Days 9 & 10
Then: 15 stone 5 lbs (215 pounds)
Now: 14 stone 12 lbs (208 pounds)
How a grown man can get excited about 2 pounds is beyond me. But excited I am. And yet fearful of tomorrow’s result, for reasons that will become plain.
Yesterday I couldn’t blog, nor could I weigh myself in the morning as the City Inn in Bristol doesn’t have scales in the bathrooms. They do have a perfect breakfast for an all-protein dieter, though: smoked haddock with a poached egg and grilled tomato.
Just as well, because lunch was a bit embarrassing. The BBC had laid on a “sandwich lunch” at the conference, which consisted almost entirely of sausage sandwiches, with a huge bowl of fries and a rich dark chocolate dessert. Over the years I’ve always secretly sneered at people who have “dietary requirements” at public events. Now it was my turn. I could eat not one item of the lunch: not even the salad, as it was already dressed and ready to go. So I waited while they made a great fuss of rustling up a piece of grilled chicken and a dry salad for me. The salad was delicious with a myriad of herbs. Sadly they stuck in my teeth. A friend at the conference told me I had green bits in my molars – but not until we were on our way back to the airport. I’d spent the entire afternoon making small talk with commissioning editors. I thought they were looking at my double chin.
Bristol airport was heaving with delayed Easyjet passengers. I’ve already written in my Blog From The North about Easyjet's utter inability to communicate with its passengers. They didn’t let me down this time. No sooner had a sign gone up saying the flight to Newcastle had been delayed by ninety minutes and I’d gone to the seafood bar to order a plate of Norwegian smoked salmon (I always go to the Prunier caviar and salmon bars, because their Balik salmon is better than any Scottish or Irish fish I’ve ever tried) than they suddenly announced they were boarding the plane. So I gulped down what would have been a nice leisurely snack.
When I got home, our best friends from America, Matt and Marla had arrived for the weekend and Jo had prepared a huge feast of pumpkin pasta with fresh spinach, organic salmon and red peppers stuff with rice, fruit and topped with grilled cheese. I had salmon and salmon. And a glass of water. They quaffed a rather good Gigondas.
This diet is utterly anti-social. It’s seriously stressful to any relationship, because you simply can’t join in. I’m sorry, Dr Dukan, I’m sure it works for overweight single women in bedsits, or housewives who never get out, but for anyone trying to lead a normal social existence, there’s no way your protein-only prescription can possibly fit. I’ve grinned and borne it for 10 days now, and by yesterday evening I was getting exasperated. As Matt and Marla sat down with brandy and homemade chocolate brownies, I felt like some sort of outsider in my own home.
So I took one tiny bite off the corner of Jo's brownie, and the sugar rush nearly blew my head off.
Thus is was that, despite my exhilaration at finding I’d lost another two pounds this morning, I decided on a new plan: to see if were possible to hold firm to the principles of the Dukan diet while at the same time having a life.
So this evening we had a barbecue. I got half a beef fillet (rare beef, from a Belted Galloway cow, aged for 28 days) and covered it with my own mix of ground pink, green and szechuan peppercords. Grilled, with marinated red onion, grilled peppers and sweetcorn, and – wait for it – a single glass of very fine claret. Yes, you read it correctly. I blew the diet for a glass of claret. And everybody cheered. For one glorious evening I became myself again.
It got worse: today the first Northumbrian strawberries came into the village. Now, overweight or not, no Frenchman is going to tell me I can’t eat strawberries on the first day of the season. They were absolutely wonderful. Though I have a dreadful feeling it’s all pointing to a disaster on the scales tomorrow morning.
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