So, this weekend we were in Edinburgh… and it was even harder than I thought!
It all started at City Airport where we waited to board our flight. Having been forced out of bed at 5.45am, I was starving for breakfast. We figured one of the cafes would do an omelette or something similarly challenge friendly, but it wasn’t to be. Everything seems to be ‘on toast’ these days – and incredibly expensive. I decided my bag of almonds and a peppermint tea would do.
The flight was relatively painless, apart from the fidgety man with the pointy shoulders beside me. Having landed safely, we made our way to the hotel – the Dalmahoy, a beautiful country hotel and golf course, miles from anywhere. I quickly perused the hotel menu and realised that, once again, there was nothing that fit my food ‘rules’ for the week.
So, in my wisdom, I decided that the best idea would be to walk to the nearest Tesco. I searched my Google Maps app and set off on my way. Unfortunately, there was not much of a pavement to walk on, so I found myself diving into brambles every time a lorry drove past. Think they thought I was a mad woman – several tooted me.
After about an hour of walking, I was at the end of my tether. I was hungry, dehydrated and exhausted. But there was light at the end of the tunnel… Suddenly I spotted some civilisation. And with that came a retail park with a big supermarket. I rushed in and stocked up on chicken, salad, beef, nuts and a huge bottle of water. Outside I tucked into my little feast and, I tell you, nothing has ever tasted so good!
Back at the hotel I skipped the gym and went for a little swim instead as I felt like my long walk had been exercise enough for the day.
In the evening, the boys wanted to go out for dinner so I found a South African restaurant that promised the largest steaks in Edinburgh. They weren’t kidding! The place was meat heaven. The menu even boasted a sharing starter of a bucket of meat! Tempted as I was, I decided to opt for a pork belly skewer for starters and a huge fillet steak with plenty of salad as my main. They were happy to take away the chips and onion rings in favour of more salad, so that was a win. I wish I’d taken a photo of the steak as it was a monster! But after my long day I was so hungry that I was scared it wouldn’t fill me up. Having eaten it though, all I wanted to do was curl up and drop into a meat coma – heaven!
The next day we moved to another hotel, closer to town, in Leith. I spent the day wandering round the shops and also looking for somewhere where I could get a nice omelette (are you sensing a theme?). Once again, I was unlucky. I think there may be a gap in the market for a fast food chain that does various omelettes with different fillings. I reckon it’d do a roaring trade with the low carbers. So again, supermarket ready cooked meat and salad was my friend.
In the evening we went out for dinner with my fiance’s work colleague and his wife. They were lovely, but very keen to get their drink on. We decided on a Thai restaurant and I tried my best to stay on plan as much as possible. We enjoyed a couple of stir fries with lots of veggies on the side. The food was delicious but I suspect there was some sugar in the sauce. Oh well!
It was hard to watch as the other three sipped on some very nice looking New Zealand white wine (my favourite). The wife kept asking me if I couldn’t just have one and at one point thrust her dessert in my face and asked if I wanted some, despite me pointing out I was on a challenge. I think she meant well, but I do find that whenever you try to do something like this, people will always try to sabotage you. Why is that, I wonder? Does other people’s success make us feel bad about our own failures or lack of motivation? Surely it should be inspiring to see someone do something that you aspire to. And I’m not saying that everyone aspires to do what I’m doing, but some of those saboteurs tend to say things like: ‘I wish I had your will power.’ And then next thing you know, they’re trying to get you to eat cake.
As if trying to scavenge for food in a city that loves its carbs wasn’t hard enough, I was also up to my neck in wedding planning. Being stressed and hungry is never a good combination. There may have been some tears and cross words. Apologies to those caught in the crossfire.
My final misadventure was in Starbucks. Others on the challenge had been extolling the virtues of Matcha lattes, so when I saw one on the menu, I thought I’d try it. I took a sip and it was delicious. In fact, a little too delicious… Suspicious, I checked the website for the nutrition info and found it contained 23g of sugar. No wonder it was so tasty! Disappointed, I had to leave it behind. I have since had a normal Matcha latte and can report that it’s definitely not as delicious as Starbuck’s sugar bomb version. Maybe it’s an acquired taste!
So now I’m back in London and entering week 2 of the challenge. My weight has only dropped by a kilo or so, but I feel a lot less bloated. I’ve also stopped feeling nauseous all the time and am finding more creative foods, so I’m not getting bored. I’ll report back later in the week to tell you whether this week is proving easier than last week. I’m pretty sure it can’t get harder!