Monday, 27 July 2009

Socks, Shoes and The Swine

Well it seemed like last week was my time for the Swine. I spent the majority of Tuesday to Friday feeling rubbish and looking like Waynetta Slob in one of her more “I just can’t be bothered” moods. I didn’t devote any of this time to my Marie Claire perfect cause, I was, to be fair begrudged to put on underwear and brush my teeth – let alone give myself a pedicure.

This has resulted in a few things for the July list.

I missed my lunch time manicure
I missed my laser treatment (but the laser had broken so I needed to reschedule anyway)
I did no exercise
I couldn’t eat 5 times a day, because I felt sick (but for the first time this month lost weight).

I’m not sure how I’m going to make this up in the last week, but I’ll try my best!

I figured today I needed to do something drastic, something significant off the list. So I went for it, I walked out of the house this morning in socks and shoes. I faced the fear of looking like I’d escaped from somewhere, and toddled off to work cringing at anyone actually noticing. I figured that my workmates would just put it down to my brain still being addled from the Swine last week, so if any day was a good day, it was my return to work.

As we left, Lodger said It looked good. But Lodger is a lovely soul who, knowing that I would be walking out in the socks and shoes no matter how it looked, wouldn’t say anything that would knock my confidence.

When I got into work, the control group of this little experiment (as in they don’t know about it) passed a few comments of how nice I looked today too. I think one person even went as far to say glamorous! I was so overjoyed at this, that if anyone hadn’t yet noticed and commented on my socks and shoes combo *Cough my boss cough*, I launched my foot on to the desk as they passed shrieking “Check the sock and shoe combo!” to a bemused half smile from the unsuspecting victim.

However, My joy was quickly chewed up, swallowed and regurgitated, when I noticed at 11am, that I’d been so obsessed with the socks and shoes part of my outfit, I had completely managed not to notice I had MY BLOODY DRESS ON BACKWARDS!! Useless.
I thought when I looked in the mirror this morning, that I didn’t notice the back of the dress scooping down so much when I bought it. This, my friends, is because it DOESN’T and I am an idiot. I managed to shuffle it round at my desk, but the burn in my cheeks lasted for the rest of the day. I quickly ceased drawing attention to my outfit and got my head down. Serves me right for thinking I’d got it sooo right daaarrrliiings!

I finished Cold Comfort farm while I was ill too. I’ll give Marie Claire props for that one. It’s a good book and I’m glad I read it. I wouldn’t describe it as the “Funniest book ever written” as per the accolade on the back. But it was very amusing and made me want to ad “What What!” in a posh early 20th century accent at the end of each sentence for about a week after I read it. Luckily this has disappeared just as I’ve been introduced back into humanity.

As I write, I’m listening to Amazing Baby which got 5 stars on Marie Claire’s What’s Hot And What’s Not play list. Apparently “Guitarist Simon and singer Will make an epic glam-rocking racket that will have you vibrating with joy.”

Wait a minute



Not even a shiver.

“Epic” is a word that needs saving for bands like Muse, or Queen. Singers that sacrifice their own vocal chords for the greater good of our ears. Bands who go for it so much they look like their eyeballs may pop out and roll off the edge of the stage. Bands, where the members sweat more than the whole crowd put together, bands like the Prodigy where the whole room literally rumbles with base and your head fills with sounds that make your brain swell it’s that immense. Bands, that when you hear the opening chord of a tune, a lump of solid excitement is catapulted into your throat and you are smack bang right there in your happy place - even if some 20 stone guy has decided to crowd surf in your direction and kick you in the forehead with his size 13 DR Martins.

This album – is not “epic”. It’s a little psychedelic, they have been compared to MGMT who are a brilliant to Amazing Baby’s average. It doesn’t offend me like Chairlift did , but it doesn’t do anything for me either. Maybe if Marie Claire had given it 3 stars and simply said “It’s all right” I wouldn’t be so confused. But then as Scouse will tell you, I’m really unforgiving of bands I don’t like. In fact, I think all bands should sound like the Prodigy or Muse. Or if I’m very pissed or very hung over – Queen.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Mackerel and Meningitis

The latter half of the holiday, where I publically claimed I was going to be back on the 5 meals a day, no wheat and no dairy wagon, lasted a whole half a day.

I bought a massive smoked mackerel from the harbour after our meal, and then proceeded to cart it around in my big slouchy bag (so it DOES have it’s uses) for the rest of the day.

Using this as my lean protein, I picked at a bit of it throughout the day with my none dairy, none wheaty five meals. This, lovely people, was the straw that broke Husbands back.

I was, as he correctly pointed out, spending the one and only holiday we had booked this year, obsessing over food, what I could and couldn’t eat and when. It wasn’t the recipe for romance, it certainly didn’t mean he found me more attractive and if we were to continue on this holiday without killing each other.. then the 5 meals a day thing needed to stop.

He was right of course. This wasn’t just my holiday, but this is just my project. He was woken by my breakfast alarm at 7am every morning (not that I actually managed apart from once to drag my self out of bed), He was then forced to eat his largest meal of the day at lunch – which meant we couldn’t go out in the evening for dinner, because I was insisting we had our dinner at 7pm on the dot. To top it all off, I smelled of a gag reflex inducing combination of smoked fish and impulse, was wearing bright pink lipstick that he thought was vile and wasn’t getting into the beach holiday spirit of fish and chips and ice cream with him. Rather staring longingly at other people’s plates in the pub like little orphan Annie.

So, satisfied that I had made an effort at least on holiday, I relented for the rest of our time there and actually enjoyed myself;

It wasn’t a complete failure though;

Hair drying naturally – check
2 litres of water a day – check
Spirulina – check
Nail and hand cream - check
No make up apart from mascara, blotting papers and pink hooker lipstick – check
Romantic day out on the beach (in the rain) drowned in impulse and wearing an outfit dictated by impulse – check
Nautical outfits - check, check check
Ultimate beach kit – check
Leave conditioner in for a whole day – Check (I think that Marie Claire meant on the beach in the sun, rather than in the Ipswich Cineworld watching Harry Potter – but still BLOODY CHECK)
Interval training – we cycled everywhere and I put in a few sprints, plus I did my tinned tomato weights twice – so check.

