As some of you know, I had a total knee replacement in June 2015. The operation was a success but it took a while before I could restart my long-distance walking activities and the first attempt was a dismal failure, caused partly because I’d put on a bit of weight, partly because my gait had changed, and partly because my other knee started to fail. Further examination has revealed that a total knee replacement on the other knee is required (when will it ever stop?) and I gave up. I sat at home, rarely exercised, and wrote blogs, read books, and watched movies. The result? I’ve got fat!
In four weeks’ time, Carol and I are going to Spain. Some friends of ours own an apartment just north of Alicante on the Costa Blanca and they’ve invited us to join them for a short break. The apartment is very close to the beach and I have been informed that we will all be spending time on the beach. What will I wear, I thought. A one-man beach tent? I cannot expose my overweight body to the world wearing just skimpy Speedos or, as my wife has suggested, a mankini. Nope. It’s time to lose weight. It’s time to regain my beach body so I am now exercising again and on a diet. My diet is very simple. Forget all the faddy diets that you read about every other week in the newspapers, in blogs, and on the news. My diet is simplicity itself and works every time. I call it the nothing-over-3%-fat-and-no-alcohol diet. I eat nothing with more than 3% fat in it and I try (I try hard!) not to drink anything with alcohol in it. I also look at calorie content, of course, but if you stick to the 3% rule, you automatically rule out most of the bad stuff. You are driven towards fresh fruit or unsweetened smoothies, salad, chicken or fish, fresh vegetables and water/tea/coffee. Banished are the dark-chocolate digestive biscuits, ice cream, cakes, treacle tarts, and Cornish pasties. They all break the 3% rule.
It’s been three weeks now since I started and, today, I can do three things I couldn’t do three weeks ago. I don’t weigh myself every day, or every week. That way lays purgatory, especially when you plateau. No, I judge whether I am losing weight by simple things like how tight are my trousers when I do them up and how many double chins do I see when I shave. Plus, three more things that I can now do that I couldn’t do three weeks ago.
The first is I can pull my socks onto my feet without too many grunts, groans, and potentially-damaging ballistic stretches.
The second is I can cut my toenails reasonably comfortably, all of them, even that little pinkie on the left-hand side.
The third is… how can I put this delicately? I can properly clean up after one of my normal regular body functions. I no longer have to grimace my face, contort my body, and stretch my arms way beyond their natural length to reach that part where the sun never shines. Of all the three now-can-dos, this is the one that pleases me most!
I’ve four weeks left to shake off a bit more weight. The way it’s going right now, I expect to be mobbed by nubile young Spanish ladies when I casually saunter down to the beach in my Ray-Bans, wearing just a pair of flip-flops and a fluorescent lime green Borat mankini. Wish me luck!