Friday, 21 August 2009

Dieting again. Again. Rant. Again.

This time, I've managed to persuade some of the fellas to join me in my weight loss bid for health. Those fellas are Pro and Spar, neither of whom would I consider in the same category as me when it comes to needing to shift the poundage for reasons of health, although Pro has a history of heart disease in his family. Being as tall as he is (6ft 11"), I think the problem is probably more to do with general circulation than anything else! But keeping slim is definitely the way forward, no matter what height you are. This has been hammered home by the fact that all the women I play sport with are older. Post 40 older. And they're mostly small and slim, light boned and energetic. Unfortunately, I will never be anything other than robust in figure. My bones are not light, they're solid and strong, while my frame is broad shouldered, wide hipped, and perfect for dropping babies like marbles. Of course, I won't be doing that, so I have no excuse for struggling with my weight. It's sheer greed and laziness - nothing else to it.

So - the bet. Spar, Pro and I have agreed these terms:

* In 7 weeks, we will endeavour to lose 1 stone. That's 2 pounds a week and eminently do-able, in a safe and healthy way. In fact, it's going to be much tougher on Spar, who actually has no real need to lose weight. He's in a healthy bracket, but he likes to be skinny as a rake for his marathon running, and has put on a bit of chub since becoming a father. Unlike with Pro (and, in theory, me), the weight won't just fall off him, so it's going to be a bit of a slog.
* All contestants must be healthy and entire at the conclusion. No donating inner organs, or limbs, in order to shift swift poundage.
* The winner is EITHER he/she who reaches 1 stone loss, or who loses the most weight. The winner gets taken out for dinner by the losers. If all contestants reach a 1 stone loss, there is no forfeit. However, those who can be considered 'losahs' must undertake a forfeit for the length of ...


These forfeits are as thus:

* Pro must not watch and television, except cricket highlights (for else he would surely die).
* Spar must not watch any television, save that which Blar wants to watch. This means he will not watch any television, as watching Jeremy Kyle would surely kill him.
* I must not play any PS3, or PS2. No exceptions. I will surely die. Also, I will surely kill.

We started on Tuesday 18th, and will finish on Tuesday 6th October. 2 lbs a week really doesn't seem that bad, but I know from experience that it starts out easily, and finishes with increasing difficulty. It's now Friday and I've already lost my first 2lbs, taking me from some stones and 3.5lbs to some stones and 1lb. Alas, Badger sent us a lovely thank you present of a box of 'serious' chocolates, which we've just spent half an hour sampling. There are 6 chocs and they're all small, after-dinner size, so I don't feel too bad about it.

Diet tips, that I have gleaned over the yearfor anyone interested:

* Do not deny yourself totally. If you drastically change the way you eat overnight, you'll soon realise that being fat is preferable to eating shite. Enjoy your food, but if you eat something fattening, adjust the rest of your diet to accommodate. Want a bowl of ice cream? Then have miso soup for lunch. Want chips? Then have plain white fish with them.
* Venison is food from the diet gods. Burgers at under 7g fat, 165 calories? Sausages at 3.2g fat, 12o calories? Get in!
* Vegetarian chilli is a filling and tasty meal. No, really.
* Salad cream may save your life. Use it as a substitute for mayonnaise. 40 calories and 4g of fat in a serving of regular stuff, as opposed to 101 calories and 11.1g fat in Hellmann's mayo. If you drop down to the light salad cream, which, to be honest, I can't really fault, you've got 37 calories and 2.8g of fat. Get yourself a lovely pitta bread (170 calories, 1.3g fat) and stuff it full of lettuce and tomato, with a serving of salad cream, and you've got yourself a filling and genuinely tasty lunch. Not only that, but seeing as it comes in at around 260 calories (with lettuce and tomato - but it's just a guess) you can even, if you're craving it, put in a little cheese and not beat yourself up about it.
* Cheese. Forget the low fat alternatives, unless you genuinely like the flavourlessness and slight plastic texture. Instead, substitute mature cheddar for extra mature, grate it finely, and use half the amount you usually would. You get all the flavour and half the fat.
* Get past the first couple of weeks. After that, the food you're eating really does start to taste better than the high fat alternative.
* Exercise. For anyone who hates the thought of getting hot, sweaty and tired, remember that anything is better than nothing. But - on the other hand - remember also that, at least for the first few weeks, cutting down your diet will make you feel slightly lethargic. Don't beat yourself up about not wanting to exercise. Try and do something - go to the gym and lift weights, sit on the cycle machine for 2o minutes on low resistance, have a 20 length swim doing breast stroke at a slow but steady pace, take a 1 mile walk ... it doesn't matter, as long as you're out and doing. Not only will it help your weight loss (every little helps) but, more importantly, it will get your body slowly used to exercise and, just as importantly, your mind used to the idea of fitting exercise into your day. Believe me - after a while, you'll actually want to exercise.