For some reason though – I’m putting the biggest emphasis on the food over everything else. I don’t know why I see it as more important than the fashion, the music, the books, the websites, the beauty etc.
Maybe it’s because the minute I’m told – you can’t eat this or you can’t eat now… it’s all I can bloody think about, I become possessed?!

I don’t want to become a food bore, knowing the calorie content of a raisin and only eating grapefuit and ham smoothies, having bad breath and producing green turds (Working in an office environment for 4 years has opened my eyes to the strangest of diets people put themselves on). I LOVE my food, but in a healthy way and I don’t spend my days rolling around in a KFC mega bucket. I would have thought the answer would be to move more and eat a bit less? Being told to eat when I’m not hungry is a really strange concept to me. On top of that, being told to eat meat or cheese with these extra meals is actually increasing my calorie intake, where I normally would have 3 medium sized meals a day and a treat if I fancied.

I tried again yesterday as I was back at work, so through the structure in the day would help me stick to the regime.

I had some salmon for breakfast, a stick of celery and humus at 10, then the lovely Blondie treated me to Yo Sushi at lunch (so more salmon, miso and aubergines) so far so goo eh? That was until I got back to work and my day and consequently diet took a very strange twist.

At the top of both my arms, a rash had developed completely out of nowhere. I’d had a few colleagues asking if I was OK in the morning because I didn’t look great, but otherwise was just feeling a little under the weather.

My boss rolled her glass over the rash to see if it would blanch and it didn’t… so from 2:30 onwards my day looked like this:

2:30 – 4:00 – NHS walk in centre refer me to A&E
4 – 4:15 – Panic that it’s 4pm and run to Sainsbury’s to grab some crisps and some carrots and humus because obviously THAT is more important than suspected Meningitis.
4:15 – 4:45 – eat crisps on the way to A&E with a note to self that even in the face of death I am true to my Marie Claire project – big pat on the back for me for being dedicated.
5:00 – Get put in an isolation room and Husband arrives.
5:30 – Nurse takes blood and then puts a tube thing in my arm which sends my head spinning and all rational thought goes out of the window.
5:31 – Husband runs off to find me some source of sugar before I puke everywhere
5:45 – I inhale 2 milky bars.
6:30 – Husband is asleep, I’m bored, go on facebook and find out the people we spent the weekend with have both been diagnosed with Swine Flu.
6:31 – Penny drops.
8:00 – Blood comes back as meningitis free and the nurse removes tube from arm.
8:01 – Spin out like the wimp I am and end up with my head between my legs wretching.
9:00 – Eat half a Pizza that Husband cooks as a treat and down a large glass of wine, plus carrots and humus from before to get over the trauma and try and fend off the Swine.

Now tell me WHERE in Marie Claire, does it tell you how to find a lien bit of protein in an A&E vending machine? Something tells me, the cheese flavouring in a bag of Wotsits doesn’t count. No wheat, or dairy, and fitting 5 meals a day into a day like that doesn’t work!

This morning I woke up with a runny nose and bit of a temperature, and my boss kindly let me work from home. I’m not sure it’s the Swine, as I’ve stayed pretty constant all day, but I’ve certainly not felt like eating 5 meals and nearly gipped when I picked at the salmon at breakfast.

So I think it needs putting clearly in the small print Marie Claire – a caveat on your strange dietary suggestions.

If ill or on holiday or quite normal, 5 meals a day with no wheat or dairy may not be practical, or possible. Side effects may be smelling of fish, irritated husbands, hunger at ten past seven, weight gain, obsession about anything wheat or dairy based and excessive guilt.

Monday, 20 July 2009

La Roux

Husband is a DJ and producer, in his eyes; this definitely gives him the authority over all things music related in our relationship. Including what goes on MY Ipod. This caused a few arguments on holiday when I realised, what he had largely filled my memory up with was in no uncertain terms – utter shite .

However, it was his turn to gloat when the La Roux album belted out in the car last Saturday. From start to finish, La Roux warbled over track after track of what seemed like exactly the same tune. The plinky plonkey “I made this on a Play Station whilst stoned” backing tracks started to raise the beast in Husband. By track 5 he was in full rant and unfortunately I couldn’t argue, because he was right. Its not an album either of us could appreciated based on diversity or creativity. It was, as we concluded, as if Kraftwerk and Bananarama had a love child, who’s real and true talent was actually maths.

Sorry Marie Claire but so far I’ve not been into the music recommendations. But with 2 more Albums to go this month, there is still time to be swayed,

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

The stench of romance

Today is our 2nd anniversary; I can smell the romance in the air!

This is a lie.

What I can smell has been produced by husband, of which he seems fairly proud of. He’s left the room, with a mix of self revulsion and pride written across his face, and left me here typing in the only spot in the cottage my mobile internet can get a signal. Luckily, to hand I have a can of Impulse Romantic Spark body spray, so now the room is filled with a bouquet of au de cheap teen, trying to cover the smell of fag smoke on their clothes – and fart. It’s making me choke.

Today was going to be the day I followed the Impulse promotion. The plan was to go for a romantic lunch at the harbour (check the lean protein platter!), then hang out on the beach in the afternoon. According to Impulse, to make this even more romantic I needed to wear “retro sunglasses” - check, a “sharp sexy dress for summer day-to-night wear” (I included jeans so I didn’t flash any pensioners when cycling around) - check, “for extra sparkle” wear a bracelet –check, a slouchy bag to carry all my beauty essentials (Marie Claire has cruelly stripped me of all my beauty essentials and left me with a hooker pink lipstick and some blotting papers..THANKS!) – check, some “Chic sandals” so my pale gold gladiators got the gig, and last but not least “Pack a light everyday fragrance.” apparently is this is Impulse Romantic spark, what I will actually smell like is “fresh and gorgeous long after the day is over.” Not, as I suspect, like a teenage girl who can’t be bothered to shower after P.E.

Well the day is over, and husband (who has returned) has indeed confirmed that I smell “Fresh and gorgeous” and also “hairspray”. But then I am being compared to the smell that is still lingering in the air. It’s hardly a fair test.

