London lockdown, NHS lambs to the slaughter and carbs, carbs and more carbs

By March 28, 2020Weight Loss Blog

The feature photograph of me was taken in July 2018 on a warm sunny day. I was expecting a tough day at work so I pulled out my red lipstick.  It always makes me feel good.  I am wearing a striped black and white pencil skirt as you will see from another shot of me from the day. I was at least 35 lbs heavier than I am today but I love the way I rocked my figure in this outfit.

Lockdown since 16 March 2020


I feel like I have been on lockdown since 16 March 2020 even though the official day that British PM, Boris Johnson asked Brits to work at home if they possibly could, was actually Wednesday 18 March 2020.  I had appointments on Monday 16  and Tuesday 17 and after agonising about them I decided to work from home.  This had something to do with the palaver I have faced commuting of recent as you will have seen in my last blog post. be told, I was also feeling a bit under the weather.  However, when I telephoned the NHS 111 number, I was told that based on my symptoms it was unlikely that I had caught the virus.  As we are not being tested I had no way of knowing for sure whether I was infectious or not so I was relieved when I telephoned one company only to find out that the gentleman I had an appointment with could not make it as he was self-isolating.  Feeling on a roll, I then telephoned the second company and cancelled the second appointment.  By Wednesday, I asked our staff to all work from home.  This means that round about the time of starting this blog post, I have had two full weeks of lockdown, isolation, self-isolation or quarantine.  People seem to be using all the terms interchangeably at this point.


Clapping for our carers on 26 March 2020


On the evening of Thursday 26 March 2020, we had the clap for the NHS.  Friends had circulated the poster in different WhatsApp groups.  On the day I forgot about it until I heard my neighbours clapping.  I stuck my head out of my window and clapped a bit and then feeling awkward I retreated back inside.  Medicine is one profession that I know a bit about. If all my parents’ plans had gone to fruition, all 6 of their children would have read medicine and qualified as doctors.  I was told that I would be the psychiatrist of the bunch – no, I don’t know why my mother said this either.

I was always a bit of a daydreamer and this affected my performance in subjects like maths, physics chemistry but never biology.  I loved biology almost as much as fine art.    I employed my drawing skills in biology and always scored top marks whenever a question involved doing a drawing.  With the benefit of hindsight, moving from one secondary school to another and then having unhelpful teachers was a terrible combination and led to me dropping chemistry, physics and additional mathematics and picking up history and English literature.  On a practical level, they were better subjects because they were easier to pick up whenever I returned from daydreaming.  It has taken me years to realise that I was bright enough to be a doctor if I had wanted to.  However, I don’t regret law as an alternative career choice – not completely anyway, but that’s a story for another day.

3 of my 5 siblings are NHS doctors

The long and short of the story is that 3 of my 5 siblings are doctors and now work for the NHS.  I have watched them at different stages of their careers and know that it has been a slog.  I know how hard it has been for them to complete their medical degrees in Nigeria and Ghana and then face the uphill struggle to practice in the United Kingdom.  My mother is a retired nurse that worked in the NHS too and faced a lot of discrimination and racism in her time.  While the discrimination has not been as raw and direct as it was in our mother’s time, my siblings have not had it easy.  To add insult to injury, we had the long-running battle that junior doctors had with the government not so long ago.  Sitting on the sidelines and watching the situation unfold, I never got the impression that the British public had much sympathy for junior doctors or doctors in the general.  As a result, a lot of doctors have left careers in the NHS to work in countries like Australia and New Zealand in pursuit of better pay and conditions to enable them to escape the stress and have a chance of a better work/life balance.

Will the British public still love the NHS workers in quite the same way when this pandemic is over?

With the deepening crisis of covid-19 pandemic, I have been increasingly worried about the health and safety of my siblings and their colleagues.  NHS workers are now being held in such high esteem by members of the public.  Anyone who watched the opening ceremony of the London Olympics in 2012 will know how much pride British people have in the NHS but even so, there was not much sympathy with NHS workers when they complained about their pay and working conditions.  To that end, I have been giving the whole #ClapForNHS the side-eye.  The British public seems to have gone from accusing NHS workers of being spoilt, greedy and irresponsible for considering going on strike to now considering them to be the salt of the earth overnight because of the threat of  covid-19.  The public is prepared to overlook the lack of personal protective equipment as they #ClapForNHS as our underpaid, overworked and undervalued NHS workers march off to the front like soldiers heading off to war barefooted, without armour, guns or helmets. I gather than over 50 doctors have died in Italy and in Britain, we recently lost organ transplant consultant, Adil El Tayer on 25 March 2020.  May his soul rest in perfect peace. You can find out more by clicking the following link

