Emma Bartley’s ongoing struggle to fit into her jeans. This week: can she hack cold baths, black coffee and skipping breakfast to become "skinnier than all her friends"?
Yesterday began with a cold bath and a cup of coffee. Against all medical advice, I skipped breakfast and ate nothing until 1.30pm.
If you’ve heard of Six Weeks to OMG, you already know that this is because I’ve decided to try out the latest fad diet, “the diet that’s changing diets” (Metro), “the new Dukan” (The Times).
In fact, I've never been on a diet before, which is one of the reasons I’m a Size 13. But Venice A Fulton – imagine how many confusions there were with other Venice Fultons until he added that “A” – has convinced me to try his plan in part because it seems quite flexible and unlike other plans. For a start, he says that you don’t have to take every single piece of his advice, and he suggests three different levels of attack – WAVE if you want to lose 10lb in six weeks, BLAZE if you want to lose 15lb, and QUAKE to shift 20lb. I choose WAVE, because I only have a bit of fat that I want to shift, and because I’ve never dieted and am nervous of hitting my body with anything too radical.
Such as a bath full of cold water, for example. The idea of this is, I remind myself as I test the water with my hand, is to raise my metabolism. Being exposed to cold means you will burn calories faster for the next 12-15 hours, says the book. I haven’t followed Venice A’s advice and bought a bath thermometer (there wasn’t time, and I don’t even know where you could buy a bath thermometer) but the water seems reasonably cold and I think must be within the 15C-20C recommended in Six Weeks to OMG.
I step in, and set the stopwatch on my phone. For WAVE, you stand for two minutes, and sit for eight minutes with the water covering your legs and lower belly. I tap out a quick text message and it’s time to sit down. “Sit down fast, like a kid playing musical chairs,” says Venice A. I sit down gingerly, like the self-indulgent Size 13 I am, and pay the price – it’s very unpleasant. But, as with every chilly swimming pool, it’s fine once I’m in. I even manage to lean back for the last couple of minutes, engulfing my upper body in the water as per the BLAZE plan. Because I’m tall and my bath is short, this means I have to bend my knees; the book advises shifting around but that does make it more difficult as you’re constantly encountering that initial shock.
After ten minutes, which go reasonably fast, I get out, towel off, plunge my cafetiere and drink my black coffee as I dress – being a latte addict, I wasn’t looking forward to this second metabolism-boosting tool, but it’s actually surprisingly pleasant. Without eating breakfast, I get on my bike and cycle to work – a Period of Movement or Pom, as Six Weeks to OMG dubs it, that is intended to burn calories. Because I haven’t eaten any calories, Venice A promises that my body will find the energy it needs to propel me to the GTG offices from stored fat. Cycling is not ideal because it only uses some muscles, compared with walking which uses those in the upper body as well. But my 45-minute journey puts me into the BLAZE category (the WAVE programme dictates 30 minutes) so I figure it cancels out.
I’m still not particularly hungry by the time I reach work. At lunchtime, I eat a chicken and cous cous salad to which I add extra chicken – the core principle of Six Weeks to OMG, which is underlined and in bold in the book so might as well be so here, is that your daily total carb intake is the biggest factor to affect your success. It could just be the panic (I love carbs) but by 2pm I’m feeling ever so slightly weak and would really like a brownie… can I stick six weeks for the sake of OMG? Stay tuned to this blog and Twitter to find out with me.
Six weeks to go
Weight: 71kg (11st or 156lb)