Jun 28, 2010

Thigh July

A few people around the place are signing up for this Dry July campaign. The idea is you give up booze for a month, get your friends to sponsor you, and raise money for cancer while seeing if you can function without your daily quart of Old Speckled Hen or Fruity Lexia.

It's a great opportunity for sanctamonious teetotallers like me to get all up on our high horses and sniff at the sad drunken plebs who so enjoy their loosened inhibitions and ability to relax. It sucks being a control freak, it really does.

Except I'm NOT a control freak, really. I'm actually a giant bladder of self-indulgence, a veritable cornucopia of disgusting habits and poor life choices. So while I'm perfectly at ease refusing the manna from heaven that is fermented plant matter in all its forms, throw a block of Top Deck at me and it'll be gone faster than an unpopular Prime Minister.

This made me think, deeply and personally, about just how I could turn a serious public health awareness campaign like Dry July into a harebrained scheme to provide blog content and possibly amusing Twitter updates. I realised there were MANY things I could give up for July - shopping at Priceline, watching history documentaries, hating on Apple  - but I've decided to do something drastic. Something almost.... revolutionary.

I'm going to give up chocolate.

Even as I type that, a cold sweat has broken out over my forehead and I feel a little weak. I have been a card-carrying chocolate addict for many years\

I've given up chocolate once before. Back when I was 18, I gave up chocolate for three months. Three months! I was in my second year of uni, and going to the gym fairly regularly. I think I weighed about 67kg at the time. Oh happy days. Anyway, I can't remember the reason or motivation for giving up chocolate at that time, but I successfully stopped eating it for three months.

Why did I restart? Well, you can thank a little condition called mycoplasma pnemonia. I got sick, really sick, as in, probably-should-have-been-in-a-hospital-on-a-drip-except-the-doctor-said-just-take-some-echanacea-and-rest-and-for-that-reason-I-will-never-take-goddamned-echanacea-you-idiot-snake-oil-salesman-with-an-internet-degree. I ate virtually nothing for three weeks. My weight plummeted to about 60kg.

"Fabulous," I thought, in my foggy brain. "It's suckful, but this 'extreme disease' diet has really paid off." Except of course for that fateful day when I regained my appetite and was well enough to leave the house. First thing I bought was a bag of Malteasers. They tasted AMAZING. And I've NEVER LOOKED BACK.

Fast forward to now, where I sit, Smorg-like, on a Toblerone Throne, atop a mound of the fat, sugar, milk and a wee bit of cacao that passes for your everyday chocolate. The saddlebags on my thighs would confuse Wyatt Earp. Much more of this and I'm going to have to start Spanx-ing up just to leave the house.

Thank goodness she put on that bodysuit
to cover up her HIDEOUS FLAWS.

So, the challenge is on. No chocolate for the entire month of July - from blocks to chocolate-flavoured things like cake and biscuits and milkshakes and delicious desserty things (Oh dear God what have I done?!?).

I was trying to think of a catching name for this project. I was worried "Deny July" might have a negative impact, psychologically speaking. I figure if I'm "denying" myself something I'm just going to think about it all the time then break after about four hours. After all I don't want to "deny" myself, I want to "choose NOT" to eat something. "Block Supply July" is rather fun, as well as a tribute to Gough Whitlam. But I think I'll go with "Thigh July". On July 1, I'll take a circumference measurement of my thigh. I might even get a trusted friend who won't point and laugh too much to do this, and keep it a secret. At the end of a month without chocolate, I'll take another measurement, and see if there's been any difference. I'm not going to make any other dietary changes - but what the hell, I'll try to do at least 20 minutes of power-walking everyday. That's something I might be able to stick to. The keyword here being "might".

Finally I should point out I'm NOT doing this for charity, or to detract in any way from the good work of the Dry July folks. But if anyone does want to throw money at me for not eating chocolate, I'll pass it on to a worthy organisation.

Now if you'll excuse me, I've got seventeen blocks of Peppermint Aero to shove down my craw before Thursday.


  1. Brilliant. Good luck. Maybe you should find something to replace chocolate with. Chai July? Broccoli July? Celer,..eye July?

  2. Oh wow. That's commitment for blog fodder. I like it! Also, it's at this point that I get down on my knees and thank all the deities that come to mind: No month of the year rhymes with "nachos" or "salt and vinegar chips". My vices are safe.

  3. GC? I'll do it with you. I'm inspired! I am, of course, sucking down a chocolate milkshake as I read this but starting July 1 I will give up chocolate for a whole month with you.

    :D Thanks for kicking me in the butt for motivation!

  4. Meh this denying yourself pleasures thing is just giving in to moralistic nimrods or Catholic guilt or whatever. Life's too short to deny yourself fun in the hope of brownie points (mmm brownies) or some sort of spurious afterlife payoff. I plan to drink beer for July. Good beer. As for you GC, you're not unhealthy, eat chocolate and be happy.

  5. Too bad you didn't choose a suspension of Apple-hating instead. You could have called it 'iJuly'.

  6. Hey gang - thanks for the comments so quickly! As you all know, I love comments. ;)

    Dan - I have read somewhere randomly that drinking things like chai is good to distract you from sugar cravings etc... pity I don't like tea. Celery might be a winner. Certainly crunching down half a stick is enough to take your mind off eating completely.

    Jasper - Thank Christ no month rhymes with "hot chips" as well. Now I'm just going to have to rely on Katy Perry for my candy fix... MELT YOUR POPSICLE.

    Jen - that's cool! I just made this rash decision as I was drifting off to sleep last night, so hell, happy for you to make spur of the moment decisions as well! We can encourage each other via Twitter etc. It will be very awesome.

    Doc - Look, I totally agree. I'm not into guilt tripping about food. Over recent months I've considered whether I should diet again, do diet shakes or a program... but I just wind up thinking "Why bother?" This is sort of a good way for me to try something - I make it a challenge. A weight loss program seems hard and insurmoutable and dull. But taking on a challenge to write about it? Now that's something I can apply my mind to.

  7. Good on you GC. I read this and briefly flirted with doing the same thing, but then I came to my senses and realised I'd be off the bandwagon in days.

  8. Personally, I'm about to purchase a great deal of puff pastry and embark upon 'Pie July'.

  9. Oh my god, that is a frightening proposal you have made, and that you have snared Jenny in this web of denial makes it even more terrifying.

    I thought about giving up coffee for the month in support but that just made me break out in a sweat and have visions of me bludgeoning people on the street or screaming incoherently at co-workers.

    Best of luck and all the support I can muster for this brave, mad endeavour.

  10. There are some great turns of phrase in this post. I think I need to sit somewhere, both Smaug like AND as a giant bladder.

  11. I'm afraid I'm with Doc on this. Never let temptation pass you by as it may not pass by again.

  12. I intend to don a fedora and dark glasses for a little thing I like to call "Sly July".

  13. Book me a plane ticket to anywhere.. it's time for "Mile High July"

  14. When I read the title, 'Thigh July', I expected something else entirely.

  15. Why not take up boozing to help fill in the time?

  16. we all have our addictions...

  17. for one week this month...
    the Wah is going into the box.. it will be a safe place there