This article was written for Annabel & Grace, which is now part of Rest Less.
Cold dark winter evenings make nibbling sweet things such a pleasure, but put a strain on the waistline and, as we get older, this does seem more difficult to shift. Sue Andrews puts a very funny spin on her excursions to The Fat Club…
Officially called Slimming World, Fat Club is where a lot of overweight adults pay a weekly subscription to be weighed and discuss the result. I cannot believe that I’m a member of something so ridiculous, but back in September I frightened myself when I stood on the scales.
My daughter Heather and my great friend Sharon, who have similar problems, agreed that if we didn’t do something, we would really regret it. Luckily the National Health also felt we had a problem and gave us a prescription to Slimming World and we all swore we would be sylph-like for summer 2022.
They say ‘the road to hell is paved with good intentions.’ My weight yoyoed from losing two pounds to regaining two pounds almost on a weekly basis. Heather did a little better, but it was really only Sharon who followed the menus and ‘free foods’ and stayed away from wine, embarrassing us weekly by losing a steady 2-3 pounds as we fluctuated up and down.
Fat Club really turned into a good ‘girls’ night out’ with Heather, who had to travel furthest, picking both Sharon and me up, and we all had a good giggle in the car on our way to the meeting. We were more serious on the homeward trip, acknowledging that Sharon was doing incredibly well, while still coming to terms with the fact neither Heather nor I were. Heather’s social life seemed to outweigh her slimming meals, but I had little excuse, other than lack of willpower.
The meetings themselves are not exciting. Our leader is a biologist, who relates the science of what we are doing to the way we eat, which is actually really interesting, but sitting in a circle, having to clap anyone who has lost half a pound or more, is frankly boring. Heather and I did clap Sharon with great enthusiasm, but staying at the Fat Club meetings after weighing was a strain.
Then we decided we had to take ourselves in hand. I hadn’t actually lost any weight over the first six weeks, simply losing then regaining, so a plan was made that if all three of us had lost weight we could just weigh and go home, but otherwise we would endure the meeting. Obviously, we stayed for most meetings. Our free subscription ran out just before Christmas, but we decided that now we were paying, we might realise what a waste of money it was to put on weight, and I think for a few weeks we did keep to the rules.
Having had the free prescription, we were all sent a questionnaire to explain how Slimming World had helped us. Sharon had by this time lost 1.5 stone. Heather had lost about two pounds, but I had to admit I’d actually put on a pound since my first weigh in. I completed my questionnaire assuring those asking that I felt Slimming World was guiding me in the right direction. The trouble was, in early December there were often a few delicacies in the larder that held great appeal.
Christmas came and went. We all missed the meeting between Christmas and New Year, but the following Tuesday agreed we must return. Having dined together over the festive period we were aware of Sharon’s Expresso Martinis and bars of chocolate, Heather’s binge on white wine and my relationship with the cheeseboard, so were not expecting great things. However Sharon had still managed to lose two pounds! Heather had put on two and I’d excelled myself by putting on seven. I argued with the lovely man who was doing the weighing, and he allowed me to be re-weighed, sadly with the same result. Horror, despair, but our team leader brushed it aside, pointing out if I could put that amount on over a few weeks I could easily lose it quickly if I tried.
Never was there a truer statement. The following week, to my utter amazement, I lost six and a half pounds. (I’m still not sure the scales were right either week.) From then on I was taking this seriously. Heather had also had a good loss and the following week she was ‘slimmer of the week’ having lost six pounds. Sharon just keeps doing the tortoise and the hare thing with a steady two pounds a week and is heading towards her two stone award! I still have only lost two pounds overall since we started, but feel I am now more determined.
Having spent the early part of the winter hiding in my office, the pace on the farm is quickening as lambing approaches. Twice a day I walk the quarter of a mile to the farm, feed those in the shed expecting triplets and a few thinner ewes, then stagger round the yard, through deep mud most days, with the wheelbarrow laden with hay. The walk home is nearly the final straw, but I am gradually getting fitter, as in three weeks we’ll be lambing and full days at the farm will be expected of me.
With all this ‘Body Magic’ and keeping to my diet of vegetable soup, lean meat and eggs, I’m really quite looking forward to weigh-in this Tuesday.
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