With Neil Haver­son

He’s get­ting slim­mer. It’s a new belt for for­mer Let’s Talk edi­tor Neil Haver­son, who finds his dear wife a great ‘help’ in the di­et­ing stakes.

Let's Talk - - Contents -

I’ve bought a new belt. Okay, you prob­a­bly don’t need to know that, but for me it’s a ma­jor event. ac­tu­ally needed a smaller one. At the Let’s Talk of­fices food is read­ily avail­able. There’s the can­teen, strate­gi­cally placed vend­ing ma­chines and every af­ter­noon a trol­ley of snacks makes the rounds. So, fol­low­ing re­tire­ment, with­out all that on tap. I have lost a bit of weight.

When the trol­ley trun­dled in to sight, some­one would in­vari­ably shout: “Neil, trol­ley’s here”. The trol­ley dolly would wave a packet of Bour­bon bis­cuits at me and cry: “I’ve saved you some.”

I was for­ever de­ter­mined to show great re­straint but in­vari­ably gave in to temp­ta­tion.

Well, all that’s gone now. And be­fore you say, well you’re at home now there must al­ways be some­thing in the cup­board to pick at, let me tell you, it doesn’t work like that.

At the of­fice, there was no one keep­ing an ea­gle eye on me; no one re­mind­ing me that I’d get fat and be­come heart at­tack fod­der if I kept eat­ing sweet stuff.

Yes, now I am un­der con­stant su­per­vi­sion. Mrs H can de­tect a crisp packet be­ing opened from the other end of the house. The odd peanut has strayed down the side of the sofa and been of­fered up as ev­i­dence of my il­licit snack­ing.

If she cared to search the wheelie bin she might find the odd empty packet se­creted there. I daren’t put them in the kitchen bin.

In my de­fence I held up my new belt and pointed out that my trousers had been head­ing south ow­ing to a re­duced waist. But my protes­ta­tions fell on deaf ears. There re­mains a bulge and, now I’m not dash­ing around the of­fice, up and down flights of stairs, I need to lose more weight.

The trou­ble is, I have plenty of will power; what I need is won’t power.

Now, much as I en­joyed work­ing with him, it’s prob­a­bly as well I’m no longer at my desk op­po­site my old friend and for­mer col­league, he of the Monthly Moan, Terry Red­head. I re­ally would feel ashamed.

We meet up reg­u­larly for cof­fee and a cake, but a cou­ple of months ago he de­clined any­thing to eat. He is on a diet and he was demon­strat­ing se­ri­ous won’t power.

I didn’t think too much about it un­til we met again just re­cently. March­ing up to greet me was a slim line monthly moaner.

Once again he turned the other cheek to a counter full of tempt­ing cakes. This should have been enough for me to say: “Okay then, I won’t have any­thing ei­ther.” But no, while he pi­ously sipped his latte, I scoffed a cheese scone.

“Lost a stone,” he in­formed me as I lath­ered the but­ter on my scone. “No sweets, no chocolate, no bis­cuits,” he con­tin­ued. “If we have chicken with pota­toes and veg, we don’t have a rich sauce with it – and we don’t have such big por­tions. Fruit for dessert.”

Feel­ing rather hum­ble, hastily I fin­ished my scone. Why couldn’t I dis­ci­pline my­self like that? I think part of the prob­lem is that he and Mrs R are do­ing it to­gether, whereas I’m on my own, Mrs H doesn’t need to diet. She is al­ready slim, avoids un­healthy snacks and, un­like her hus­band, is not par­tial to a pint or two of ale.

I know she has my best in­ter­ests at heart. I re­ally should cut down on my in­take, ex­er­cise a bit more and show some self-con­trol.

Mind you, next time I meet Terry I’ll have to say: “Sorry mate, can’t af­ford to buy you a cof­fee. I’ve lost weight, had to splash out on another belt.”

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