For ten days I have suffered from being a mucus making machine with a hacking cough courtesy of a cold virus. It was a great source of concern to me as the day of our son’s wedding was approaching at speed. I really didn’t want to be the one leaving the ceremony sounding like a seal under water or causing the guests to back off in horror at the awful sound. Fortunately I did manage to suppress the cough with the help of a variety of lozenges and a certain amount of alcohol. It turned out to be a really special day, a gloriously fun time with both our son and the bride looking stunning, they make a gorgeous couple and their obvious happiness throughout the day was a glow that affected us all. We all thoroughly enjoyed the event even having the AP with us wasn’t too bad with both families helping to guide her through the day which was a relief for the LSO and myself. Our lovely daughter and son-in-law spent time chatting to the AP who did find the noise difficult to cope with. It was the first time we had met our new daughter-in-law’s family but the small numbers and the windmill venue all helped in making us comfortable together and there was much laughter and talk both there and during the rest of the day.
On the diet front I was delighted to find on the morning of the wedding that I had finally cleared the first two stone marker but as the candid wedding photographs show, I am only half way through the total weight loss, so a while to go yet. But it didn’t spoil my day as mostly I felt slimmer and I was thrilled to actually fit into my favourite velvet trousers for the occasion with the Jaeger jacket actually fastening! Roll on May when I should be facing a summer of being a lot lighter and therefore a great deal more comfortable in my skin in every sense of the word.
We had hired a chauffeured car for the day which took all the pressure from the LSO who could enjoy a drink without worrying. The alternative would have been hotel bookings, taxis and kennelling for the two terriers all making the day a very costly one. It did mean we perhaps left a little earlier to head home because the AP kept nodding off but in truth I would only have had too much to drink if we had stayed longer! The drive back was uneventful and extremely pleasant thanks to Pedro the driver whose friendly and amiable personality all helped add to the pleasure of the day.
Well, our month without the AP is over and her one hundredth birthday has been successfully celebrated in style and is now over so we are back to the same old routine and the same old repetitive conversations.
At least with the summer looming the weather will be better and the AP can sit out under the shade and catch a few rays. They might work a miracle and improve her attitude and behaviour but I won’t be holding my breath. Sadly the AP’s very presence has ratcheted up the angst and watching her pretend to all and sundry during the celebrations that she is this dear, sweet little old lady has caused the LSO and myself much frustration. The reality is very much the opposite. At this very moment I am listening to the conversation between my lovely cousin from Canada and the AP and no matter what is said the AP manages with amazing skill to bring everything back to herself! I have to be thankful that there is some conversation at all because in truth I have nothing to say to her which is sad in itself but anything in the present is promptly forgotten, hence the repetition and the past is always the same old stories over and over again.
Our month off was pretty stressful but all the boiler work is completed and the results have been definitely worth it, just having a shower is a joy. But the LSO and I now need a break! What a joke but I suppose October isn’t too far away as long as my equally lovely Scottish cousins will have the AP back.
Now I must really get to grips with the diet and next Monday I will start the 5:2 diet in earnest. I am also looking at a low carb regime following Genius Foods. Our darling daughter has sent me some information on podcasts to listen too and the LSO and I will be following this new, according to the LSO, tyranny (typical male response) as soon as I have sorted the meals out. I haven’t gained the weight I lost originally but equally haven’t lost any more. I try to tell myself that being positive is the way to go but do know that as far as the AP is concerned it can only get worse but in the meantime I will endeavour to be a better person and think better thoughts.
Well here goes on another attempt to lose weight. Dieting is a bit like giving up an addiction such as smoking, you must never give up trying.
The 5:2 Diet book has arrived and filled with much enthusiasm I started reading as much of the information as possible. Can this last? I see no reason why not but to begin with I am going to try out recipes before ordering in a shop. There is sound reasoning behind this decision, I cannot afford to just jettison food at a whim so I must first use up what is already in the fridge and fortunately most of it is pretty usable as far as the diet goes. Apart from that is, the full fat yogurt, the puff pastry packs, the crisps tucked in the cupboard and not forgetting the newly made cake filled and topped with marscapone and white chocolate or the sugar free but I guess, not fat free oat biscuits that nestle beside the all butter shortbread and the crunchy ginger snaps that dunk so well in the morning coffee. I shall not continue but oh dear, when an inventory is started on the contents of my cupboards and fridge it becomes apparent why I have a problem with my weight.
