My first week in Sydney and the newly heightened awareness of my weight and fitness levels has made me realise that it’s not easy to be overweight here. I was surprised to discover that I am, by far, the biggest person on the beach – I’ve honestly never noticed before. Everyone else is straight out of Bondi Rescue. Lean, tanned and gorgeous. Shit. So out came my new Miraclesuit. All women of a certain size will know what a Miraclesuit is. For those of you who are normal size, or male, the MiracleSuit is an instrument of extreme torture, in the shape of an upholstered swimming costume, designed to make you look ‘10lbs lighter’ and to stop you from being able to a) breath and b) pee. Actually you can pee, you just can’t take the thing off first. Not without a can opener. Folding your flab to fit into it is like a surreal session of human origami; frustrating, confusing and the end result isn’t worth the time and energy required to do it. While I lie in the same position for 2 hours (reluctant to move in case my flesh rebounds out of the top of the costume – it’s got to go somewhere, right??) I decide that when I’ve hit my weight target I’m going to have a ceremonial burning ritual of all the clothes I’ve bought in the vain hope of disguising my size.
This photo is NOT ME. It’s of a Miraclesuit being worn by someone who clearly DOES NOT NEED TO LOOK 10Ib LIGHTER!
Other things this week:
- I discover that the best take away in Sydney is 340 steps from my rented house. THIS IS NOT A GOOD THING. Char Rotisserie http://thecharrotisserie.com.au/ cooks the amazing chicken and fortunately incredible salads (pumpkin, avocado, feta and rocket anyone?). They really need to open in the UK – seriously, who wouldn’t love roast chicken a million different ways and a choice of a couple of dozen sides all for around 18 quid for four. We had this twice this week – just had to reign in my sudden craving for potato salad and coleslaw.
- The most famous / cool / hip artisan bakery in Sydney is also on my doorstep. THIS IS AN EVEN WORSE THING. Iggys (http://www.iggysbread.com/down-under) is so famous / cool and hip that it doesn’t even need its name on the door. They bake something different and mouth-wateringly amazing every day (wholegrain sourdough with walnuts on Thursday, rye and caraway rolls on Friday). I was told that women over the age of 45 only have to sniff a carb to put on weight. I stood outside Iggys and put on about 3 kilos.
3. I hit a new record on Fitbit while on a day trip around Cockatoo Island yesterday (a former prison a bit like Alcatraz but with spectacular views). 12,674 steps. I’m writing this from my bed because I can no longer move anything from the waist down.
4. I’m about to visit my favourite clothes shop in the world camilla.com. Not cheap but the silk kaftans are absolutely gorgeous, look great on everyone regardless of age, size or shape and make you feel like a Goddess. Every woman deserves at least three of them. I’ve got seven and counting..(husband, if you’re reading this please don’t click on the link. I need you to continue to believe they’re only 50 quid a pop).
5. Regatta restaurant might be my favourite Sydney eatery (I say ‘might be’ because I intend to try many more during this trip). I find healthy eating is easy in restaurant – you just end up saying ‘no chips/ bread/potatoes/ polenta/ noodles’ a lot. Here’s a recipe I’ve stolen from Regatta;
Get some miniature versions of vegetables like tiny carrots, leeks, courgettes, spring onions, broccoli stems (I know they are a thing, I’ve seen them in Waitrose. I’ve just never seen the point of them) and poach them in some stock (‘poach’ a just a chefy way to say simmer). Buy some really good tomatoe consommé (cos life is too short to make your own) and warm up. Transfer the veggies into the consommé and serve with a dollop of harissa paste on the side with a small bowl of couscous topped with a teaspoon of crispy fried onion bits. Honestly, it’s fantastic and totally virtuous.
- I’m furious that my Fitbit doesn’t distinguish between flat steps and PROPER steps as in vertically steep stairs which I’m beginning to realise are a key feature of the Bronte to Bondi coastal path. The walk from my rented house DOWN to the beach is a glorious and gentle 1500 steps and has me thinking that it’s good to be alive. The walk back UP, which is also 1500 steps, makes me throw up.
OUTCOME: I lost 1lb (Iggys has got a lot to answer for).