Friday, May 08, 2009

The buck stops here*

My BH, although having had two heart operations in the past (I think he's got 5 stents altogether now), has not changed his diet or life-style because he thinks that taking an array of tablets in different colours and shapes is enough. You would have thought that approaching the 'morbidly obese' category would be enough to make anyone, let alone a heart patient, re-assess what they are doing. To be fair, he did give up smoking after the first operation. As that is such a big thing for someone who smoked for about 34 years, and had never tried to give up before, I did not want to diet-lecture him at the same time.
But, that first angina attack, which led to the first operation, happened during the May half term of 2004, on the way up to the William Wallace Memorial, to be precise. In fact, this is me, sitting on a bench because we had to stop half way up.

As you can see, I don't look overweight, and even my BH (cropped out of the picture), looked a lot better than he does now. We had been dieting, and I was down to what I'd call my perfect 10, a BMI of just under 23. Since then, however, it's been up and down for me, and simply up for him, I think. At a guess, from BMI 30 to BMI 39.
After the second op, he did declare that the weight was the next thing to address, but it never went further than that. After all, when you give up smoking, you can give it up altogether, you don't
have to smoke just to keep yourself going. That's why dieting is so much harder - you still have to EAT.
And apparently, 90 % of people who lose weight put it back on!!! In other words: only 10 % succeed!
Of course, I never thought ours was an unusual story. There are plenty of people out there, who are permanently involved in the
Battle of the Bulge.
I certainly have been involved on and off since puberty (more about that maybe some other time), and I had always managed to stay between BMI 20 and 22, before I got married at 28. Since then, the fluctuations have been a lot bigger, with the usual yo-yo effect of ending up half a stone (~3 kg) heavier than you started out with. Last year, I set the record, ending up 30 kg heavier than my lowest weight as an adult, and 18 kg over the BMI of 25. What makes it worse, was just how rapid it was: I managed to put on
17 kg(nearly 3st) in one year, 9 (1.5 st) of which in less than 4 months!! My thighs are now fatter than my waist used to be! Okay, so a 24.5 inch waist (62 cm) is never going to happen again, but I do need to get back to at least a healthy weight.

How this is going to happen this time, I do not know yet, especially as I need to have my BH in tow this time. If my fitness levels are minus 2 (that's what it feels like when it takes me 5 minutes to straighten out after sitting on the settee for too long - which is always...), then his are in double negative figures. He is exhausted after tying his shoe-laces!
I have taken positive action and had a re-induction at my gym (where I have just been lounging in the sauna for the past 2 years...), and I had my first work-out (minimum of 3 times 60 minutes of exercise) yesterday.
And this is is what I had for breakfast today:

Mixed melons (reduced to 65p, at Tesco's), with natural yoghurt (0.1% fat), honey and mixed seeds.

This is what I had for lunch:Not very photogenic, but my, it was tasty! Chestnut mushrooms, fried in a little oil, with 1 spring onion, parsley, garlic, a splash each of Worcestershire and soy sauce, black pepper, and 2 eggs scrambled into it.

And now I'm planning to stroll over to Waitrose for salmon steaks, which will probably feature apple and mint, or spinach, or cabbage... I've got quite some fridge clearing to do, so the outcome will be a surprise even to me...
But I like surprises, and my BH doesn't. He also doesn't like to think 'diet', and I quote:

"I don't want to think of food in this way: How many calories does it have? Am I allowed to eat it? Is it good or bad for me?"

Hmm, quite the opposite! I'm convinced that the label 'healthy' and 'good for you' is a definite turn off for him. While 'bad for you' and 'fattening' is instantly enticing. In fact, he's said it himself - he is convinced that it is the calories which make food tasty. I really don't agree, but of course, according to him, I'm not normal. He finds any of my forays into unusual combinations highly suspicious, he thinks I'm on a quest to find the most inedible ingredients... (this includes beetroot, radishes and chicory, by the way...).

To cut a long story short: whichever way he wants to twist and turn it, he needs a complete life-style overhaul; not least of all because of the latest diagnosis of Diabetes type 2.
So, I need to create dishes that he won't recognise as healthy, lo-cal, lo-carb, lo-salt, lo-sugar, lo-cholesterol...

Watch this space for my attempts at cheating on my husband...

* This expression, according to, goes back to U.S. president Harry S. Truman, who... “ had a sign with this inscription on his desk. This was meant to indicate that he didn't ‘pass the buck’ to anyone else but accepted personal responsibility for the way the country was governed. Truman didn't originate the phrase, although it isn't likely that we would ever have heard of it had he not adopted it.” To ‘pass the buck’, is of course already a strange idiom. 'Buck' turns up as a dozen of assorted nouns, verbs and adjectives in the dictionary. Here, it's 'buck - an article used in a game of poker': "The person who was next in line to deal would be given a marker. This was often a knife, and knives often had handles made of buck's horn - hence the marker becoming known as a buck. When the dealer's turn was done he 'passed the buck'."(Cf


Anonymous said...

Hi Zabeena, I know you CAN do it! Over the last 3 months I managed to drop 11 kgs through portions control and by cutting out sugar, carbs and fried stuff totally from my diet. Not saying that you take such drastic measures as I did of course. Keep going and I am cheering you on ~ Yasmin from Singapore

Zabeena said...

Thank you, Yasmin, that's so nice of you to say so!Yes, my plan will not be as drastic as yours, everything will have to fit in with family meals. My husband's resistance is the biggest stumbling stone - he's cooking in the kitchen at the moment..., and the outcome won't be a diet meal, neither will his portion!But I won't give up, and I personally, will only have a small bowl.