Thursday, June 24, 2010

Dry Lettuce and An England Victory

Day Seven

Then: 15 stone 5 pounds (215 lbs)
Now: 14 stone 13 pounds (209 lbs)

“Just the pork, please. No bun, stuffing or apple sauce, no sausages, no burger or kebab. No, no beer, thanks, just a bottle of water. Can I have ice with that?”

My wife is right: this diet is not designed for living. It’s for sitting at home and eating precisely what you’re told to eat, miserably, with a glass of water in your hand. Try telling the servers at a barbecue for 400 people you’re on a protein-only diet and please can they give you beef, not pork, because you can see the grease oozing out of the hamburgers, and Dr Dukan says you can’t eat pork because it's too fatty.

Well I did eat pork, because there was no beef product that appeared to be made of meat, and the smell of a barbecue on a hot summer afternoon when you’re about to watch England play Slovenia with their backs to the wall is too intoxicating to ignore. While all around you are clutching buns and shouting at the screen, I’m standing there like a wuss with a paper plate and a plastic fork with a few sinews of rather dry meat and some lettuce.

Actually, that's not quite true, because, despite my protestations the girl added a dollop of stuffing. Packet stuffing. Full of nasties and bread and other things. But I wasn’t looking at the consequences. My nerves were at breaking point because England had to win to stay in the cup and we were 1-0 up and trying to hang on to the bitter, nail-biting end. Who can blame me for eating a little stuffing to calm me down? Even if it means that I’m not likely to continue this meteoric decline in my weight.

6 pounds in 6 days, just like it says in the book. The book also says I’ll stop losing weight for a bit now, because I’m eating salads and vegetables every other day and some of the water retention will return. In the North East of England they don’t bother to serve salads with dressings unless you ask for it, and Dr Dukan says that I can only dress mine with balsamic vinegar, which strangely wasn’t on the table next to the brown sauce and ketchup. So a mound of dry lettuce joined the pork and stuffing and I desperately tried to balance the paper plate with one hand, the other clutching a bottle of warm water, as hands of agony, encouragement and ultimately victorious joy were flung all around me. England’s win was truly emotional. By the end, I could have murdered a cold beer.

Last night Jo and I barbecued turkey burgers from fresh turkey meat, spiced with Cholulah sauce and wrapped in leaves of iceberg lettuce instead of buns. Bless my wife for going along with this diet too. I should have mentioned that there are two of us enduring this, though only one of us really needs to lose weight. She's gamely joining in, but certainly doesn’t need to, being of perfect proportion and gentle disposition. So she has the turkeyburger-and-no-bun, but devours a plateful of Ben and Jerry’s Chocolate Brownie Ice Cream at the end of the meal.

Which she deserves, as she’s put up with me for a whole week so far. During this time I’ve been an unreasonable, edgy, distracted, kvetchy diet bore. So who can blame her for a little Ben and Jerry at the end of the night? At least my headaches have gone now, and there was nothing like an England victory to cheer my mood.

Jo is still pushing me to set a date for our family photograph. I looked at myself in the mirror before I went to bed. “Not for a quite a while, I'm afraid”.

Tomorrow's another protein-only day and I'm down in Bristol at a BBC event. The last one was held in a Pizza Express and the menu was pizza or pizza. That was fine, because I adore their American Hot almost as much as my hot American. But tomorrow let's hope they've booked a Dukan-friendly Diner instead, or I'll be taking my own fat-free yoghurt.

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