I have lost two stones (28 pounds) in just a couple of months, since my mum persuaded me to try this “amazing” new diet.
“Eat everything you like and take these special pills once a day,” she said. “You will lose two pounds a day from day one!”
“What are these pills?”
“Just herbal pills.”
“And all I have to do is to take one a day and eat all I like to lose two pounds a day?” I asked incredulously.
“Mamman jaan are you sure?”
“Khob na na, yek kaar-e-dige ham hast…” (There is one other thing)
I knew there was a string attached.
“Ghand, polo va noon nakhor,” (cut out sugar, rice and bread too).
I bellowed at her down the phone: “If I cut all these things out I'll lose weight anyway and I won't need to pay £70 for a load of herbal pills!”
I spoke to my brother-in-law, Robert, the next day.
“I was really dubious too,” he told me. “Forget about the pills and just cut out all carbohydrates for two weeks your weight really will fall off you.”
I trust Robert because he is a) cynical about most new developments in health aids, b) he is a doctor and c) he actually tried this diet.
“The only thing is,” he went on “don't do it for more than 10 days, it's bad for your kidneys, breath, pee, etc and drink loads of water or you will become painfully constipated.”
So, two months ago I started stuffing myself with meat, eggs and all the things that were high in calories/bad for you and completely cut back on anything with carbohydrates in it. I now have come down from 17.5 stones (245lb) to 15.5 stones (217lb) in a little under eight weeks.
I started eating sensibly after two weeks again. I still don't eat bread or rice (nor do I miss them) but the “kick start” initial weight loss boosted my confidence so much that I am now determined to lose all my excess weight. Since I am 5'7″ tall, I need to get myself down to around 12 stones the weight I was at when I first met Varinder my wife.
The reason for mentioning my diet is that I perceive that girls are finding me attractive again. I can tell because of the lingering looks I get on the street. I have mentioned this to Varinder who thinks it has more to do with women wondering what a girl like her is doing with someone like me.
“They stare,” she assures me, “because they can't work out why someone as gorgeous me is going out/married to someone as fat as you.”
I still maintain that the lingering looks have more to do with my flatter stomach, tighter chin and new glasses which make me look like an Italian fashion designer. She shakes her head in despair.
“Girls never found you attractive in the first place!” Varinder laughs.
“How come you did?”
“I felt sorry for you,” she starts. “You were lonely, lived like one of those odd balls who lived with his mum through to middle age and never ironed your clothes.”
“My mum ironed when she came down to visit me.”
“I rest my case,” she says, satisfied.
She fails to mention that I supervised her MBA thesis when she was an intern at the advertising agency I worked at in London. She fails to mention that she was very attracted to me from day one.
“Absolute rubbish and don't you dare tell anyone that you think I was attracted to you from day one or I'll tell my dad who will kill you by stomping on your head.”
What I adore about my wife is that in addition to her sense of humour she is in total control of everything — leaving me free to do be a little boy with no responsibilities other than at work. My wife controls everything from our social diary to finances. Although you would find it hard to believe that she controls our finances, especially if you saw the way she spent money last weekend in New York City.
To impress upon you the rate at which she can spend, she once called me in a panic from San Francisco (we live in London and she was visiting cousins): “Siamack, why have they stopped our joint credit card?”
“Yes — call them now, find out why and call me back.”
The credit card people were very apologetic: “A certain speed and pattern of spending sets off a theft alarm, sir, so we have stopped the card for your own protection.”
“That was my wife, actually, she was the one spending like a 'divooneh'.”
Reluctantly I authorised it again and Varinder continued spending like there was no tomorrow. This was three years ago. This weekend we met up in New York, where I have a week of meetings.
Yesterday, in Manhattan, she pushed me into a Jimmy Choo shoe shop. She had seen a pair of mules in the window and wanted them. So she bought them. Half an hour later we were in Banana Republic and I was pointing out a pair of great looking shoes that I wanted to buy.
“You have loads of shoes! You have so many shoes that we have run out of space in the cupboard.”
She was exaggerating and I wouldn't have any of it: “It's only $100 and I will buy them.”
“You just spend, spend, spend leaving me to worry about our finances. Our credit cards are in a mess and you are so irresponsible — we have no money!”
“ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS, that's all!”
She sulked off as I paid and followed her out.
Later on that evening we were in our hotel room getting ready to go out. By then the squabble had been long forgotten.
“How much did your Jimmy Shoo shoes cost?” I asked.
“Jimmy Choo not Shoo.”
“I needed a pair of mules, I don't have any shoes to wear casually.”
She has bought more shoes in one year than Imelda Marcos bought in her entire lifetime — or so it seems.
“They were excellent value at $400.”
She continued to apply her lipstick as I stumbled around our room gasping for air and speechless at the same time.