Liftoff! and the Thirty-Fifth Weigh-in, Friday, 1st July 2011

I’m writing this from McDonald’s in Dublin airport. A healthy venue, ideal for announcing a(nother) new start. 

On my way to McDonald’s, I passed the airport disability support services. This is run by a company with the unfortunately Hitlerian name of “One Complete Solution”. 

I love airports. It is difficult not to be swept up in the possibility of it all. 

I love the democracy of the security checks, where the old and the young, the rich and the poor, the shy and the brash all share in the indignity of stripping off their belts and shoes. Elderly gents cling to their beltless trousers to stop them falling down, while girls on their way to a hen weekend slip off their sparkly shoes before prancing through the scanner. Toothpaste, sexual lubricants, medications and eye drops are all set out in 100ml bottles, in clear bags, scrolling before us all. There really is nowhere on earth where equality is practised as rigorously. 

It’s rare that I’m on time in an airport. I’m generally either stupidly early or stupidly late. At some stage during the process, I usually have to rush along the corridors of the airport, sometimes using that great concession to obesity – the travelator. In the course of my rushing about, I end up sweatier, more tired and generally smellier and less attractive than usual. And I’m surrounded by people who are also smellier and less attractive than they usually are. And yet the entire airport experience is undeniably, and bizarrely, sexy. 

I got carried away enthusing about airports and was a little late going through security. I’m writing this from my German hotel room. 

Because I got carried away writing, I ended up running for my plane. And, as I approached my gate, my name was called out over the intercom. I was the “final remaining passenger”. Little thrills ran through my body. I can’t wait to be actually famous. 

I boarded the plane. All four of the air hostesses were boys. If you’d told me this time last year, as I took off for my summer in Slovenia that I’d still need an extension to my seat belt on a plane a year later, I wouldn’t have believed you. But I did. Harrumph!

I weighed myself this morning, knowing it wouldn’t be good. 

Measurements: all up – a bit more than I thought. 
Neck: 17.25 in/43.9 cm (up)
Arm: 15 in/ 38.5 cm (up)
Chest: 49.5 in/ 125.8 cm (up a lot)
Waist: 53.5 in/ 135.8 cm (up)
Thigh: 28 in/ 71.2 cm (up)

Weight: 22 stone/ 308 lbs/139.7 kgs. I’m up 9.25 lbs or 4.2 kgs. Boo! 
BMI: 46.7  Body fat: 9 stone 2.5 lbs/ 41.7 %

So, I’m heavier and, as I said, I still don’t fit in an aeroplane seat. 

I got good news about my mother’s operation today, but it’s safe to say that food-related illnesses haven’t been kind to my parents. And I eat far worse than they do or ever did. 

I’m a thirty-year-old who gets out of breath from bending over to tie my shoe laces or to fill a washing machine. If I have to bend down for any longer period – for instance if I have to empty socks out of a washing machine or use a dustpan I get so breathless that I get a headache and have to sit down. 

So I can’t do nothing. 

I’m going to be serious. On Monday I’m going back to the Four-Hour Body. That means every meal will have a protein (eggs, fish or meat), some legumes (beans or lentils) and some vegetables. I’ll have no potatoes, pasta, bread, cereals or rice. No sugar or fruit. No dairy. No processed crap. Lots of water. Occasional red wine. Six days a week. On the seventh day (Saturday), I’ll go mad. I can have anything. I know this works. 

I can do it. I’m in achievement mode. I haven’t had a cigarette for almost seven weeks, with the help of nicorette. I’ve made real progress with running, with the help of my new friend (it’s hard to write “my new friend” and not think of Barney the Dinosaur). So I can do things. Especially with help. 

I’m full of hope. I’m spending the night in an airport in Hahn and my boss will drive me to Strasbourg tomorrow. I’ll report from there then. 

Wish me luck! 

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