Thursday, 17 November 2011

Reflections On Being Suddenly Slim

So here I am, 20 years an unreconstructed, unapologetic fat bastard, suddenly slim. Ok, slim-ish. It's all relative. I've lost 2 and a half stone, but then I was ridiculously heavy to start with. I was a man I no longer  recognised, a man I caught unwittingly in a coffee shop mirror and instantly dismissed as a corpulent pig. That was the turning point, really. If that was what I saw when I wasn't sucking in my cheeks to ready myself for my reflection, it was what everyone else saw.

A word or two on how I got here. Simple, really. No forensic calorie-counting, no fads, no crazy fitness regimes. The key? I've just stopped the bi-weekly loading of the mega-sized carrier bags they give the greedy chocoholics in the 99p Shop.Without that evil sugar/fat abomination hanging about the house demanding to be scoffed, I'm having to make my own fun. Walnut anyone?

Here's the regime: I eat dinner late so breakfast is not the first thing on my mind when I wake up - it's easily skipped; lunch might be a bit of popcorn, a yoghurt, some fruit; a snack when I get home (granola, nuts, pretzels) followed later by the kind of evening meal in which I've always specialised  - anything that takes less than 3 minutes to make. Chicken soup (powder + hot water + boil it + vermicelli = done) followed by a few slices of toast and jam or a chicken stir-fry, if I'm feeling all Jamie Oliver, or - pushing the boat out here - a baked potato with some packet roast chicken and microwaved beans. Dessert is a yoghurt, tons of fruit, tea (copious) and maybe a packet of Polos as a treat. I know it sounds grim, but I honestly haven't suffered or yearned. And now I'm where I want to be, I can have decent meal out or a lump of chocolate if I fancy. The key is moderation.

Here's an interesting tale (if you're pissed or on something); it was my birthday a few weeks ago so all bets were off. I hit the sweet shop, hard, and gorged on Boost, Caramac, Maltesers and Tooty-Fruities, but - this was the funny thing - I didn't particularly enjoy it. Me, Fatboy The Sweet Gorger. Would you credit that? Just felt sick, actually. I think they call it -'re-educating' your stomach, or some such shit.

And one other thing; I cycle a minimum of 14 miles a day, but then I've been doing that for 20 years. Combined with sensible eating, it helps the weight fall off, whereas if it's done only to feel virtuous and excuse the relentless stuffing of one's face every night, it helps not a jot. 

Clothes don't look crap on me any more. My last blog was obviously a cry for help. I'd reached the point where jeans, no matter how capacious, looked appalling, like I was trying to squeeze two legs into each leg-hole, and shirts needed to be XXXL to even resemble something made to be worn by humans. I can now go into shops and stick on a pair of 34 inch-waisters (I'm nearer 32 now - I know!) and they look ok. I was nudging 40 inches and, honestly, you don't want anyone to see you flipping those babies off a hanger and sneaking into a fitting room. The other bonus here is that the clothes I was squeezing into a few months ago now hang off me, something I still enjoy demonstrating to my children who, sadly, don't give a flying fuck. Yes, Dad, you've lost weight. Big. Deal. Oh yeah, by the way, I crashed the car.

One other bonus is that there's less weight going through my tortured knees. Now, people who know me will know that I rarely talk about my 9 knee operations, the constant pain, the swelling, the clicking, the sheer, unalloyed misery. Oy, you shouldn't know from it. I still can't play tennis and a return to the ski slopes would probably be inadvisable, but there's been a definite improvement, as you might expect given that the equivalent of 9 stone has been removed from the load going through them when I walk, 18 when (if) I run. 

Turns out I have cheekbones! Who knew? They sort of jut out and create little shadows on my cheeks. Is that normal? And hip-bones and shoulder blades and a spine...which hurt when I move about in the bath. And - stop me if this is too much information - I felt a hard lump when I was washing my bottom the other day. No, not a tumour, silly (although I'm of an age when...let's not think about that). No, it was my coccyx. Who put that there? I've also, apparently, reduced the risk of heart disease and diabetes, made myself less prone to debilitating asthma attacks and, best of all, removed all trace of the corrosive bouts of indigestion I used to suffer every day despite 24 Rennies and a couple of Omeprazole (a dosage that should neutralise Sulphuric Acid). 

But there's a downside. Suddenly, I look my age. Which might not sound bad, but everyone used to comment on how much younger I looked as a fatso. Well of course they did; I had 26 gallons of natural collagen filling the wrinkles, smoothing the skin. Not any more. It's Wrinkle City up there, but a small price to pay. I even had an insane, thin man's number 3 haircut to complement my now slender face - it looked absolutely fucking horrible (got carried away with the slim thing, I think) and am grateful to still have a thatch capable of  consigning such catastrophic hubris to memory, given time.

So, there you go. I'd be happy to counsel anyone seeking to do what I've done. Call me smug, call me obnoxiously gloaty (I may be less so shortly, given that Xmas is approaching, which might yet wreck everything; the fat, greedy boy lurks just under the surface - I can hear him), but feel free to contact me, if only to allow me to crow a bit more.

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