There is nothing that I enjoy more during the summer months than to spend the evening warmth basking in the sinking golden rays with a fine Italian ( Sophia Loren, she was a fine Italian )
Each Spring I look forward to it. The hot high noons, the bristling afternoons and the warm wrap-around evenings. Fi and I worked almost every weekend during the Spring to bring the garden up to it’s next stage of development so that when Phoebe shone we would be able to sit back and appreciate the toil in the soil, and enjoy at long last.
So, with the passing of the wettest summer in 100 years (and the fourth wettest since 1727, apparently – cheers all round) I think I have sat and chilled with a fine Italian (Gina Lollobrigida, she was another )3 times at most.
It’s just not the same in the cold English rain. I’m so glad that I don’t work for a UK Barbeque company – if any still exist. I don’t need to tell you, particularly if you live here, it’s been grim. And now crops are failing and the fruit harvest is shot.
So it was, as we stared through the window one evening at another downpour, that Fi suggested we take the opportunity to get fit and trim down a bit. Words I dreaded. I was fit-ish, but with work to do, admittedly, but such words always deaden an already soddened and soaking heart. Inspired by a friend of Fi’s, I reluctantly agreed. Sometimes you know what’s good for you.
July began with a two week detox. What? Detox for 2 weeks? Are you kidding ? Yup. No carbohydrates – no sugars (of any sort) – no processed foods (that’s okay, we rarely have those) – no caffeine ( I love my ground beans) – no alcohol. Aaarggh!
By Day 4 I was head-achy and struggling. Throw in the daily workouts and I was feeling like my body was in rebellion. We got to the end of week 2 and we’d lost a few pounds and generally felt upbeat and better than we had for a while. Our bodies were cleaned !!
We could have stopped there but the rain was still beating on the window so there were to be no fine Italians in the garden yet. We decided to press on and go to the next stage. More of the same but allowing an occasional “sin” . (A fine Italian by the fire.)
We are into month 3 of this new regime now and the longer it goes on the more settled it has become. Fi works out most days and we both build in 40km cycle rides at least once a week, often twice. I’m back up to running 5 or 6 miles each time I go out.
We eat little or no wheat – minimise our carbs – we didn’t do much with sugar before so that’s no loss – coffee is down to one a day, sometimes none – we also build in an occasional 18 hour fast – and occasionally we have a guiltless fine Italian.
The result is that I am 15lbs lighter and Fi has lost 25lbs. We sleep the sleep of the Just and when we are awake we have more energy during the day than we have had for years. I honestly thought it wasn’t possible without surgery !
In a world plagued by obesity you hear medics, advisers, politicians say that anyone can get fit if they want to and that health education is the key. I suppose that’s true to an extent but I can’t say that it’s been easy. Sometimes it’s been tough. What has driven us is realising the impact that certain foods we had taken for granted actually slowed us down, made us sluggish, tired and overweight. (See, I knew there was a reason for 2 week detox.) These foods are no longer banned, as a detox demands, but when we have them now we restrict them because we know how we’re going to feel. Generally pretty crap.
Anyway, that’s what the wettest summer in living memory has done for us. I guess it has changed our lives somewhat. And to celebrate, I shall have a glass ( not the bottle) of a fine Italian this evening, whilst I flip through the pages of my Sophia Loren Scrapbook.