I was always skinny. So skinny, in fact, that when I was a little girl, my dad would lightheartedly tease me, by calling me "Lucky Legs" ("they're so spindly, you're lucky they don't break"). I was that girl who, during my teens, could eat my body weight in pizza, chips, ice cream and anything else you care to mention, without putting on a single pound. I was a UK size 8-10. I was decidedly slim and as far as I was concerned, I was just lucky enough to stay that way.
Of course, age has this nasty little surprise up its sleeve. "Middle age spread" is not a brand of margarine for people in their late 30s, unfortunately. And as I progressed from my teens to my twenties and now into my thirties, there's absolutely no doubt that I can't eat whatever I like without gaining weight.
But damnit, it tasted goooooooood.
I'm still a UK size 10, just. But I'm at that point where I own precisely no pairs of jeans in a size 10 that fit comfortably. See, when I gain weight, it seems to go to just one place: right on my tummy. I end up with a pot-belly that makes me look as though I'm about 5-6 months pregnant. But there's no baby in there. Just a heck of a lot of cake.
Now, granted, I'm normally the first person to moan about women who are only a size 10, but who insist on weeping and wailing about how "fat" they are. But recently, I made the fatal mistake of googling what my ideal weight is for my height. I'm only 5'0", so I knew in advance that it was probably going to be below my actual weight. What I didn't expect - and what I was horrified to discover - was that I was not far off a whole stone overweight.
For the love of GOD woman, order a salad.
Annoyingly, my gut-reaction (pun only slightly intended) to feeling porky is to comfort eat. Frankly, when Kate Moss said "nothing tastes as good as skinny feels," I just assume she's been going to the wrong restaurants her entire life.
I'm a foodie. I don't see food as just a fuel we need in order to live; I see it as a joy of life. Something to savour. My grandfather was a pastry chef and cooking is in my blood. I love experimenting with flavours, trying things I've never eaten before and using food as a social experience with friends and family. I also have one heck of a sweet tooth.
Doughnuts the size of my HEAD. That's how much of a sweet tooth I have.
But I also love clothes. I love pretty dresses and skirts. And when I try things on and discover that they're not fitting correctly anymore - or aren't fitting at all - that makes me feel lousy. I can't afford to entirely update my wardrobe with clothes a size up, so that leaves me with only one option. And that brings me to the point of writing this blog.
It's out there, now. Short of taking a photo of my ever-increasing pot-belly and plastering it all over the Internet, this is as close as I can get to baring myself online and saying I need to do something about it. Let's not forget that I also suffer from chronic asthma and any weight gain is bad news for my breathing. So, I have more than simply aesthetic reasons for wanting to slim down a little and get back into shape. By writing this blog, I've now made a promise to myself to stop eating like a pig (at least all the time - I'm sure as hell not denying myself forever!) and to try to exercise a bit more (a feat not made any easier by the aforementioned asthma...). I don't think I need to lose the whole stone. I don't believe everything I read online and nor do I have any desire to become super-skinny again. But I do want to be healthier and to be able to fit into my clothes without having to lie down and breathe in, just to do up a zip.
I'm aiming for around 7lbs. If I can shave that off, I'll be pretty pleased. I might post updates as to how I'm getting along, now and then, but not too frequently, because let's face it, that would be dull. Nobody tunes in to read about my wobbly bits. Not as far as I know, anyway...
So, here I am - a greedy foodie trying to lose half a stone. Wish me luck!