Thursday, 5 March 2015

Recovery, and a change of attitude on dieting

Today, for the first time in a week, I feel that I am really now recovering from my bout of illness - the worst for some time. I am convinced it was a bad cold (the catarrh and coughing are not yet quite gone) compounded by a touch of mild food-poisoning from a lazy lunchtime snack unwisely cobbled together from odds and ends in the fridge. Which shows that you need to keep your eye fixed on the ball where food intake is concerned, even when your brain is not at its sharpest. Lesson learned! Here I am in my study, on my feet, and in the middle of this post. Despite a week's involuntary purging, not too cadaverous.

Having got used to a light-bite meal regime in recent days, I'm going to stay with it. One week ago I weighed 93.0 kg (202.8 pounds). Two days ago, after minimal eating but plenty of fluids, I was down to 88.6 kg (195.3 pounds). Now, with food intake judiciously increased, my weight is 89.6 kg (197.5 pounds). So, five days of vomiting and diarrhoea - and not much nourishment - trimmed 4.4 kg (7.5 pounds) off me. And the net result, up to this morning, is an overall weight loss of 3.4 kg (5.3 pounds).

Five pounds in a week is a significant slimming down! And it really does show when I look in the mirror (the above photo doesn't show the flatter tummy). My goodness, it does! But the method - eat almost nothing, merely drink - wasn't bearable. It's left me feeling weak and floppy.

I've come round to thinking (and I've had plenty of opportunity for pondering things) that I have a natural sustainable weight in the 85 to 90 kg range, and that I should adapt my diet to ensure that I stay within this. I've decided that I should completely abandon daydreams of getting below 80 kg - it's impractical. I'm basically a large-framed woman who needs a certain comfortable heft for all kinds of reasons: to have a curvy, attractive body shape; winter insulation; plumped-out healthy skin that doesn't sag or wrinkle too much; and enough muscle to support the burden of my big heavy bones - to name just a few.

I really like my present look: it's typically what I admire seeing in women aged 35 to 55 who have left their youthful lissomness behind but still take care of themselves, and have matured into a different shape - acquiring a more rounded, more substantial, more cuddly, more mumsy type of body. The sort of shape that children everywhere associate with concepts like 'my home' and 'my Mum' and 'fun and laughter' and 'doing things together' and 'safety' and 'lots of time for me', and 'someone I can run to, who will always care about me'.

The sort of shape that men everywhere associate with 'a welcoming homecoming', 'good home cooking', ' a good mother and resourceful hostess', 'a great manager and source of fresh ideas', 'a woman I can count on', 'a staunch companion who smiles at me and knows my mind', 'that special person who soothes every care away', 'tranquillity, and yet earthy excitement'. A world away from the notion of thin, fussy, self-focussed divas with a full busy-busy diary of appointments and duties, no time to relax, and a permanent headache.

Don't get me wrong about the mumsy bit. I have no mother instinct worth mentioning! But I would be proud to be taken for a mum, and to have that image, or at least the look, the manner, of a woman who is completely comfortable with herself and can cope with anything. Even if the coping bit isn't entirely true!

So I think a somewhat slimmer, but not skeletal, Lucy is the thing to aim for in the future. Others can pursue different personal goals: this is mine.

Did feeling ill have any pleasant aspects at all? Oh yes. I rediscovered the delights of Bovril, that hot, comforting, easily-sipped beef drink for unwell children. Not tasted for fifty years. It didn't disappoint.

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