The Calorie Yoda

Ok, so a couple of days ago I turned 36 and got the usual ‘you’re not getting any younger baby,’ from the missus, and a more in your face, ‘you’ll die of a heart attack soon,’ from mum.

Both of them of course referring to the fact that I need to lose weight, I need to stop smoking, I need to refrain from putting a half inch thick spread of butter on my bread and eat it just because I’m bored and can’t think of anything to do.

‘I thought you were joining the gym?’ the one wishing me dead then asked.

‘he’s always joining the gym but never quite gets around to it,’ the missus answered.

They tend to have these kind of conversations a lot, where it’s as though I’m not stood right in front of them both.  Inevitably the topic changes then to either our wedding next year or what each has lost at the gym, what flavour cardboard imitation cracker they’re eating at the moment, or this month’s preferred shade of beige to be wearing with…oh I don’t fucking know, I tend to zone out or leave by the time it gets on to shades of whatever it is they’re going on about.

And so ever so reluctantly I have joined the gym, a place I have managed to avoid for a full 36 years.  I’ve never been one of those who, every first day in January, declare to the world that I would be joining the gym, oh no, I’m a realist.  I’ve always known I’d never go so haven’t ever bothered to try and kid myself otherwise.

‘Let me come down with you when you join,’ the beloved said.

At first I thought it was to make sure I actually went and joined up but no, apparently once you’ve referred 3 friends you get a bottle of wine.  Seems a tad counter productive if you’re serious about losing weight but what do I know right?

‘You can download this app,’ she tells me when we get back from signing up, my legs aching from the 200m walk down the road to said gym.  ‘It’s brilliant, it tracks your calorie intake and you can scan any barcode to check out how many calories are in it .’

For the rest of the day all I then get is, have you downloaded the app yet?  Rob, just download it, then I can show you how to use it.’

She pestered me that much I asked if she was an affiliate of said app and is in fact getting a commission from my downloading of this modern day wonder marvel.

‘See you fill out the questionnaire.’

For fuck sake!  Why already does this feel like work?

I obey the calorie Yoda (not the beloved, the on screen prompts) and fill in my height 5 foot 10…oh wait, it wants it in centimetres because we all use centimetres when defining our height.

‘How heavy are you Dave?’

‘Well I’m actually 178.5 cm Clive.’

Fuck off Dave!  And fuck off calorie Yoda.

I click onto google and work it out.

177.8cm just in case you care.

I type in 178 because I’m feeling tall today.


That’s easy, because I’m stood on the weighing scales, I’m sixteen and a half stone.

In Kilograms please, Yoda prompts, without the please.  Rude fucking yoda.

Back to google and, again, if you care, because I don’t…92.079 kg.

I put in 92 kg because, fuck it, I’ve lied about how tall I am, why stop there.

Eye colour.

How is this ever going to be relevant to losing weight?


Hair colour.

Calorie Yoda is just taking the piss now.

Blonde!  Fucking Blonde!  Well, more grey now because of this stupid app, and I’ll probably be a silver fox by the time I’m actually logged in.

How much weight do you want to lose?

Because there is no ‘fuck knows’ option I take a stab at two stone…and then head on back to google so Yoda understands I mean 12.7006 kg.

And we’re in.

Welcome Rob.

Thank you very much computer code written for this app, it’s nice to finally be here.

Budget 1,785.

For fu…’Jen, what’s this budget I’ve got?’ I shout to the one who made me stand here for ten minutes fighting with Yoda’s stupid metric system.

‘That’s how many calories you can have in a day,’ Jen grins, joining me in the kitchen because this is the most fun she’s had all day.  I know right, the girl needs to get out more.

‘1785 is what you need to intake daily to lose the weight.  How much are you losing?’

’12.7006 kg,’ I tell her.

‘And what does that actually mean in the real world Rob?’  she snaps back.  Touchy I know, but she will be.  She’s only allowed 1500 calories and so is probably hungry.  Grumpy and hungry.

‘Two stone.’

‘Then why not say two stone?’

‘I know right?’ I laugh, happy we’re on the same page, ‘it’s calorie Yoda’s fault.’

She frowns at me, wincing.  Her tummy must be rumbling bless her, ‘what is a calorie Yoda, Rob?’

I shake my head.  It doesn’t matter.  She continues.

‘Now it has split your calorie count into breakfast, lunch, dinner…’

‘They’re the same thing,’ I tell her.

She sighs.  Defeated.  Her calorie intake has diminished so much she hasn’t the energy reserves to go on, poor doll.

‘Lunch and dinner.  They are the same meal time.’

‘No Rob, they’re not.  Dinner is Tea.  This is an American app not a Greater Manchester app.’

‘Bloody Yoda getting his own way again!’ I hiss and she continues.

‘Breakfast, lunch, dinner (or tea)…’

‘But I don’t drink tea…’

‘I swear to God Rob, I’ll shove this phone up your arse in a minute.  The calories are split into Breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.  Next to each one is how many calories you can have and you just need to add what you’ve had like this.’

She presses some buttons I don’t catch the sequence to and then smiles, ‘you can also scan the barcodes of products and the app will add the calories for you automatically.’

She hands over the phone and leaves.  Probably to have a lie down, she’s probably feeling light headed because all she’s consumed today is a piece of low fat cardboard and thin air (not that calorie rich fat air, she’s serious about this dieting stuff).

I set to scanning the barcodes of a few food produce we have in the cupboards and it doesn’t take long for it to get boring so I then try the cat food.

0 calories (it actually tells me to enter a description of said product but for the sake of this experiment we’ll stick with 0).

After learning the bleach under the kitchen sink, the air freshener, and toothpaste all contain 0 calories I stop and light a cigarette.

Then I scan the cigarettes.

0 calories!

This is ideal, because I smoke a lot and according to Yoda, cigarettes are great if you want to lose weight.  On closer inspection, I find the little bad boys also help increase your heart rate (metabolism), curb hunger, and if you’re absolutely hardcore about losing those lbs fast there is a picture on the front of my packet of fags which depicts losing a leg.  That’s gotta be at least a stone gone overnight right there!  To be fair though, it also says smoking clogs arteries.  It doesn’t go into detail what it clogs the arteries with, but it can’t be as heavy as a leg.  One of the massive side effects of smoking though is contracting lung cancer, but then again, you never see a fat cancer patient, oh the pros and cons of this weight loss malarkey….