My wife and I were looking forward to a really quiet Bank Holiday Monday, but our plans didn’t quite work out.
The phone started ringing just before 7.00am. One of our family had fallen at home while carrying a glass, it had smashed, and they had cut themselves badly on the hand.
And so in the midst of calling an ambulance, throwing clothes on, and rushing around to their house, all thoughts of a good healthy breakfast flew out the window.
The rest of the day was full of activity. For my part, I ended up acting as a taxi service for various members of the family – ferrying them to and fro in and out of the hospital – and also making sure that the dogs were fed, walked and looked after.
Different members of the family were in and out of the hospital all day, and all of them had to just grab whatever food was available in the few minutes they had.
I’ve spoken about hospital food before from the perspective of a patient (spoiler: it was all bread!), but it’s not that much better as a visitor. Because it was a Bank Holiday, only some of the catering facilities were open. As such my wife’s breakfast was two slices of white toast with jam. I’m not sure how many Syns were in that, but at the time we weren’t highly motivated to work it out!
By the time we finally got home last night it was just after 11.00pm, and I contemplated trying to reheat some left-over curry from the fridge for dinner, but in the end my tiredness took precedence and I went straight to bed.
Thankfully the injuries to the patient weren’t quite as bad a we first feared. They did have a 90-minute operation to repair the damage to the hand, but they should make a full recovery and be out of hospital very soon.
This weekend comes heavily laden with social occasions, which in theory could potentially be my undoing.
However, I have a plan!
Last night it was leaving drinks for a woman in my office. Most of the people going looked like they were settling in for a full night of drinking, and by all accounts they did. But I decided that I would have just one drink, ignore the platters of fried food being ordered, and head home for my low-syn dinner.
Tonight it’s my company’s annual summer barbecue. There’s free drink and food on offer, and some of the younger staff in the office are already planning which nightclub they’re going to visit afterwards. I certainly won’t be going to the after-party. I’ll be lucky to make it half way through the actual barbecue.
I’m also hoping that the barbecue has a good selection of lean meat (steak and chicken would be nice – wishful thinking) and salads, which I can dig into without a problem.
Tomorrow I have dinner out with some friends. I’ve talked before about coping strategies for eating out, but I’m not always the best at following my own advice! We have a big walk in the Dublin mountains ahead of the dinner, so hopefully that can help mitigate against any bad decisions.
Throughout all these social occasions I’m not planning to drink much. I might have the odd one or two, but I’m not going to lash into the beer. It’s just not worth it. I’d much rather reserve my calories for food!
When you’re doing Slimming World, there are loads of foods that you can eat freely.
You can have as much as you want of those lovely ‘speed’ vegetables and fruit. I also find it good to pack in a good amount lean protein, as it keeps me feeling full all day. And in theory, you are allowed as much of the non-speed free foods (such as potatoes, pasta and rice) as you like – although I find that I sometimes need to moderate these, or I won’t get the loss I’m seeking.
And then there’s all the Healthy Extra and Syns that you need to measure and weigh. When it comes to some of these foods, I find it easier not to have them at all!
Take bread for example. I love bread. I love to eat loads of bread. I could eat an entire French stick in one sitting and still be craving toast to follow. But I find that the Healthy Extra B allowance too restrictive. I don’t want just one slice of bread. I want several. And so I don’t have any. Because if I got the taste for it, I’d eat it in large quantities, and before you know it, I’d be using all my syns on bread.
Alcohol is another example. I like a drink, but there’s not a lot of point having just one. If I’m going to have a glass of wine, then I’d prefer to share a bottle with my wife. But half a bottle of wine is far too many syns. And so it’s easier not to drink at all.
I suppose what I’m trying to say is that there are certain foods and drinks that I have an abusive relationship with, and crave quantities of them well above what would be considered normal. It doesn’t happen with all foods. If I look at a banana, I don’t feel the need to eat a whole bunch. But for many sweet and savoury foods, I’m not content with just a normal quantity. I feel the need to eat them to excess.
And so, like any addict, it’s easier for me to avoid them altogether.