January 14

Eff off, fat. The latest.

So, for the third time I don my swimming costume and a dodgy swim cap and step into the pod. Yes, I’m still doing my monthly face-the-music session at The University of Westminster, with the gentle Dinesh, who offers kind words of support and encouragement.

Those of you who have been reading my last few posts will know that this is not going to be another restaurant review. I doubt that there will be many more restaurant reviews because I think that particular period of my life (the eating out obsessively one) may now be over. I may be wrong and I often am, but that’s how it feels for now. So you can stop reading if you’re looking for that. This is another journey altogether.

I was, on average,  eating out  around 10-12 times a week. There have been weeks where it was more than that. It sounds shocking, I know, but much of my job involves meeting clients and I would often have breakfast, lunch and dinner meetings every day of the week. This was before my “real” life at weekends, which would inevitably involve a new restaurant or two. That easily mounts up. In a spirit of openness, I’m also counting those times when I just popped into Gail’s Kitchen  for a bit of #avotoast on the way into work because, well, I just did. No excuse.

My diary for the week June 27th shows 12 occasions of eating out, not to mention a champagne-fuelled afternoon tea for my sister’s birthday at Claridges (it was wonderful, actually) and  going to the (very worthwhile) Soho Food Fest on the Sunday. The apogee of this was the Oxford Food Symposium, the theme offal. I don’t eat offal, so that was stupid and I didn’t enjoy it. The attendees were, to some degree, cliquey, competitive and superior. The talks included such niche interests as cooking with blood  and how offal was incorporated into Spanish middle class cooking in the 1940s and 1950s. You have to be fairly committed and I found that I wasn’t.  I stayed in my room more than I had anticipated and went for long walks round the beautiful grounds of St Catherine’s College (Grade 1 listed, designed by Arne Jacobsen) and vowed to come back and stay in the simple, elegant rooms on my own, for a bit of a home-made retreat.

Because it wasn’t just going out for meals, you see, it was a total immersion in everything food-related; eating it, writing about it and learning about it. t

And whilst we are on it, cookbooks. Thanks Amazon, for fuelling what was already a fairly ingrained addiction. I already had a reasonable number of  cookbooks but it’s true to say that the cannon, as far as I was concerned were books I’d had for years. I’d managed perfectly well on my Claudia Roden’s  New Middle Eastern Cookery and Peter Gordon’s Sugar Club cookbook as well as a smattering of Elizabeth David and Nigel Slater. I’m going to to a whole other post about that subject but Nigel Slater? I remember reading Nigel Slater’s Real Fast Food in the back of a car travelling back from the Lake District to London one miserable January and thinking I’d found my kitchen soulmate.

It had been relatively under control until the whole food thing started and then I just started to get that whole FOMO feeling in the cookbook department. Reading about how marvellous Mamushka was, I was stricken to discover I hadn’t even heard of it. Call myself a food insider. I bought it straight away. Needless to say I have never cooked a single recipe from it and whilst I can see why food people like it (it has just that right amount of inaccessibility and unusual ingredients) I didn’t actually fancy the food. I mean, just look at this stack. It’s one of a number of similar stacks of books I own but rarely use.

I’ve stopped buying cookbooks for the moment, whilst I cull those bought without thought and which I will never use. My local charity shop will be able to pass itself off as Books for Cooks next month. Because losing the weight has also had an effect on other areas of my life and I have been divesting myself of shit I don’t need. More on that another time

So. Back to the point which you may think I have been avoiding. The Bod Pod.

And here it is. The third test, 9 weeks after the first.


So. Let me help you interpret. Basically, since 8th November, this has happened:

  1. I have lost 13.699 lbs since November 8th
  2. 12.345 lbs of that is body fat
  3. My percentage of lean weight has gone from 54.1% to 59.7%

Altogether, (and you know I have thrown away my scales) I think that I have lost something in the region of two stone, because when I first weighed myself in October, I had already been cutting down radically for about three weeks, so I suspect that at my heaviest, I was pushing 13 stone. Fuck.

And not only that. Some stats:

  1. Waist size: 36 inches down to 31.5
  2. Hip size 41.5 inches down to 39.5
  3. Bust size: 42 inches to 40
  4. Thighs: (remember I have Olympic shot putter legs according to C) 23.5 to 22

And this is the interesting part for me, the weight that I have lost has been all fat. not muscle, or water. FAT. It’s there in black and white. And the best thing is I have a lot more energy.

How have I done it? Here are some of the things I’ve been eating over the last couple of months. I haven’t been hungry and I haven’t felt deprived. These plates aren’t all meals on their own, they are (in the case of the salad plates) parts of meals containing more variety. I’m really not a #rawvegan even if it looks like that from my Instagram feed.

I’ll leave you with these images for now. A little more detail will follow in other posts, together with some observations about obsessive behaviour. Enjoy. I have.