Or in this case the first stone in weight off. I am thrilled to have finally found an eating regime that actually works for me and isn’t a penance, in fact I am enjoying the cooking and the planning.
The Real Meal Revolution (RMR) is a well thought out and balanced eating plan which provides support, advice, meal plans if needed and a huge supply of recipes to start you off which are family friendly and easy to do. There are also lists of foods that can be eaten always, those that need to be limited and the red list of ones to never eat. It is easy enough to devise meals using the green lists. The secret is definitely in the planning but you could probably say that of all diets in truth. The difference with the RMR is that it actually helps you to train your mind and your body in order to enable you to lose weight. It is not a quick fix and is a regime to be followed for life. Being ultimately a foodie I was initially worried that I would find the low carb restrictions too difficult but that has not been the case. The plan turns everything we have always been told to do about a balanced diet, upside down and it did take me a few weeks to get my head around it all but that is a necessary part of the learning curve. I certainly feel better, have less aches and pains and walk the dogs with greater ease. Mind you, this stone is just the first hurdle, I have several to clear over the coming months but at least I feel positive about reaching my goal weight.
The AP is aware that I am losing weight but doesn’t seem to understand how because we do all appear to eat the same meals. This is one of the bonuses of it all, she cannot meddle or tell me what she thinks I should be doing from her standpoint of no knowledge. Before we made the fateful decision to have her live with us the AP was living on sugar laden Heinz tinned soups and bought snack cakes, full of artificial flavourings and trans fats. Need I say more!
The only downside to it all is eating out. I love to go out for lunch or dinner but it is difficult to find anywhere that gives me any variety of choice. Pub meals in particular seem to focus on chips with everything, pastry dishes, bread rolls, breaded and/or battered fish, shellfish or chicken. Then there is the ubiquitous prawn cocktail which is enjoying a revival. It is invariably coated in a thick layer of glutinous mayonnaise of suspicious origin served, you guessed it, with bread and butter and I mustn’t forget the inevitable British favourites, sandwiches usually with a garnish of salad and crisps, filled baked potatoes, the ploughmans, lasagne with garlic bread and last but not least, curries with rice, poppadums, naan bread and sweet mango chutney. In the midst of all this there may be the lone salmon fillet to be had with salad and when I am really lucky, chilli beef with salad. Never mind though it will all be worth it in the end and I guess there is always an omelette with salad for added variety.
Where are we with the AP? Rolling towards our month of freedom and trying hard not to wish the time away, only four and a half weeks to go. She continues to irritate with her overbearing and condescending attitude and it will be lovely to have some time together doing our own thing.
It is eleven days since I wrote a blog and what have I done in that time. I guess nothing much of great interest. I called my blog ‘Shrinking Horizons’ when I began writing but really I should change it to ‘Shrunken Horizons’. The LSO and I live in this slightly surreal world and despite us trying our hardest to not become bored with our extremely limited existence, every now and then we are overwhelmed by a sense of futility. We really go nowhere and it’s sad to say that even a trip together to the bottle bank is a novelty. The picture on this blog says it all really, the door to nowhere, no glass, no knocker, no number. Its actually in the side of a barn, totally random.
The AP is becoming increasingly mentally challenging as she cannot recall anything she is told, only remembering when her bank statement is due or the payment of her tenant’s rent. She never seems to understand what is said to her either by us or anyone else. Tales become garbled and nonsensical and information relayed by others is mostly wrong.
Here we are, both in our early seventies and the AP shows no sign of flagging physically but I guess when you have nothing to do except cope with yourself it’s easy. If anyone is flagging it is us because as well as coping with ourselves we shop for her, wash clothes, towels, bedding changing everything as well as cooking, cleaning, managing her affairs, making her appointments then ferrying her backwards and forwards to them. It is exhausting both mentally and physically and is taking it’s toll on both of us. We are aware of time passing and the fact that we are not free to do what we want, when we want to.
I do wonder if the AP actually considers or even realises, how having her living with us has brought our lives to a standstill. If she does, does she care? I somehow doubt it because she has become totally wrapped up in herself and her levels of empathy and understanding have deteriorated. The AP has no idea what we do in the day tending to sit in her room or go to the summerhouse and assumes that we sit watching television. How she imagines everything gets done I don’t know.
