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  • Writer's pictureAlicia Dione

Fat Food and Tipsy Advise

Updated: Mar 27, 2022

I can’t believe that we are now in the last full day of quarantine! We will only sleep in this room one more time and we have officially reached the final hurdle of this whole experience! It has actually flown by when I think about it and there have been a total of three disagreements. Three! That’s nothing! I also got so much work done that I would debate doing it again to make content creation easier. I knew I had planned to get lots done in quarantine, but let's be honest... we all plan to get lots done at one time or another and it very rarely happens. I think I have written around 15,000 words in isolation, I have tens of hours of film to edit and work with, I walked everyday and I even did a hardcore workout in the room on one of the days. (A little is better than none at all).

Over my time here a few things have crossed my mind and as I am a scientifically minded over-thinker, equations and calculations are often part of my falling asleep thoughts and musings. One thing that has pulled itself into my mind on numerous occasions is that there is so much health care and organisation involved in quarantine as a whole. Because of this I am certain that there must be some sort of nutritionist or dietician that has laid out certain rules about the food that we receive everyday. In my time of reading countless health and fitness medical literature, I know that 1kg of weight gain takes (on average) 7,700 calories. The last thing MIQ would want is for there to be horror stories of malnutrition or overfeeding in their facilities and this is why I think there is more thought behind what we are eating than it may appear.

Of course I could be wrong and caloric and nutritional information might be the last of their concerns due to covid swabs and security being their main purpose... but humour me. Everyday, I trusted the MIQ system and happily ate the three meals that were brought to my door. About half way through quarantine, I was struggling to be hungry by the time dinner came due to the lack of physical activity and sedentary lifestyle that comes with living in one room. When the second snack bag arrived a few days ago is when numbers, calculations and formulas appeared in my head as there was no way in hell that this was only 2000 calories a day.

I reflected on the original trust that I had put in the kitchen and dietary staff. It was day seven when I knew I'd fucked up. It would be way worse to underfeed the guests than overfeed them, and they must have had to take into account that there would be some foods that people either didn't like or couldn't eat. Therefore, by my estimation they probably incorporated an extra 1000 calories per day to ensure that everyone was eating well and maintaining their weight. The problem? Ben and I are not fussy eater and we have jack shit in the self control department when is comes to food. The result... I am pretty sure I am two kilos heavier than when I rocked up in quarantine.

In the presence of all this food there were new things that I learnt about Ben and his values when it comes to food. Wasting food is an absolute crime in the eyes on Ben. I have never seen such judgement on his face when I was unable to finish food and did not intend to save it to eat between the three meals that would arrive the next day. (To be clear; I would have been physically sick if I forced any more food down my gullet in-between meals). I suppose it makes sense for Ben, coming from a family of four (three of which are hungry men that can put some serious calories away without any effect on their waist line). However, I came from a family of two and sometimes you would have food in the house that just couldn’t be eaten. An example of this is baking. If I baked a cake I had what? Two days to eat it before it went stale? My mum is a slim 5ft nothing, (1.5 inches, don’t come at me), and I (as hard as I may try) cannot eat three quarters of a cake in 2 days. I also value my body enough to listen to signals such as: “Hey bitch, I’m full… stop eating”.

After my epiphany regarding the true mega tonne of food we were being funnelled, I made the decision that I would only eat my isolation meals until I was full. Ben saw this as a sin (ironic considering I'm the raised catholic). It was clear that Ben was triggered by the idea of waste but as the days went on... I caught him out as a big, fat hypocrite! God forbid at the end of the night that I wanted to keep an un-drunk gin and lemonade in the fridge for tomorrow. “We have loads Alicia, just throw it away”.

UMMM, EXCUSE YOU MR DON’T WASTE STUFF! If you won’t let me throw out the tiny portion of my dinner without making me feel like I need to go to confession, then keep your grubby mitts OFF MY GIN.

Inhale peace (and gin)… Exhale love.

Drunk Advise

I am pretty buzzed right now and Ben is trying to set up the TV as it has decided to not play ball, so here is some unasked for, drunk advise:

If you have to quarantine…

#1 - Don’t order in alcohol for the first three days. Let your body just deal, it has been through enough. Drink at the airport, drink on the plane. Hell, drink for the two weeks running up to your flight celebrating and bon voyage-ing until your heart is complete... just let your body ‘jet lag’ sober.

#2 -Whilst in quarantine... give your fucks wisely.

Your likely quarantine to-do list: Packing, unpacking, eating, maintaining your mental health and organising. What really maters at the end of the day is that you have all your stuff, you don’t leave the room as a pit (these workers do enough), and you make it on time to your next plane, bus or taxi when they release you from your cell. The rest is pointless and in the grand scheme of things doesn’t deserve a fall out with your partner, teenager or mother.

#3 -When you are preparing to leave quarantine…

Order more bin bags, there is more junk in the room than you think. Even if you kept the room really tidy like me there is still so much stuff hiding in the wings. Stuff you can't take with you, stuff you don't want, a ridiculous amount of paper bags from all of the food deliveries. There is also stuff you might want but can't take with you, especially on a plane. Let it go and move forward with more space.

#4 -Before you leave quarantine:

Do some yoga. You are about to dive back into travel, walking, bus catching and loading luggage. Expanding your horizons beyond this room means your muscle groups will do something different for the first time in ten days. It’s mad how fast the human body adjusts so commit to a long, slow building and full body stretch or yoga session.

#5 -Throughout quarantine:

Sleep. I don’t know about you but when covid restrictions started to lift a little for the first time in 18 months and social interaction was possible, I was exhausted! My social abilities had acclimated to my own company and video chats when and where I wanted them. Isolation is probably going to be the same. There is going to be information coming at you in more than one way. The last ten days it has been phone calls, video chat and email and for the most part you get to choose when you have to speak to people. When you leave this room there are going to be actual people... talking to you. Madness! There is also going to be more than these four walls around you. Be mindful of the massive data increase your brain and senses are going to go through when you step out of those isolation doors and respectfully give your body and mind the rest it needs.

#6 -Finally…

Grace. Whilst I had an easy time of it in quarantine, with a partner who exists happily in my company (and did most of the heavy lifting on house viewings and paperwork)... there will be people who fall out big time in isolation. Be aware that you are about to embark on errand heavy days in your imminent future. Give as much grace as you can in the days running up to your release and share as much love and as little annoyance as you can. If they want to be left alone, entertain yourself and leave them alone. Your aim here is to leave MIQ with an attitude that will make the coming days easier. Forget about past disagreements or annoyance’s. What happened in quarantine, stays in quarantine.

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