I have a carrier bag of vegetables sitting in front of me.
It’s full. To the brim.
Although I was happy to get my two stone certificate last Saturday the thing I was not happy with was the 1lb loss that enabled me to secure it.
As always I’m glad to be losing weight, but felt like I could have done a lot more, and this week I’m having a concerted push towards accomplishing that.
Rather than relying on three individual meals per day I have decided that I will for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday this week (try to) only eat speed food.
Since I’d have to eat frankly stupid amounts of celery and carrots to gain weight I have instead decided that these three experimental days will be ‘grazing days’, where the rules I’ve set myself are that I can eat what the hell I like, when I like, in whatever quantity I see fit – as long as it’s a ‘speed’ food.
There was another reason I decided to start this today. Originally I planned two days of austerity rather than three but when I saw this morning the frankly woeful amount of food (and its condition) in the fridge I knew today was the day.
Upon closer examination a forgotten lettuce at the back of the bottom shelf seemed like it needed a mortician more than a salad bowl, and my equally venerable parsley (crushed underneath the lettuce) was frozen in a small glacier against the back wall.
I’d therefore use up what was edible, throw the rest and buy something new on the way home.
Consequently all I took to work with me for breakfast and dinner was a 1kg bag of carrots.
I slung the mummified lettuce and prehistoric parsley in the bin as I left the house and got in the car to drive to work. If nothing else grabbing these was WAY quicker than my usual 30 mins of food preparation for the day.
However, while my food preparation time decreased, the time required to consume it considerably increased. Lots of scrunching and chewing was needed to work through it, and I’m sure my quite loud breakfast was impossible to ignore by all around me.
It lasted just under an hour in the end but was strangely filling…
As is typically the way in an office however there is usually a birthday or special occasion whenever you feel like you want to remain on the path of righteousness. Before the clock hit nine two boxes of Dave Kryptonite arrived in the kitchen to taunt and weaken me.
If it was a crate of cakes and chocolate I really wouldn’t have cared less – but spring rolls and samosas!!! I could eat these until my arms fall off. Savoury stuff really sets my juices running!
So – by the time I exited the deliciously scented office today I’d nailed my entire bag of carrots.
This was not a problem. Thats what they were there for. It was all going to plan. I’d avoided temptation – and after a personal appointment on the way home headed to the supermarket to stock up on more good things.
The plus side to not having any protein or carbs is that I feel both light and energetic, and (currently) not really all that hungry. However, whilst typing I’ve also nailed a box of cherry tomatoes and some beetroot as well – so I’m not fuelled SOLELY by carrots!
Thankfully the next couple of days will not be spent at work – which frankly is a miserable place to be currently. It’s difficult to know how people will feel from one day to the next, and like those around me one minute I feel positive about the future and the next I feel like there’s no hope.
There doesn’t seem currently to be an easy middle ground when it comes to redundancy and I can’t seem to find a place to settle mentally that leaves me feeling empowered and motivated.
In an effort to do something that takes me outside the confines of my own worries therefore last week I set up an interview with a charity (tomorrow afternoon) to discuss being a volunteer befriender for the elderly.
A couple of decades ago in another life I was a care worker for adults with learning difficulties, and although I found the role both difficult and challenging sometimes one of the standout and immensely satisfying moments was helping one of the older residents compile his life story.
The idea behind the project was that he may have to go into a less intimate care facility later in life and his main problem was that he had no short term memory at all. After an accident as a young man everything had been wiped out.
He could remember his childhood very clearly, but nothing at all after this event. His memory stretched to five minutes at the most and then reset, wiping the slate completely clean.
This created a LOT of burned toast, half made cups of tea, and questions about who I was.
My name was ‘thingy the big guy’ for some time.
I worked with him and his last remaining relative (an elderly uncle) to piece together a patchwork of photos and letters that together would form a document of his life as a young man. Hopefully this would ensure that even if he found it difficult to tell people what he liked and considered important in life the scrapbook would give his support workers some guidance.
I really used to care about this guy – and of all the people I looked after I miss him the most.
Events ultimately overtook the creation of the scrapbook and for several reasons it was never fully completed to my satisfaction – but it was still the best memory that I have of that job.
I felt at times that we really connected – and when talking about his childhood love of Eagle comics I saw his face change, and gloom or boredom was replaced with cheerful and spirited conversation. For some golden moments (mostly when I took him swimming oddly enough) he was back in his bedroom looking through the eyes of a child and reading about Dan Dare – Pilot of the future.
Luckily in the 80’s there was a brief re-launch of Eagle Comics. I just happened to grow up reading about the same characters and their efforts to stop the evil Mekon and the Treens from Venus, otherwise his often mumbled chatter may have meant nothing to me as we talked in that swimming pool.
When I recognised what he was talking about there was a ‘lights on’ moment for both of us. As he floated with me in his water wings we chatted about his childhood. It was really really great.
I’m hoping if I can join this charity’s programme that I can have a similar positive impact on someone I’ve never met before, and maybe stop them from feeling isolated or lonely.
Hopefully the lady I’m due to meet won’t see a hungry and irritable Dave scowling at her over a partially munched carrot and covetously hugging a box of cherry tomatoes like his life depended on them.
Well internet. I’ll let you know how it all pans out. Keep your fingers crossed for Saturday.
I want a 3-4lb loss. I hope I can do it!