We can never go far without her and truth be told we really don’t want to take her with us either. Conversation is becoming impossible to the point of irritation, with us becoming as confused as the AP as we try to make sense of what she is saying. If she was a pleasanter person I would feel some sympathy but the nastiness is always just under the surface waiting to break out.
We do have a break coming up thank goodness but I am trying so hard not to wish the time away. The AP is doing that for us very effectively. Am I bitter about the decision we made? I regret it but no, I am not bitter, just resigned to it all.
Well no matter how much I try to put a positive spin on the situation the LSO and myself find ourselves in it all inevitably turns around and the dreaded all encompassing cloud creeps in.
This time it is the LSO who finds the AP’s rudeness and general nastiness too much to deal with and like all these situations it is a build up of many small incidences that are ignored and then finally the end of the road comes and the abyss appears. This particular last straw was the AP taking nearly fifteen minutes to come down for her dinner last night. It completely incensed the LSO and finally after she had departed to her room he exploded. I can fully see his point of view but I have managed to become more detached to the AP’s ridiculous behaviour and if she wishes to eat on her own and a cold dinner into the bargain, that is entirely her problem. But the LSO, quite rightly says it is just plain bad manners after a great deal of effort has gone into preparing meals that she can eat. Agreed but unfortunately we are not dealing with someone who is either logical or caring. The AP is utterly selfish and only thinks of herself and just to put the lid on everything she has also become both nosy and intrusive, demanding to know things that are none of her business.
So how do we now deal with this? The AP just sails on like a galleon leaving chaos in her wake and is completely oblivious to the damage she causes.
Well deal with it we must. We are both desperately in need of having our lives back and are hugely aware of time passing. The AP has taken an important part of our time away from us but not in a good way, which was something we never realised would happen or even considered when we made our decision to have her live with us. Anyone out there who thinks they know their parents, think again. I thought I knew my mother but I don’t think any of us actually do. I realise now how much my father many years ago, protected me from her because he also knew how she drove my brother away, something I was totally unaware of at the time. My father must have been as stunned at that as I am now by her patronising manner as well as her controlling and bigoted attitudes.
I refuse to go back to the darkness and angst and misery she has caused us; somehow we will find a way through all this.
For those of us who remember Jesse in The Fast Show, he would emerge from his shed which looked very much like an outside khazi to tell the world about his latest dieting fad; then he would depart back to the shed. So in this blog I shall be mostly writing about my weight loss programme.
Well my new regime is not a fad and it is definitely having the desired effect. In 5 weeks I have lost 10 and a half pounds in weight and feel so much better than I did before. My blood pressure is slowly reducing as is the terrible angst I had been feeling and to improve matters further the AP cannot wind me up anymore. I thought cutting down so much on carbs would be really difficult but it hasn’t been and I no longer feel the need to snack in between meals. I generally don’t cook different meals for myself but just add the desired carbs to his and the AP’s plates. For example tonight is Beef Stroganoff, I will have buttered cabbage with mine and they will have rice and with the handy microwave patna rice available now it’s a doddle. The RMR has some excellent recipes on the site and really help if I get a bit stuck on what to cook. The meal plans also provide me with some excellent guidelines and I am becoming better at planning in advance instead of that morning.
I have battled a little with the protein balance but suddenly realised that if I am a bit excessive one day I can reduce the proportion the next day. Eating out no longer fills me with horror because I have discovered that restaurants will substitute the carbs in their dishes with extra vegetables or salad. The down side of eating out is the fact that in pub restaurants in particular an awful lot of the menu is dedicated to breads, batters, mash and the ubiquitous chip so I can be a little limited in what to choose. The wine is a bit of a problem because I do enjoy a glass or two in the evenings so although at the moment I seem to have found a balance I can see it becoming more difficult in the future.
I have also discovered some really quality gins that can be poured over lots of ice and I have found that a tot of good single malt whisky in a large glass with ice and soda makes a great summer aperitif. No carbs in sight but I guess too much alcohol would not be a good plan.
At the end of the day the regime cannot become a penance, life needs to be enjoyed, even if we still have the trials and tribulations of caring for the AP. So if I slip back slightly at any time I will not beat myself up about it but will just revert to being sensible the next day.