We didn’t make it to the beach as it started to drizzle. Husband, my can of impulse and I ended up getting pretty pissed at lunch by the harbour. The restaurant also sold fresh fish, so I bought one for my lean protein tomorrow – stuffing it in my slouchy bag with my pink lipstick. We then managed to cycle all of about 20 meters to the next pub. Stayed there for a bit, drank cider, played travel scrabble, got more pissed then attempted to cycle home without raising suspicions that neither of us should really be in charge of a bicycle.

The evening consisted of us watching Fear And Loathing In Las Vagas, eating beans on (wheat free) toast and falling a sleep when the booze finally caught up with us. I had to take my “Sharp, Sexy dress” off and stick it in the wash because I got strawberry juice all over it. So it may not be the romantic fantasy sold to me in the advertorial, it was actually better than that – I had a lovely day with husband and I’m left armed with a can of sweet parma violet smelling bottom mace should he decide to go off again.

I’ve also included a picture mainly for Blondie’s benefit. It’s my breakfast yesterday, strawberries and chicken (lean protein with EVERY meal people). Blondie has the same attitude to sweet and savoury in the same meal, as I do to celery. It should be illegal.

Sunday, 12 July 2009


I’ve forgotten my hairdryer! I was destined for a pot-noodle head only once this week on the July list – now it’s going to be ALL WEEK! Long gone are visions of wafting along the beech at sunset wearing hues, carrying my sandals, staring wistfully into the distance whilst the breeze catches my perfectly blow dried hair. Not that it would have looked like that, but I could have least of given it a go. I was hoping to remind poor husband that it was a good Idea to turn up to our wedding two years ago. Instead he’s stuck with a vey bad effigy of Helena Bonham Carter in one of her more grubby roles for the rest of the week.

I hold my hands up – so far I am a failure at this on a few levels, more so than others being the diet. It kind of makes the whole colonic thing all the more traumatising now I realise it may have been in vein. Even last night, I crumbled at Husband’s sad puppy eyes and sticky-out bottom lip. I was protesting about sitting outside on the grass, in the sunshine, with a cheese board and some red wine. I couldn’t disappoint him, it would have been mean!

I’ve been complaining that I haven’t lost a pound so far yesterday, even after eating 5 meals a day before 7 and introducing exercise and internal hosing out to my weight management. It looks like I haven’t been as strict with this (or *cough* properly read the article *cough*) as I should have been. So I can’t really blame Marie Claire, it’s the whole reason I’m doing this experiment. If you don’t do everything to the letter within your health and budget, how do you know if it works or not? But one thing I am finding out all too quickly is that it’s not designed to fit in with real life as I know it. If I am going to be Marie Claire perfect, It won’t just take self discipline, it will also require pissing off a few people around me and repeatedly looking like a bit of a lunatic.

The advice from the article to follow is:

1. Take a food intolerance test (Done – resulting in cutting out sardines in brine?!?, none organic wheat and developing a unhealthy phobia of Kinesiologists) but it also says “Cutting out wheat and dairy can also give sluggish digestion a boost, which will help weight loss.” Now maybe I ignored this subconsciously, as this cuts out 2 whole food groups, dairy and CAKE (the most important food group for mental wellbeing). It also doesn’t tell me for how long – so I am assuming I have to do this for the rest of the month.

2. Eat 5 meals a day. Ok, so I have been doing this.. but I may have been cheating (only a little bit) when I included cake, Ice cream and chocolate as one or more of these 5 meals a day. So what I actually have to do is eat a meal at 7am, 10am, 1pm, 4pm and 7pm, none of which can contain dairy or wheat and all of which need to include some form of dairy free lean protein.

3. Colonic Irrigation. So I did this, and I did follow it with 3 days of veg soup and stir frys but also erm, crisps, bread, cake, chocolate. One thing it certainly does not say is “After one has been violated with a hose, hot foot it down to Mac Donald’s to eat a Fillet of Fish, fries, a chocolate milkshake and discuss hosing loudly with a Scouser in front of the youth of Chorley.” So, because I didn’t do it right… I’m going to do it again.

4. Skip the salt. Marie Claire gives a number of ways to do this from reducing it in your diet (I don’t add salt to stuff so no worries there), drinking Dr Stuart’s Liver Detox tea (Sounds vile, I don’t like tea, but when prefixed with the word liver it becomes a million times less appealing) . Wearing body Detox Foot Patches for 5 nights, these cost £18.99 and something in my toxic water tells me they may just be a fad. Eating celery or parsley - well I have been eating celery, nearly every day, which for the record is one big massive point to Marie Claire. It has succeeded to introduce something to my diet where my own mother failed. There is also one last suggestion of body brushing, then taking a bath in some extremely expensive detox bath salts (two choices, £45 for the more affluent of us and £32.50 for the errr more affluent of us.)

5. Take Spirulina. I have been doing this, but not quite managing 3 times a day as the pills are so honking and want to come straight back up again. Something tells me that Marie Claire does not mean chase them down with a gin and tonic in the pub, but at least I remembered to take it! So maybe I need to be strict and take one at 7am one at 1pm and one at 7pm.

6. Drink 2 litres of water a day + 1 more for every hour of exercise . I’ve been keeping up with this. Woo hoo! One thing I’ve managed! My skin is no better though disappointingly.

7. Do interval training: I’ve managed this twice so far, but I did notice the article doesn’t give you any indication of how many times a week, or month…So I could just do this once and technically fulfil what the article is asking. It also says lift “light weights”. Again, no indication of how light, how many reps for how long. So I used 2 tins of chopped tomatoes today and did 15 reps of each exercise – beef cake! I doubt my guns will be anywhere near Madonna’s unless Marie Claire is a little more specific about this.

8. Think Positive. “Tune out the negative inner voice telling you that you can’t lose weight” My negative voice is screaming “What, no f*cking cake?!” right now. “Lie down quietly for 5 minutes. As you breath out, imagine letting go of self doubt” – I’m going to go and do this, but fear the image will take the form of me letting go of a big slice of victoria sponge rather than self doubt. I also can’t do this at work, if I suddenly lie down on the office floor whiles exhaling heavily my colleagues will think I’ve lost it. I can’t use the loo either, as twice now, someone with a strange fetish has pood on the cubicle floor. I don’t care how many times the floors are bleached, just knowing this information alone will not a relaxing 5 minutes make.

