Wednesday 2 January 2008

Dieting makes you fat; but whisky and cake prove even more effective

I’m just facing up to the fact that, in a moment of temporary insanity, I have committed myself in print to losing a stone and a half by late March. I had a sort of epiphany last Friday when I tipped the bathroom scales at a disgusting 15st 10lbs, after a particularly shameful night of over-indulgence; then some other fat idiot wrote in The Journal that he was going to lose 21lbs by Easter, and I thought “me too!” Nearly always a mistake, that. Now I’m committed to doing it for charidee, and to losing more than him so that I can gain an insufferable air of moral superiority, as well as getting to choose the fortunate good cause that will benefit from our mutual self-denial.

I suppose we really ought to have a formal weigh-in to kick things off. Someone tipped me off that I might be able to gain an early advantage by artificially inflating my weight at the start of the contest. In a similar competition in Coronation Street, Fred Gee apparently got one over Jack Duckworth by emptying all the loose change out of the Rover’s Return’s till into his pockets for the initial weigh-in. I have a small anvil that I thought I might be able to smuggle in under a suitably baggy pullover, though with my luck someone would be sure to give me a playful pat on the stomach as I wobbled off the scales. I suppose I could try to pass it off as a colostomy bag and claim that I’d been taking iron supplements.

It was all going so well until yesterday. That morning, I was smugly congratulating myself on having lost 6lbs without the slightest sensation of pain. Then it rained, so the dog refused to go out for his usual walk. Oh, and I went for a “New Year drink” with my next door neighbours which proved to comprise three enormous tumblers full of whisky, a huge plateful of doorstop ham sandwiches and a statistically significant quantity of fruit cake. It seemed too good to be true when I stepped on the scales this morning and they recorded that my weight had actually dropped by 1lb in the past 24 hours. And that was because it was too good to be true. I stepped on a second time to confirm the reading, and they whizzed round to 15st 6lbs. Exactly where they ended up on the remaining “best of 37” attempts to get a more favourable result. Even after I had gone to the trouble of cutting my toenails.

What’s even more depressing is that all that was before breakfast, when I expect that I gained yet more pounds as I downed several pints of tea to try and compensate for my whisky-related dehydration.

Today I am trying much harder, insisting on going for a walk and firmly resolving that I shall not spend the evening drinking alcohol units equivalent to the recommended weekly allowance for someone with the build of Geoff Capes. I’ve been promising myself a serious effort to lose weight for four years, and now at last the prospect of public humiliation if I fail to achieve it should provide some sort of stimulus.

Fingers crossed. That way I find that it is almost impossible for them to hold a knife and fork.

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