Worry & weight gain

So as you can imagine, I have not been in the best of moods.  I have been worried a lot and there were times when I wanted to visit but as we are all practising social distancing I had to stay put at home.  To distract myself I have been watching loads of TV, social media and reading scary WhatsApp messages.  I have not been exercising much and all my grand plans to reorganise my home have so far fallen to the wayside.  I have also been speaking to relatives – having a long catch up telephone calls with them.  I fret and worry when I don’t hear from loved ones – both friends and family but I guess that this endless fretting and worrying is now part of the new normal.  Apparently, this virus is going come back in a second wave and after that, there is another one called the hantavirus waiting in the wings. It is supposed to be a mutation of covid-19 and has already killed at least one person in China.

Eating too many carbs 

On the upside, when I finally managed to pull myself out for a walk, I put out the rubbish and did some shopping.  I was so happy to see that there is less panic buying going on.  I was able to buy eggs, bread and fresh salads from Sainsbury’s.  However, there was still no toilet roll to be seen.  If you follow my social media on Instagram and Facebook, in particular, you will see that I panic bought a huge bag of Basmati rice.  I have eaten more carbohydrates in the last couple of weeks than I did in the whole of 2019 and it is all sitting on my stomach.  I have eaten all the nuts that I bought to last a month.  I still have pitta bread and oven chips to eat.  As the chips are frozen, I plan to cook them up for guests when we get past the pandemic and give the bag of rice to a food bank.

My weight has fluctuated all week as you can imagine, but by some miracle, I have managed not to put on any more weight. I will let you know my plans to get back on track in my next blog post.

Until next time it’s


#NoToTheYoYo  #YesToAstableWeight #NoTimeToPauseForMenopause #YesToAstableHealthyWeight #Menologues #WeightLossJourney

A bag of Basmati rice in my bicycle basket

Is anyone else panic buying things that they would not normally eat because of the coronavirus pandemic? I had given up buying rice before the pandemic but here I am having panic purchased g a bag for a penny under £40! Sainsbury’s had no more rice, pasta, milk, eggs and so on so I decided to go to a small independent shop.  I spotted this bag of rice and paid for it.  I was so laden with shopping that I had to return the next day on Saturday to take it home.  Fingers crossed, I will not have to open the bag at all during the pandemic and will be able to donate it to a food bank when this is over.  As many of you know, I cannot be trusted around rice so it would be better to donate it to a food bank than wear it around my core!


Author Julie

Lawyer (co-founding partner/solicitor of a legal aid practice), blogger, feminist, lover of fashion & beauty. I believe that there are two types of people - the living and the dead. Age has nothing to do with it.

More posts by Julie

Join the discussion 4 Comments

  • I completely understand how you feel, felt a bit lost for a week knowing I had to actually stay at home. Even though that’s where I normally am when am not in a contract. My panic buy was another bag of Nigerian beans,not knowing I had another unopened bag .

    • Julie says:

      Thanks very much for stopping by Aghogo! As it happens, what I really wanted to buy was a massive bag of beans so I could make moi-moi and big pots of stewed beans. At least beans have a combination of carbs and protein so congratulations to you for snagging a bag of beans!

  • Ritchie says:

    This is typical of Yo-yo chronicles! Out and about in situation stations reporting. The simplicity of writing style drives home the message. Well done Julie.

    My takeaway is the huge sacrifice that our NHS staff make daily on the frontline at this unprecedented time of Covid-19 Corona virus pandemic. Be that as it may I have known from a very early age that working for the NHS is more a national service and moral duty to give back to humanity than for monetary gains. Perhaps it is this narrative or sublimal lens views that constitutes a barrier to public appreciation and approval of wage increases when their unions clamour or negotiate for such pay increases. It however doesn’t diminish their value and the esteem to which they’re held by the majority. It’s just one of those jobs you do not for wealth but conscience. Some sort of Hippocratic commitment!!!

    • Julie says:

      Thank you so much Ritchie! Yes, it is a noble profession but we need to maintain their health and wellbeing as they carry out their noble duties. I know that some might say that I am biased but I have observed a lot of NHS professionals – mainly doctors and it is no picnic.

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