So – I start again today. I’m going to devise some meal plans and stick to them for the rest of the month. If I’ve still not lost a pound, I will be having my next colonic in the IPC canteen, squealing manically “Do you feel like eating five bloody meals a day now??!!” Whilst lobbing tins of Sardines in Brine at any poor unsuspecting Marie Claire Journalists that happen to be there.


This week I’m on holiday in Southwold. Husband and I come here every year on our anniversary for a chilled out romantic week. The romance however, is being dictated to us this week by Marie Claire.

After the colonic on Wednesday, the magazine instructs you eat green soup and veggie stir frys for three days. Thursday I managed the green soup at dinner and a super foods salad from Eat in the evening before I went to the hair dressers. But when I got in, Lodger had cooked her amazing lentil bolognaise - and as the superfood salad seemed to be designed for people that survive only on dust and air, I had a sneaky little bit with a glass of wine about 8pm. The world, did not come caving in at this diet sin.

Yesterday I had fruit and yogurt for breakfast, celery and humous for meal number 2, green soup for lunch and being prepared, had cooked a noodle and aubergine salad for on the road.

Driving down the M6 started to become frantic when I realised it was 6:30 so needed to get to a service station to eat my last meal of the day. Somehow, I didn’t think the importance of my cause would wash with the police if I pulled up in the slip road to have a little picnic. I pulled in at the Toll road services at 6:45, after inhaling the noodles I thought I would treat myself to a designer coffee (and rumour has is a biscuit). But I found the Skinny vanilla latte really sweet, I wondered if this Spirulina stuff may actually be working as I had to chuck it away after only a couple of sips.

We arrived here at one today (Saturday). I forgot about my green soup diet on the way and accidentally at and egg sarnie from Tesco, some crisps and some cardamom ice cream… oops! So I’m determined to make up for it tonight having only green soup and organic rye bread (following the insane advice of the Kinesiologist – Organic Wheat = good!) This has gone down like a bag of sick with Husband, who wanted to treat me too a local cheese board, grapes, red wine and pickled quails eggs (I know! Get us!) in the garden tonight. He’s currently wafting the plate at me as I type. But to his disappointment, I’m having a bowl of green slop, before 7 as Marie Claire orders.

On our walk around the town this afternoon, I thought I would take my American Apparel T-shirt, Straw hat and pink lippy for it’s maiden voyage. I was glad of the T shirt as it covered my wobbly belly and looked pretty nice with my jeans. The lipstick required a hell of a lot of blotting before I left the house and the hat kept trying to blow off in the wind. Once in the sanctuary of the pub, I cracked open some Spirulina and chased it down with a gin and tonic before going to the loo. I nearly jumped out of my skin when I caught my reflection in the toilet mirror! As Husband so eloquently put it a few weeks ago “You just have these big pink lips on your head” and as my foundation has been banned for the week by Marie Claire, allowing me only blotting paper, eyeliner, mascara and this bloody lipstick, my zits are having a big red party on my chin.

I just don’t think I have the flawlessness to carry off this colour; it just makes me look a bit mucky. Like the sort of girl that doesn’t change her knickers everyday or chain smokes fags in bed in a crusty leopard print nighty. I’ve got to look like said tramp all week, on all the holiday snaps.
To add insult to injury, I’m really bloated after the colonic. I think my insides are protesting to being so rudely tampered with. I’m determined not to let it spoil the holiday though, because so far, the diet and prospect of holiday interval training is doing that on its own already.

Oh.. and I haven’t even lost A POUND

Thursday, 9 July 2009


Last night was colonic night. Scouse had been emailing me throughout the day, as it dawned on her that otherwise undiscovered parts of her anatomy were going to be probed by a complete stranger.

"***** told me it was as big as man's part!?!"

This was one of the more frantic emails of the day. However she managed to pull herself together and so after work I met her in a car park in Chorley to walk down to the clinic.

The clinic was run by a couple, with 2 treatment rooms and a reception area. As (to our relief) the lady treated female clients and the man just men we had to decide who went first and who hung out in reception.
I volunteered to go first, giving Scouse a bit more time to come to terms with the logistics involved in the process. Once in the treatment room, with all the equipment laid out on the bed it dawned on me. I was here, because I was stupid. I'm an idiot, doing idiotic things because I'm having an idiotic crisis and coping with it in a completely idiotic way. What was worse, I was roping my poor friends into coming along for the ride!

But the blog must go on. So I listened intently as the therapist pulled out a large, laminated diagram of the digestive system (Wipe clean, I thought, must be handy in this line of work). She explained to me where everything was inside me, what it all does and how a colonic could help. I was pretty nervous by this point, so was sort of staring past her imaging all the horrific and degrading situations that could occur whilst being hooked up to water flow by your nether regions.

I was brought back into the conversation with a bump when she announced with pride that she only used disposable attachments. This shocked me, because this meant that it some places they don't! Eww Eww Eww!

I was told to put on a dressing gown, go into the toilet and take off everything below the waist. This alone made me feel a little violated and I began to understand the reason why "Celebrity Colonic" may have been the death nail in Richard Blackwood's career. Once back in the room, the therapist told me to "pop myself on the bed", and turn on my side. Hmmm sweet, twee language wasn't go to fool me. I knew what was coming and no amount of happy go lucky phrases such as “popping” oneself anywhere was going to change that.

I'm not going to be graphic here, there is no need and I can feel the dignity that I have seeping through the tip of each finger as I type this, lost in the abyss of what I like to call "Emersion Journalism" and everyone else likes to call "F*cking Stupidity".

I was hooked up to the machine and process began. At this point I felt rather helpless. I couldn't move and was at the mercy of whatever the therapist wanted to talk about and / or do to me. We covered all sorts of topics; where I worked, why she chose this particular career path ect. But never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine a situation where, I would be discussing the possibility of Michael Jackson's death being a conspiracy theory - with a petite blond lady in her early 50s - that I'd only just met and allowed to stick a pipe up my bum! It was all just a bit too surreal and I didn't quite know how I felt about it.

