What did you gain this summer?
I could of course be talking about highbrow things – new languages, knowledge, experiences – but, being a Dubai expat who spent five weeks in the land of tea rooms, the M&S food hall and pub grub, the only summer gain I’m really talking about is weight.
As one who watches her weight all year round in a mindful sort of “I’ll have an Americano [20cals] not a skinny cappuccino [75cals]” way, the UK is a disaster. I can resist neither the pub lunches nor Café Rouge, let alone a Pomodora Pesto Leggera at Pizza Express with a bottle of Chianti (hell I’m on holiday).
But hey, I was 2.5kgs underweight before I left, so I had room to spare – right?
Wrong. If you’ve no idea how much damage you can do to your waistline in five weeks of bad eating and drinking, I refer you kindly to this article in the Daily Wail in which a skinny-minny nutritionist ate “like a normal woman” for a week and put on, like, a tonne. So it’s not surprising, then, to see on my return that a) my new white jeans – bought in week 1 – won’t do up b) None of my old clothes fit me and c) I’ve gained 3.5kgs in five weeks.
Old Dubai diet
Breakfast: Low-fat yoghurt, fresh grapes/berries and a spoonful of oat granola.
Lunch: Miso soup with Udon noodles (85 cals and surprisingly filling).
Snack: Water. Cup of tea. More water. Tomato juice.
Dinner: Homemade vegetable curry.
Breakfast: Doorstop of home-baked toasted bread with butter and marmalade. Croissant with marmalade.
Morning coffee: Two Digestives snuffled before the kids saw.
Lunch: Two deep-fried Café Rouge fishcakes with fries and salad; pint of beer (or two large glasses of wine).
Afternoon tea: Kipling cakes a-plenty.
Pre-dinner: Gin & tonic (cheers mum!), bag of crisps. Extra crisps stolen from mum. Glass of pre-dinner red wine (just to taste). And maybe another one.
Dinner: Anything from pub grub to Pizza Express with half a bottle of red wine.
Surprised the size 10 jeans don’t fit any more? Not really. But, good god, was it fun.