Ditching the things that are making me fat

Okay, so I wouldn’t realistically class myself as fat. My size 10-12 dress size still places me below the UK average, which is a size 16 (a size 12 in American…I’m a size 6-8 stateside.) However, over the course of completing my postgraduate education, my weight has fluctuated for the worst reasons.

For the first few months of my academic adventure I ate heavily. I was in a fairly toxic relationship and finding solace in a combination of McDonald’s breakfasts and Pinot Grigio. As the end of the first academic year rolled around I was in a much healthier place on the romance front, but haemmhoraging weight due to other stresses. While I appreciated my new svelte physique, it didn’t come from good intentions.

As the end of my exams have exerted a considerable amount of force upon me, Pinot Grigio and unhealthy treats have once again taken their toll. I’m by no means horrendously overweight, but I do feel the squeeze in the form of tighter jeans. I have no desire to watch my legs return to their previous tree trunk-like state, and so I am look towards ditching the things that make me fat.

My wine habit

For someone who enjoys gastroenterology a lot, I do have quite a concerning wine habit. I’ve witnessed a perfectly pleasant patient enter the throes of Wernicke’s Encephalopathy, so I really should know better.

Financially, the three bottles of wine I consume per week do me no favours. That’s a rough total of £24. A sum that translates to £1248 per year. By now, I could have reached for a much better car that isn’t on the verge of forcing me into calling the RAC from a roadside location.

Calories wise, that’s 3000 calories per week. Or, 156,000 per year. In terms of pounds, I am adding an unnecessary 44 per year to my diet. Oh, and there’s the hangover that I get as a reward. That’s just great.

My Krispy Kreme addiction

My Krispy Kreme of choice is the Caramel Kreme Krunch. It’s a regular feature at my local Tesco, and very easy to grab on the sly while I prowl it’s aisles after 10pm (I try to avoid daytime supermarket shopping on the basis that I am too impatient).

Like the wine I consume, my secret Krispy Kremes usually amount to three per week. In isolation, they feel fairly innocuous. At 390 calories a pop, they add an unnecessary 1170 calories per week to my diet. On an annual basis, that’s 60,840. Or, 17 pounds.

Financially, they don’t fare much better. I’ll ashamedly admit that I usually buy a box of three because somehow it seems more convenient. With three Krispy Kreme purchases per week, I’m splurging an impressive £17.25 per week on gooey sugary loveliness. Or, £897 per year. Oops.

My secret McDonald’s binges

When I’m scaling the depths of M4 west in my (soon to conk out) matchbox car, sometimes the urge to grab a sneaky McDonald’s gets the better of me. Occasionally, it’s a KFC. For now, we’ll use McDonald’s for the sake of consistency.

Sometimes it’s just a crafty box of chicken nuggets. I mean, the ability to eat 20 of those on the trot is impressive, right? It certainly feels so at the time. More recently, I decided that I needed a KFC Zinger Box Meal with some spicy Nashville blobby chicken stuff as a side.

What I eat from drive thrus varies wildly. As a point of reference, let’s say it’s one Big Mac Meal per week. That’s 880 calories per week, 45,760 per year, and 13 pounds per annum. Ugh.

Financially? I always go for a medium sized meal, with a Diet Coke (because I genuinely like the taste, not because I’m trying to use some bizarre tactic to minimise the impact of what I am eating.) Unlike my other fat-inducing purchases, this one isn’t too horrific. But, it does cost £4.69 per week and £243.88 per year.

Driving to the local shops instead of walking

After finally getting my driving license, I became a little too cab happy. It only takes 10 minutes to walk to my local shop, and about three to drive. Having the car also gives me a little more latitude with what I can carry away. I’m probably inflicting way more wine and Freddo’s on me than is necessary.

Unfortunately, the amount of calories I’m consuming as a result is difficult to quantify. I’m not much of a receipt keeper. Unless it involves bras, then I do squirrel those pieces of paper away somewhere. But, I can calculate how many calories I am failing to burn. With my very brisk walking pace, I burn 111 calories with that 20-minute round trip. I probably need to head there four times per week, which means I am denying myself a 444-calorie burn every 7 days. Or, 23,088 per year/6.5-pounds worth.

According to the Fuel Economy calculator, I’m also spending an extra £0.14 per trip. Okay, so that’s only £29.12 pear year. But, that’s could go on a nice little batch of Essie nail polishes.

By making these four simple changes, I am hoping I can have a slightly positive impact on my health. Less weight, better sleep, more calories burned, and hopefully an annual saving of £2418.

As someone who has rarely been able to take a fully fundamentalist approach to such matters, I will allow myself certain grace periods. For example, on the odd occasion that I go out for lunch or dinner, wine is of course permitted. So are desserts for that matter. But, the difference now is that I will enjoy said experiences much more. Mainly because I won’t be quaffing and gorging my way through calories each week.

For now, it’s time to return to writing away for my clients. Interspersed with creating my cats’ herb garden.


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