Now and again she would praise me about what she could see in the tube. I found this very odd. A "well done" for something that was happening whether I liked it or not was bizarre, but I suppose it was infinitely better at her staring at the tube exclaiming "Oh my god, that's revolting, Oh no, that's not right, you are a freak".

This, ALL of this, was not the worst bit of the treatment though. Once she was satisfied all the water and tummy massaging had done it's job, I was instructed to go into the loo which was attached to the treatment room and "evacuate". Now, bearing in mind I'd been hooked up for 40 minutes, there was absolutely no way I could do this in a discreet and silent manor. To say I was cringing puts it very lightly, I was devastated. I could here her setting the room up for Scouse, pottering about as I sat there trying to think of elaborate was to ensure I avoided seeing this woman again for the rest of my life. She must have read my mind as I heard her trill "There are sanitary towels on the side pet, if you want to pop one on for piece of mind". WHAT?! This was too much, there was absolutely no way on this earth I was going to "evacuate" in the middle of Chorley town centre - It's not the way my mother brought me up. So I sat there a little longer until I was satisfied I was OK.

I swapped places with Scouse, and she walked after the therapist with smile on her face that did a really crap job of hiding the fear. As I waited, the male therapist handed me my aftercare notes. On the front of the notes there was a note reading that they also provided food intolerance testing.

"What sort of food intolerance testing do you do here" I enquired

"Oh, I'm also a Kinesiology

Run away! Run away! was my initial thought, gripping onto my purse in case he tied to talk me into buying some magic beans and a rabbit’s foot. But instead, I thought I'd take the opportunity to ask some more questions and try to see if I could understand it better the second time round. I explained to him about how my last session seemed like an elaborate sales pitch, and how I thought the tenuous links to scientific theory were questionable.
He leapt up and went to grab a book all about the subject, sitting down next to me talking passionately about how effective it was. The book was written by a paraplegic who had used Kinesiology to regain the use of his limbs. It made me feel a little more settled that the book was written by a Dr of science and his picture on the front made him look very serious.

To the credit of the man therapist, he articulated the defence of his practice a little better than the old "What is the opposite of a pen... not a pen!" analogy used in my session last week. He also said that selling me pills to counteract reactions was not really the approach he would take. He viewed Kinesiology as subconscious learning techniques, so in theory the Kinesiologist can turn off the reaction not the tablet.. (OK so I was getting a little lost here, but from what I could decipher even if I didn't believe in the effectiveness, he did and didn't use it as a sales tool).

Then, he started prodding me and poking me in my acupressure points with the obligatory holistic "Um hum, yeah, um hum, I see" whilst pressing down on my outstretched arm. (If this is making no sense to you, have a read of my entry "What is the opposite of a pen - not a pen!" entry). It all still baffled me, and by the time Scouse was finished both my bowel and mind were completely vacant. So in that situation, there was only one thing for it. Off to the Golden arches to retox and discuss loudly in front of the teen population of Chorley the merits of being violated with a hose.

PS: When I woke up this morning - I wasn't any thinner.

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

"If you can swallow it without chewing, it's a drink"

Well tomorrow will be my first week anniversary of living my life according to all the advice in July’s issue of Marie Claire. I’d have a drink, but it’s the colonic tomorrow and I’m not allowed *groan*

I’m doing Ok though, there have been a couple of slip ups , such as forgetting a couple of mornings to massage with the cellulite brush, and a couple of evenings forgetting to massage my feet for 20 seconds before bed. I seem to be a bit rubbish at the old self massaging, it’s a fairly new concept to me!

Then there is the pill popping. According to the tub, I should be taking Spirulina 3 times a day. I’m managing an average of 2 a day, both times freaking out my boss as in order to get the pill down my neck I have to throw my head back and shake it from side to side at my desk – which makes me look nothing less than completely mental.

She was even more worried yesterday when she opened my calendar, popping her head round the side of her monitor with a concerned face.

“Are you Ok?”
“Yeah why?”
“Are you sure?”
“Yeah just busy, why?”
“Only I’ve just opened your calendar”
“And at the end of the day, you have a repeated entry that says ‘Deep Breath and Smile”
“Oh – err, yeah, that’s err to help my endorphins apparently”
“What ARE you on about?”
“Um – I read it on an Orbit advertorial in Marie Claire, it says to take a deep breath and smile at the end of every day to release endorphins”

At this point she looked satisfied that A) I wasn’t about to hand in my notice and B) I was stranger than she had first thought. So popped her head back round to carry on with her work.

I haven’t told anyone I work with about this blog, I figured I need a kind of control group. A group of people that may comment on, or notice changes without knowing about them before hand and looking out for them. Also, because I think they may think I’ve completely lost it, and have to see them for the majority of my waking week.

The not eating after 7 thing is going OK. I did have some grapes about 10 last night by mistake, but felt it didn’t warrant me going out into the garden and beating myself with birch twigs or anything drastic to right the worng. It was fruit after all. Sunday was a bit of test though.

Husband decided last minute to organise a BBQ. What time did he arrange for this to start?? F*cking 7PM. So I powered down a few mini pitas filled with celery, avocado and humus, whilst the sweet smoky smell of the BBQ started to waft through the house.

Kingsize and his lovely lady friend Systems arrived, at which point I had conceded that if I couldn’t eat, I’d just get heroically pissed. I had to literally distract myself in the kitchen, tidying and cooking my dinners for this week to avoid staring longingly at their plates. I am turning into that woman, you know the one, that woman in the office that announces they are on a diet. The Same woman that then makes you feel really uncomfortable when you dare to enjoy a bit of Birthday cake that someone may have brought in to share. The one that stares at you, and talks about you eating the cake, and how much she wants’ the cake… until you feel like sticking said cake in her face.

When everyone finished, Systems announced she had brought the ingredients to make desert. As I started to protest, she turned and delivered a pearl of wisdom that I think may save me while I am adhering to this 7pm food curfew.

“If you can get it down your neck without chewing… it’s a drink”

For this, I love you Systems – and she handed me a big bowl of Eaton mess, which I “drank”. Then, revisited the remains throughout the evening “sipping”.

