It is with a certain amount of embarrassment that I have to report I am now a stone heavier than I was on my wedding day in 2011. Most of it has crept on this year largely due, I think, to the stress of numerous hospital appointments of the gynaecological variety and the shock of turning 50. I had been adhering well to the Rosemary Conley low fat regime but had slipped back into the heinous sin of adding butter to bread and, worse, developing a passion of Tarte au Citron at Cafe Rouge. So far, so self-obsessed I agree. But isn't it difficult to rein your appetite back in once you have set it loose?
And aren't you sometimes suspicious that the things you do to stay slim are not that healthy for you? I swear a large part of my appetite control was due to diet coke (2 cans a day) even though studies indicate that drinking aspartame laden drinks actually increases your appetite. Drinking a substance that contains what is basically formaldehyde (aspartame) is surely never wise but aspartame is everywhere and, shockingly, OK'd by the US Food and Drug Administration (the FDA). My other appetite suppressant is a snack of four marshmallows instead of biscuits with my morning coffee. These are low fat and surprisingly filling. The trick, of course, is restricting yourself to only four!
A slim-line us on our wedding day in 2011
This time of year is a nightmare for trying to curb your appetite. It is goodwill to man and good-swill at the same time. The supermarket magazines are groaning with comfy, cosy, autumnal recipes - beef and ale pie, pulled pork, apple crumbles, and then there is the sugar onslaught that is now Halloween where any mum worth her salt is creating witches and vampires out of sponge fingers and a packet of Maltesers.
The main ingredients of a celebration are family, friends, food and drink (and generally not in that order). I'm sure at some level many of us believe that food = love. An equation which is making the Food and Clothing industries very happy. The growth of plus size clothing catalogues is interesting as, if you go by the TV advertising, these now outnumber those from companies offering the more 'traditional' sizing. As a side note, many shoe manufacturers do not seem to have cottoned on to the fact that our feet are getting bigger too. Karen Millen, for example does not stock shoes over a UK size 7.
There is a subtle hint in all of this advertising that we should embrace our weight - and I wholeheartedly agree that we should love ourselves no matter what we weigh - but is ignoring weight gain on the basis that we only need to buy the next dress size up a wise approach?
As we approach mince pie season (and I could eat them every day), the hubby and I are having six weeks of sensible eating (hubby's main weakness is crisps) so that we can treat ourselves over the festive period - without looking like a pair of chocolate snowmen at the end of it.
How are you approaching the season of endless food? Do you diet in preparation for it? What are your diet tips. I'd love to know.