This Week in Demolition

I write this week’s diatribe, it is exactly four weeks since I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes which, as I was about to find out, is a jaunty name for what is ostensibly a kick in the teeth for anyone that likes food. Even as the doctor was explaining the potential outcome of my diagnosis – blindness, limb amputations, other fun stuff – I was replaying in my mind my lifestyle until that point. With the benefit of hindsight, I was asking for it.

I gave up booze pretty much entirely some 10 years ago - a decision that marks me as a social leper in many demolition circles – although I had drunk enough to that point to ensure that I remain in debt to the Gods and livers to this day.

I enjoy fine dining as much as the next guy; but a youth spent fishing with my father and career spent in and around demolition has imbued me with a deep and abiding love of cafes (pronounced caff, not caffay) and their artery-clogging and fried fare.

I have worked at home for something approaching 20 years and so the majority of my exercise involved the short walk from my desk to the cookie jar.

Then there’s chocolate. Aah chocolate; the sweet nectar of satisfaction; seductive sugary temptress; and a marvellous meal substitute when you’re on the road and too busy to stop to eat “proper” food.

I am fortunate (or unfortunate, depending on your standpoint). While some wives would have welcomed such a diagnosis with a rub of the hands and a quick scan of the life insurance documentation, Mrs DemolitionNews seized the diagnosis like a dog seizes a bone. Even before I could console myself with a final bar of chocolate, she had me on the 8-Week Blood Sugar Diet where I have remained for the past 29 days (seven hours, sixteen minutes and 11 seconds….not that I am counting).

And without wishing to sound like a spokesperson for a diet company, the results are almost unbelievable. The book (details of which you can find at the foot of the page) claims that followers of the diet can lose 14 kg in eight weeks. I have already lost 12 kg (that’s one stone and 10 pounds in old money) and I still have four weeks to go. My clothes fit better than they did previously; and some of the suits, jeans, trousers and shirts that had been pushed to the back of the wardrobe because they had become too tight have now been pressed back into action.

More importantly, the effect on my blood sugar readings has been astonishing. At the point of my diagnosis, my blood sugar level was 10.1 (4.0 to 7.0 is considered normal). I have just had my first session with the diabetic nurse and my reading is now just 4.7.

Admittedly, not all of the food within the diet is of the lip-smacking or finger-licking variety. Cauliflower rice (yes, really) smells like raw sewage and doesn’t taste much better. Chia seeds apparently contribute to weight loss primarily because you never ingest them; they just get lodged in your teeth and remain there, like oral barnacles, presumably until you die. And there is a budgerigar somewhere in the UK starving right now because I have laid claim to his supply of millet.

What's all this got to do with demolition? As an industry, we are very aware of the potential dangers of asbestosis and mesothelioma; conditions that may not present themselves until years or even decades after exposure. Diabetes is the same; the only difference is that it is largely self-inflicted.

So before you head off to the caff (and yes, I meant to spell it like that) for your mid-morning Full-English, please think twice. What you’re about to eat is the food equivalent of fried Anthophyllite. Doesn’t sound quite so appetising now, does it?

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