It started something like this. I woke up, flung a towel around me, and walked through the kitchen on my way to the shower. My 11-year old son Robbie was sitting at the counter eating a plate of some or other gross looking cereal. ‘Morning Fatso,’ he said to me as I passed. ‘I BEG YOUR PARDON?’ I said. ‘Hello my fat daddy-o,’ he responded. Next thing my eldest daughter Gillian came around the corner. ‘Ag dad, don’t worry, I like you nice and cuddly.’ Next it was the turn of my middle daughter Annie who just gave a sort of high-pitched chuckle (it’s a chuckle I know well and it basically means ‘you’re buggered now old man’). Now in our family gang warfare is alive and well. If the mob turn on you, you’re stuffed. And the mob had turned. I climbed into the shower a bit battered and hurt. Which got me thinking…
Every year I hear the same thing from my brides. ‘I just need to lose another 2 kilos and then I’ll fit into my dress perfectly. Oh do me a favour, that’s just plain bitchy. At least you don’t have to lose double-number digits like some of us. Yes, I need to lose 10 kilos so flippin’ there, I admit it okay. (Well maybe not 10 kilos, but if I go for 10 I’ll be in racehorse condition). So I’ve enlisted the help of a dietician to help me out. Here’s part of our conversation…
Betty: Warren, I see you’ve gone up a size or two. Those jean pant are bigger than the last ones I saw you in.
Warren: Well, um, they were on special.
Betty: When last did you feel comfy in your costume?
Warren: Keep it tidy please Betty.
Betty: You’ve been a naughty boy haven’t you Warren.
Warren: BETTY! WHERE is this going?
And so the conversation went on and on as I tried in vain to dodge Betty’s questions. Then Betty made me stand on her scale in my undies before handing me this fairly good advice. So girls (and boys), if you want to be in tip-top shape come your wedding day and match my outstanding physique, here’s what you do according to Betty (who was kind enough to give me this printout in a very official looking government-type folder).
Keep your diet clean. Stick to natural, whole foods – oats, carrots, grilled fish, steamed veggies.
Watch your portions. Use a side plate to dish up on instead of a dinner plate.
Eat clean fats. Apparently these are things like extra virgin olive oil, lean meats, seafood, seeds and avos. Cut out deep fried foods, margarine, and pastries as well as white bread, white pasta, white rice and white flour. Eat wholegrain bread, brown rice and wholegrain/unrefined flour types. (In other words, don’t have a life).
Eat quality protein. Small amounts of lean meats, seafood, eggs and a matchbox of nuts here and there.
Lose the sugar. Sugar is hidden in almost all of the processed foods and drinks we consume. Have more real fruit instead of fruit juice.
Slow down on the alcohol. Everyone likes a good party, but it starts to show. I didn’t know this but apparently most alcohol is
high in calories and all alcohol is empty calories and starves you of nutrition.
Exercise. 30 to 45 minutes of exercise five or six times per week.
Don’t be a couch potato. That’s easy for Betty to say – try hurtling around Franschhoek in 38 degree heat for 12 hours shooting a wedding lady.
Cheat. Try to have at least one cheat meal per week.
So there you are, that, in very short, is Betty’s advise. Her parting words to me were: ‘Warren, if you follow what I say the weight will fall of you.’ Well, the proof is in the pudding so let’s do this thing.