Three days have now passed and I have read and absorbed the information on this diet and I am ready to start. I was struggling to sort out the breakfasts as well as lunches and the evening meals whilst cooking for three very different appetites as well as food preferences. Then our daughter suggested I miss my breakfast altogether on fasting days and no-one need know and then I can have two 400 calorie meals or a 300 calorie lunch and a 500 calorie dinner. I then not only manage a good length of fasting time drinking only liquids in the morning but the AP will not know I am dieting. As I have said in previous blogs she is an absolute pain about my weight and once allowed any information worries it like terrier, unable to mind her own business. My life becomes a misery. But this bit of subterfuge should solve the problem.
Actually I did laugh. The AP arrived downstairs yesterday after her weekly shower and announced it had been lovely. We do have awful water pressure problems here in the village and I asked her if there had been a good flow of water. Oh yes she replied followed by ‘but I’m not really the one to ask as I don’t need as much water as you do, being smaller’. For just a moment I was stunned as the implication sank in and I just had to laugh; you really couldn’t make it up. I was asking about the water pressure and didn’t expect a response that implied my much fatter body needed more water in the shower. I think the AP thought she was being very witty, not insulting in the least but it has made me smile at intervals throughout the day just because of the sheer gall.
I decided today, after a phone call from a good friend, that I really need to plan my menus in advance if I wish to have any success at losing some of my excess weight. That may sound easy for most but it isn’t for me. I tend to gauge how I feel each day about what to prepare for dinner. For instance ‘am I in a chilli or curry mood? Do I fancy cooking fish or shellfish? Perhaps a vegetarian dish would be something a bit different so as you can see I am not too good at wearing a straight jacket where food is concerned and I guess that explains partly why I have a weight problem.
The LSO has said that the AP will have to accept that if I am to lose weight she will either have the same as us or a ready or pre-prepared meal from the freezer. I will not be explaining any of this to the AP because I know from experience she will never be off my back. It will be a continuous stream of questions and useless advice based on no knowledge and I will become even more stressed out.
Low carbs are the way to go and tonight we are eating out which can sometimes present problems. But tomorrow, well I will start then.
It’s back to the fat issue! Is there really a fat gene or do fat people just eat the wrong things? I do eat a sensible diet, well balanced generally but probably a little too heavy on the carbs but that is something that can be lessened. I don’t eat or drink huge quantities and the need to reduce carbs is to do with diabetes. Just how much of the fat problem is genetically inherited? It would be great if scientists could discover a magic pill to just melt the fat away.
Yesterday evening the AP thought she was being really subtle by mentioning that she had been watching Tom Kerridge on the TV and was telling the LSO and myself how much weight he had lost and he has produced a book about it all, would I like it! For those who have read my previous blogs you will know that the subject of my weight is not a topic of discussion especially with the AP but in this case I was irritated but also slightly amused. Tom Kerridge probably lost a great deal of his weight by giving up a prodigious drinking habit. I am not in the habit of downing 15 pints a day although I do enjoy a couple of glasses of wine. The irritation factor is that despite asking her not to be so critical about my weight she still persists. If I felt it was a genuine concern about my health I really wouldn’t mind but I know it is all to do with vanity and other peoples perceptions of her. A fat daughter is not good for HER image. Unfortunately her constant ‘nibbing’ for want of a better word has done nothing for my self esteem and my general response when feeling down and frustrated by it all is to head in the direction of a nice comforting carb.
Also still on the same subject, all these dieting books are much the same and I have a cupboard full of them, The Hairy Dieters, Anthony Worral Thompson, Low Carb Cooking, Low Fat Recipes, books by Slimming World and WeightWatchers, the list is endless. That is not to say that these books aren’t useful because they are and they are great guides when meal planning. Interestingly they all have two things in common and that is the prevalence of punchy, spicy flavours and a variety of lovely crisp vegetables so once again we go full circle and are back to the problem that continually haunts me these days. How do I cook for us and also satisfy the AP and her love of bland, soft food smothered in sauces or gravy.
We have another fridge/freezer arriving next week to go in the utility room and the LSO has decided that one drawer will be dedicated to meals for the AP whether bought in or pre-prepared. Well, it’s a plan and sadly no magic pill for me, just diet and exercise.