I'm not a cakes and biscuits girl, or one of those women who would kill for chocolate when she's feeling down. My own weight loss nemesis is Chinese food. In fact I love all types of oriental food. The above picture of sweet and sour chicken is making my mouth water. Gloopy, sugary sauce but with a sharp tang to it too, crispy deep fried batter, and piles and piles of rice with the sauce soaked in. If someone put a plateful in front of me RIGHT NOW, I would pig out on it, despite the fact that it's 8.30 in the morning. I know how to eat this kind of food till the rest of the world slowly fades away. Take me to Happy Orange City. This stuff is my vice, a love of my life.
My eldest son, who's 22, is in Thailand teaching English. He went out there in February. He frequently posts on his Facebook page, photos of meals he's had. I've just been looking back through some of them, and found that my comments underneath them are all things like I want that in my face! Now! or OMG, I want to eat your dinner, and other variations along the same theme. Who can blame me? There are Thai green curries in coconuty sauces, with that thick creaminess that slows down your world to a manageable pace. And there are cartons stuffed full of Pad Thai - fried noodles with meat, prawns, and sprinkled liberally with crushed peanuts. I could probably take two, at 600 cals each, and that would only be lunch.
I have stayed clean away from Chinese takeaways and the like, for the past few weeks now. One day however, on a Tuesday, while my daughter went to her dance class, I treated myself to sushi, which I love (I get my rice fix, and the deliciously punishing flavours of pickled ginger and wasabi) but I wouldn't want to overeat it. It came in a bento box with a generous portion of fresh salad, and nothing was fried. I made sure of that when I ordered. I was pleased with myself that day, and at the end of the week I'd lost weight. Sushi is good, and I can eat it in moderation.
And now guess what? A dream I've had for quite some time has just come true. Last week my husband said:
Him: "You know what? If you want to take the kids away this summer, I think we could just about afford it."
Me: "Yes, I was thinking a week in Whitby again. They love it there, and -"
Him: "No, not the week in Whitby. I was thinking more Thailand, to see Al."
Him: "If we can get together the money for the tickets, once you're there the cost of living will be quite cheap. I think we can do it."
Blog friends, we did do it. This August will see me in Bangkok, surrounded by the food of my naughtiest dreams. There is healthy stuff to eat there too, of course, but it's still a bit like sending an alcoholic on holiday to a distillery with all kinds of different whiskies on offer, a water tap in the corner, and telling him "You'd better just drink that."
As much as I am over the moon about going to Thailand, I am worried. I will tell you now that I am determined to continue with this weight loss and lifestyle, because I feel better than I have done in years, like I'm finding myself again. But this will really really test me, and put me right in the middle of loads of the food that I'm most likely to stuff my face with. But that type of food is always going to be part of life, so what better way to learn to cope with it, than go leap right in there?
And so the countdown to Thailand begins. I make it about 39 days ...