Sunday, 31 May 2009

Me vs My Belly

How we laughed. How we laughed. It happened when my father entered his forties and suddenly from being a tall, slim fellow, he became a tall fellow with a podgy belly. It seemed to happen almost overnight much to my and my brother's amusement and we immediately christened him "The Fat Man" (not to his face of course and please don't mention it to him if you see him).

I think the idea for the name "The Fat Man" came from Sydney Greenstreet in that classic 1942 film Casablanca. Which is odd because I have never watched the film, but I know that there is someone called The Fat Man in it.

So there we are, chortling away, year after year at the fat man, when all of a sudden something terrible has happened. I am harmlessly going around in my mid-40's, I happen to glance down and - shock, horror - there right in front of me is a huge, podgy belly !

How did this happen? Who put it there? My children thinks its very funny. They have taken to calling me The Fat Man, after a film that they have never seen (not to my face of course, but I know what goes on behind my back).

But I am determined not to give in so easily. After all, I have proven in the past the sheer strength of will, of mind over matter, and I will defeat this creeping blubber.

For example, years ago I used to smoke. You didn't know that did you? I smoked through my late teens in to my twenties. I even used a cigarette holder, like The Penguin. In those days I had an iron will. If I wanted something to happen, I made it happen, whatever stood in my way. So when I decided to stop smoking, I didn't agonise about it. I didn't get counselling, apply patches, seek hypnosis. I just stopped. And two weeks later I started again! That was amazing. I looked at myself with a mixture of amusement and disgust. How dare my body try to dictact to my iron will. I laughed in the face of my body's pathetic resistance, bent my will to the problem and crushed the life out of my smoking addiction.

About ten years ago I decided to give up drinking alcohol. I think I must have been drinking for about 30 years, but one day I decided enough was enough and it was time to stop. I stopped overnight. Immediately. No questions asked. Just stopped. Never touched a drop since. Hah!

So, now I'm the Fat Man, eh? Fat Man 2.0. Well, I can deal with this. I just stop eating. Well, I don't mean stop eating completely, but stop eating the pies, the muffins, the sugar, the popcorn, the butter, the full fat milk.

But somethings going wrong. My iron will seems to be wilting in the face of my jelly belly. Yesterday, I was watching the telly and suddenly found I had slipped a slice of cake into my mouth without even noticing. Today I convinced myself that cracker biscuits don't count, so I ate about ten of them.

Am I getting old? Is my will fading? Or is this dieting thing a whole new level of challenge? I am rapidly developing a newfound respect for people trying to diet.

But I'm up for the fight. I'm not ready to be Fat Man 2.0 yet. Me vs My belly. Let battle commence.

(oh, by the way, if anyone's got any advice, I'd love to hear it)


Anonymous said...

Eat something protein rich for breakfast, like eggs, not cereals. Stops you getting cravings, the enemy of willpower. Have 11s's (2 oatcakes with peanut butter). Replace simple carbs (bread, pasta, potato etc) with complex carbs (rye bread, oats, wholegrain rice) and reduce carb intake, increase protein, but not to Atkins levels. It's about regulating blood sugar level to avoid dips. Thick soup for lunch. Exercise. Phase out caffeine (messes with blood sugar). Low fat dairy (cott cheese, skim milk etc) bind to fat and prevent it being absorbed. Hope that helps...

Hazel said...

Anonymous is right BUT ... don't do it all at once and if you really don't enjoy eating some of the complex carbs then you'll lose the battle almost before it's begun.
Exercise, exercise, exercise!
Walking is really good but takes up time that you may want to spend on other things - but with so much noew available in audio kill two birds with one stone.
Good luck