Three Crushing Kilograms
I've gained three kilograms over the past month or so as I discovered to my horror yesterday when I stepped confidently on the scales, fully expecting to see the red needle jerk up to the usual acceptable number. It went three clicks further around the dial.
I jumped off the scale as though it was a square of molten lava. How could this be? I tried again. Still the same horrible number. I then moved the scales to another part of the room: a desperate ploy to see if the gentle wobble in our 85-year old floorboards had somehow encouraged the needle to go further than it should have. This may have worked in MillyMoo Land, but no such luck in the real world.
Shocked, horrified, ill and embarrassed didn't even begin to cover just how I felt. I asked again: How could this be? I run six kilometres four times a week for godssake and I do a 1.5km swim at least once a week. How much more exercise was I supposed to do to keep my weight down to a less-than-lardarse level?
Note that my concerns yesterday (and today, if I'm to be honest) revolved around increasing exercise and did not yet entertain the novel idea of reducing what I eat. I love to eat and am happy to exercise reasonably hard in order to ensure that I can continue to freely and lustily inhale all sorts of chocolately, cakey, sticky, salty and oily foods without morphing into the Michelin Man. After all, if there's a new brand, flavour or variety of chocolate out on the market, it is my responsibility to try it out.... in the interests of furthering our advances in all types of research for the overall benefit of society you understand.
I don't think I'm the only one who shares this silly psychosocio-physical view of oneself; namely that it's worth the lack of sleep, agony, sweat and boredom of exercise to be able to scoff down a family block of caramello in front of 'Survivor' than to sleep in, go to the gym half as often and not have any caramello. (At least, this is how it has to be unless the ancient Roman Vomitarium makes a return to private residences and public eating spots).
There is evidence everywhere in every street from 6am to 9am every day. Now that it is December, it is interesting to note the sharp increase in the numbers of people staggering around the neighbourhoods jogging, power walking, cycling or (hah!) driving to the gym for their circuit classes. Yes, the earlier daylight in the mornings could be a factor in this increase, but mostly it is because they too want to look svelte-enough to shovel in whatever they feel like over the silly season. They will keep up their relatively new exercise plan until, oh, about late January when most of the holiday hoeing has finished and they can convince themselves that their baggy cargo shorts/peasant caftans have shrunk in the wash.
Despite this smug assertion, I still woke up this morning feeling rather depressed about those miserable three kilos. Before stepping on the scale again (just to make sure), I fulfilled every old cliched chestnut of the desperate dieter - dropped a couple of John Howards off at the pool, had a shower, cut my nails, cleaned out my ears, shaved my legs - and then stepped on. Aaarrgh - the needle still kept jerking its way to three numbers too high and we haven't even had Christmas, Boxing Day or New Years' Eve food fests yet.
Love Chunks was just about to get the newspaper which, as usual, was wedged underneath a rose bush, dripping with rain. "Hey MillyMoo - just stand there in the bathroom door so that I can check out if you can see in our house from the outside." Explanation needed here: we had just got a new wrought iron screen door put on the front and weren't sure how much could be seen from the outside. In addition, our only bathroom was in direct line with the front door. For the past five years I had dreaded the scenario of bending over to pick up the soap just as Dean was letting in a tradesman; or doing a quick streak to the bedroom just as 88 year old Jack from next door was asking us to empty his letter box whilst he went to Edithburgh on a fishing trip.
These scenarios were far from my immediate thoughts however as I stood uncertainly in the passage, feeling rather chunky in my bathroom and not strong enough for a funny 'fat comment' from Love Chunks at 7am in the morning.
"Er, what can you see?"
"Oh EVERYTHING," he said dramatically. Oh dear sweet Love Chunks, please don't say anything about my pot-belly or chunky thighs or ham hock arms or----
"I can see every single wrinkle on your face."
Great. I hope you say it just a bit louder so that all of the neighbours can hear.