16 June 2011

I don't think he knows about second breakfast, Pip

I have developed a new habit, almost unconsciously, but worrying nonetheless. As I lie in bed moments after waking but before I actually get up, I slowly draw back the covers and stare intensely at my feet, checking each foot individually for any signs of Sudden Onset Podiatric Hirsutism, or hairy foot syndrome, for I am now convinced that I am slowly but surely turning into a Hobbit.

It is not my non-existant love of fine pipe-weed and hand-crafted pipes in which to smoke it that is the source of this malady, nor my slightly unnerving accompaniment to the shops by a rather small and slimy fellow whispering "My Precious" into his pocketsess, nor even the Hobbo-erotic devotion shown to me by my faithful travelling companion Mr Gamgee. No, my friends, the clearest indicator of my ongoing transmogrification from man to halfling is to be found in my almost unending nutritional cycle.

I have lost a lot of weight. Were I a lady-person society would no doubt be congratulating me and offering me a job wearing dresses on a game show, or being an Italian MEP, the skills necessary for the two roles being apparently identical. Our society being the double-standarded abomination that it is, I am instead being told by my doctors that I am now "Too Thin", and "Need To Gain Weight". Never in all my years of glossy magazine reading and Hollywood film watching have I ever heard anyone say anything so ridiculous, it's as if my doctors are suggesting that the media deliberately portrays an unrealistic and unachievable body image as a societal norm to condem the citizenry into ever increasing circles of shame and self-loathing that can only be temporarily alleviated through the consumption of ineffective, immorally sourced and tested and ever more expensive faux-panaceas. But surely we all would have noticed a conspiracy that blatant and rejected it wholesale?

Still, realising that none of my clothes fit me anymore, that my waist has gone from 34" to under 30", and that 134lbs is probably not that great for someone who is 6' tall, (unless I'm trying to be an extra on the Big Bang Theory) and after talking at length with a dietician in the hospital, I have been put on an extreme (by my standards) weight gain program. Given that for much of the last three months my entire digestive system was not working, being either fed through a tube or not at all for weeks at a time, my stomach has shrunk somewhat, and it and I no longer agree on what is an appropriate amount of food to eat in one siting. It is not simply a matter of eating more, it is rather a case of eating more often.

I have thus fallen into a routine whereby the seven traditional meals of Hobbitdom have become the calendar around which my day revolves. First Breakfast begins at around 9, Second Breakfast at around 11, Elevensies confusingly at around 12:30, Luncheon somewhere around 2, Afternoon Tea at about 4, Dinner sometime after 6 and finally Supper anywhere between 9 and 11. My diet too has been altered, under medical instruction, to include such wonderful delicacies as whole-fat milk, cheese and butter, items that have been off my menu for many, many years. In between these seven regular meals I have been told to start snacking and to (I kid you not) "Keep fruit and vegetables to a minimum as they may fill you up and keep you from eating higher calorie foods".

If I were your typical Irishman, gaining weight would be no problem. I would simply nip down to the pub every night for a week or two, have a reasonable four or five pints while sitting on my arse watching the footie and talking shite with the lads, then grab a curry-chips and a batter-burger on the way home. Job done. Unfortunately I am a) unable to drink alcohol, b) a vegetarian, c) have no interest in football and, most importantly, d) would rather like to avoid developing the lumpen and misshapen potato-like physique of the typical Irish male.

Thus I am left with the unhappy dietary regime of eating early and eating often, despite the frequent protestations of my body. After nine days of this I can report that while I have not actually gained any weight doing so, at least I have not lost any more.

Now if you'll excuse me there's a group of short, grumpy-looking bearded men outside who are looking for directions to some sort of depressed mountain or sad hillock nearby, and it's almost time for second breakfast.

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At 4:24 pm, Blogger Snag Breac said...

Steak, Dave. Steak.
They're right. You're never gonna get there with pulses.

At 4:39 pm, Blogger lusciousblopster said...

Now I'm recalling that incident in a Parisian boutique, when a jacket, without being exactly too big or too small, still didn't quite fit you. When you joked with the (preposterously overdressed) boutique owner that it was because "all Irishmen are shaped like potatoes" - which I helpfully explained as "pommes de terre"- he immediately responded "Yes! C'est ca! You are like potatoes!" He seemed delighted and completely convinced by the suggestion, and I could imagine him happily offending many future potential customers with the potato analogy.

As for steak, pshaw! That is just carnivorous defeatism. Beans, beans, beans.

Now for afternoon tea.


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