All of the above comes from years and years of trying to lose weight and only occasionally succeeding. This means I've learnt what works and what doesn't. The most successful period, where I obeyed all the above rules (and built my exercise up to being able to run 7 miles ... probably more, but boredom and a general loathing of running kept me from going longer) lost me 2 1/2 stone. I've now put a stone of that back on. I'm not getting any younger, and I have no desire to leave this planet with untimely haste, so it's diet time for me.

Watch this space. I shall chart my losses and gains. Best o' luck to me, eh?

Oh - one more diet tip. If you're feeling particularly energetic, fly off to the USA, find Tracy Anderson, and beat her to a bloody pulp. Any woman who genuinely believes our sex shouldn't lift weights is plainly pig ignorant. What do you think women have done throughout the ages? Got a man to help them lift their baskets of potatoes? To do their washing in the stream? To cut their wheat, carry their sheaves, heft their baskets of fish to market? To carry their children? Fucking idiot. The idea that women aren't supposed to be strong and muscular is a modern day nonsense, born out of the fact that we have very few physical jobs nowadays, and technology to combat those jobs that would, traditionally, have required physical strength. Ever tried washing clothes by hand on a washboard in a river? First you've got to carry a big basket of clothes (and these would have been thicker and heavier in days gone by) to your local river. You might have done this by carrying the basket on your head, supporting it with one hand while you carried your baby on your hip. Then you'd take out your washboard and soap - which you'd also have to have carried - and start dousing, scrubbing, pounding, all this heavy material. Once the clothes were washed and rinsed, they'd have to be wrung. They might need another rinse and another wring. Then you put everything back in your basket and take it home. You don't think you need muscles for that? And that's just one example of one job. The act of living used to be pretty physical. Gathering food, carrying butchered meat (not to mention the hunting and butchering itself), carrying children, travelling from one place to another on foot (or horse), chopping wood, building fires, cooking, cleaning ... you name it, you needed muscles for it. So if some prissy little fucker like Tracy Anderson comes along and tells you that women aren't meant to be muscular, I recommend you go straight to the gym, build up your muscle tone to an impressive degree - then smack her in the kisser. Skinny, waif-like, delicate females with thin, rope-like muscles that can't lift more than 3lbs are purely for the make-believe world of Hollywoood.

Also - women do not bulk up in the gym by using weights. They don't have the testosterone levels to support masculine bulk. True, some women claim they do get bulky, but this is usually for one reason alone. They're eating more calories than they need. Fat converting to muscle might make you bulky, but better to be bulky than fat anyway. Muscles burn more calories and don't clog up your arteries with LARD. Another reason might be extra testosterone, which some women have. Anyway - why do women have such an averson to looking muscular? I don't mean bulging Miss Universe type muscular, 'cos, frankly, that's ugly (to me) on women and men, but a healthy muscularity - why is that a bad thing? I know which one I'd rather look at out of these two.

By the way - I don't know who either of these women are - just pictures I found on google images, so if the muscular one turns out to be a freaky Tracy Anderson cult member, I'm going to look pretty dim-witted.

Anyway, rant over simply because I have to go out for dinner. Lady from Bankfoot is cooking for us, and we're running late!