The height of summer is approaching fast (let’s just take a moment while all us Brits stop laughing hysterically at that). I know I’m not the only one thinking ahead to times of scanty clothing and baring pale blue flesh. Having spent weeks following a strict Ketosis Nutritional plan (low carb, high fat) and feeling incredible on it, my willpower was at Level: Superhuman when I stepped onto the Virgin Dreamliner to head off to San Francisco back in May. I was still feeling strong, having successfully circumnavigated the menu options on board, when I crawled off, over ten hours later. In fact, even as my bezzie and I (who lives out there) sauntered into The Cheesecake Factory in Walnut Creek, I was still rocking the twenty-five pounds of weight loss I’d managed to shift on the three-month run up to my annual fortnight of respite; determined to avoid anything that had so much as shared the same shelf as the tagliatelle.
Then a server walked by with a carbonara.
And the devil took over my body. And I think I began talking in tongues.
(Artwork provided by, and copyrighted to Patrick Barrett www.patrickbarrettart.com Instagram: patrick_barrett_art. No reproduction without written permission from the artist.)
I remember hearing a voice that sounded like my own, ordering ‘one of those’, and twenty minutes later, I was committing full on face-plant. If I’d been able to absorb the bowl of lusciousness through my skin via the power of osmosis, I would have done that too. I have to say thank you to Hayley and Ernie for the fabulous service despite my forgetting myself. It can’t have been a pretty sight!
In a word, it was amazing! After so long without eating so much as a morsel of one of my most favourite dishes, it came about as close to heaven as I could have got without flat-lining. And that appeared to be my next goal. Eating my way towards a heart attack.
I think it would be fair to say that I chewed my way around the various parts of the state that I graced with my presence. I have to hang my head in shame and own up to probably being the sole cause of any pasta shortage that may have occurred that month.
Sorry about that America. My bad.
Previously, I never understood the ‘bloating issue’ that many people speak of after consuming wheat based products. Most likely I always had a bit too much coverage in place for any bloat to show. But boy did I learn differently. And quickly. By day 5, I’d developed a curious mound on my belly. By day 9, I looked positively pregnant. By day 13 I looked ready to drop and the matter of possibly having to travel home in the only thing that still fitted me – a pair of pink striped pyjamas – was a little close for comfort. I could perhaps get away with wearing night attire up in first class, in a private bed cabin …. but back in cattle class?
I made it into the jeans. Just. (Much to the relief of my fellow travellers I am sure). Rescued only by a 24 hour fast before taking off, and a willingness to give up any form of ‘normal breathing’. Unsurprisingly, the journey home seemed to take forever, and when I finally made it over my own threshold and stupidly decided to step on to the scales, I discovered I was the proud owner of a ten pound Pasta-Baby!
I would have taken a bow, had I been physically able to bend over.
Thankfully some balance is now being regained in my world. I’m making up for my utterly gluttonous and greedy behaviour. Not a morsel of carbonara has passed these lips, but I can’t deny that I am missing it. Rocking in a corner, going through withdrawals kind of missing it.
Why oh why can I not just have a natural love of all things healthy?! The tale that the diet and fitness industry spin you, of how your tastes will change, and how your cravings and desires for the bad stuff will fade … it’s rubbish. I did over a year with a certain weight loss organisation and still would have eaten my own arm had it been covered in the right combination of cheese and butter.
In need of further penance, I booked myself in with my personal trainer. Five days after I’d landed. When my jet lag was at its peak. Oh, how I laughed when he told me to do ‘that’ with ‘those’ weights.
But not as much as he did.
I’m sure I saw a couple of horns growing out of his head. But that story is for another blog, on another day.