I am not a woman who diets

I am not a woman who diets. Clearly, that will lead to the half of you who know me saying, ‘Yep, we can see that’. The other half, who wouldn’t know me if I peered into their newspaper on the bus, will hate me because it makes me sound like someone who scarfs up industrial quantities of treacle tart while everyone else sips San Pellegrino and nibbles on oil-free quinoa.

The truth is, I’m ‘solid’, as my mother likes to say. Solid is good. I’d rather be an heirloom oak dresser to be passed on down the generations, caressed and scribbled upon but able to scrub up well when the need arises. Better that than some finely bred, beautiful but delicate objet d’art, all filigree and fanciness, wiped out in moments by the whisper of a dog’s tail and confined jaggedly to the attic awaiting a repair that never comes. I won’t blow over in a spring gale, get a chest infection at the merest hint of a drizzle or turn blue round the lips if someone leaves the kitchen window open in March (or perhaps I should say, May).

I’m not someone who scans magazine covers, yo-yoing between ‘Dump a dress size’ and ‘Snap up a bikini body’. I don’t really notice what people look like unless they’re wearing something that could have housed potatoes in a former life or is of such sartorial elegance that I would have to be living in the cupboard under the stairs not to admire. Which I suppose makes me an excellent or rubbish friend depending on whether you’ve been sucking back the doughnuts or existing solely on wheatgrass and amaranth.

So it has been a revelation to me this week to veer from my usual mantra of ‘no empty calories unless they are in wine, in which case they count as fruit’. For two weekends in a row, I didn’t jump out of bed on a Sunday with anything approaching, well, a jump. This clearly was not down to the flexibility of my knackered old knees but more a result of finding myself increasingly interesting and entertaining in direct proportion to Sauvignon Blanc consumed the night before. The main result was that I simply could not stand to do algebra homework with the son. Is there anything worse than (x+6)(x-1)(x+ series of incomprehensible things+hangover squared) to make you want to lie on the floor with your head on the dog and accept that you are an unfit mother?

Fortuitously, up popped the Fast Metabolism Diet in The Times. Two carb days, two protein days, three days of carbs and proteins plus healthy fats. No alcohol. No caffeine. No dairy. Simple. I won’t bore you with the details but suffice to say, I’ve missed tea more than the booze…nettle tea doesn’t have the same pick me up factor as thick, soupy PG Tips. But the most interesting aspect on the protein only days is that I am put off eating completely.

Egg white and spinach omelette? Turkey wrapped in lettuce leaves? For breakfast? I managed the first two weeks but by yesterday, venison and cucumber for breakfast, plus a lovely snack of a tin of tuna just finished me off. My mind simply could not get over the matter that I like porridge for breakfast. Enough is enough. I have newfound respect for people who diet successfully…but could you just send me an email to let me know you’ve lost two stone before we meet? I’ll do an ‘OMG, you look amazing’ which will make all that celery with lime juice and salt worth it…

PS If you are reading on FRIDAY 17 MAY, my e-book THE CLASS CEILING – school gate snobbery and contemporary romance is FREE on Kindle…go get it, it will make you laugh! http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Class-Ceiling-ebook/dp/B00ANUAN72

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