2.5lb loss; 9.5lb total; 9.5lb in 2018
When I was a kid, nearly ever Saturday was spent at my Paternal Grandparents house. Their home was the Gardeners Cottage of an old estate house in Wingate, County Durham. It came with a little bit of land to the rear and woodland to the front, in which the remains of the old estate house skulked. We never found out what happened to the house, but it provided an interesting place to play and explore. Close to the old house, my grandfather had commandeered an old brick outbuilding and turned it into a goat shed in which he kept a couple of nanny goats and a billy. It meant a good supply of goats milk, much of which my grandmother would turn into cheese and other stuffs not distinguishable to a young child.
My Grandmother loved to feed people. The electricity supply to the house was sporadic – Grandma would often bake in the middle of the night to ensure there was enough power to maintain the oven at a hot enough temperature – and most of the cooking was done on the coal fire, over two very black metal rings that could be swivelled over the fire once the coals had warmed up to glowing red embers. For our lunch, grandma would often cook what was to hand. A recurring favourite was sliced tomatoes, fried over the fire in a little frying pan and served between two slices of buttered bread. The accompanying drink was a caffe latte with camp coffee and the aforementioned goats milk, heated and then cooled sufficiently for a small person to drink.
It’s unfortunate that I like neither goats milk or tomatoes. While wholesome and produced with care, the whole thing quite frankly was rank. I suspect, that eating it was where I developed a taste for endurance events. I’m not kidding! This was the 80’s, where the biggest crime you could commit in the country was to leave food on your plate. And that meal of tomatoes and goats milk coffee took a long time to go down.
A solution was to be found and after much searching, presented itself in the local butchers shop, Robinsons Butchers in Wingate. Where, on route to drop us off at Grandma’s on a Saturday morning, my mother would send us in for four ounces of cooked ham for our lunch and the excuse to my Grandmother that kids are expensive to feed and therefore the burden should not be hers. I suspect that Grandma was slightly hurt but then she could satisfy the ‘feeder’ in her by giving us cake instead. A much happier circumstance indeed. My brother recently asked if I had grandmothers recipe for ‘munch’, a kind of flapjack but crispier, so I know he still looks fondly on the cake days too!
Anyway, we colloquially asked for the ham in quarters. Four ounces, a quarter of a pound, hence the request. It laid the ground for a good paleo foundation – even in those days – and was a significant improvement on the alternative.
Nearly forty years later and earlier last week I had been to see Peter and was heading for a decadent breakfast of toast (gasp!!) I was not to see him again for nearly a month and I figured I could get away with one infringement of THE RULES right? But, just before I left, I made a solemn promise to Peter to BE GOOD, in the knowledge that right there I had just burst the possibility of toast for breakfast. It exploded like a balloon popped with scissors.
As headed up to the café at the top of the village for coffee, I considered alternative breakfasts. Since it’s almost impossible to be paleo and eat in a café, that would no longer provide a solution for breakfast. But, we did have a butchers in the village in Ashtead that did delicious ham. That was it, ham would be the solution. I entered the shop and without thinking, for the first time in nearly 40 years asked for a quarter of ham, just like that little girl all those years ago.
Sarah in the butchers looked at me like I’d gone mad. ‘A quarter of what?’ she said. ‘A quarter of a ham, a quarter of a slice’? Even after all this time, it felt natural to me and it took me a while for the cogs to process what the answer was. And here we are at the point of this blog finally… when you have behaviours that are so comfortable, so familiar they remain with you for forty years for example, how do you start to question that it they might not be right?
I thought about this as I went to work.
To put it into context, earlier that morning Pete and I had discussed emotions and the relationship with food. People in this country are almost obsessed with presenting you with food for every emotion in the available spectrum. You’re sad? Here’s a bit of cake to cheer you up? It’s your birthday? Here’s a bit of cake to cheer you up or perhaps more topically, ‘it’s your wedding day? You’re happy, yay, here’s some cake to celebrate.
I was recounting how, the previous day, I had been offered cake twice and presented with FIVE bits cake despite declining the cake both times. People really don’t take no for an answer! The cake went in my bag ‘for later’ because of course, being English I did not want to offend. Sadly, the napkin the cake was wrapped in was not very resilient, The cake is now embedded in nearly every possession in the bag including my ipad charging port, running belt and headphone buds. A little cake can go a long way.
Later on Friday, G sent me a TED talk entitled ‘The Magic of not giving a f@@k. It contains some useful hints on how not to get cake embedded in every orifice of a bag in future. If you have the same problem, you should give it a watch here.
The habit thing will need a bit more work but I am getting there. When I knew the toast was a real danger – a reward for 18 Turkish get ups and sticking to a paleo lifestyle for at least two weeks – and I stopped myself by making a promise to Pete. It would be better to make a promise to myself and keep it, but there you go, let’s not push our luck too early in the process.
This week was a very progressive week in many ways. I lost another 2.5lbs to add to the three last week and after struggling to run at all lately, this week was a significant improvement as you can see below.