Yesterday was more interval training, my legs burned, my throat burned, I think twice is enough to decide I HATE interval training! But unfortunately as tomorrow is colonic day, I have to get up early and go out on my bike before work.

Yesterday I also wore my hue pink top, which in theory should have looked enchanting; if I was frolicking around on a beach at sunset, with romantic wavy hair and pout as per Marie Claire’s fashion story. The reality was stomping around the office, stressed out due being on a deadline. I was also wearing a particularly ill fitting bra which was trying with admirable tenacity to pop up and wrap itself round my throat all day.

“I won’t make that mistake today!” Was my first thought this morning. A white shirt and jeans – what possible fashion faux par can I possibly achieve in a white shirt and jeans? Well.. why don’t you ask the poor security guard who I stood talking to this morning for 5 minutes, with the button of my shirt undone directly across my boobs. Bra out, Tatty Divine (Thanks Stylist) name necklace on back to front and bloody foot soak on my jeans, possibly leaving him with the opinion that “That ydoJ is a bit of floozy”

The fashion faux par didn’t end there.
At lunch I went to see if I could pick up some of the free Aveda Shampoo in Kendals, with a voucher published in the August issue of the Magazine. They had run out unfortunately, only having enough for the first 100 people to turn up. Didn’t these eager beavers know my devotion to the cause? I was miffed so thought I’d have a wonder around the sale.

Walking round the shoe department, I was trying to decide the line a shoe had to cross before it became a strappy “Shoob" (shoe-boot apparently) rather than a strappy sandal. I failed to notice, that whilst on my little quest for the shoob truth, the buckle on my bag had hooked onto a fancy lace up stiletto - and I was wondering around the store like some really blatant one footed shop lifter.

The only way I know how to deal with this sort of situation, I learned at college as a defiant teen. I accidentally weed on the straps of my dickies dungarees. I hadn’t noticed when I sat down to pee that the straps had sneakily dangled into the bowl, the loo was crowded and I was late for a lesson – so what do you do in that situation? You march out people, with your head held high, fling the piss ridden straps into the sink and stare at everyone around you daring them to even smirk at the situation whilst you wash them off. Be blatant, act as if what you are doing is perfectly normal and everyone else is weird for even taking note of it. They just might believe you.

So that’s what I did, striding back to the shoe department, with shoe in hand, glaring at the assistant, daring her to even acknowledge I’d taken a left Stiletto for a tour of the clothes concessions.

Then flushed red and ran away, like the fool I was back to work. I spent the rest of the afternoon not wanting to move in case I managed to utilise any other part of my clothing to embarrass myself.

Saturday, 4 July 2009

Interval Training

My body is in shock. I’ve upset it and now it hates me.

I wasn’t built for exercise, so much so that by year nine my mum just relented and wrote letters to excuse me from Sports day every year because it wasn’t worth the ear ach. Luckily, at that time in my life I was into horses, so mum had got me a horse as a bribe to move away from where I grew up and in with my stepdad across town. She thought, rightly, it would keep me out off trouble and away from boys. Funnily enough, when you turn up to school daily with hay in your hair stinking of manure, guys tend to give you a fairly wide berth. So I used to get my exercise without realising it, lugging bags of feed and bails of hay around.

That was 12 years ago, and as soon as boys and trouble became more appealing the poor horse was sold and the little lard pixies set up their scaffolding and got to work on my body.

Between now and then, there have been sporadic attempts at exercise.

Skateboarding: I was beyond rubbish, so I just used to carry it around to look cool.

Inline skating: See Skateboarding!

Yoga: Which made me cry because it highlighted I was in fact made of wood and have the body of an 80 year old.

Street Dance: Which I used to attend with my friend Little A. I used to love street dance, but spent most of my time throwing obscure shapes at the back, repeatedly asking Little A “Does this look shit?”. It was also full of girls who looked good in spandex and had great hair, so I felt like I was cramping their style.

The Gym: I think to date I’ve had at least 8 memberships, all of which I’ve stopped attending after about 2 months. Funnily enough it takes approximately this amount of time to remember that I really really hate the gym.

Cycling: Which I still do a bit of, but at a leisurely pace rather than anywhere near exertion.

Running: I tried to train for the race for life a few years ago. I ran twice then realised you could walk it. So that ended that.

British Military Fitness: This was pretty hardcore training. I used to go with someone who is more senior at work. One session we had to sort of mud wrestle. Being of a competitive nature my senior workmate pinned me to the floor, attacked my face with a clod of dirt repeating “I can get you sacked you know”. So that stopped.

Horse riding: I do half an hour a week. Hardly exercise when the horse does most of the moving whilst supporting your body for you.

Rock Climbing: My new venture, spawned from attending a motivational talk by Bear Gryls. He climbed Everest - I can now get to the top of the kid’s wall at Awesome Walls… watch your back Bear!

In light of the above, it probably makes it that bit clearer why the mere thought of interval training sparks off psychosomatic pains all over my body. But I’m dedicated to this now, so this morning Husband and I got up and got on with it.

According to the program on the interval training website, sprinting is the best way to do this. I’ve never been a runner and feel much more at home on a bike, so decided to use my bike for the first few sessions while I get to grips with it.

“The first week looks quite easy”. These were Lodgers words, which I am going to print off and get her to eat them.

Week one is a 5 minute warm up, 6 x 30” Sprints with 90” rests in-between and a 5 minute warm down.

The first sprint on the bike was ok; I could feel my heart thumping as I rested for 90 seconds but was suitably fooled into thinking it was well within the parameters of my fitness level.

I was SO wrong. By the third sprint, my legs felt like jelly and I could feel my breakfast deliberating reappearance.

By sprint 5 my throat was burning and I was getting funny looks from dog walkers, as I sat panting on my bike counting to 90. Husband told me he would ride ahead and film me doing the 6th sprint.

My first attempt started off well (as well as in my legs moved and I didn’t vomit), but out of nowhere a little old couple waddled out with a dog and I had to skid to a stop.

Husband shouted he would cycle on further and we would try again. As he moved out of site I set off. What Husband didn’t tell me, was between him and I there was a big bloody barrier in the path – at which I would have to stop, get off my bike, lift it over and continue.

As I got to the barrier my temper began to flair. Exercising was bad enough, but prolonging the experience was more than I could cope with.

