Letter to Cherry at Jenny Craig.

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Dear Cherry Clarke,

You have such a food-y name it keeps tempting me to call you Cherry Cake.

When I first contacted Jenny Craig I spoke to a colleague of yours called David.  He has a lovely voice, a very engaging voice and sounded ever so like Dermot O`leary.   On the other hand Cherry, you sound exactly like Lenora Crichlow who plays Annie in Being Human.  This has led me to ponder whether I have in fact been having a conversation with 2 actors who are gaining experience for a forthcoming TV reality show but in any event a week ago persuaded by your lovely voice, I decided to join the Jenny Craig diet plan.

I wouldn`t normally fork out for a ready prepared diet as they are very expensive.  This one is usually on offer at £11 a day or £301 a month which is way too much money for me to afford.  At the moment though it is being offered at half price for the first month, so for just over a fiver a day they deliver to your door a months` supply of breakfast, lunch, dinner and loads of snacks.   I think that`s pretty competitive.  If I stroll over to ASDA near where I work to buy just my lunch, you can guarantee I`ll spend more than a fiver.

Anyway, I was full of enthusiasm and very excited when two large boxes arrived at my house packed with all sorts of goodies.   I began the diet last Wednesday and for the first two or three days I was doing really well.  Of course you already know that Cherry as you are my consultant and telephoned me on day 2 to see if everything was OK and it was…..  at that point I felt really committed to sticking to the plan.

And then we hit the weekend.    On Friday night `committment` got tucked away somewhere inside my head where I had also neatly stored `enthusiasm,` alongside `application`.   I briefly reflected that if I took some exercise it would distract me from thinking about food, so I did, me and the dog walked to the offie and bought a bottle of California Soft and Fruity which was very nice.

By Saturday morning I was positively slathering at the mouth for something with fat in it so I ate several pieces of toasted rye bread laden thick with butter and marmite, a soft boiled drippy egg (delicious) and three chunks of extremely sharp Cheddar cheese.

Later, when my  ex-old man woke up and sat down in the kitchen for his morning cuppa, I pointed out in an accusatory sort of a way that he had previously said he would cook me a balti.  Tony is a particularly gifted cook, people travel from afar to taste his curries.  He looked puzzled,  “I thought you were on your diet,”  he said.   “Bugger the diet,”  I replied.  That evening he presented me with the most mouth wateringly delicious minced lamb and prawn balti cooked lovingly with butter, spices, chilli and creamed coconut, every spoonful was a spoonful of balti heaven.  The home made naan breads were pretty spectacular too.

Yesterday evening my lovely daughter Becky called round with all the grandchildren.  Beck and I sat in the kitchen chatting and laughing recounting our day and telling stories and jokes to one another over several generous glasses of Chablis.  As we talked, so the grandchildren gradually rifled through my Jenny Craig boxes and noshed away most of the crisp and biscuit snacks, several tubs of Jenny Craig pot noodle, two portions of  Jenny Craig lasagne, some Jenny Craig chicken and potatoes and a Jenny Craig Moroccan style chick pea tagine.   There are five grandchildren so the boxes have been heavily plundered and are hugely diminished, it`s a tragedy!  I should mention it was shortly after their feast that one or other of the two youngest managed to pull down the curtains in the living room and when I enquired which one of them had done it, they turned their sweet little faces to me and said, “we don`t know which one of us did it nanny.”   Must have been the sugar rush from the extremely moreish Jenny Craig chocolate chip cereal bars.

Anyway Cherry, really, I`m serious!  My enthusiasm for the plan waned very rapidly although the food is undeniably delicious.  My theory is that it is such a low fat diet, the effect it has on me is to make me crave chunks of meat and cheese and slices of chicken pie swimming in thick gravy but Cherry, I want you to know as my temporary life coach and mentor, this is nothing to do with you and it`s not your fault.   I do not doubt the plan, it`s a great plan for those who can stick to it, it`s just that I can`t.   No matter how much you energetically and convincingly try to persuade me to stay on the straight and narrow, I`m afraid it isn`t going to work.  I`ve fallen off the wagon, I`ve strayed along the path to ruin, I`m on the road to no-where baby!  But by gum I`m having such a good time getting there……

I`m just off to bed now with a few midnight snacks.

Best wishes,

Nelly.

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About A night in with Nelly

I have recently been given the all clear having had breast cancer so I am grateful and happy. I work with people who have Alzheimer`s. I am mother to Jess in Europe and Rebecca who lives here. I have five grandchildren. I am an avid writer and have had a number of journalistic articles and two bookettes published. I believe in breathing, smiling and swimming in the ocean. :)

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