Blood sugar diet: day 22 of 56

What have I learnt so far?

  1. Don’t panic if you have a blip.  Stay focussed.  Start afresh.  One week’s weight gain or loss is, in any event, but a small step when you remember it took years to put the weight on.
  2. The 72-hour rule of thumb.  If I have had a blip, it takes about me about 3 days for the “blip weight” to pass out of my body.  (I won’t get too scatalogical here…)
  3. If you do have a blip one week, don’t starve yourself.  Just go back to what you were doing that was helping you to lose weight.  Last week I had a few too many Haribos and Balisto snacks, probably about 3000 calories worth, equalling about 0.5kg, which is what I put on last week.  This week so far I have had literally three, maybe four, Haribo pieces.
  4. If you are tempted to have sweet things, have an ice cream, rather than sweets.  A Magnum ice cream bar has “only” 259 calories and is more filling than a pack of wine gums.  The ice cream is also quite a nice dessert after a salad lunch.
  5. Do some exercise in the evening.  The last two evenings Düsseldorf has enjoyed glorious sunshine.  I have made the most of it.  I’ve already caught the sun after only 20 minutes at lunchtime today.  (Well, what do you expect from a redhead?)  Two 50-minute cycle rides to explore and recce new routes.  I’ve also found a new “salmonellaburger van”, where I can stop off for a coffee.  Another advantage of cycling is this: you can’t comfort-eat while you are cycling – especially if you don’t bring any money with you.  (“Lead us not into temptation.”)  The Union Flag cycling top still turns heads.

Finally, here is a pic of me in my favourite cycling top, back in 1998 in God’s Country, the Yorkshire Dales.  Dennis the Menace from The Beano comic.

Dennis

Have an un-menacing day, won’t you!

Blood sugar diet: day 15 of 56

So, the past weekend.  I allowed the shackles to come off a bit.  Over the weekend, I ate white bread rolls, and I also had curry twice.  Oh, and a couple of bottles of beer.  I probably blipped up a bit on weight, but on Monday I was back in the groove today.  I tend to think of it as being analogous to a prisoner going on weekend leave and returning to HMP Wherever.  (Vocab note: HMP – Her Majesty’s Prison.)

Since the weekend I have been as good as gold, albeit with about ten Haribo sweets altogether.  I had been tempted to eat a Halbeshänchen (half a rotisserie chicken) on the way to a meeting yesterday evening, but instead chose to enjoy a nice home-made omelette (mushroom, ham and sliced gouda cheese – most pleasing to the palate).

Yesterday I cycled to a church meeting in glorious sunshine.  I cycled back in the dark.  I wore my Union Jack Flag cycling top and Union Flag helmet.  The rationale was not patriotism, but somewhat more prosaic.  One month ago, I could not get that top on.  Well, maybe I could have, but I would have done a very good impression of Doctor David Banner turning into the Incredible Hulk, with the slow rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr-rip sound of shirt material slowly tearing.

Yesterday evening the top fitted me, albeit slightly tightly, but it certainly came down below my belly button.  I shall keep wearing the top every time I go cycling to measure progress in terms of looser clothes, as well as scales being friendlier.

Here I am in Union Flab Flag clothing.  It turned a few heads as joggers and cyclists headed past me along the banks of the River Rhine…

UnionFlagPic

Have a patriotic day, won’t you!

The Eight-Week Blood Sugar Diet

My name is Ginge in Germany.

I am obese.  I weigh 122.4kg.  My waistline is 120cm.  I am a type 2 diabetic. I am maxed out on tablets.  I do not inject insulin (yet).

I have tried various diets, as well as hypnosis.  Hypnosis has been the most effective method so far, dropping from 120kg down to 108kg in 12 weeks back in 2003.  A week ago I was chatting to an old classmate of mine, who is now a nurse.  She recommended the 8-Week Blood Sugar Diet.  This is the book.

Minutes after chatting to the aforementioned classmate, I had ordered the book off Amazon.  Two days later the book arrived.  Schatz was away all weekend.  I dedicated myself to reading the book from cover to cover over the weekend.  The first section was all about VLCD: very low calorie diet.  I get the idea.  I whizzed that part, yellow highlighter pen in hand.

On Sunday I bought a pocketbook at the McPaper stationery shop.  This book has now become my food diary.  Everything gets jotted there.  Today I started in earnest.  Smoked salmon omlette for dinner.  Most pleasing to the palate.  On the way back from the supermarket  I called in at my local cafe.  Tempted as I was, I refrained from ordering my usual piece of cake or bread roll.

Nur eine grosse Tasse Kaffee, bitte.

The lady sitting at the table next to mine turned out to be from Croatia.  I ended up practising my very rusty language skills with her.

Dugo nisam govorio hrvatski.

One hour and three cups of coffee later, time to head home.  I had forgotten all about eating sticky, sugar cake.  As Barak Obama once said…

…Chuffed to bits.

Any cold turkey?  Any cravings?  So far – no.  Perhaps coincidentally a slight headache, though that may be caused by the dull overcast weather or slight dehydration.  I am following expert advice and drinking 2-3 litres of water a day while on this WOE (way of eating).  On the other hand, I think my blood sugar has already improved.  I feel more alert, energetic and awake already.  Maybe it’s also because I’ve also given up on drinking cola…  Nothing like a good de-tox.  Oh, and I feel a lot more cheerful and positive, with an improved attention span.

Today I decided to work from home.

Lead us not into temptation.