“What are you doing?!!”
“There is a big bloody barrier in the way – how am I meant to sprint through that, I’ll have to do it again!”
“I didn’t put that barrier there, it’s not my fault”
“But you are on the other side of it, what were you expecting me to do?? Go through it?”

I’d had enough, I’d snapped, this was the 3rd 6th sprint and something told me Husband was sadistically enjoying this. An old guy passing raised one eyebrow and asked Husband if he was heading for a divorce as I stomped off in a silent tantrum pushing my bike back to the start of the track. Divorce wasn’t being considered, but sticking my bike up his backside sideways was if I had to do this one more time.

Luckily, that time, we weren’t thwarted by old people, or solid objects or Husbands faith that I could pass through solid objects. I’d completed the first session of this week.

As a reward, Husband went to the shop and bought me a pizza and the August issue of Marie Claire. As I happily sit here, munching on half a margarita and flicking through the pages, something jumps out at me and sends me soaring back under. MORE INTERVAL TRAINING. Thanks Marie Claire – you sadistic bastards, if I don’t look like Gisele after this, we’ll be having words.

When I got the camera home and loaded the video onto the computer – Husband had managed to hold the camera the wrong way up. I can’t change the rotation on my laptop so the 3 attempts to capture it were useless anyway.
Arrggghhh I need chocolate!

Friday, 3 July 2009

The Hangover, the German and the Teaspoon.

Eating 5 meals a day before 7 is becoming a bit of a test. Especially when one of those 5 meals has to contain celery. According to Marie Claire’s article on easy ways to lose weight, this will help ease water retention. Like a small child, I have to trick myself into eating celery due it possibly being the vilest naturally produced substance other than a big steaming turd. (The 2 come very close along with their little pal Brussel sprouts). I do this by coating the celery in either cream cheese or some sort of dip. And like a small child, on Wednesday I manage to flick said cheese into my eyebrow mid morning at work, and not notice until I went to the loo at lunch.

Due to having the food intolerance test straight after work, Husband had made me a sandwich for my tea so I could have my 5th meal before 7pm. I ate it at around 6, went for my test (See last post) then met my friend Tann at the Odeon to catch the “Orange Wednesday” showing of The Hangover.

The only problem was the majority of Manchester seemed to have the same idea, it was due to start in 5 minutes and the queue was snaking back towards the entrance.

We decided to go to another cinema across town, but got sidetracked on the way by a Slug and Lettuce pub. The next available showing was 9:45, and my stomach was beginning to grumble. All I had for the film was a Ribena, so felt that the best tway to appease my now rumbling stomach was to have a massive glass of Rose wine.

By 9:40 we were in the cinema, stood before the food counter. Ben and Jerry’s ice cream tubs were stacked in the freezers on the back wall; each one seemed to be calling to me “you know you want me, what is this 7pm nonsense? You’re not a bloody Mogwai!” My inner monologue started having a row about the pros and cons of failing on the first day, in comparison to inhaling an ice cold tub of the wondrous joy that is Ben and Jerry’s Ice cream. Marie Claire won and Tann looked at me like I had finally lost the plot.

He bought himself a tub along with a radioactive looking blue slushy. He offered me a sip, but each time he gestured the slushy towards me I instinctively repelled backwards. I’ve got a real issue with blue food, ever since I was a young child and ate a bright blue ice cream called a “Goggle eyes”. About 2 hours after eating said ice cream, I produced the most magnificent bright blue poo, it had my mother spitting feathers wondering whether or not to take me to casualty. What do you do when your child’s bowls have morphed into a miniature nuclear reactor? Since that incident, any blue food consumption has been limited entirely to blue WKD at parties when the Vodka has run out.

Tann thought it was hilarious to waft his ice cream at me once seated in the cinema, but luckily he stopped. Smelling the danger in the air, he anticipated the situation before I instinctively jumped up and wrapped his skate board around his face.

Visions of me snatching the tub of ice cream and legging it out of the cinema, foaming at the mouth like a rabid dog were abruptly interrupted buy a tall plum guy and his petit attractive oriental lady friend. They wanted us to move so they could sit in the seats next to us.

As they sat, the film started.

The film was really amusing, much better than I expected (Thanks Marie Claire!) but the plump guy next to me was by far the funniest thing I’d seen in a cinema in years.
As each joke materialised on screen, he would turn to his pretty lady friend and exclaim in a thick, European accent (I think German or Austrian as he sounded like Bruno)

“Ahh no vay! Der ist a chicken in da hotel room… HAHA das ist FUNNY no?!”


“No VAY, OH MY GOD, Der ist a Tiger inst de Bathroom – Das just vouldn’t happen… HAHA das IST funny!”

This continued throughout the whole film, making me laugh so much I had to run out mid way through and go for a pee.

I would recommend going to see the film, even without the bizarre European commentary, but it definitely added to the experience for me. Maybe I have enough time to write to the producers and suggest they track him down for the DVD commentary?

Once the film was over, Tann and I made our way down the escalators towards the foyer. As I rummaged in my bag for the keys and pulled them out, they caught on a teaspoon I had taken to work to eat me second meal of the day, which was fruit and yoghurt.

In a cinematic, slow motion style - fitting for the surroundings, I wrenched the keys from my bag projecting the teaspoon in to the air. It span towards the heads of a young teenage couple a few steps down from us. I cringed in horror as it just missed and clattered at their feet.

The young lad bent down slowly and picked it up, turning to me with a look of confusion and mild accusation.

“Erm sorry, that was er a bit random”

Was all I could mumble as he handed it back to me.

The couple turned away snickering and I felt like a complete loser, I could feel the red in my cheeks flushing. I bet Gisele never lobbed a teaspoon at strangers in a Cinema! With that, it was definitely a signal to take Tann home, massage each foot for 20 seconds as per the July list (much to husbands despair as he was in bed and I switched on the lamp to do it) and call it a night .

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Hocus Pocus Food intolerance test.

"What is the opposite of a pen?.. Not a Pen!"

