No, it’s not a new fad diet which reduces your posterior by 50%. It’s what happened when I decided I really had to lose weight …
Day Zero: Accept things really can’t go on like this and that dire warnings appearing periodically in magazines and on TV are no longer exclusively about other people. Weigh self. That can’t be right, surely. Question competence of scales.
Day One: Fruit for breakfast, black coffee, no sugar. Lunch; one of those ‘good for you’ wrap things that taste like thin cardboard, filled with salad and bit of tuna in spring water. Dinner; skinless chicken breast, enough boiled potatoes to satisfy a peckish gerbil, and all the vegetables you can stomach.
Day Two: Exactly the same as day one, except that dinner contains a fillet of white fish rather than chicken, and is followed by a small glass of wine, because you deserve it, and it’s got fewer calories than the sugar you didn’t have in your coffee.
Day Three: Breakfast; bowl of cereal, semi-skimmed milk, no sugar, black coffee. Lunch, a small sandwich – there’s only so much cardboard you can eat – low fat cheese slice with slimy texture and no taste. Given texture – are they manufactured from residue at bottom of dishwasher? – be grateful for lack of taste. Dinner; salad, thinly sliced ham, no mayonnaise, enough boiled potatoes to daunt a cat. Small glass of wine with dinner; (see above).
Day Four: Rest day. Dieting every day is bad for you, and you’d never stick to it. It just makes sense. Breakfast; Orange juice, egg, bacon, sausage, tomato (optional), toast. Lunch; proper cheese sandwich, with rest of yesterday’s thinly sliced ham. Dinner; pizza. Small glass of wine. Oh, and pudding; that tiramisu in the fridge needs eating or it’ll go off. Another small glass of wine. And no point leaving that little bit in the bottle. Goodness, it didn’t look like it was that much! Oh, well.
Day Five: Back on it with a vengeance. Grapefruit for breakfast – funny taste, grapefruit – black sugarless coffee. Lunch; small sandwich, proper cheese. Anything that feels like that other stuff simply can’t be good for you and there’s no point making yourself ill, is there? This diet is supposed to be healthy after all. Dinner: Chicken with practically all skin removed. Boiled potatoes with tiniest knob of butter for presentational purposes. Assorted vegetables. No wine. Yes, I know, but you don’t want to get a reputation, do you?
Day Six: Bloody grapefruit again; it’s like dilute battery acid. Slice of toast with butter and marmalade as a treat. Black coffee. Lunch; sandwich and a half, because that way you won’t be so hungry when it comes to dinner time. Dinner; chicken breast, mashed potato for a change, vegetables. Glass of wine to follow because you were good yesterday. Two squares of chocolate as a treat. Gosh, they were nice. Just two more then. What kind of bar only has six squares of chocolate in it? Last two. But that’s it.
Day Seven. It’s weighing day tomorrow. Breakfast: Black coffee. Elevenses: Two slices of toast with marmalade. Should have had breakfast. Lunch: Sandwich. In fit of remorse leave the last mouthful; which hopefully had all the calories in it. Dinner: Fish of some sort, portion of mashed potato big enough to titillate a termite. Revolting vegetables.
Second week, Day One; Weighing day. Breakfast: Nothing. Not even coffee. Try to surreptitiously dehydrate. 11.00 am: Weigh self. How can it possibly be the same as last week? Take as confirmation of scales malfunction. Buy another set. Weigh self. Sigh. Lunch: Big Mac and fries. Diet Coke.