Barring the possibility of random meteor strike from outer space and other unexpected bummers, I have a fairly good idea about at least a small part of my short-term future. Lots more salads. I'm on a diet.
I'll have to get a bit more energetic than this, as this is actually a photo of a pot of mixed lettuce from last year. But my current crops of lettuce are all uninspiring baby seedlings set against a background of dull, brown earth, and they wouldn't do to illustrate this little blog posting which is a bit more about weight loss than it is about gardening (although we are back into prime salad greens growing weather for the next couple of months).
I have known for at least a year that I was carrying too much weight. My doctor told me, for one thing, but she's one of those tall, healthy, clever Whippets who has no credibility at all when talking to the overweight. What I needed was some inspiration closer to home.
The first dose came last week, when Pam and I got together with an old female friend of mine (not a girlfriend) who is only a year younger than me yet looks 20 years younger and is still in great shape. In her case that's thanks to lots of Salsa dancing (and presumably chasing all those young Latin lads around the dance floor).
The next, and decisive, dose of motivation felled me. I was shopping, buying clothes, trying them on in the changing rooms at David Jones, a major department store in the city. I am sure they install special unflattering lighting in those rotten change rooms full of mirrors. It wasn't so much Baywatch as Whalewatch. Enough! Enough! I give in. OK, I'll diet, I'll lose weight.
I've done it before (ie, lost 10 kilos in a few months, then put it all back on over the next two years). And I'll do it again...
And so that's why I think a photo of salads is appropriate. I'll be eating more of them I am sure, but that's no hassle as I've always enjoyed a good salad. The problem for me is that I also enjoy a good bottle of wine, a roast of lamb or beef or pork or chicken, lots of potatoes, all sorts of vegies cooked all sorts of ways, plus bacon, cheese, pate... this list of sins never ends.
And so here's my magic diet, which has worked well before, and I hope works just as well again.
1. Healthy breakfast, every day.
2. Healthy lunch, every day.
3. Whatever I like for dinner if I cook it myself (or Pam cooks), but if I eat out I stay on alert for the healthiest option.
4. The only snacks in between meals are fruit.
5. No more than 2 glasses of wine on any one day, and a couple of grog-free days a week thrown into the mix as well.
6. Daily walkies, at least half an hour, preferably more. Not strolling. Proper walkies. (I get asthma if I run further than 25 metres, so I'm a walkies boy.)
7. Tell people you're dieting, as with secretive dieting it's far too easy to surreptitiously decide to go 'bust' without anyone knowing you busted!
My first target is to lose 5 kilos, but I really need to lose 10 kilos to get my weight down to a truly healthy level for my height.
I'm sure carrying less weight will have a miraculous effect on my back problems. It's not a dodgy back I have, it's a dodgy front!
And so that's my short-term future. Lots of salads, more exercise, avoiding saturated fats, eating more fruit. At my age, this is actually all about my long-term future, too.