Eat crisps to beat the flab
The problem with having written a weight-control book (one can hardly talk “diet” when tips involves chocolate) is that the world expects you to be thin. When you’ve written it in a mad deadline-chasing frenzy, involving sitting on your backside for ten days straight, your only exercise the flapping of your typing fingers and the occasional stretch for a biscuit, this is less likely than usual. And when your birthday falls only two weeks after Christmas and this year’s must-haves all seem to involve 70% cocoa and invitations for pizza, it is nigh on impossible.
I have looked in envy over the years, at the best-selling authors of best-selling diet books with their super-twig frames on the cover and thought how great it must be to hit both the big and small time (as it were) simultaneously. I realise now that their problems were just beginning.
I remember hearing of a well-known name, who, having shed four stone for her UK publication, had put it all back on again by the time she was offered the USA tour. There she was sat on breakfast show sofas looking like her BEFORE instead of her AFTER (out there they probably didn’t notice), trying to extol the virtues of living on beetroot (or whatever it was) and wondering why sales were slow. And I have since sat opposite a minor celeb who would only suck a lettuce leaf for dinner because the publicity shots for her miracle eating plan were due and it was six months (and half a stone) since she’d written it.
I am not, of course, in quite the same boat. Not only am I unlikely to be required to hold forth on TV (fortunate since the very act of appearing before camera puts ten pounds on before you start) but I took the precaution of having the promotional shots of my derriere taken long before the festive season (leading my esteemed colleague Mike-don’t-believe-a-word-of-it-Pearce, upon viewing these, if you want to brace yourself – to make the, frankly defamatory, suggestion that I had hired a bottom double or had my rear reduced by photo-shop).
In any case, my new work, nattily entitled 100 Ways to Fight the Flab, is not so much designed to make you thin but to suggest methods by which you can drink wine and eat as many crisps as I do and not become clinically obese. This does not stop the eyes of anyone I tell about it, dropping straight to my stomach. “It’s supposed to be a light-hearted read,” I trill, as I suck in my offending middle (a feat made easier by following tips 7 and 92), “although all the ways work…” I then offer up my (normal) BMI and hip to waist ratio, breathe in a bit harder, and announce how many chocolates I ate the day before. This seldom fails to impress. “And just the one airline seat”, I finish cheerily. I still see the surreptitious glances at my thighs.
The answer, I’ve decided, is to stick to radio. I’ll be on BBC Radio Kent with Pat Marsh this afternoon at 2.45pm if you’d like to hear more. I may have a fat voice but I’m slimmer than that really…
For a chance to write your own diet or fitness tip and win a writing course with Jane at Chez Castillon in the Dordogne, click HERE.