That way I avoided colleagues offering me sweets, birthday cake, encouraging me to go on, have the lovely dessert, etc.  Close confinement at work, with minimal food in the flat.  If it isn’t there, you can’t eat it.

It’s day 1.  Let’s see how it all looks on day 56.

Have a healthy day, won’t you!

 

Birthday Nostalgia

So, last week was my birthday: 21 again, and more.

Where was I on that day of the year…?

  • 10 years ago: Doing pgce teacher training in Middlesbrough.  Not my cup of tea.  Ler’s just leave it at that.
  • 20 years ago: Started my first ever permanent job, working in the International Programme Liaison team at Mercury Communications Ltd.  I did a lot of telecoms courses in that year.
  • 30 years ago: At sixth form college in Middesbrough, re-sitting my O-levels.  That was where I started studying Russian.
  • 40 years ago: At Wolfenbüttel Primary School, near the East-West German border, being sent to the headmaster’s office to take a phone call from my Dad, then stationed at HMP Maze, Northern Ireland, to wish me happy birthday.

Have a nostalgic day, won’t you!

Being Old-Fashioned

I’m quite old-fashioned, and proudly so.  I believe in:

  • Saying please and thank you
  • Holding doors open for people
  • Waiting with female friends at the bus stop until they’ve boarded their bus
  • Saying “shedule”, not “skedule”
  • Using a fountain pen

I use a fountain pen.  I use it when writing my diary (Anne Frank/Samuel Pepys/Adrian Mole-style), which I often write while sitting in the local old folks waiting room local cafe. I’ve often found it to be an effective ice-breaker.

“Are you left-handed?”

(Your hearing might be going, but by Jove, your eyesight is still good, Kumpel.

“Is that a fountain pen?  It’s really stylish-looking.  What make is it?  Where can I buy one?”

Actually, they don’t bombard the questions.  That’s just a summary of what they ask.

The piece de resistance is when they see me filling my fountain pen with ink.  Even traditionalists who write with a fountain pen tend to use cartridges.  Not me.  I use a converter.

converter

 

Imagine the look of amazment on the face of a nine-year-old member of the Ipod generation, watching a left-hander writing a diary entry with a fountain pen and then seeing him drawing ink from a bottle into a converter.  She must have thought she was watching an episode of How We Used To Live.

Edit: Here is a sample of my handwriting, in in English and Russian/Cyrillic.  I messed one word up on the second line.

20161004_174900

Have an old-fashioned day, won’t you!

Advice for those intending to commute in the UK

Well, I’m back in Blighty, albeit for not too long if I can help it.  I’d forgotten how poor the British infrastructure is.  My tips for being a commuter travelling into London.

  1. Get the earlier train.  It’s less packed than if you plan to arrive for 09:00 in London.  It helps you avoid the almost-guaranteed delays caused by signalling problems in the Southall area.
  2. Visit your local bookshop.  Get some good paperbacks.  Presently I’m reading a book on the downfall of the Soviet empire, leading up to 1989.  It helps you cope with the almost-guaranteed delays caused by signalling problems in the Southall area.
  3. Bring an mp3 player or iPod along.  The more memory, the better.  I recommend at least fifty albums on it, to give you variety of music to listen to during your journey.  It helps you cope with the almost-guaranteed delays caused by signalling problems in the Southall area.
  4. Buy yourself a Kindle (or have your Schatz give you one for Christmas) and use First Great Western’s free wifi.  It enables you to write Facebook statuses so that everyone knows your train is sitting in some commuter station.  It also means you can look up Wikipedia articles on random topics.  So far I have looked up, to name but a few, articles on:
    1. Times Roman font
    2. Helvetica font
    3. Seven million politicians’ biographies
    4. Operation Motorman
    5. Pitcairn Island
    6. The history of tattoos
    7. Slavonic grammar
    8. Crop rotation in the fourteenth century
    9. Railway signalling in the Southall area
  5. Pack your diary in your daysack.  You’ll have ample time to write tomes a la Samuel Pepys.
  6. Catch up on sleep that you’ve lost by deciding to get the earlier train.
  7. Work from home as many days in the week that you can.

Have a punctual day, won’t you!

All The World’s a Stage

Well, that’s what Shakespeare said, and Elvis Presley even quoted him.  It’s actually a passage from As You Like It, act II, scene VII.

All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players.
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms.
Then, the whining school-boy with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress’ eyebrow. Then, a soldier,
Full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honour, sudden, and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon’s mouth. And then, the justice,
In fair round belly, with a good capon lined,
With eyes severe, and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws, and modern instances,
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slippered pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side,
His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank, and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything
.

Well, that’s the full quotation for context.

“So, what’s this all leading to?” you are probably wondering.  I guess it’s all about having a coping strategy when certain people are causing mayhem round you, whether that be a project manager with a “JFDI” (“just f’ing do it”) attitude, or relatives with mental health issues.

How to deal with the assertive PM, the mentally borderline relative?  Just think of yourself and the other as actors on stage.  Remember they are playing a part, whether that be the monarch or the fool.  Deal with the monarch as if they were a monarch.  Listen to the words, ignore the music.  Deal with the mental health person as if you were their (unpaid) social worker.  Don’t engage, don’t try to have a logical argument or discussion.  Let them vent their anger.  Admit you are wrong, and they are right.  They’ll forget it 15 minutes later.  Treat them with agape love.

For at the end of the day, would you rather be right, or would you rather be happy?

Remember, as the great man also said:

A fool thinks himself to be wise,

but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.

 

Have a wise day, won’t you!