Monday, 18 August 2008

Ignorance Is Bliss

Back in the office, the breaking news that my veins apparently resemble "Cheesy Strings" has caused a mild amount of hilarity given that I am the one who everyone agrees "eats healthy" in that I don't have lasagne and chips for lunch in the hospital canteen but take my own box of rabbit food instead. They are incredulous that I should have a problem with what I eat since mostly I am on a low calorie diet with plenty of fruit and veg and my lunchbox usually resembles the salad bar at Sainsbury's, minus the mayo. It's not unusual for one of my workmates to peer into the Tupperware and comment "Hmm, that looks healthy" before happily tucking into a cheese and pickle baguette and bag of crisps, leaving me to wade through the grass clippings which are my lunch.

It's not easy being in an office full of women who celebrate anything and everything with cake, biscuits or chocolate. There is no excuse too trivial to prevent a break-out of buns. You come back from holiday, you bring in chewy foreign sweets in lurid colours. It's your birthday so you buy cream cakes. You go into town to buy a pair of tights and bring back a huge slab of chocolate on special offer from Woolies, or a bag of Thorntons. You drink diet Coke so that you can, with a clear conscience, have a Mars bar just because it's Friday. That kind of thing.

It's all a cholesterolaemic's nightmare. Temptation is everywhere I turn. No other person in the office knows what their cholesterol is or has any intention of finding out. Taking a survey of what healthy eating issues actually worry my colleagues, the main areas of concern appear to be whether or not any particular food induces a) heartburn, b) flatulence or c) halitosis. The fat content of anything does not appear to be a question regularly asked, although the calorie content does in fact remain a very important one. To a woman, we all know exactly how many calories there are in a small Kit-Kat (107) or a bag of Maltesers (183) and some of us even know how many there are in just the one (10). But who can stop at a single Malteser? No one I know.

But cholesterol? Who knows? Who cares? As long as it doesn't make you fat, why worry? Refusing a piece of chocolate cake today, and having to admit to my new low fat regime, I explained that I had been told by the GP not to eat cake or chocolate any more "except at Christmas or on birthdays."

"But whose birthday did he mean?" my workmate asked, pushing the plate torwards me, "Just yours or everybody's?"

I am doomed.

20 comments:

aims said...

I meant to tell you - I even had to go see a dietician about what foods to eat. I found that adding the exercise really helped. I kept telling myself - another 100ft of walking will bring that cholesterol down how much? .00000001....maybe - but still worth the effort. I hate drugs.

aims said...

Even better and far more fun if you can - go swimming!

Pam said...

Having just one malteser would be like licking an ice cream only once. Torture. It's all or nothing for me - but maybe you are a woman of moderation?

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

When I was still working it was in an office of about 35 other employees. And we all bought or brought cakes on birthdays, as well as the little extra treats - diets never stood a chance! A

Lola said...

That sounds about as hard as it can get! No chocolate!

Perhaps you need to get someone, at least one person, on your side, otherwise you'll just be fighting it the whole time. If your buddy occasionally told the others "Don't keep tempting SM all the time" your resolution might have to be tested less often.

Hope you can deal with it and keep smiling...

Norman said...

Ah the problems of working for the NHS! It runs on claggy buns, cake, more cake and chocolate +++. Oh, and coffee, and tea....
Ah yes I remember it well. Only trouble is, when did we ever find TIME to eat this stuff?
We did though 'cos I've had my share of it in the past.

Swearing Mother said...

Aims, I hate drugs too but may resort to them in the end if it means I can eat butter.

Pam, naha! Definitely not a woman of moderation, it's all the way or nothing for me unfortunately.

Strawberry Jam Anne (what a fab name!)Our office runs on treats, we live for cake, so like you we don't do well with diets.

Thanks for visiting by the way!

Lola, you know about all this diet stuff being a professional, surely? Please tell me that it's not all down to porridge.

Norman, remember all those tins of Quality Street from grateful patients?

Lola said...

Don't get me started on porridge... I don't know about all this diet stuff very much yet, but I'm learning fast. From people like you as much as from the uni.

Norman said...

Yes I do remember those tins of QStreet. The big surprise is I have managed to keep my BMI at 25. I only weigh 74 kg. Strewth!!!

Swearing Mother said...

Norman, it's the red wine keeping you slim!

Irene said...

All good and well, but you seem to have an hereditary affliction, so it is extra hard on you. Just use your common sense and read labels. It really isn't that horrible to say no to chocolate when everybody else is shoving it in their mouths. It's killing them in the long run, just think of that. The same with cake and other fatty foods, it's not meant for human consumption. It's bad for anybody. Just remind yourself of that and there is nothing wrong with making yourself a nice sandwich with whole wheat bread and low fat mayo. Please don't feel that you have to suffer because of it.

CrazyCath said...

Ah well now you see you are NOT doomed. The doctor is doomed. He did not clarify the situation. So if it should kill you, then sue him. If it doesn't kill you, you enjoyed cake.

Either way you are a winner. Unless you are dead of course. ;0)

Swearing Mother said...

Irene, you made me feel a whole lot better as always.

Cath: that's a real consolation, thanks for that!

Expatmum said...

You hit the nail on the head when you said that no one else knows their cholesterol level - good for you that you do and are trying to do something about it. Sometimes families just have a pre-disposition to higher levels so don't go blaming yourself, just keep it under control. Swearer the Conqueror!!

Swearing Mother said...

Loved that, Expatmum! I'd only worry if I didn't have something to worry about.

Maggie May said...

Sounds as though you are doing everything that you can to be sensible with your diet.
Set a day at the weekend to indulge in small amounts of chocolate. Its not enough to only have it on Birthdays & Christmas.

Working mum said...

Just cancel out the cake with a glass of wine. Simple!

Swearing Mother said...

Maggie, that's a good plan!

Working Mum, love the way you're thinking.

Frog in the Field said...

Brilliant post..the grass cuttings which are your lunch is a great description.
Don't give up on it, swear a lot, you'll feel better and it'll scare them off a bit.

Swearing Mother said...

Thanks Frog, will keep up the good swearing!