Wednesday, April 7, 2010

My short-term future

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.


Lanie said...

Know exactly what you are talking about Jamie. Your posting sounds like my exact story! I laughed aloud at the idea of your GP being a Whippet with no credibility etc. Whalewatch (I'm laughing as I write this). I like your diet so I am going on it too - the wine part is the tricky bit (well, it is all a bit tricky really - but possible). I think the only reason I am not enormous is that I swim 10km a week. Not that it seems to help that much! So - eat well, exercise well and keep us up to date. I will do the same and keep everyone informed too. Thanks for the motivation!

prue said...

All the best with the diet. Don't worry, you aren't alone, I am on a diet too (the doctor decided I needed to lose 10.4 kilos, I discarded her theory due to it being based on the thoroughly outdated BMI but realised I needed to lose some.) Your diet sounds like a good plan and similar to what I am doing. Good luck and good salads (I have perfected the green salad with chick peas which is the best so far)

Elephant's Eye said...

Your lettuce looks wonderful. We still have to plant the seeds, which are waiting patiently.

greenfumb said...

Ditto - I too have had a date with the DJ's mirrors. I have given up the wine altogether - well for the last 2 days anyway, just have to finish my Easter chocolate and we're all set. My goal is at least 5kg but 8 would be better.

Good Luck to everyone.

michelle said...

Good luck with the diet, can't wait to see the "after" photo of you. Just kidding!

Here's a diet trick that I learned recently, well not just a diet trick, but an overall eating strategy that helps keep the weight off - eat off of a smaller plate. Apparently, a full plate of food is more satisfying than one that looks less full, so use a smaller plate, don't pile it too high, and don't go back for seconds. Eat less, weigh less. I've found it works well for me, but it also helps that I'm a slow eater. The same article where I read about this also said that the average size of the American dinner plate has grown from about 9-inches to about 12-inches in the last 60 years or so. And the average American waistline has expanded dramatically in the same time frame. Food for thought . . . Hmmm, maybe I should use a smaller wine glass as well.

Melinda said...

Good luck Jamie with your diet! I think your diet plan is nice and realistic, which is the main thing. (I am eating one of the last Easter eggs whilst typing this).
Stay away from the DJ's mirrors, they aren't flattering no matter what size you are!!

Sue O said...

I hate lettuce. and love chocolate. Which is why I'm a cuddly Nana.