Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Day Five

Then: 15 stone 5 pounds (215 lbs)
Now: 15 stone 1 pound (211 lbs)

This blog finally went live yesterday morning. I’d been holding back publication until I’d posted my weekly Blog From The North (www.blogfromthenorth.blogspot.com) -- there’s nothing sadder than a blog which nobody reads and I’m delighted to welcome some of my regular readers across to this new forum.

If you’re following this, you’ve probably either been sent from there or from my Facebook page. If you’ve arrived from somewhere else, or just happened upon me by accident, please don’t think of yourself as an interloper, you’re very welcome to share my pain as I go down this unlikely road. At the age of 58, with a one year old child, I’m trying to lose sufficient weight to look good in a family photograph. And, if it works, I’ll publish the photo on these very pages. If it doesn’t, I most certainly won’t.

As yesterday’s Blog From The North readership was nearly triple the average, I guess dieting is something that concerns a lot of people. I’ve already had lots of advice and encouragement, which is really welcome, although my mother-in-law’s suggestion that I should just forget it all, fix my plate with everything I love to eat, then cut every serving in half, suggests that she can’t quite fully appreciate how utterly useless I am at any form of self-control. My Mum blames the war and ration books for her habit of eating (very slowly) everything on her plate or, like an American, insisting on taking half her meal home where it doubtless festers in her fridge for days. I never order takeaway because there’s never anything to takeaway. I am the Hoover of the culinary world.

So among the kind words of helpfulness are the following:

Our dear friend Deryn wrote “just taken delivery of a quarter of a cow. Come round for a protein lunch soon.” She, like us, lives on a farm.

An old (yes old, like me) BBC colleague, Christopher Swann, wrote “I have gone from 120 kilos to 94 kilos [I really can’t be arsed to work that out in pounds – somebody help me please, though it sounds like an awful lot] in 10 months. It is doable and people keep asking me about diet and frankly I didn’t go on a diet I went for lifestyle change and it worked. It is possible and boy do I feel better for it. I have actually enjoyed the process enormously.”

My new friend in LA Jeremy Gray wrote, “The first few days are the hardest then things settle down. I used the “Shapeup” app for my iPhone and kept track of everything I ate. Tried to stay at 1500 calories per day.” Unfortunately Jeremy also embarked on “an aggressive exercise regime”. You’ve lost me there, my friend.

Jo’s cousin Audrey said it had inspired her to get her dad onto a diet. Poor Uncle Stevie, please don’t do it to him. He’s the funniest and shortest gynaecologist in California and almost completely spherical. Stevie’s like a large bouncy globe that spouts rude jokes - he would make a great adult cuddly toy. Slim Stevie just wouldn’t be the same person.

All of which digresses from the good news this morning that the weight loss has kicked into life again – 2 pounds since yesterday. Despite there being still no tangible result to the constipation problem. So I’m carrying on with this almost-only-protein Dukan Diet to see where it takes me. And hope that at some point I don’t burst.

I’m now in the Cruising stage, which means that I can add vegetables to my protein on alternate days. So, for the record, today for breakfast, I had:

1 strawberry fat-free yoghurt
1 ½ tablespoons of oatbran, cooked for 3 minutes with water and, this time, salt. I used real oatbran, not porridge oats, which are flaky. I’m getting hooked on this stuff.

For lunch, my usual packet of chicken breasts, this time with a kind of tikka flavouring. And a vanilla yoghurt.

For supper, for the first time since the diet began, real vegetables: steamed spring greens with grated lemon rind, thinly beaten veal escalope (flash fried with garlic, the tiniest sprinkling of Worcestershire Sauce, peanut oil wiped round the pan) and crisp English asparagus. After the veal was cooked (about a minute) I took it out, deglazed the pan with a little water, reduced it almost to nothing, added some Balsamic vinegar, reduced it all again to a few teaspoons, and, with black pepper, made a quite tolerable jus for the veal.

I then put the vegetables into the pan and added some of my Californian mustard greens – the result, a fantastic virtually fat-free plate. Veal is hard to get up North – only Waitrose seems to sell it, and it was far from the best quality because they don’t appear to know how to slice it. But Dr Dukan recommends it, so who am I to argue ? I am this Frenchman’s slave.

As a starter, we had smoked mackerel and trout fillets, with a little condiment made of (fat-free, what else?) yoghurt, lots of fresh dill from the garden, a little Dijon mustard, white pepper, and a squeeze of lime. More than tolerable.

And tomorrow, Tuesday, is another protein-only day – no vegetables, sadly. I still don’t feel “euphoric”, but a lot better than yesterday, even though Jo says my mood still makes me thoroughly unlikeable. These weren’t the words she used, by the way.

Today's final word is from mother-in-law. Apparently, I should "jog around the lake instead of sitting sedentary writing this blog!" She's right of course. But, assuming I don't take her good advice, join me again tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. Tom - keep up the good work! ;-)

    How is your bike btw? Happy to assist with exercise in this dept. I will bring my singlespeed to even things up a bit...!