It is swimsuit season, but you’d never know it to look out the window these days. Even when its hot, the skies are grey and menacing. Which means the summer holidays have kind of snuck up on me and, well, according to the doctor I saw for my annual check-up last week, I’d be happier if I shed 4 kilos. 4 kilos. Doesn’t sound too bad until you convert into pounds, which is 8.8 pounds, which is frighteningly close to ten. And all this just 2 weeks before we leave on holidays. To the beach. A French beach, where women of a certain age, in fact women of all ages wear bikinis. Lord help me, I need a drink.
But NON! Because that is the first thing I am meant to do. Stop consuming alcohol. Which is not terrific timing given the grey, cloudy weather we’ve been having. This weekend the bookies were taking bets… friends, family and the guy who runs the superette were all betting against me. Well HA to them, because I didn’t so much as take a single sip of the evil brew and I immediately shed 600 grams as my just (and calorie-free) desserts.
All those kilos and pounds make for some interesting cultural differences when dieting. Well, not so much cultural, as just plain math. When a Parisenne gains 100 grams, she takes notice. 200 grams and the red flags start going off. It is time to skip a meal and back on track. Try that with an American scale. I don’t think I’ve ever even read 3,5 ounces on a US scale. By the time I reach 200 grams (7ounces) I am completely clueless. Yes, my jeans feel slightly tighter, but that is just because they were accidentally thrown into the drier, non? With pounds, it takes much longer to realize one has put any weight on, and instead of loosing six HUNDRED grams, I lost a pound. One measly little pound. Not very encouraging, so I’m keeping to the metric system.
Besides forsaking all things alcohol, the doctor gave me a list with 20 do’s and dont’s. The basics, really; light dinners, avoid starches, especially at night (did I mention non booze?), smaller portions and
no dessert. Oops. that is not right, we’re in Paris. They can forbid baguettes after sunset, but desserts are part of a balanced diet. They recommend sticking to fruits or dairy products. I think they say one OR the other because they know we’d all be dipping our strawberries in crème fraîche if they hadn’t made it clear that that was a non. But I am ignoring them and will be allowing myself 4 tiny squares of some extraordinary chocolate bar every day.
Another non is mixing meats and cheeses. Steaks are in, Philly steaks are out. However, they are probably referring to the incredibly odd (to this sweet tooth) habit the French have of considering cheeses to be a dessert course. No camembert for you missie, unless you go veg with the main course.
Today was the true test; working from home with a kitchen within easy range as moments of boredom or fatigue sweep in and give me the munchies. So far, so good.