So. In an ongoing effort to get the body I want, I am gymming up a storm three mornings a week (sometimes two, if I’m being lazy), getting up at 6.30 and doing it all before I get to work. I lift weights and have a really good idea what I’m at in the gym, plus I trained with a trainer for two years so I know how to motivate myself and how hard to push. I also have an inspiring gym buddy to train with who has a bangin’ bod for me to aspire to.
But as those patronising (but accurate) signs in my gym tell me every day, ‘YOU CAN’T OUT-TRAIN A BAD DIET’. GOD DAMN IT.
So there I was, last week, having numerous times tried the ‘just eat clean’ thing that everyone postulates about and having failed. My main problem is sustainability. I can prep food like a motherfluffer and be really good for about two/three weeks and then I get lazy and busy or both, and stop going to the shops for real food, opting instead for ALL of the takeaways and convenience food. SO. I decided, against my own policy of ‘no fad diets’, to try the 5:2 thing.
The basics: Eat normally (2000 calories) on five days. Eat 500 calories (600 for men) on ‘fast’ days. They have to be non-consecutive. And your calories can be made up of whatevs, but clearly a giant mound of broccoli is favourable over a single Galaxy bar when it comes to feeding you for an entire day.
The reason I tried it: Committing to eating clean has worked for me in the past but only short term. I haven’t got the time to constantly prep and bring food with me, and my life is too unpredictable to maintain it (I don’t say this to make it sound like I have an exciting life, I say it with a roll of the eye because I’m pulled in a zillion different directions every week like most of us!). So two days absolutely STARVING and five days normal seemed more doable than six days of pretending to eat virtuously and then cheating as soon as the pre-prepared food runs out. IN THEORY. And lookit, it’s probably not healthy. But my body just needed a kickstart, a bit of visual motivation if you will. I work out a lot and I just want to SEE the muscles I know are there.
Here, in full, is my *ahem* journey.
9.00am. This is great, I can do this! I’m perky, I’m at work, I’m a woman in control of her diet. YES.
9.10am. 500 calories is loads, right?? Like, I can definitely have three full meals.
9.15am. YEAHHHHHH I’m gonna be so skinny. And on days I work out, I can eat normally so I won’t actually die.
9.20am. Okay… I’m hungry. Calm yourself, woman. It’s only twenty past nine. Brunch isn’t until 11.
11.00am. BRUNCHTIME, muthaaaaf*ckaaaas. Time to NAIL about one third of my daily calorie allowance.
11.01am. WHAT? This banana is 100 calories? Are you joking?
11.02am. God damn it I’m gonna make this banana last until at LEAST 2pm if it’s the last thing I ever do.
11.03am. Banana is gone.
12.15pm. I’m gonna have some dry crackers because (a) I am unprepared for this life of fasting and (b) they are on my desk in handy snack packs, listing the exact calorie count.
12.16pm. Ah, brilliant! Only 35 calories in this…. SINGLE CRACKER. So if I eat the pack, thats another 105 calories chalked up.
12.17pm. Dry crackers? SHITE CRAIC.
12.20pm. HOW do I have chronic wind pains from eating NOTHING??
1pm. Ah, look there. My colleagues. All trotting off to get delicious lunches without me. I’m powering through though, and getting lots of work done into the bargain.
1.10pm. Gosh, when I wasn’t completely distracted by a giant tuna roll and can of Coke this lunchtime I managed to get a shocking amount of work done. Maybe I should skip lunch every day.
2pm. I’ve just spent the last 15 minutes gazing wildly around the room with absolutely no idea what I was doing before I started the gazing.
2.10pm. FOCUS WOMAN.
2.30pm. Maybe if I just ate that 97% Organic Cleansing Cream on my desk I’d be okay?
2.40pm. My eyes hurt.
3pm. Why is my head so heavy? It feels like it’s about to loll off my neck.
3.20pm. So, what will I have for breakfast lunch and dinner tomorrow? I CAN’T WAIT TO EAT.
3.21pm. That girl that just tweeted me is a personal trainer and she said I’m ruining my metabolism… What she doesn’t know is I CLEARLY don’t have a metabolism left to ruin. It left, years ago, and in its place is a giant arse.
3.31pm. Wait, wait. What was I doing just there?? Zzzz…
3.40pm. I think I’m going slowly blind.
16.45pm. It’s nearly 5 o’clock. Which means… Almost time to eat something else. But it’ll have to come in at under 300 calories, and it’ll have to fill me until 9pm when I face plant onto my bed from lack of energy.
16.55pm. I think time is going backwards.
17.00pm. I can’t remember… What’s my name again?
17.15pm. Eh, is that MY breath I can smell?? Apparently not eating a lot results in stinking breath. Better watch that. May not go down well with my relatively new colleagues.
17.30pm. Time to leave the office. Walking to my car is going to be… interesting.
18.30pm. I’m meeting someone after work and I have the genuine fear that the lack of sugar/anything in my diet today as STOLEN MY PERSONALITY. I’m not going to be as sparkly as usual. Oh no.
19.30pm. I am TANKING at this. I’m staring blankly at this girl, sipping my tap water, making like I’m interested when all I can concentrate on is DON’T LET YOUR EYES CLOSE…. Don’t!!!
19.35pm. Did she just ask me a question? God knows. I know, I’ll just laugh maniacally and hope that answers it.
20.00pm. Okay. Home. At. LAST. Starving. All I can focus on is food. It’s consuming my every movement (or lack of movement. No food = no calories = no energy. SCIENCE.)
20.01pm. That’s it. I’m having a bowl of Cornflakes.
20.10pm. WORTH EVERY BITE.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, was the beginning and end of my 5:2 Diet experience. As it turns out, even one day of fasting isn’t a goer for me. I need energy!! If I wasn’t a busy person with a job and mates and exercise to do I’m sure I could fast and not concentrate too much on anything. But lads, you need energy. And that’s what food is for.
However, I am still my same flabby self, and on goes my struggle to achieve the bod I’ve been lifting for for three long years.