get slight bouts of vertigo, and the nausea that goes with it. And having conversations is a nightmare, obviously, and it makes me feel paranoid and very self-conscious.
When Brenda arrived, we headed to the village for tapas at The Courtyard. It was very busy and very loud, so I had real trouble hearing anything Brenda was saying and she must have thought I was being anti-social (!). But it was so good to get out and relax, even if my stamina levels were not as high as I know they can be. The Courtyard is also – apparently – the centre of lower division WAG-dom. By 11pm, the place was full of sparkly jackets, leather leggings, false eyelashes the size of tarantulas, and way too much Cacharel perfume to be comfortable. Having played Tranmere Rovers earlier in the evening, MK Dons manager, Karl Robinson, also arrived, rather appropriately, with an entourage of wide boys, ex-soap stars and general hangers-on that would have made Diddy look friendless. It was time for Brenda and I to go, before we were thrown out for being normal. So, Oxton tapas and wine was Wagon Wobble No.2 but, delicious as it was (and it really was…), it didn’t digest. I’d overdone it, been a complete glutton, and I don’t think my body was used to it. The food just sat in my belly and didn’t go anywhere…until 2am, 3am and 4am, when it exited several times. Of course, that may have been Thursday’s beautiful chips, too….
The thing is, I didn’t realise how much our bodies can change, to adapt to new things. Our anatomy has chameleon-like qualities, a rapid version of evolution, to change in accordance with how we’re treating it. After doing a bit of research, I’m convinced that 10 weeks of mostly cutting out stuff like bread and potatoes, and vastly increasing the amount of fruit, vegetables, and generally just eating fresh stuff, that it’s changed the way my stomach and my digestive system behaves. I noticed it a few weeks ago, when I was stuck for lunch, and had to buy a sandwich. The bread just sat there inside me, and my belly bloated right out. I wasn’t tolerating it, and that’s happened a few times since. When I’m away from the apartment, it’s impossible to stick to my routine unless I plan militarily. But after a strained week, work-wise, I just wasn’t thinking ahead, so I was unprepared, and had no contingency plan. Saturday, Brenda went the game and I tried to get my shift done, but I was lethargic, tetchy, changeable and, because I’d had no sleep Friday, bloody knackered. I managed about 3 hours, before I just couldn’t look at the laptop anymore, and spent the rest of the day lounging on the sofa, worrying about how I was going to meet this deadline, whilst watching 6 straight hours of Snapped: Women Who Kill, on the Crime & Investigation channel.
I did manage to drag myself to the village store, though, determined to be healthy for the remainder of the weekend. I’d suggested to Brenda that I cook a good old CSF for us both when she got back from the game, but there were two problems with that. Firstly, there was a good chance Brenda would be out late – I know what it’s like when you get in the spirit, especially after a win, and it made more sense for Bren to make the most of being out with everyone, as she doesn’t get to come over often. And the last thing I wanted, was her thinking she had to come back over the water early, just for tea. Secondly, I couldn’t get any chicken, or noodles, anyway. Oxton is a traditional place, with lovely old-style grocery stores and proper butchers etc but, also traditionally, most shops shut at 1pm on a Saturday, and by the time I’d stopped fannying about and actually got my arse out the door, it was well past 2.30pm. I did manage to get yoghurt (albeit the full-fat stuff), and a mountain of fruit and veg, but there was no chicken to be had anywhere. I texted Brenda and gave her the joyous news that “CSF a la Oxton” was off the menu, as I was far too lazy – and tetchy – to lug my sorry backside to Asda or Sainsbury’s, both of which may as well have been in Outer Mongolia, for all the energy and inclination I had to go there (I’d walked into Oxton, for God’s sake….the whole 200 metres…).
So Brenda ended up karry-kokey-ing in the Rose & Crown until 11pm, while I made do with child’s chips, half a bottle of vodka, Strictly Come Celebrity X Factor, and a self-loathing complex so hideous, it took multiple sessions of cat therapy with Lulu, to make me put down the 500g block of Colliers Welsh Mature Cheddar that had somehow found its way into my hands from the fridge. I think the self-loathing might have been more directed towards my masochistic, shameful TV choices, though, which I balanced out later on, by going back to some serial-killing docs on C&I.
Sunday, I was up nice and early, motoring through work to try and catch up, but I knew I would not make the Sunday evening payment cycle now, but that was just tough, and my own fault. It wasn’t like I was going to starve, though, thanks to the two inches I’d put on around my abdomen since Thursday. Today, I finally finished the job, have hurtled headlong into another one, and am getting ready to play with the cat, who has been sitting patiently at my feet for the last few minutes, eyeing the bookcase, and thinking “if you don’t play with me now, I’m going to jump up on there and knock all these picture frames over and smash them…”
So, to stats…because I knew I would be away from my own set of scales for my usual Saturday morning weigh-in, I had to take Thursday morning’s reading which, thank GOD, told me I was a pound lighter than 5 days earlier. This will not be replicated this week. With a Euro game coming up on Thursday, plus the calorie carnage of this weekend just gone, the Saturday weigh-in is terrifying me already.
Things I’ve Learned This Week.
1. That I’m crap
It’s a cliche, but most cliches are true, which is why they are cliches. So when people say “a minute on the lips and a lifetime on the hips”, THEY’RE NOT KIDDING! I’m pig-sick with myself for not having the willpower or strength to not go the chippy, to not drink the wine, to get my backside to somewhere that sold fresh stuff, and that’s entirely down to me, as usual. 11 weeks of hard work can be undone in mere days, and one kink in the chain, weakens the whole length of it. The key, is to keep that first link strong and unbreakable, because once that goes, you’ve got no chance.
2. Pets are great stress relievers
Lulu and I have had a giant love-in, this weekend. At least once an hour, she’s been wandering in from her travels, jumping onto my lap and practically pushing the laptop away from me, so she can have a proper cuddle. For me, it’s meant I had to take regular breaks, like it or not, and that’s been less strain on my eyes and head. I’m wondering if Lee and Ali will notice me hiding Lou in my bag when I go home tomorrow…
3. The X Factor really is vile.
Everything about it. Vile.
4. Helen Flanagan is a waste of good oxygen
Seriously. She’s using up way too much space on the planet. She is superfluous to society, in every way imaginable.
Things I’m Dreading This Week
1. Saturday’s Weigh-In
I still feel bloated, big and extremely bunged up. And there’s no way it’s shifting before Saturday, not with a match to go to, as well.
2. Being cat-less
Lou and I are bezzies, fact. Yesterday, during our afternoon cuddle-ette, she even reached her paw up to my face and just left it there for a few minutes, as if to say “it’s alright, matey, don’t beat yourself up about stuffing chips down your gob, or the dreams you keep having about Domino’s pizza…it’s oh-kaaayyyy….”.
3. The leccy running out
I think I put enough on the meter for while I was gone, otherwise I’m getting home to a nice welcome home puddle and a mountain of chicken I’m going to have cook all at once tomorrow night.
Finally, I’d like to offer my warmest congratulations to my dear friends, Christine and Will Neville, on the birth of their beautiful baby boy, Lucas Luis Kenny Rafa Digger Bill Bob Dani Pepe Neville, who arrived on Friday, and picked the team that saw us batter Wigan 3-0 on Saturday. Welcome to this crazy-ass world, Lucas! You couldn’t be in better hands.
The Stats Bit:
Weeks 1-4: 8.75lbs
Weeks 5-8: 5.25lbs
Week 9: plus 0.75lbs – first week of weight gain.
Week 10: 1.75lbs
Week 11: 1lb
Total after 77 days: 16lbs