TALK ABOUT CHEWING THE FAT
So there we were, standing in the long queue snaking its way into the dining area of IKEA, the kids salivating at talk of meatballs and gravy, me tight-lipped and diet-resolute, when my eight-year-old son asked: “Are you having meatballs too, Mummy?”
“No,” I laughed. “My body is a temple.” “Oh,” his eyes went wide. “Is that why it’s so big?”
I stopped laughing. My 12-year-old daughter’s mouth formed the “O” of shock and awe, and her eyes studied mine, waiting for my reaction.
My son clamped his mouth shut, aware he’d said something contentious, but not having a clue as to why. His gaze searched my glassy eyes for answers, but I was incapable of saying anything. I was incensed.
I mean, I’d been on the 800-calories-a-day Michael Mosley Blood Sugar Diet for, ooh, at least two days and I was feeling good – slim and sorted (a teensy bit starving, to be honest) and not, as I had pre-diet, as fat as a barrel with a bum the size of Cuba.
Maybe my energy levels were at an all-time low, given that I was practically surviving on fresh air – or maybe I was taken aback by the brutal honesty of my son’s seemingly innocent remark.
Bloodied, but unbowed, I managed a smile and we completed our IKEA trip.
When we got home, I took our two-yearold Irish Setter out for a walk so a) he could get some exercise, b) I could too, and c) I could ruminate on my shot-putter’s arms atop my tubby torso and broadening beam.
“Ooh,” said a fellow dog walker as we watched Cookie waddle into the river to fetch a stick. “Has he put on a bit of weight?”
“I was wondering the same thing,” I said. “I was watching him walk in front of me before and from behind he’s got a gait like a catwalk model with a beer belly!”
“Yes,” the dog-walking acquaintance nodded in agreement. “Well, you know how dogs and their owners start to look uncannily alike after a while...”
I didn’t like where this was going.
“Maybe you’re putting your food issues onto your dog, making him eat between meals, sneaking in high-cal treats, hoovering up the kids’ leftovers...”
Well! I’d never been so insulted in all my – hang on, wait… Oh.
When we got home, Cookie lay next to me on the couch while I listened to Paul McKenna’s gastric band hypnosis.
And when the kids woke me up, unable to find the remote (I had inadvertently hidden it from them, lying asleep on it), I told myself the day’s earlier humiliations had been nothing but a bad dream, brought about by my new year obsession with both mine and Cookie’s weight. What a relief!
My relief was so great, I celebrated by scoffing a Yorkie bar and buying Cookie a ginormous bone. Begin as you mean to go on and all that.
And the moral of the story? May all your good dreams come true and all the bad ones b***er off! Happy New Year, everyone!