There are many things I'm grateful to my parents for. But there are two that stand out... at least this week anyway.
Firstly I was brought up to have a really open mind about food. As a child my favourite food was snails - not from the garden I might add. But escargot in mountains of garlic butter... mmmm just thinking of them is making me salivate now and it's breakfast time. Arguably it was the garlic butter I liked, and the fact you got to use special tools to eat them... but I still have to have escargot if I'm in France and they're on the menu. There isn't really anything I won't eat, and I'll try everything at least once. I'll even try things I already know I don't like, such as oysters, to see if I can convince my mind that they are good. If I could get the oyster down I'm sure it would be... but the natural reaction of my throat is to shrivel up like a prune and say no. But it's an attitude to food that I think is great - although probably partially to blame for my need to diet.
The other thing my parents taught me was manners. Which is why I know sometimes, like this week, it would be just too rude to diet. You may be thinking - here we go another cop out week where I make an excuse for cheating. If you've followed my blog since the start you'll know I had a rubbish week early on with my so called "diet rules" which essentially just meant I could get a way with eating battered sausages in certain social situations. But bare with me and I think this week you may agree I had no choice... because this week the social situation I was confronted with was... staying with the in-laws!
When staying with your future mother and father in law you have to come across as amazing... brilliant... beautiful... a role model for society... or at the very least you don't want to be difficult and demand lettuce when everyone else is eating pie. I'm lucky enough to have brilliant in laws - but boy do they eat! It's like a marathon. From the very start you know you have to pace yourself... as there are days of solid eating ahead of you. There is a constant supply of food, and I swear I've pulled some sort of stomach muscle in the past through the constant use of it. And whilst my other half says I should just refuse the food - I find it hard to turn down the hospitality of people who are trying to be so kind and welcoming.
This weekend though, given that I have to declare my weight gain to the world, I thought I would stand firm, refuse the additional cream and butter and cakes... and every other food type that tastes amazing and is freely available to me.
So I decided my diet of choice would be slimming world. I've done it before and know it well, and know that you can pretty much manipulate most meals to suit (e.g. hide your potatoes somewhere on your plate if you're having a roast dinner, or if your meal is carbohydrate based just limit the meat you eat)
For those aren't familiar with slimming world it's a great diet. I did it the old fashioned way this week - green and red days. They now have an extra easy plan that I plan to try another week further down the line. Green days have limited protein - so you can have all the fruit and vegetables you want, as much pasta, potatoes and rice etc, but limited meat. You also get health extras, which are limited quantities of foods like cheese, bread and cereals. On red days it's reversed - so unlimited meats and fish, and limited carbohydrates. It's great and you genuinely feel healthy doing it. You even have syns for wine and chocolate. It also works... normally...
Because although I went in thinking "I will not cheat", I came out of my weekend with the in-laws thinking "what a fabulous weekend of eating and drinking with family." Slimming world well and truly when out the window.
I couldn't say no to the offers of canapes, the three course meals, the full English breakfasts... the cream teas... I did try, honest I did. I attempted to limit what I was eating, trying to apply the basic rules of slimming world. But at one point one relative (that could tell us was trying to decide whether to have cream with my chocolate cake) told me just to admit there was no hope for any of us this weekend and to have the cream. So I did, and it was good.
Which is why when I came to stand on the scales this morning I feared the worse. I envisaged myself having put on half a stone - which given my weight loss hasn't exactly been mammoth would have taken me right back to the start. And no doubt my feelings of giving up last week would have been back. You may note I'm still here by the way - I'm continuing for now at least. But back to the weigh in... I stepped carefully on the scales, braved looking.. and the weight was up ... but just by two pounds. I can shift that easily with some determination this week.
So my apologies to those of you who are willing me to stick to my diets and not cheat, but as I have explained some times it's just impossible to stick to the diet (in) laws.