I remember being able to get into a swimming costume without panicking about terrifying innocent people on the beach, when my stomach didn't have its own postcode and I didn't have to hold my breath when I pulled on my 'comfy' jeans.
Over the past few months I've used food as a crutch as I've sailed (a lot like a tug, nowhere near like a speedboat) through the trauma of turning 40. Cake has a remarkable way of taking away the pain of ageing but, sadly, it has added dramatically to the scales.
I've been ignoring the fact that I've put on so much weight. I've been so wrapped up in my turning 40 issues that I haven't noticed how I have poured over a stone over my creaking bones since last September. Weight is a funny thing. One minute you're slipping on bikinis and nibbling chocolates without a care in the world, and the next you're facing a life sentence at Salad Prison.
The whole weight issue came to a head on the last day of term. I'd been forced to hunt through the back of my cupboard and pull out my maternity wear in order to find a dress to wear to the parent-teacher meeting. The Horror.
It's all very well to joke about my wobbly bum or how my thighs have developed cave systems, but to suddenly stop and really LOOK in the mirror, and see the overweight woman standing there. Well, that really affected me. In my head I was still skinny.
Clearly the days when I can just thrive on chocolate and cake are gone. It is time for me to start eating healthily all the time. Not just as a diet to get me down to my goal weight, but as a life choice.
So, this September I've decided to go on a diet. I'm going to eat the right foods in the right quantities, I'm going to limit my access to cakes and chocolates and I will be using the photographs taken of me last year as evidence in the crimes against my figure. A size 10 in 2010 but a size 12 in 2011.
It's the perfect time to snap into a new eating plan. My child will be setting foot into Year 1, experiencing the magic and madness that is the National Curriculum for the first time, and I will be using this moment to start fresh too. New Year never works but New Term – yes, that definitely does.
I am also deeply paranoid about the other mums in the schoolyard whispering behind their hands about how much weight I've put on. Call me shallow...
However, I'm not just going to climb into the hands of the South Beach Diet
on 1st September. I've decided that I am going to kickstart my diet with a sponsored 40 hour famine to raise money for the growing problem in the Horn of Africa.
The horror of the famine, the fact that over 600,000 children are suffering from acute malnourishment – every penny, every fund raised, it all makes a difference. So, I am going to be staying away from anything other than coffee and water for 40 hours, each hour sponsored by friends, family and anyone else I can lay my hands on, and hopefully I will meet my target of £1000 to give to UNICEF.
Yes, I am going to starve myself for 40 hours. Anyone who knows me is probably weeping with laughter at the idea of me staying away from cake for that long, much less avoiding any other kinds of food. But I am going to do it. I am going to wake up at 6am on 01 September, make myself a cup of coffee, and stay away from food until 10pm the following day.
Straight after that, once the money is nestled in the hands of UNICEF, I'll be sticking to the South Beach Diet in an attempt to get those wibbly bits off for good.
My stomach will have probably eaten itself by that time, but my husband has promised me that a light salad will be awaiting me at the finish line. Something gentle on my hungry system but completely South Beach friendly.
I am going to take this resolution and I'm going to make it mean something. I'm going to raise money for charity and get my figure back. And, if you listen closely on that auspicious date, you'll hear me chanting my determination.
Goodbye sweet cake...
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