Well, this is easy, I think to myself as I whip up a homemade juice on Monday morning. I haven't even thought about nutella once. Three hours later, and it's not going quite so well. My 'daily meditation' starts excellently, with me sitting cross-legged on the floor, breathing slowly to the sound of birdsong. Four minutes in, my cat comes in and decides to sit on my lap. Five minutes in she decides that the strings on my hoodie are trying to kill me, and it's up to her to capture them before they have their wicked way. Six minutes in she gets bored of that and starts meowing at me.
In the evening, I head to bikram yoga, determined to be the most 'zen' person in the room. I spend the last half hour having a spirited internal debate over whether freshly fried Brighton Pier donuts or Krispy Kremes are better. It takes all the willpower in the world not to drop into Tesco after class and pick up one for the road. I eat a banana instead. It isn't the same.
Does anyone actually like coconut water? This is a serious question. If you've never tried it, do not make the mistake I did, and assume it tastes like a pina colada. That is coconut milk. Coconut milk is the delicious thing that goes in cocktails and curries and tastes of holidays. Coconut water doesn't really resemble coconuts at all. It is grey and weird and tastes like cystitis medication.
Today, the black hole in my life left by a lack of coffee is becoming increasingly apparent. I glare at the box of peppermint and nettle tea on my desk. I have a headache, I'm tired and I'm finding it hard to focus. Eating well while out and about is also proving very tricky. The Prets of the world seem to drown even their healthy salads in endless mayonnaise and the low fat options in almost every sandwich shop are jam-packed with sugar and/or refined carbohydrates. I conclude that Miranda would probably bring her own food with her so that she knows what's in it. I mentally add that to the morning routine, after the juicing, yoga and meditation, and bid a silent farewell to the wonderful invention that is the snooze button. We sure had some wonderful times, old friend. But I'm a morning person now.
My daily exercise is a zumba class, which is the most fun and least worthy of workouts. I shake it out to a bit of Justin Timberlake circa 2005 feel just a little bit better.
I have bought so many weird pills and powders from Holland and Barrett that I now have a loyalty card, which I find vaguely depressing. The serene glow definitely hasn't kicked in yet - I'm grumpy from lack of cake, my skin is red and blotchy (I'm assured that this means I'm 'detoxing') and I want a cup of tea and a hobnob. In an attempt to inject some get-up-and-go into my dejected self, I attempt to make myself a juice with some spirulina powder - a Miranda favourite. According to the back of the packet, spirulina is a form of green algae, rich in all kinds of things. In theory, it has ALL the vitamins and should make me feel energised and focussed. In practise, it turns my juice a slightly disturbing dark green colour, and has an undeniable whiff of the pond about it. I think of bikinis on the beach and Orlando Bloom, and down it in one.
The good thing about all of this (possibly the only one, at this stage) is that it's encouraged me to look beyond the spag bol and investigate some new recipes. Today is my day off from exercise (woooo!) so I take some time to make a homemade vegetable and lentil curry, which is surprisingly delicious.
It is 8am and I am on my way to Wandsworth Common for a personal training session. Now there's a sentence I never thought I'd say. For the first time, I feel grateful for my current teetotal status, as Lou, my training buddy turns up hideously hungover. 'I feel like someone's put Vaseline on my eyes. Is that normal?' she asks, looking pale at the sight of the weighted ball that Elena, our personal trainer has just unpacked. We do a 'pyramid workout', which involves doing painful exercises, then running then doing the last painful exercise and one additional one, and so on. It's actually surprisingly enjoyable (I'd recommend the 'train with a friend' option to anyone - it's a million times more fun, not to mention cheaper) and I feel pretty good by the end. Walking home on possibly the last gloriously sunny morning of the year, I can't help but wonder if it'll be quite so enjoyable when it's dark, frosty and drizzling.
At home, my exercise high is quickly dispelled when I inspect the contents of my fridge. What I want is a toasted cheese sandwich with ketchup. I end up eating wholemeal crackers topped with avocado and the droning great-uncle of the fromage family, cottage cheese.
Great start to the day - I don't go for the snooze button. Instead I sit straight up and.... crash back down into a horizontal position wondering who has beaten me up in the night. I can literally barely get out of bed. My armpits hurt. Who knew I had armpit muscles? Worst off by far are my abs, which feel like they've been run over by a large tractor. Paddy is woken up by me howling in pain from the bathroom. 'What? What happened?' he shouts over. 'I sneezed' I reply dejectedly.
I spend the day avoiding stairs, sneezing and laughter. I just about manage to get through a yoga class, which admittedly does help with the general pain, before crashing through the front door and collapsing on the sofa. I'm too tired to miss the 'Friday in the pub' feeling, and have a homecooked meal with a friend and an early night instead. Rock and roll.
The weekends are going to be tricky, it seems. On Saturday afternoon, I head down to the river to celebrate a friend's birthday with a few drinks in the sunshine. The girls get stuck into a bottle of prosecco, while I vainly try to pretend that putting soda and lime in a champagne glass is just as good. The bar menu poses a new problem - practically every delicious morsel on there is NOT Miranda-friendly. 'Do you think Miranda would eat a fish finger sandwich?' I ask hopefully. The answer is a resounding 'NO'. I end up being that customer who asks if the prawns could be grilled, not fried. The waitress looks at me like I just drew a picture of some boobs in her notepad.
The evening doesn't go much better - I spend the first half of the night telling people that no, I am not pregnant, and the second half talking to drunk people and watching them do tequila shots. By midnight, without the booze buzz that usually accompanies Saturday night, I'm knackered and ready to head home. I also realise how much money you waste after a few drinks. 'TAXI!' shouts post-tequila-shot Paddy as soon as we leave the bar. 'But we're really close to the station, we can just get the last train and it'll take us straight home' I reason. 'NO TRAINS.' Tequila Paddy insists. 'It's too complicated. Taxi.' So off we toddle.
Sunday brings up a whole new set of problems. The biggest one is Sunday Lunch - often Sundays involve either eating in the pub with friends, or a visit to one set of parents. We end up doing family visits after lunch, to avoid the awkward 'I can't eat this, this or this' conversation, but hit a new issue: tea time. By the time we head home I've said 'no thank you' to two biscuits, a brownie and a freshly baked cake. I'm not sure I've ever turned down one of these, never mind all three in one day, and conclude that I deserve some kind of medal.
The one silver lining to this tale of woe is that I'm really starting to overcome my cravings. Turning down something that's right in front of you is always going to be hard, but wheras I usually get the kind of sweet food cravings that send me running down to the shops mid-afternoon, I feel a lot more in control. Maybe it's the lack of sugar or maybe it's the exercise, but I'm finding it easier to go for the healthy alternative rather than the one with chocolate on top. The start of a breakthrough? We'll just have to wait and see.
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