Thursday, 10 July 2008

Once More with Gusto

I'm giving up food! Yes, I am. I may never eat again. With great trepidation I dared to step on the bathroom scales on Sunday morning and I was so ashamed. I can't tell you what the reading was but I need to lose 42 pounds at least. So I started on Monday.

Let me tell you why it presents such a problem: spending so much time in a wheelchair and having very weak bones and joints and poor balance makes exercising very difficult. And dieting without some sort of exercise (ergo, some tangible result)can be soul-destroying, especially when you love cooking as much as I do. Normal rules don't apply.

Slimmers' groups (how I hate them!) always say you should start off with a higher number of calories, depending how much you have to lose. Because I need to 'kick start' my loss using diet only, I have to have fewer calories. So for the next 2 weeks (only) it's 800 a day for me. Then it'll be 1000 until .............whenever! But what if, in 2 weeks' time, I haven't lost anything? Hmmm, interesting question.

have a 4-legged friend though who has a different kind of weight problem: his body can't assimilate his food so, though he gobbles up everything that's put in front of him and whatever he can beg, borrow or steal, he just gets thinner

This is him - Gusto, a 7 months old Great Dane. He keeps growing taller but never fills out. Poor lad is more like a Greyhound.

I remember, some years ago, staying with some acquaintances at their flat near Paris (sounds impressive, huh?). They had the fattest labrador ever to walk this earth and H-U-G-E Great Dane, not to mention 5 kids and the 2 of them - and us as well that weekend. All in a 4-bedroom flat. Anyway, these dogs took quite a liking to moi (French there, see?), as dogs usually do, but the labrador, a big stuffed sausage of a creature, seemed to think I was he bed. No matter where I sat she wanted to sit on me . I even had to dive into the bathroom quick so she coudn't follow me. Fortunately walking sticks and wheelchairs wee a thing of the future for me then and, for the lab, running about was a thing of the past.

The Dane, gentle soul that she was, was quite happy just to sit next to whatever chair 'we' were in and, resting a paw on my shoulder, gaze lovingly into my eyes.

On our first night there our hosts told us to make sure we closed the door firmly as that was where the dogs usually slept, along with 2 of the boys. Well the boys were sent to sleep in the family's share of the basement, next to the dustbins and old bikes. The dogs had the living room, which was between us and the bathroom and next morning off went Keith to the bathroom leaving me soundly sleeping - and the door wide open. Next thing I knew was the Dane climbing up onto the bed and laying herself down with her back to me on Keith's half. I thought that was quite funny but sat up, preparatory to booting her out....until the lab, surprisingly agile for one of her girth, and hating to see her friend muscling in on her patch (me), climbed up via the foot of the bed, navigated the various bits of Great Dane sprawling about and plonked herself unceremoniously and unashamedly across my knees. It was agony: a sqishy mattress and about 50 tonnes of dog bending my knees the wrong way. Our hosts seemed to think I was yelling from fright (dopey beggars!) and were trying to reassure me the dogs wouldn't bite me. How I wished they would, take my mind off present predicament! Mind you, I probably made matters worse by forgetting that important tenet of schoolgirl French: how to remember the difference between vouloir (to wish) and pouvoir (to be able) and I was telling them that I was able to move instead of that I wanted to! "Vouloir c'est pouvoir" - to wish is to be able.

It seems funny now but it wasn't then and from that day to this I have never ever assumed that others find my dog as cute as I do.

Why couldn't they just have had a poodle like other Parisians?


Raquel said...

Oh, Angie, now I have been to Paris with you! I about fell on the floor laughing, what a story, eh? I am going to be posting one tomorrow that ought to have you laughing! I am so glad that we are friends! Much love, Raquel XO

StitchinByTheLake said...

Hilarious! I can picture you with those two dogs up in the bed and on top of you. There's a big black dog in my neighborhood who has the deepest bark I've ever heard, like the bass singer in a band. I don't think he'd bite but he walks toward me whenever I stroll that way and barks that deep, deep bark until his owner comes out and takes him in the house. Come to think of it, maybe it's a trick he plays just to get inside. :) Blessings, marlene

Marie said...

Oh Angie, what a funny story!!! I love reading your lovely little "tails". You always amuse me. I am with you on the weight thing. I really need to lose some weight and I have been putting it off. I gained back all I lost last year. I can really empathise with the exercise thing. With my feet as bad as they have been any exercise which requires me to be on my feet is very painful. I can just about manage to be on them all day at work, but anything extra really kills me. Maybe we can be diet partners? (mind you after my holidays. ahem . . . no point going on a holiday and being on a diet!) XXOO

Grammy Staffy said...

So Funny!!!! That is the best dog story I've ever heard.

I should start a diet with you. I need to lose about 30 lbs. I would look so much better and feel better too. The problem is just doing it.... it is so hard for me. Maybe your example will inspire me.

chris said...

Hi Angie,
Im wondering were in the NE Eangland you are. I saw the link to your blog on raquels blog. Hope you done mind.

I need the diet too.


Angie said...

A NOTE FOR CHRIS: Hi Chris, thanks for stopping by. I hope you see this as I can't think of any other way to contact you. Do you have a blog, or can I email you?
love, Angie, xx