The title of this post was one of 10cc’s hit records when I was about 10 years old and in my last year in primary school. Along with most 11-year-olds at that time we were about to do our first ‘proof of the pudding’ in educational streaming, which was the entrance exam to secondary school.
I’m hopefully about to do another ‘proof of the pudding’ exam between now and September of this year so I’ve been getting ready in the same chaotic, half-assed but wholly in earnest way I’ve approached most important dates in my life. I’m studying, practicing and refining the knowledge that applies to the examination, and at 52 and not-quite-the-athlete, am spending time trying to get myself physically in shape for the new demands on my energy levels.
Which means I’m on a diet to reduce weight firstly and give me better self-disciplinary eating and drinking habits that will be subliminal by the time I get to the part where more walking, running to meet deadlines, and completing the actual projects pertinent to the tutors’ instructions come in. The hard part is where I also cut out the whining, eye-rolling, snarling and day-dreaming.
Chaotic and half-assed means that I’ve arbitrarily chosen the 5:2 diet rather than joining a slimming club, running club, health club, turning vegan or being whole-heartedly committed to this ‘my body is a temple’ thing. I’ve only 14 lbs to lose and then maintain that weight with the exercises that automatically start again when the weather turns the garden back into a runaway train.
The goal is two pounds a week, and the ‘proof of the pudding’ happens every Wednesday with the weigh in. It’s a happy process in itself as I weigh myself everyday to keep the focus front and centre and decide what and how much I can eat on the basis of the scales. The first week I was 10st 11lbs and later that day was 10st 9lbs when I took off the winter jumpers. So last week I was 10st 7lbs, and this week am 10st 7lbs. Like Hannibal/George Peppard I love it when a plan comes together.
The food and drink element in February rarely involves anything that describes itself as a salad. But so far the diet has been successful because I’m indulging in foods that tick all the mental, slinky, feel-good factors: the ‘normal’ days have treats and the ‘penitent’ days have treats.
The treats on ‘2’ days are the teas from Lily’s Teashop, the Liquid Lunch from Pure Green and I’ve to get their other flavors to keep them intriguing: the ones I love so far are as per the picture on Facebook already. They’re locally produced and delicious, so they’re virtuously nationalistic :-), and are large enough producers to have worked out their logistics – lazy/busy customers don’t have to travel far to get them.
The last time I felt this self-congratulatory about being slim, I gave up alcohol too and found that the virgin versions of beer and cocktails helped me feel as if I was partying without the ‘fate and the supply chain will decide’ drink-till-you-drop attitude that was welded to my self-image. A new self-image that’s 10 years older and wiser is re-affirming itself, so check back soon for the next episode.