I’m doing a VLCD (very low calorie diet). YOU definitely shouldn’t do one without a) talking to your doctor first and b) thinking carefully about whether you’re so dorky you enjoy eating powdered food from a sachet, because “it makes you feel closer to Buzz Aldrin”.
After the awful rioting hunger and light-headedness of the first few days, ketosis finally sets in and my extreme diet rolls into its second week as sedately as a royal procession. I have bags of energy, I have vanquished hunger (in fact I constantly feel as though I’ve just eaten a vaguely unappetising but nutritious salad), and I can watch The Great British Bake-Off without having to leave the room because my mouth has completely flooded with saliva. And all on 600 calories a day. I feel like a superhero.
I even go to the Paralympics without eating them:
PLUS my trousers are looser, I’m getting used to my food packs, and I’m doing the smallest, cutest and most infrequent poos known to man (seriously, they’re adorable). Look, Mum, I’m living the dream!
So what next for our intrepid Girl Dieter?
Well, apparently, sabotage. It begins innocuously enough, with water. I’ve been religiously following the VLCD directive to drink extra water to replace the fluids you’d normally take in through Earth Food. But one busy work day I forget to drink enough. Then I forget the next day. And the next. THEN I discover that Coke Zero in moderation won’t bring you out of ketosis.
It’s not STRICTLY allowed on the diet, but my tongue feels like a carpet square soaked in gravy, so fuck it. I’ll have it as a weekend treat! I think to myself. Maybe it’ll embed healthier eating patterns! Then I proceed to glug one down every weekday.
Finally, I wander into the kitchen when I’m not even hungry, and bully my boyfriend into giving me a slice of ham by calling him, of all things, a “narc”. And THAT’S when I realise how far I’ve disappeared down the rabbit hole. It’s basically Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Except it’s not in Las Vegas, there’s ham, and “narc” is a cuss again.
These transgressions may seem minor, but I’ve firebombed these sorts of gateway cheats into my own path before. I know they’ll eventually lead me down the ham-lined road to ruin, which will end with me getting disheartened, giving it all up, and staying in my rut. So I take action:
1. I exile all larger-size clothes from my wardrobe (obviously I exile them to the Independent Republic of Hall Cupboard, because it’s only been two weeks and I’m not MAD). Among them I find the saddest jeggings in all the world:
And THIS DOILY:
I also root through my lovely smaller-sized clothes, pick a pair of ‘goal’ jeans and hang them on my bedroom door.
2. I count my blessings. The chronic back pain and skin problems that have plagued me since I gained the extra weight have all but disappeared. I am also reliably informed that I barely snore anymore. And I wear a smaller-sized bra! And this is all in TWO WEEKS. I’m no mathematician, but that’s five blessings right there. What could my life look like in two more weeks? In six?
3. I scour cookbooks for recipes. I’m pretty sure a lot of my extra weight comes from poor lunch choices, and when I come off this diet I want to learn to be one of those people with lunchboxes stuffed with rainbow-coloured salads. I want to find out what purple sprouting broccoli is and become best friends with it. I feel like I need more Quinoa in my life. And alfalfa.
Wait a minute, alfalfa? Am I too cool for alfalfa?
Oh, who am I kidding? Look at my jeggings, for fuck’s sake.
This week I lose 3.3lbs. That makes a total loss of 7.5lbs in two weeks. Check back next week to see if I’ve stayed on track or worn – and eaten – a Lady Gaga-style meat dress.
Robyn is tweeting about meat dresses, steak, lamb chops and faggots at @orbyn