Scales tell it like it is – 14 September 2016

The problem with social life is that it gets in the way of trying to lower cholesterol – not to mention weight. If I lived in a cave – or at least led a hermit-like existence – I might have a decent shot at keeping to my resolve. However, the past couple of weeks have been anything but conducive to my plans to get back in shape, or to make a start at the least.

No sooner had I declared my intentions a fortnight ago than a very fancy scale arrived at my door for me to review. I was delighted by the synchronicity. I have never owned a scale larger than one that sits on the kitchen worktop and that only goes up to 4kg so not much use for weight control. I loathe the idea that I should feel up or down depending on what the scale says in the morning so I have never wanted a bathroom scale. I can tell whether or not I need to lose weight by the feel of my clothes. Sadly, that tells me nothing about my cholesterol level. The timely arrival of this new scale, however, felt like a good omen. It is very high tech, so much so that my teenagers had to help me set up an app on my phone. The idea is that you stand on the scale and the app works out your BMI as well as your percentage body fat and muscle mass. Frankly, this is more information that I care to know, but my lack of tech savvy has saved me from the worst. Standing on the scale I can see what I weigh and that is bad enough. When I complained to my son that the app did not give me any further information, he asked me whether I had my phone switched on to the app while I stood on the scale! As I said, too high tech for me. And in any case do I really need to know what percentage I am of body fat? Just looking at the tyre around my stomach tells me all I need to know.

Having the equipment to measure my progress is one thing. Making progress is quite another. And that is where life gets in the way. Deliciously perhaps, but still in the way. Last week I was invited to a diner at a Spitalfields restaurant called Taberna do Mercado where top Portuguese chef Nuno Mendes adds his inventive touch to the cuisine. (You can read about it here if you wish http://kitchenjourneys.net/2016/09/portuguese-cuisine-showcased-at-taberna-do-mercado/ ).

Later in the week I attended a book launch at Brindisa where the inimitable Monika Linton has written a long awaited cookbook. The tapas were plentiful and delicious. This evening I am eating a 10 course tasting menu at The Frog (once more to Spitalfields neck of the woods) and tomorrow I will be having afternoon tea at The Dorchester followed by dinner in a lovely restaurant with visiting cousins.

I don’t expect sympathy. Not from people at any rate. It would be nice though if my new fancy scale with its app could be a little kinder under the circumstances. That is the problem with a piece of equipment – it has no interest in excuses.

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