Oh dear. I have been told I should lose a stone in weight. That is something else in kilograms but it won’t sound any better. It should probably be more like two - I have lymphoedema in my legs and extra weight makes them swell. Added to that, my trousers are too tight, the sleeves of my jacket feel as if they have shrunk (and it is nothing to do with extra muscle) and when I do aquarobics my rear end bounces up and meets itself going down. My sister has lost weight and feels great but I have put on ten pounds since Christmas. Stressed and depressed I can’t even cling to lack of appetite and consequent weight loss as compensation. I can hear half price chocolate mint sticks calling to me from the fridge even now…..
Right, I’m back. ‘Nom Nom’ should be my middle name. I literally cannot stop eating. At the risk of being misinterpreted I just have to have something in my mouth. However, enough is enough. I have to stop. I am the ‘average’ size 16 but as every year goes past those extra pounds are a little harder to shift. Even previously well covered middle aged women on the telly are dissolving – Dawn French, Pauline Quirke, Ruth Jones. Don’t they realise I held on to them as some sort of touchstone? ‘At least I am not as fat as…..’ Serves me right. They look fab.
I know that I will look older if I lose weight. ‘Fat is the best filler’ they say, and I certainly prefer it to the idea of Botox. Why does a middle-aged woman have to think ‘face or figure’ anyway? I was listening to the Jeremy Vine Show on Radio 2 last week when an elderly sounding man came on in response to Miriam O’Reilly’s plea for more older women on our screens. He said that middle aged women, serious journalists included, were ‘unpalatable’ and that viewers didn’t want to see them. Middle-aged (and older) men were not subject to the same rules, apparently. Is that truly how people feel? For a moment I was scared to leave the house for the milk I needed, in case I put people off their lunch.
Despite the knowledge that I may cause old men to hit the Gaviscon I must get a grip and do what is good for my health. I want to be lighter and fitter for my week in the Lake District in May so ten weeks should do it. However I am not just doing this for the sake of it. To be plump is not to be ugly. To have muscles and the ability to run a marathon is not necessarily to be healthy. I will always be on the ‘well rounded’ side so on behalf of slightly portly, middle-aged women everywhere I have a request – ‘The Fat Lady’s Request’ by Joyce la Verne to be exact. It holds some essential truths – hands up who thinks Madonna looks cuddly?
I, too, will disappear, will
Escape into centuries of darkness.
Come here and give me a cuddle,
Sit on my lap and give me a hug
While we are both still enjoying
This mysterious whirling planet.
And if you find me fat, you find me
Also, easy to find, very easy to find.
— Joyce la Verne
Wish me luck…..