Monday, 30 August 2010

These false dawns are coming thick and fast......

Following on from last weeks post, Mel and I discussed my 40th as it is now all booked and we are sending out invites today. We agreed it would be a good idea for me to start my health kick early, lose a few pounds and arrive at my intimate gathering feeling and looking good.

The early signs were encouraging, I swam half a mile twice in three days ate sensibly and even though I was working hard I got plenty of sleep through the week and was definitely feeling better as we approached the bank holiday weekend.

On Friday night Mel said she was going shopping with her sister Penny and asked if I would like to meet them both at TGI Fridays for dinner. My response was resolute,

'No chance Mel, if you want achieve results, you have to make sacrifices. Success is a series of small steps leading to the ultimate destination and none of those steps are called TGI Fridays'.

I could tell she was impressed with my iron discipline as she said 'ok, piss off then, you'll have to make your own tea' which is marital code for 'nice one Al, you really seem to be taking this seriously'.

I sat down very pleased with myself and envisioned the response of my family and friends as the the new svelte like version of me arrived at the restaurant and they all gasped at my toned physique and congratulated me on launching into my 5th decade with renewed vigour and focus.

Suddenly my daydream was interrupted my a noise.

'.....and what would you like to drink with that Burger?.....'

'oh right, err I suppose I'd better have a double Jack Daniels and diet coke please, make sure it's diet yeah' I replied desperately trying to cling to some crumb of dignity following my complete capitulation.

I went to bed on Friday night filled with self-loathing, oh and loads of meat and various Tex Mex starters. But as someone once said the road to victory is littered with setbacks and pitfalls and I awoke on Saturday morning with a ruthless self-determination. After a small bowl of bran flakes served in the normal bowl instead of my 'special cereal bowl',  I was at the pool at 7.30 and the Cheadle Aquatic torpedo as launched into the first of 30 lengths.

I can tell you that as I returned home I was filled with an inner glow. I was now ready to face the weekend ahead armed with an almost spiritual knowledge that my arch enemies, temptation and hedonism would be unable to dismount me from the moral high ground I was now perched upon.

'what's that Mel?'

'oh, it's your payslip from work, isn't this bonus month? '

'yeah, pass it over here'

I opened it without much enthusiasm knowing what it contained and also knowing that it just about covered the myriad of commitments in both France and the UK.

' know how I said there was an outside possibility I could get a bit more bonus......?'


'and you know that Artisan Kitchenaid you always wanted and the new i-pad I've been hankering after?'

'yeeeeessss' she replied, revealing a slight boredom with this line of questioning.

'well it is more and quite a bit more, so let's go......'

Within seconds we were in John Lewis performing our own version of supermarket sweep, feverish with retail frenzy given how long it is since we were in any position to treat ourselves.

Within an hour my wardrobe was replenished, my gadgetry requirements more than met and a bottle of my favourite Amarone Red wine was also purchased.

Three hours later and despite having an early start on Sunday to attend a friends wedding in Hertfordshire we sat at the kitchen table drunk on fine wine and retail therapy. I'd love to tell you we ate sensibly and in moderation but you wouldn't believe me anyway.

Predictably our journey to the wedding was tortuous given our delicate states and it was only the four glasses of champagne, bottle of red wine and 6 double Jack Daniels and diet cokes consumed after the wedding that rendered me human once more. We had a great time to be fair but my new regime was not so much 'put on ice' more 'slung disdainfully into the deep freezer' from where I have just retrieved it.

I now sit poised to venture out for another half mile swim though I hanker for some sordid food to fuel the next false dawn of my health kick.

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