rich emollient used in the management of eczema, psoriasis and other dry skin conditions.


So what has been really weird, is that this first week of being very serious about our efforts has been almost as hard as that first week in january, which indicates quite how much ‘cheating’ was probably going on.

Lesson 1 – it’s good to do an audit, once in a while, of your daily habits and how much you may have slipped into bad ones

The key, as any fule no, is planning. Let you never find yourself in a Tesco Express at 9.30pm, ravenous, confronted with shelves of quick to cook/eat bad stuff and slow to cook/eat good stuff. That is a recipe for disaster and probably self-loathing. And also indigestion.

Lesson 2 – plan your week, note when you are likely to be out, late home from work, out and about, and make arrangements. Nuts are your friend here. I made a massive jar of trail mix last weekend (almonds, cashews, dried mango, some peanuts, dried berries/cherries and pieces of beef jerky. Now before you vomit at the thought of beef and fruit, it’s actually pretty tasty and has been a good snack. I should have taken some with me on Friday (an example of poor planning I’ll come to shortly).

The other time you’re likely to slip up, is when you have food envy. If, for example, you’re meeting friends at a pizza restaurant and eating a salad. Grim. You’ll be scarfing doughballs before you’ve even said hello to them.

Lesson 3 – find something you like, that is always on menus. Me, I love love love a chicken caesar salad. I would eat it every day if I could. And every pub/bar with pretensions to gastro-ness does a chicken caesar. So, currently, I’m eating in at every opportunity. No croutons.

Aside from the weirdness of feeling slightly restricted, what’s been difficult? So totally contrary to Lesson 2, I had a disaster of a day yesterday. Up at 3.30 after a fairly restless night, cab to airport at 4am. Arrive at heathrow at 4.45, through security by 4.55. Nothing open except Pret. Hungry, tired, spacey. I am terrified of flying and was on my way to pitch to an existing client in Denmark so had flight + work anxiety kicking in, plus the anxiety of hoping I hadn’t fucked up the travel arrangements, that my strategy was sound, that I would present ok. Argh. A bad combination. Pret provided me with an egg and tomato baguette and coffee. Log into a sawmill. Met colleague, had toast and marmalade (feeling slightly rough by this point, not to mention coffee-ed out. Got on plane. Tomato juice (always). Arrive in Denmark 9.30am. Quick preso rehearsal, cab to client, meeting, post-meeting meeting, cab back to airport. By 3.30, I was hungry but didn’t want anything and on the verge of a huge grump, as we all were. Like tired children. Resisted the 2kg bags of mini-Daim bars. Got on plane. Ate crap BLT wrap and tomato juice. Got off plane. On way to Heathrow Express bought tub (note a tub, not a tube) of Mentos which I ate on the train. Got home around 8.30. Ate sausages and sweet potato. Ate a mars bar in bed. (Missed out the massive row with husband). Got up, felt wiped out. Had a better day.

So here’s where I went wrong: buying a baguette – I wasn’t hungry, I knew Giraffe upstairs, once it opened, would have a paleo-y breakfast, but it was there. I didn’t enjoy it especially, it was a waste. I wasn’t prepared, so I was at the mercy of what was available. My trail mix would have been useful. Or even just some almonds, to stop me going a bit mental. By then I was on a slight spiral of blood sugar boom and bust.

The first week, then, has been mostly good, and I’m going to (in the spirit of not being so hard on myself) take that as a win. In terms of exercise, I’ve pushed myself, I’ve had a go at lifting weights I was a bit unsure of (and did them, so that’s a lesson). I fell over doing a snatch lift twice, but didn’t let that stop me trying again (and doing it better). I deadlifted 70kgs (once).  I cleaned (with a full squat at the bottom) 30kg today. In a workout I had 50kg on my bar for the deadlifts, and did 30 of them. I did 5 x 20 sit ups without someone having to hold my feet down. The first time I went to crossfit I did 5, with someone holding my feet. And I did 5 x 100 skips in the same workout. I remember when doing 10 was an effort. I did good. Not as good as other people. But better than I used to be able to do, which is absolutely the main thing.

And I think I’ve lost a couple of pounds too. On track for goal this month…!

NSGG xxxx


Rachael Parkman

Rachael is a late 30s south Londoner, who’s always been bigger than she wants but thinks she’s found the solution. Lives with her husband and cat, and enjoys cooking, gin and tonic and wearing nice shoes.

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