Some of you reading this might think that a six foot tall, 36 year old man might indeed be the wrong side of 13 stone. You are right.
But 15½ stone feels like a lifetime away from my last knee operation – where I spent six months alternating between crutches and walking stick – living off anything that could be delivered, dead in a box. My weight ballooned. My belly ballooned. It took a wedding, a child and a fragile state of mind for it to come down.
But now it is slowly rising again. Why? Because I’m bored – I eat when I’m bored. It’s slightly better than smoking or drinking or that thing that could make you go blind – but it’s still noticeable when it happens. I can feel the chest hanging heavier, the belt pressing tighter – the empty packet of biscuits staring up from the bin.
Bored. Bored. Bored.
At work that is. Where I get frustrated; let the boredom take over – where I get up from my desk to do something, anything to rid my life of project plans, spreadsheets and the constant (muted) ping of the inbox. At work, where I often find myself in front of the charity hamper – deciding which chocolate flavoured – yes flavoured – flapjack will best fill, five minutes of my life.
But then I’m not at work next week. As mentioned in the last post, I’m off to Rome. Rome – where they sell Gelato by the fist, four courses as standard and where I will eat cornetto (croissants) coated in candied peel for breakfast most days. Where we will stop for coffee and face temptation at every, glass fronted turn.
Walk it off, that’s what I should do. Use the tourist attractions as an exercise routine. But I’m with my Mum, with Lauren; neither of which will be up for the challenge of a race against time from the Vatican to the Colosseum. So I will dawdle, amble, burn a crumb off each day – and face the consequences of returning, the wrong side of 16 stone.
I could show restraint. Limit myself to two courses. Pass on the gelato most nights. Eat cereal rather than sugar and caffeine each morning – but where is the holiday spirit in that? I might – read will – need to get five minutes to myself, with Lauren in the pram, each day. There I could hit the Tiber – not literally – and pound the pavements along the banks of the river. Walk from Trastevere to the Stadio Olimpico and back – in the warmth, at the pace needed to release some space for the meals ahead.
The pounds may rise – but at the same time, I know the boredom will subside. This weight gain will be through desire, not through frustration. I’ll need to find away to manage that when I get back – but between now and then, I’m free of chocolate flavour hell.
Free of a reason to get away; for I will be away – in food and drink heaven.