Saturday, 13 February 2016

Thoughts on dieting followed by a ride to the Tatsfield Bus Stop (for sausage sarnies)

It's Saturday morning, 0634hrs, and I'm up, dressed and drinking tea, black tea with milk, sitting in the living room and working on the lap top. When I say 'working', I'm sitting here writing what you are reading waiting for the moment, in about 25 minutes, when I have to get up, put on some waterproof trousers and head outside to retrieve the bike from the garage. I'm hoping the rain will stay in the far north and the south west, as predicted by the weather forecaster on Radio Four, but there's always a chance of a rain shower.

Andy's not going, but Phil is, which means there could be sausage sandwiches. That said my 'diet' has been slacking considerably, mainly due to cakes, it has to be said, and it's got to stop as I've put on a bit of weight and I'm determined to lose it again. So far today I've had a small slice of fruit loaf and a cup of tea. In a way I'm rather hoping there aren't any sausage sandwiches, but I'll make the exception today if they materialise and then push ahead with a dietary plan again from after the ride. The key thing is not to eat between meals and by that I mean cakes and biscuits. I did pretty well last week – one cookie yesterday accompanied by some bite-sized German stollen cake; on Thursday I had one mini chocolate cake and a couple of very small white chocolate Hershey bars, and at weekends I tend to be alright, although at home I've noticed that my portion sizes are huge where food is concerned, mainly because I make too much and live with people who eat like rabbits. I don't like waste either so I end up having second helpings. The other problem is I get so hungry.

Bikes at the bus stop, Saturday 13th February 2016
During the working week the plan should be simple: lay off eating between meals, stop eating and drinking anything with the letter 'b' in the title: bread, biscuits, buns, beer. To be fair to myself, I haven't had a beer for about a week – and even then it was only a pint in isolation as I rarely drink. Last night I had a small glass of wine with a meal (chicken risotto) and, as I've already said, a slice of fruit loaf this morning. This is, of course, all about discipline at the end of the day (well, at any time of day to be honest). It's having the willpower not to eat cake, not to eat biscuits and only to eat normal portions of food back at home. That way, hopefully, I can get back to that magical 12 stone, which last time took me about a month or two to lose. Oh, I've had a banana today too, but that doesn't count. In fact there's no limitation on the amount of fruit I can eat, that's another rule I've made, although I'm told that bananas put on weight and if I'm honest with myself, I'm getting a bit fed up with them anyway. I do eat an apple day.

My general diet, if you exclude the cakes and biscuits, which quite obviously I haven't been doing, is as follows: breakfast is a bowl of cereal OR porridge, a cup of tea and a slice of toast. The problem here is that I've increased this slightly. Sometimes I have a boiled egg and fingers too, which means I've eaten a slice of bread. I'm trying to keep my bread intake down and when I started this diet before (early 2014) I limited myself to just two slices of bread per day (down from about 10 slices). Yes, 10 slices! I can eat bread for England, believe me. I love the stuff. But my low bread intake quickly, well, not quickly, recently, picked up. With a boiled egg you need fingers, then I'd make a sandwich (two more slices of bread, making three) and then when I reach home after a day at work, another slice with some Marmite before dinner. So that's what, four slices of bread? Sometimes five as I've taken to a slice of toast for breakfast too. It's all got to stop and the fact that I've put on weight kind of pisses me off – big time.

On the plus side, though, there's the cycling and there's the walking. During the week myself and a couple of colleagues walk about 5km around the streets of Redhill and Reigate. I have my sandwich at noon and then, an hour later, off we go, returning to the office at 2pm, or thereabouts, for the afternoon slog – the slog being a mixture of trying not to eat shit (invariably it's somebody's birthday and the rule is they bring in cakes). It's also a slog trying to ward off the hunger, which translates itself into weariness. At work I'm also drinking less black tea. In fact I tend only to have one cup a day, the rest being lemon and ginger tea (Twinings, but in all honesty, the best variety comes from Aldi or Lidl, I'm not sure which, and is called Knightsbridge. You get 40 bags, not 20, and they're far better value. The trouble is there's no discount store nearby, which is a shame as I'd be in there regularly buying the Knightsbridge brand.

Phil was waiting on my drive around 0700hrs and we set off towards Warlingham Green, not expecting to see Andy, but half hoping to see Phil's so far elusive work colleague who supposedly lives nearby and has expressed an interest in joining us for a ride. So far, he's not shown up and he didn't show today either. Phil had made three sausage sandwiches, meaning that if this elusive guy doesn't turn up there will be an extra sarnie going begging. I told Phil that today was my last ever sausage sandwich. I explained how I'd lapsed a little on the dietary front and that sausage sandwiches were on my hit list. I'd have one today, but no more afterwards and I certainly wouldn't be munching on Phil's elusive cycling partner's abandoned sandwich.

We rode to the Tatsfield Bus Stop and sat there doing what we always do: eating something and sipping tea. Neither of us own a teaspoon (that's Andy's department for some reason) so we couldn't flick our teabags with any power. Instead, we 'lobbed' them gingerly using our bare hands and they landed a couple of feet away from where we were sitting. There were no BelVita biscuits either, because they're Andy's department too, but with a sausage sandwich, what else do you need? Our chat revolved around work and corporate life and during the conversation there were police cars and paramedics, winging their way towards us and racing along Clarks Lane towards what we guessed was some kind of accident. I figured it might involve cyclists going down Westerham Hill and a car travelling in the opposite direction, but I couldn't be sure. 

Phil complained about the cold, but it was pretty mild. I'd expected rain, but it was dry and cloudy and grey and not in the slightest bit cold. There wasn't any frost on the ground, put it that way, but Phil tends to suffer in the cold, despite the gloves he was wearing. It got so bad, he said, as we reached Sanderstead Pond, that he almost feel sick. The cold clearly doesn't affect me as I felt fine and besides, it wasn't that cold. We sailed down Church Way heading in a homeward direction.

Phil won't be riding tomorrow, but Andy will be – and so will I. The weathermen predict that tomorrow will be better than today – a sentiment echoed by John Kerry who, when I arrived home, was on television speaking live to world leaders about Syria at a security conference in Munich.

It's now 1207hrs and that sausage sandwich this morning has meant that I'm not particularly hungry. Let's say it was 'breakfast'. I feel better that way. My breakfast was a sausage sandwich and now lunch beckons. Between the two meal occasions I've had a banana and a pint of water. Equally, I'm not champing (or chomping) at the bit to eat, but I'll probably have something soon. I'd better sign out of here and do something more constructive. I'm amazed that I'm still able to sit here blogging in the living room, my family around me; they are the sternest critics of this blog, meaning they hate it with a vengeance.

It was a good ride. Around 15 miles in total and it started to drizzle a bit at the very end. Perhaps Andy and I will ride to Westerham tomorrow, who knows?

1 comment:

  1. 1. Littering the countryside with teabags must stop!!!
    2. They aren't called fingers they are soldiers.
    3. Don't now start talking about white chocolate Again
    4. That's enough cakes for one lifetime!!!