After bleating away to my husband for several weeks that my stomach is getting puffy looking, I realised that it was time to stop waiting for a de-bloating miracle (or a good strong dose of food poisoning) and make something of an effort to stop eating all the foods I shouldn’t and too much of everything else.
So I decided to practice using some self-control and learn to Just Say No. I do actually normally say ‘No’, but my husband has learned over the years to completely ignore me when I say I don’t want anything else to eat. Mainly because even if that’s true I’ll always want what he’s having because of some stupid fear that I’m missing out. Hence the reason his incredibly sweet tooth is resulting in my puffy looking stomach.
Last Saturday I thought I’d made something of a breakthrough and acquired of a will of steel, when I turned down the blueberry muffin that was bought and offered up to me on a plate. I also pushed away the pile of mini marshmallows that came with the hot chocolate. I would have pushed away the hot chocolate as well, but that would have just been rude. Besides, it was expensive, I was thirsty and reckoned I probably needed at least some sugar to get me through an hour and a half at the soft play centre full of wall-to-wall screaming children.
Now had I been good I’d have left the muffin on the plate, but I obviously I hadn’t reached that stage of toughness yet. Plus I simply abhor the waste of any food. So I stuck it in the bag, brought it home and promptly ate it with a cup of tea. Test One: Failed miserably.
So this morning, having remembered that will power is not really my thing, I decided to tackle Phase 2. I dusted off the fitness game I’d bought for the Wii several months ago and stuck it in the machine. Well, more accurately I pushed various buttons and juggled 4 remotes for 5 minutes before managing to get the right machine to flicker into life on the right channel. That done, I stood there (feeling slightly ridiculous) all ready to go with the Wii remote in one hand and a cup of tea in the other. I was obviously taking this very seriously as you can see.
10 minutes later and I’d finally navigated the cursor across the screen to enter my name, date of birth, height, weight, skin tone, blood type, inside leg measurement, favourite food, least favourite colour and what I’d had for breakfast. I’d also dutifully pointed out that I was incredibly unfit, highly uncoordinated and likely to need subtitles to get me through the moves.
Jake (my personal trainer) then bounced up on the screen and told me I was going to have a ‘Blast’ and be ‘Grreeeeaaaat’. I took an instant dislike to him, not sure why, but his eagerness and general 2D fitness was bordering on the side of arrogance.
The first session started, the 3 of them on the screen started moving and I made an attempt to follow suit and keep up. All I can say is what a bloody disaster. For some reason my brain seemed to have shut off all communication with my feet and my arms were moving in every direction but in time with the music. To make matters worse the straps on the remotes keep coming undone, the rug refused to lay flat and Charlie seemed to think it was highly amusing to keep weaving in and out of my legs like he was running some sort of slalom.
Not to be disheartened, I made several attempts at various different ‘sessions’ and even changed personal trainers – but to no avail. I think I got steadily worse as it went on, and to add insult to the injuries I was collecting thanks to the loose strap on the remotes, after 5 minutes of throwing myself around the room I’d apparently only burnt off seven calories. Not enough to even justify the banana I had to give me energy before I’d started.
So, that one came swiftly out and the second game went in: a Yoga and Pilates combo that promised to get me back to fit and bendy former self. Another 10 minutes it took for me to enter my name, age, height and weight etc. This time I even got to choose my body shape and a hair style. So that obviously added a bit of time while I experimented with a blond mullet. Not a good look in case you were wondering.
On pranced the instructor and opened her mouth to tell me how ‘Grreeeeaaaat’ I was going to feel. I changed her straight away; she annoyed me even more than Jake. I opted for a ‘flexibility’ session on a ‘relaxing tropical beach’ setting. Hmmmmm. Let’s just say that after ten minutes of twisting my feet around my thighs and failing to balance on one foot I was feeling neither bendier nor remotely serene.
So I turned off the Wii and, in a last-ditch attempt, got out a Pilates DVD I’d had for ages but forgotten to use. This I felt was more likely to work as A) I’d done Pilates for a year before leaving Perth and B) I didn’t need to use a remote to enter my life’s history first.
The opening credits appeared, I started to get right into the mood, the music started and then …. ‘Maisy, Maisy, Maisy, Maisy Mouse…’ The wrong side of the bloody DVD/VHS machine was playing. Nothing against Maisy of course and I’m sure she’s lovely, but she’s never really struck me as much of a keep fit mouse.
FINALLY I get to where I need to be and I remember how incredibly painful Pilates can be when you’re just starting out, or in my case, have taken slightly too long of a break. Still, I know what to do this time and the searing burn in my legs, bum, abs and arms tells me that it’s doing something. Forty minutes later and I’m actually pink and sweaty. Result. That’s got to have burnt off at least some of the puff.
Feeling light-headed I wash down 7 olives, 2 satsumas and a tomato with a glass of water. As I’m doing this I happen to glance at the calendar on the fridge and realise I have a nurses appointment at 3.40. It’s now 3.22. Now my brain tells me I don’t exactly have enough time to shower, wash my hair and get there in time. But once again I defy common sense and basic timings and throw myself headfirst into the shower. Taking Wash And Go to new extremes, I walk into the surgery a mere 14 minutes later looking flushed and ever so slightly soggy. It obviously helped that it’s only a 30 seconds drive away.
Anyway, the whole point of the ramble above was this:
At my new patient assessment the nurse asked if I smoked (no), how much I alcohol I consumed (not a lot) and how many times in the last year I’d drunk so much that I couldn’t recall what I’d done the night before (none – that I remembered anyway). Then, for the 4th time that day, I was weighed and measured and told that, according to the ‘official’ recommendations, I was actually underweight. 2 whole stone underweight to be precise.
What a load of rubbish. Since when did someone of my height (5 foot 8.5 inches) need to weigh in at 11.5 stone to be considered healthy? Heavens above, if these are the guidelines that the NHS use to gauge the nations optimum weight then it’s not difficult to see why the country is becoming steadily fatter by the second. It sounds to me like someone in the health system is fiddling those numbers to put a better spin on the obesity problem in this county. It’s possible you know, the clothing industry have certainly been upping sizes over recent years to make people feel better about themselves. My proof? Over the last 10 years, despite my body gaining weight through pregnancy and age, I’ve dropped several dress sizes in certain stores.
Perhaps the NHS should test run a new set of ‘official’ recommendation which aren’t quite so generous with their numbers. Plymouth might be a good place to give it a whirl, especially considering almost 1 in 3 of the kids there are classed as overweight or obese by their final year of primary school.
Now if I’m apparently 2 stone underweight (which I am most definitely not) and the same guidelines are used from toddler up, then just how much are some of these little kiddies weighing in at to already be considered obese at such a young age? Rather alarming to say the least.