Yet again I’m thinking diet.   Not insane, vegan, Gwyneth Paltrow rubbish but the sensible ‘I want to lose three stone by Christmas’ type of diet.   I do realise that it is too late in the summer to try and get a beach ready body, besides, even post diet, I have a recurring nightmare of falling asleep on the sand only to be woken by people throwing buckets of water over me in an effort to refloat me under the impression that I am a stranded Beluga Whale.  

I consider myself to be a perfectly rational human being and I know that the only reason anyone is overweight is because they eat too much.   I am overweight ergo I eat too much.   I tell myself this as I eat half a pound of cheese – just because it’s there and it would be a pity to waste it.   My late husband never had to diet but he was one of those annoying people who would stop eating half way through a roast potato!   No that’s not a typo – HE STOPPED EATING HALF WAY THROUGH A ROAST POTATO.   When I asked him why he said he wasn’t hungry any more!    I have never, ever in my life stopped eating half way through a roast potato.   I’ve felt full, over-fed, bloated even, but I’ve soldiered on!   Not even when giving birth ‘’The baby’s coming!’ ‘Hang on, I’ve just got to finish this roast potato.’  Actually that’s not true, but it could have been. 

There was an article in the papers not long ago extolling the virtues of the no-Diet Diet.  That sounded good to me.   Apparently you never have to diet again, can eat as much as you like of what you like and don’t have to count calories.   On closer inspection this turns out to be a complete lie.   This zero sized woman writing it says that she doesn’t stint herself at all, she says she often indulges in two squares of dark chocolate!  My italics there!   Anyone who thinks that two squares of dark chocolate is an indulgence has obviously never understood the need to eat an entire family sized bag of Maltesers on the way back from the supermarket.  I saw a woman on television advising her size zero, super model daughter, who was fasting in order to lose a couple of grams of non-existent fat, to eat an almond if she felt faint.   An almond – a doughnut possibly, a bowl of cereal, an apple even, but one almond!  

One of the main problems is the choice we have – as a child we were forced to eat pretty disgusting food.  Boarding school provided such delightful things as rissoles (who remembers them?) – we called them grissoles with good reason.   Vegetables put on before church to make sure the whole school smelt of cabbage by lunch time.  And for pudding  we were served the ever appetising Dead Man’s Leg!   Food was more of a necessity and a punishment than a pleasure.   You won’t get down until you finished everything on your plate.   And my particular bugbear – Boiled Fish!  The very words sound unappealing.  And if we didn’t leave a clean plate it would be served up again at the next meal.   Presumably the boiled fish had to be discarded after a day or two – not even in my childhood were we poisoned just to make us obey the food rules.   Pizza, hamburgers, sushi, even interesting pasta, the staple diet of children today, didn’t exist – at least not in the home counties.   As for exotic things such as avocados, mangos, rocket none of us had ever heard of them.   Citrus – was oranges or tangerines and perhaps the occasional grapefruit,   Now there are clementines, satsumas, mandarins, pomellos, tangelos, kumquats, orangelos and so it goes on.   Cheese – well there was cheddar and Stilton at Christmas and sometimes Edam with the red wax rind that had more taste than the cheese.   There were foreign cheeses of course but going abroad was a very rare and dangerous occurrence.   I remember the farm manager’s daughter went to France for a week and came back saying that it had been terrible she had been unable to eat anything as the food was so disgusting.   No wonder we are all becoming more and more obese when we are spoilt for choice and end up having too much of everything.   Not to mention that we are completely divorced from our food.   A friend of mine was staying a few years ago when I went to the kitchen garden to get some potatoes – she was amazed as I dug them up as she has always thought that they grew on bushes.   She was a university graduate with a very high powered job.   Just last month a man asked me how many chickens I had and how many cockerels.   When I told him I didn’t have any cockerels he asked me how I got eggs!

So I’ll definitely be starting the diet next week – I’ve finished all the cheese and I certainly won’t be roasting any potatoes – I’m pretty confident that I can be a size 10 by Christmas!

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  1. Another good one, Stella! Food has become so problematic, hasn’t it? I also finish everything on my plate, a combination of boarding school days, parents brought up in the war, and just plain greed! I would be very happy to be a size 16 by Christmas, rather than the current 18…but I wish you luck with your goal of becoming a svelte size 10!


  2. Diet advice and entertainment! School food oh dear I sadly remember spam fritters and the need to put them in my trouser pockets to meet the rules for an empty plate. But most of all I remember Roger Hodgson, my primary school hero, who would eat everyone’s fat and gristle!


    1. Blancmange – does anyone ever have that today. I know that two dreaded puddings tapioca (aka frogspawn) and sago are very popular with people who have and chemotherapy as they often have sore mouths. I’m glad there’s a use for them somewhere!


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