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Tuesday, June 10


The question still hangs in the balance. Will I regain control over my eating habits and start losing weight again? How will I know? I don't own any bathroom scales. I think I'm frightened of what they'll tell me.

There is a placebo effect of doing exercise and eating only healthier food. This effect makes everything that feels good feel even better. I felt like I could wake up easily this morning (I couldn't, but I felt like I could). I felt like I was a bit lighter on my feet (in the sense of healthy, not gay). In truth, my legs ached from yesterday's bike ride and I was stiff and no lighter than I would have been if I hadn't been drinking mainly water and eating mainly fruit.

Anyway, I went to work and then left my desk around lunchtime claiming I had a dentist appointment. I returned an hour later with a haircut. Now, I was hoping that some wag would suggest that my dentist was very thorough. This would have been funny. It didn't happen. The dentist was undoubtedly very good at what he does, which, in this case, was look in my mouth, remove a bit of plaque, declare me in need of a dental hygienist (already pre-booked just in case) and send me away a few quid lighter. Still, it alleviated my worry that my teeth are going to fall out through lack of proper brushing.

I, therefore, had spare time for the barber shop. I also had time to visit Sainsbury AND M&S for various lunchtime foods.

It doesn't take many "goes" at something to develop habits and fixations. I found myself being willed by habit to buy all manner of unnecessary crap as I went lunch-shopping. My instinct to have something to eat on the way back to the office was strong. Rather than argue with it, I simply replaced the object of desire - in this case a rather pleasant focaccia with a red pepper topping - with a banana. You can't go wrong with bananas.

Lunch was sushi and fruit.

Various things caused me to leave the office and go to the office of a company we work with. I had a good session with the boss there and then left him to put our master plan into action. As a result, I was back at my house at around 5.30. I had to write up what we'd decided, so I worked until just after 6.

There were many ways the evening could have gone from there. I decided to do the second coat of paint in the front room. It was very warm in there and I couldn't open the window, since it seems to invite an army of midges who would get caught in the paint. So I sweated it out for two plays of my Percy Faith CD and a bit of the local radio station. The paint went on and dried almost immediately owing to the heat.

It looks like I bought 2.5 litres of paint I can't use. I'm still in my 5 litre bucket of the stuff. D'oh! I'm not "in" it, but I still have some left.

After cleansing the painting kit, I got into my biking gear - shorts and a t-shirt, nothing too special - whacked on the mp3 player and headed to Asda for supplies. It was 9.30.

As I cycled down the road I felt light and free. It reminded me of the journeys I did at the tail end of last year when I was getting fitter and lighter almost by the day. I did loads of cycling, often to the station, and the feeling of jetting down the road at a fair old pace was a sense of freedom and power. That feeling returned a little. And this is where the substitution comes back into my personal psychology. Rather than think of the things I shouldn't eat and want them, I am thinking of how much I enjoy being able to blast down the street, and how a belly full of crap actually makes me less able to do that. Conversely, if I eat well and drink plenty of water, I actually feel like I can cycle up hills and do tons of an evening.

My trip round Asda was fine. I filled my basket not too full, since my backpack can only carry a certain volume. I also had the mp3 player still running, so I was accompanied by Maroon 5 as I did my shopping. The music helps. As I was waiting at one traffic light a mile or so into my journey to the supermarket, I stood with one foot on the pavement and another on the bike and did my little bike dance.

Anyway, I decided "cleverly" to take a new route back from the supermarket. This is better described as "I got rather lost and did about 5 miles in a big circle". Still, when I reached home I was pumped and feeling good. I'd done about 10 miles. I'd sweated a little, but I'd not found my limit. On the last mile, I even raced a Ford Fiesta along a stretch of 30 mile an hour road. She had speed bumps to contend with, so my 18 mph upper limit didn't stop me being a contender. Actually, I think I hit 23 at one stage. I mainly cruise slower. Much slower.

So, as the clock strikes midnight tonight, I am full of fruit, missing the fizzy water I didn't have space for in the rucksack, and looking forward to tomorrow night's gig, where even just the last two days' exertions will probably prove to have had a positive effect on my lung capacity and confidence in my posture.

Simple things prop us up. The return to my saddle has given me a bit of a boost that even random Facebook news pop ups cannot knock.


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