T’S THAT time of the year again. The time when
start counting exactly how many days are left until I have to appear in public in my underwear. And no, I have not had a career change of heart and decided to audition as a pole dancer. My calendar obsession is due to the fact that in 68 days I will step out in foreign climes clad only in a swimsuit, which is essentially underwear with more elastane and only marginally less terrifying than appearing in one’s birthday suit.
In a survey for Rosemary Conley Diet and Fitness Clubs, six out of 10 women revealed they were uncomfortable looking at themselves naked, but I’m sure that just as many are unsettled at seeing themselves in a Gideon Oberson two-piece without the coverage of a heavily-lined sarong or a Demis Roussos-sized kaftan. On my daily dog walk in a north west London park, almost every woman who marches beside me, irrespective of age, is also on a countdown-to-exposure diet.
Take Amanda. She is doing Slimming World and had fared well until she went to a party and her red (carbs) and green (protein) days merged into a brown haze. Then there’s Belinda, “big as a minute”, yet she insists there are pounds to be shed. Like me, Amanda, Belinda — and others whom I know only by the names of their dogs — are desperate to slim for that sliver of UK summer or fortnight in Marbs. So, as I cannot wear Spanx to the beach and don’t fancy a “burkini” à la Nigella Lawson, I’m ditching muffins and focusing on muffin tops.
I’ve also acquired a pair of ProskinsSlim (leggings or shorts), made from a yarn containing caffeine, retinol ceramides, aloe vera and vitamins, designed to improve skin condition, reduce cellulite and compress the limbs, while you work out or go about your everyday activities. If the torso of the model on the box is anything to go by, I’ll be gorgeous in no time, though interestingly there is no mention of wearing them while eating a bagel and watching Real Housewives of Miami. Still, they look nice — and slightly less clingy since I started the Jane Plan diet. This healthy, calorie-controlled diet is delivered
SUMMER 2013 to your door in a box, for £75 per week. The box is so big that I half-expected a small dietician to emerge and head for the cooker. It was, in fact, filled with small packets of muesli and porridge, plus prepared lunches and dinners. Just add milk, fresh fruit and veg.
“Many Jewish clients opt for the six-day-week package, as they like to eat on Fridays,” says Jane comfortingly. “But try not to stray from the containers and avoid dining-out.” For a week, my husband and I stuck with it. Our hunger was tolerable and the reward (apart from losing 4lb) was not having to plan dinner every night. The dishes (we chose vegetarian) were a tasty mix of pasta, bean and vegetables, of restaurant standard. My husband moaned about the frugal cereal: “It’s the size of my usual topping,” he whinged, but this is the point, for as Jewish eaters we are preconditioned to clear our loaded plates and head for the buffet instead of the bar. There is truth in that old joke: Jewish Woman One: “The food is terrible”. Jewish Woman Two: “Yes and such small portions”. My aim now is to halve the amount of food I serve, then halve it again, while wearing Proskins and doing Zumba. Only then will I be able to strut the sands without a sarong shield and large umbrella. See you on the beach. Proskins Slim: proskins.co.uk, 01623 654242 (£50 for leggings) janeplan.com, 0208 127 4543