My first day of Marie Claire beauty rituals seemed to pass without note. Foot soak, cuticle cream, hand cream with SPF, heavy moisturiser etc. All completely within the parameters of what I can cope with. I ate my 5 small meals all before 7, chasing down Spirulina with 2 litres of water. I can't swallow the tablets well though; my tonsils have a quick fight with them before I get them down my neck. I haven't really noticed any difference since taking them yet, but I have noticed that I really like the shade of green they are, so if nothing else will take them to B& Q and get some paint mixed up for my bedroom.

After work I went for my "food intolerance" test. My session was free with a Kinesiologist, A kind of holistic jack-of-all-trades. Now I'm not the most holistic of people, I prefer proper doctors with proper degrees in proper science. I'm not saying I completely don't believe in holistic therapy, I just don't understand the theory behind it unlike modern medicine. My Session started off with a half hour chat, where I told him I had IBS, it was brought on by stress and wheat sometimes gives me stomachache. After the chat, I had to sit on the edge of a bed and extend out each arm. This is when it all started to get a bit weird.

Pushing slightly downward on my wrist, he would tell me if my muscle was locked or "soggy" after asking me certain questions. He the gave me some stress exercises to do for when I was at work. These consisted of one hand on my stomach and with the other massaging some pressure points on my breastbone. "Is that sore" he asked - "um - yeah" I replied mainly because I was repeatedly jamming my breastbone with my fingers. This apparently reconnects the left and right side of my brain. I'm not sure if my brain reconnected, but this was the point of the session I began to think that my Kinesiologist was slightly insane. This was then followed by an exercise to reconnect the front and the back of my brain (Holding my tummy and rubbing my back... OBVIOUSLY!) and then a rather strange exercise to reconnect the top and bottom of my brain, which involved holding my tummy with one hand and rubbing the top and bottom of my lips through my index and third finger. Kind of like the sort of mime you would do in charades if you wanted to convey, "I've got a sore tummy but would really like some cunnilingus".

Once this was over, we got on to the food testing. This is when the real hocus-pocus began. I was asked to hold a small glass vile against my cheek, containing a clear liquid. I then had to hold out my arm while he applied some downward pressure to my wrist. I then encountered one of the bizarrest conversations I've had in a very long time.
"hmm yeah, definitely unlocking don't you agree"
"I think I need to explain to you the difference of your muscle being locked an unlocked"
"Ok - because it feels like you are just pressing harder on my wrist"
"Ok - umm, what is the best way to describe this" (Holds up a pen) "What is this?
"It's a pen"
"Correct, what is the opposite of a pen?"
"Well you might say a pencil"
"infact - the opposite of a Pen is... NOT A PEN!"

At this point the giggles started to rise up through my chest and I thought I wasn't going to be able to stifle them.

"Ok - do you mind if I write all this down" (Pull out my pad and pen)
"Sure, go ahead"

Once he was satisfied I had been enlightened that the opposite of a pen is in fact NOT A PEN, he continued to ask me to hold these vials of liquid against my cheek while he pressed on my extended wrist and mumbled "uh huh, uh huh, locked, not locked" ect.

"So er, how is my body detecting these foods through solid glass?" I asked. I mean stupid me, fancy actually believing my science lessons about the difference between solids, liquids and gasses. As far as I was aware, osmosis through glass would have seen the end of, you know, the bloody WINDOW for example.

Are you ready for the "science" bit?

Did you know, lovely people - that according quantum physics and my Kinesiologist - Mass and energy are one of the same? OK, sounds believable. And if you put a load of pianos in a room and play middle C on one, all the other pianos would vibrate middle C. - Perfectly feasible. And if you "vibrate love, all those around you will vibrate love".. and there we have it, the spiral into the depths of complete hippie waffle. So according to the Kinesiologist, these negative vibrations, through the solid of the glass are being detected by my brain and unlocking the muscle in my arm which he just happens to be applying a tad extra pressure too. But how could I be so sceptical when he's given me such watertight evidence such as the opposite of a bloody pen being not a pen?!

He asked me to hold up the vials of liquid that he had decided were "Unlocking" my muscles against my cheek again, then started to throw plastic bottles of pills onto my lap.
"Um, uha, yeah interesting" he mumbled frequently as he pressed down on my wrist again. Now and again swapping the bottles of pills until he was satisfied I was "Locking"

"So err, how is throwing these pills in my lap, changing the locking and unlocking"
"The vibrations are cancelling each other out"

Of course, silly, stupid,. scientific, idiot me. The Vibrations are cancelling each other out! My IBS is sure to be cured in no time.

We were now an hour and a quarter into the session and I wasn't sure how much more pretending I could do. I was trying hard to seem like I was buying into this holistic fantasy. Plus, I was wearing a very short skirt and my legs had started to super glue themselves to the vinyl bed.

I tentatively told him I had to leave soon and he began to conclude the session. The below conclusion, took 1 and 1/2 hours to get to and quite frankly, It left me much more worried about this man's health than mine. Are you ready?... deep breath... read on.

Processed wheat = BAD (Ok, I spent the first half hour of my session telling him wheat hurt my stomach)
Organic Wholemeal Flour = GOOD!
Yeast = BAD (Funnily enough found in many wheat based products)
Salmon = GOOD!
Sardines in Brine (Which I have never eaten) = BAD
Chicken = BAD.. But only in the small intestine. Well blow me; I wasn't aware that I could completely bypass my small intestine to digest chicken. Does this involve chewing it, then using it as some sort of meat based suppository? Give the guy a medal; he's reinvented the digestion process (holistically of course).

Funnily enough a variety of expensive pill like potions, that could only be bough through him were on the GOOD list. 6 bottles in fact, all around £10 in price. Well who would have thought it?

This was the point where I decided I needed to make a run for it, I'd already given a monk my last 50p in the street on the way to the session just so he'd fuck off. I wasn't about to part with any more cash just so this guy would do the same. He wrote them all down on an order form and gave me his "practitioners" ID that I needed to quote when I called the supplier to buy them. Before I left, he insisted on taking my phone number and email address, enough contact material to stalk me until I buy something!

So after one day, my life according to Marie Claire has me avoiding unknown numbers on my phone, but I have gained 2 very important lessons from this experience. Number one, only every try this sort of thing if it's free and number 2, most importantly.. The opposite of pen is.... NOT a pen.