My 100 days of consolidation are up. I am now entering the final phase: Permanent Stabilisation. 'Go back to eating what you want six days out of seven, while keeping the consolidation foods as your safety base and platform.'
Ta dah! This is the point on most diets where you think, yippee! I'm thin! I've done it and can now eat like a hog. This makes about as much sense medically as thinking, Yippee, my broken leg has mended, I may now fling myself back down three flights of stairs with impunity! We know this, but we do it anyway.
This is why diets don't work. We go back to our old ways, those slippery paths that led us down into the Slough of Obesity, and bingo! Or perhaps binge-o. On goes all that weight again, bringing some chums with it. But the good doctor is on the alert for his ladies who have battled so valiantly, scoffing their oat bran, renouncing escalators, walking 20 minutes every day in their Parisian high heels, eschewing junk, embracing low fat protein faithfully, once a week. He will not abandon us to the misery of yo-yo dieting for the rest of our lives. We must continue to obey him. And here are the 5 things he expects of us in our newly stabilised life:
Actually, I can't be bothered to type it. Buy the book and look on page 155. Briefly, eat the sensible food he's trained you to eat, have one pure protein day a week (he says Thursday, but Thursday is karate day for me and I need my energy levels, so I go for Wednesday), and 'Live your life as if lifts and escalators did not exist'. And the final measure, he assures us 'is simply a treat: you must stick to three tablespoons of oat bran a day for life.' Yes, yes! A treat! (Stockholm syndrome has taken hold of me, I fear.)
But here's the real question, the only question: Does it work? Here's the answer: Yes, if you stick to the rules. That's been my experience so far. I can get into my wedding dress. I tried yesterday. Getting out again was more of a challenge, to be honest, partly because of a judo-related arm injury. I didn't tap out quickly enough when a large bloke was locking my elbow. Not tapping out (submitting, that is) quickly enough is a form of judo vanity. Men don't like to tap out if a woman is strangling them. It dents their pride. Or else it's an oxygen-deprivation erotic thing. I must ask.
Anyway. The other reason is that the dress is a little more snug than it was in 1984. This is because I am a little more... ooh, what's the word--hour-glassy? densely packed? muscular? fat?--than I was at 22. I weigh about 8-10 pounds more than I did then. I suppose I could have aimed lower, but they say, don't they, that after 35 you have to choose between your backside and your face looking good. For most of us, perhaps especially clergy wives, it's the face that's more on display. So the face wins. Don't get too thin, or you'll look scrawny round the wattles.
Still, my new weight has stayed within 3 pounds of my target. A variation accounted for by the vagaries of being female at this interesting stage of Project Womanhood. I keep thinking aargh! It's all piling on again! But then it comes back down. I assume that if I carry on following his rules, this will carry on being the case. Be sensible, don't be a pig. Keep active. Eat your oat bran.
About this blog
This is a window into the weird world of Anglicanism, as experienced on a Cathedral Close. Has anything much happened since Trollope's Barchester Chronicles? You will still see the 'canon in residence' hurrying across to choral Evensong, robes flapping, as the late bell chimes. But look carefully and you will notice he is checking the football score on his iPhone as he runs. This is also a writer's blog. It charts the agony and ecstasy of the novelist's life. And it's a fighter's blog. It charts the agony and ecstasy of the judo mat. Well, the agony, anyway.