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.
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.”