NB: I’m doing a very-low calorie, total food-replacement diet (VLCD). It’s not a barrel of laughs, but then again I haven’t died yet. If this disclaimer sounds narky, it’s because I have PMS but MY EMOTIONS ARE STILL VALID. It’s just that some of them might be slightly OTT. Oh, and if I even SEE you trying a VLCD without talking to your doctor, you’re in for a smack.
It’s week 9 and I have the fear. With only two weeks to go before I’m released back into the world of regular food, I’m (privately, Britishly) panicking.
How will I cope with making good food choices when I’ve spent the last nine weeks AVOIDING food? That time I took a day off the diet, I basically just ate bacon sandwiches. Jesus, when I’m done I’ll probably launch myself straight into a stack of pizzas and regain all the weight. My back will crumble into dust, my knees will snap off, children will point at me and laugh, and I’ll be left rolling around in greasy pizza boxes and my own tears, and ohgodohgodohgod.
And I don’t know about you, but when I’m panicking I like to PANIC-BUY. I panic-buy a bunch of smaller-sized gym clothes in the world’s most obnoxious colours, because everyone at my gym earns more than me and I hate their retinas:
I panic-buy ALL THE RECIPE BOOKS THAT EXIST so I can expand my cooking repertoire beyond “lasagne and Angel Delight”, then fret grimly about – what with two jobs and an early morning gym commitment – when I’m going to get time to practice cooking:
Also my nails start breaking easily, and I begin to moult all over the flat. This might be because, in my anxiety, I’ve neglected to eat all my foodpacks, and missed vital nutrients. Or it might be because I’m finally shedding this human skin and taking on my true lizard form. Either way, take care of yourself on a VLCD is what I’m saying.
Finally I go to a ketosis-friendly dinner with my boyfriend’s family, and end up having a spoonful of strawberry mousse. And a bite of cake. Then I go home, close my eyes, breathe deeply and try to unpick my worries.
[Wait a second, this picture looks familiar... ]
1. Realistically, I’ll be going from one diet to another
When I finish this VLCD I’ll be punching just above the top weight for my BMI, and I’ll go straight onto a diet and exercise plan. Many people gain a little weight after a VLCD just by adding carbs; how will I LOSE weight? I’m not saying it can’t be done, just tricky – plus I’m the sort of idiot who sabotages her own plans when she’s easily discouraged.
2. I’ll miss the structure of a VLCD
Say what you like about space food, it’s SIMPLE. One pack for breakfast, one for lunch, a third pack in the evening. The prospect of entering a world of regular food and no proper rules feels like being told I’m to fight a lion with nothing but a health and safety pamphlet.
So I decide that, after my VLCD finishes, I will continue to use food packs.
It’s not a sexy solution, and it and basically vetoes all food from my week 3 bucket list, but it is sensible. VLCD food packs are nutritionally complete, I have a ton of them, and I can eat them alongside snacks and proper meals to stay on-plan until I’m comfortable preparing and choosing healthy food for myself.
This week I PUT ON A POUND. Which isn’t excellent news, but I put it down to pre-menstrual bloat and, instead of worrying about it, I try on my new gym clothes and pull WWE poses in the mirror. THERE ARE NO PHOTOS.