‘Face or figure?’ – On needing to lose a little weight in middle-age…

Woman With A Cigarette: Fernando Botero

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…..

This entry was posted in Random musings on family life, love the universe and everything and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to ‘Face or figure?’ – On needing to lose a little weight in middle-age…

  1. Claire says:

    Good luck! Am sure with a bit of willpower, you can do it. I am tempted to try the couch to 5k method to get fitter… maybe worth a shot? (I so do not run, though I do a bit of walking – if only with the dog)

    • keatsbabe says:

      Thanks Claire – willpower is not something I have in abundance though! I’ve looked up the couch to 5k site and it looks great, especially as like you I only walk the dog. My black lab Barnaby will have to get fit too 🙂

  2. Lisbeth says:

    I recommend having lots of affairs, and some sort of dangerous sport, like rugby or football, to keep up the adrenaline. Hope that is helpful. Don’t tell Peter. xxx

    • keatsbabe says:

      Not sure I want cauliflower ears, a broken nose and no teeth so rugby is out and my footie days are long passed…… Now the affairs – hmm still well up to that but will have to give Peter first refusal.

  3. As a middle-aged man I’m clearly not subject to the same rules, as you quite correctly mentioned in your article, (ahem) this is because I’m not over weight but merely under tall. I still wished however to share some tips and hints on losing a little weight.

    Firstly, you should cut your nails on both hands and feet as every little helps. Secondly, I would recommend shaving your head (and my socially active radar prevents me going further south) as this will bring a two-fold benefit. A – it will shed more weight and B – people will perceive you as being a thug and won’t venture near you. While technically this won’t lose any weight you will appear smaller from a distance and therefore the benefit without missing out on treats.

    Should you be concerned about this technique making you appear bald I would recommend a couple of tattoos. The first of these should be of some, preferably mis-spelled, obscenity and will act to reinforce the thug-like image above and move the dim-witted further back. The second tattoo should be of a pair of rabbits which, from a distance, these will look hares and solve the problem.

    One final recommendation is to download the misogynist part of the Jeremy Vine show and listen to it several times a day. This will make your blood boil which in turn will raise your basal body temperature and thereby burn more calories.

    I hope this advice works for you and you shed the weight you wish. There is however a plan B which is based around the fact that the important people in your life will love you regardless of the “packaging” the real you is wrapped in!

    Now, where did you get those half-priced chocolate mint sticks from?

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