Well, well, well. What do you know? All those trainers, nutritionists and general practitioners I’ve seen over the past couple of decades were right all along.
If they told me once, they told me a thousand times that if I wanted to lose weight, I had to restrict what I put in my mouth. But would I listen? Oh, no. I’m a talk back host and I think I know everything, so I decided that because I ran marathons, I could eat and drink whatever I liked. And then I could complain bitterly to them that I wasn’t losing weight.
Never mind that I only ran marathons once every two or three years and did precious little else in between. As far as I was concerned, that gave me a licence to eat the same amount as a professional athlete and nothing anybody said to the contrary sunk in.
But then I decided to try the 5:2 Diet. I’d been reading about it and hearing about it for a couple of years. Google it and you’ll find screeds of information. There are support groups, recipe books, blogs, newspaper articles – I’m really jumping on the bandwagon long after everyone else.
But, I realised, when it comes to whipping myself into shape, my firm but fair trainer can only do so much. Thanks to his not-so-tender ministrations and the occasional run, I’ve lost 6kg over the past 18 months, but I need to speed things up if I want to look my best by the time I turn 50 in December.
The 5:2 Diet appeals to me because I’m an all-or-nothing kind of a girl and I would only have to think about diet food twice a week. None of this weighing and counting every day. So just 500 calories – basically one low-fat, low-carb meal a day – twice a week. And forget about calories the rest of the time. In eight weeks, I’ve lost 4.5kg, I’m down a dress size and I’ve lost 5cm off my waist.
I went to the World sale a couple of weeks ago and tried on a gorgeous dress. I came out and the lovely sales lady said, “Oh, no, that’s far too big.” She checked the tag. “Oh, heavens, you’re in a large. What were you thinking? You’ll be a small or maybe…” she gave my hooters a considering glance,“No, probably medium for the boobs and we can take the dress in at the waist.” It was a wonderful moment.
I’m back in all my old clothes and the clever lady up the road is running in my old faves at a rate of knots. Some dresses I’ve had to kiss, bless, release and pass on to younger women.
When I was in New York some years ago, I bought a gorgeous dress from a designer who dressed the girls on Sex and the City. It was stunning – a bit daring with its very low-cut plunge, but the colour and the lace kept it ladylike. It was too tight for me, but I vowed I’d get into it one day. For years it has hung in my wardrobe, waiting for me to get my act together and lose the extra kilos.
Finally, finally last weekend, I could get into it – but oh, dear. It is a dress designed for a much younger woman. That much skin on show really needs to be firm young flesh and as my friend Pam is wont to say, “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.”
So that little number was passed on to a colleague young enough to be my daughter and right now she’s prancing around Barcelona on holiday, looking fabulous. And thanks to finding a diet that suits me, as well as regular exercise, I’m well on track to looking fabulous myself when I turn 50 in December.
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