Monday, July 12, 2010

The Big Surprise

Days 25 & 26

Then: 15 stone 5 lbs (215 lbs)
Now: 14 stone 7lbs (203 lbs)

Oh dear, and things were going so well. Now disaster’s struck.

In fact, it’s a positive tsunami, caused by the perfect storm of Jo’s 40th birthday on Tuesday and the arrival of her brother Josh for the celebrations. This is the same brother-in-law I stayed in LA with immediately prior to the start of this diet - I wrote about that trip in my Blog From The North. Josh is extremely generous with his fine wines - he's a real connoisseur and we had to sample his best vintages. Indeed, my guilt about the very overindulgence I enjoyed on that trip, where I ballooned to 15 stone 9 pounds (219 lbs), was probably the primary cause of this venture. The diet began the day I got back to the UK.

Josh flew in from California on Saturday morning as a surprise. I picked him up from the airport and enveloped him in wrapping paper in the back seat of my car. I even stuck a few gold bows on his nose.

I went into the house and told Jo that one of her presents was in the car and could she help me carry it in. She refused of course, on the grounds that:

a. it wasn’t her birthday till Tuesday and please could I store it somewhere till then, and
b. if it was too heavy for me it was certainly too heavy for her.

As I knew Josh was rapidly asphyxiating inside the wrapping, I had to virtually drag her outside and opened the car door.

She had a curious reaction to the sight of the package. I think at first she thought it was some kind of bizarre sex doll, for she was too scared to touch it. Then she saw the trainers sticking out underneath and thought it was a Raoul Moat dummy – bought to convince her that the killer was really dead. She looked at me as if I were weird. As he’d only died a few hours before, I told her it was most unlikely I’d been able to get my hands on a Raoul Moat corpse lookalike in the time and perhaps she should just open the package. At this point her birthday present coughed and she tore off the paper. Shrieks of surprise led to a tearful reunion and the opening of a bottle of champagne.

That was when it all started. Champagne led to wine, which led to lunch at our favourite Italian restaurant accompanied by a fiery Sardinian red, and then that evening came the death of all diets: the curry. We took Josh to Rasa, undoubtedly the finest Indian restaurant in the UK (I dare any reader to contest this); Keralan king fish, black-eyed beans, chicken, an enormous dosa, gallons of white wine – I feared the worst on Sunday morning. And it happened – 3 whole pounds in just one night of excess.

Sunday was scarcely any better: I had to show off my potato-growing skills, so sweet little Charlottes accompanied a huge joint of beef fillet – on and on goes the list of gluttony. Amazingly, by Monday morning (after a good half a dozen bottles of red, judging by the pile of leftovers in the kitchen) I was still down only 3 pounds. But it didn’t allow for Tuesday, the day of her birthday itself, where, like a complex live television production, I’d planned a whole series of surprises.

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