So a couple of weeks ago I decided to try this trendy new 5:2 Diet – or Fast Diet as it’s also known. Everyone is talking about it. Celebrities rave about it. I want to mix in those circles. I want to be a winner! I’ll be honest, three weeks holiday with my sailor while he was on leave turned me into Jabba the Hut. We ate out every night, I did no exercise bar the odd walk and I drank my own body weight in beer pretty much every day. He’s a bad influence on me. Next thing I knew I couldn’t fit into my jeans and I suspected I was about to give birth to a small country. I am a woman of action so I read up about this magical diet and thought “oh that sounds easy”.
Put simply, you eat normally five days a week and for two days a week you fast (you do eat 500 calories but that feels like nothing, trust me). Apparently the weight drops off you and it’s more in keeping with how we used to eat during out hunter/gatherer times. I can’t remember that long ago, and neither can my body – which has only been dragging its sorry ass over this planet for the last 45 years. My hunter gathering consists of trying to find unsweetened soya milk in my local supermarket and picking blackberries in the cow fields on the way home from work.
I vaguely understand that fast days are good because they enable your body to manage your insulin levels and blood pressure and to repair cells. All of those things are pretty marvellous and wonderful and I hope my life is being prolonged by decades, because those two fast days feel like the longest days of my life. Why is it called a fast – when the day goes by so SLOWLY?? It should be called a slow, or an interminably long slog, or a rumble, or an irritable. On a Monday and a Thursday I have porridge for breakfast and then don’t eat until the evening when I basically inhale some kind of low calorie, ‘healthy’ ready meal straight out of the microwave so I don’t pass out during two hours of kung fu training. During my fast days my work colleagues have to nibble on their biscuits or whatever delicious treat they have squirreled away in their drawers, hidden behind hands, ducking down under desks, and always with heartfelt apologies as they watch me weep and listen to the angry rumble of my empty stomach. They don’t have to do this. I have brought this ridiculous, masochistic situation on myself.
The first week of this ‘diet’ I put on 2lb.
My body is some kind of fat tardis. I train pretty hard, almost daily. For example, yesterday I did a 5km swim. That’s a long way, and quite tiring actually. I do boot camp, kung fu, power-walking (a damaged achilles prevents me from running or I’d be damn well running!). I eat less calories than I burn off every single day. I know this because I have an ‘app’. Yes I really am that modern. Yet somehow my body stubbornly refuses to lose that weight. It hangs on to it like a child and a comfort blanket. “No! I like my fat! It keeps me warm in the winter and stops me blowing away when it’s windy! I don’t want to look svelte and athletic like a Bond Girl!” it says to my brain – which really does want to be a Bond Girl. My body defies all laws of science. I inhabit an anomaly.
I bravely keep pushing forth believing that I will eventually lose something. After a few weeks on this 5:2 Diet I have now lost a couple of pounds but I’ve got a long way to go. Meanwhile of course my sailor has been doing the same diet, and being hugely competitive has lost 8lbs in about twenty minutes already. (He just phoned. He’s lost another pound in the time it’s taken for me to write this blog. I kid you not).
It’s fast day today, on a Sunday rather than a Monday as I can’t be bothered to cook, and I’m getting grumpy., I’m going to go and make myself yet another green tea and play my guitar to the sound of my tummy growling.
I’d better live to be a hundred.