Don’t tell me how to diet!

Following a crummy 12 months, when everything seemed to go wrong, my life is about to turn a corner.

gorgeous chocolate cake with chocolate liquid centre

Today the surgeon told me my hip operation had been a success. Life will now be all sunshine… once I’ve lost all the weight I gained and increased my exercise regime.

Over the past year, I’ve stuffed down the sadness and frustration with delicious cakes, biscuits, sweets and ice creams.

They really did make me feel better. In fact, they made me feel really good, but only for a while. I even considered taking up smoking for a while, because I know it keeps you thin… but thought it would look uncool, not knowing how to inhale at my age.

I am so desperate to start my new life that I ring the physio department to ask when my appointment will come through. As the surgeon only referred me a couple of hours ago, they were unable to tell me.

Damn them! Don’t they understand that having spent months wrecking my health, I obviously need to get cracking straight away?

So, I hobble up the path for a few yards, trying to decide how to shift the unwanted fat. Mulling it over, I realised that there are a few tips I could give to people who are friends of dieters (and especially friends of mine!)

  • If you’re thin, never, never, never give dietary advice, unasked, to a fat person. Don’t forget that I am already struggling not to hate you for your fabulous figure, so don’t rub it in.
  • Please will everyone permanently refrain from telling me, or any other fat person, which foods are less fattening? Believe me, I know more about it than you do. I could write a slimming book myself. Let’s face it, most eight year olds know that an apple is healthier than a cream cake, but where’s the comfort in that?
  • Flogging should be administered to any kind person who leaves me a leaflet with the dates and times of Weight Watchers meetings. I have joined five times in the past, as well as Slimming World, Rosemary Conley and all the rest. They work for some people, but bore me to tears.
  • Telling me about your fantastic spinach and wheatgrass smoothies can also reduce me to tears. I would really love to be like you, but for the time being at least, it’s cocoa I need.
  • When I do manage to stick to a healthy-eating plan, don’t you dare pressure me into accepting a slice of your birthday cake! This will be the first slice of many as I fall back down the spiral staircase…
  • Don’t congratulate me when you see me munching a crispy salad for my lunch. It makes me feel inferior, like a child who has to be given positive re-enforcement.

So, what can you do to support me or others in my situation?

  • Many of us overeat to suppress our problems, or to relieve boredom. Invitations to jolly events (preferably without buffet food) are always welcome.
  • Provide a listening ear when we ask it, and for you to share your time and your own life and its struggles with us.
  • Please don’t make any comments or give a disapproving look when we ‘fall off the wagon’ and you catch us tucking into a chocolate croissant. For me, at least, there are many parallels with alcoholism. Often we can avoid what we know doesn’t help us, but at times we just can’t manage it. Ignore it, and let us start again another day.

So now I’m off up the road, walking 25 yards with my crutches, and knowing that I will bump into at least one person on the way to have a chin wag with.

I’ll tell them to get ready to sponsor me for the London Marathon… but perhaps not this year!

Jane McKears

About Jane McKears

I've loved writing all my life, and have a passion for developing short stories and poetry. I have had academic work published with regard to Child Protection, but now concentrate on fiction. My main loves are hill-walking, bee-keeping and swimming. Having recently retired from the NHS, I'm desperate to own a Border Terrier when my health and mobility improves.

  • Deborah

    This is so true, but I still can’t help laughing every time I read it. Thanks for sharing Jane!

  • Wow! Hill-walking? I’m fit, but that’s the one thing that’s aways been pretty much beyond me—and drat it, I live on a hill. I’m jealous. Th best I can do is set the include up a few degrees on the treadmill at the gym. Kudos to you!

    Wonderful post!

  • Well said Jane. I noticed that this was posted over a year ago. How are you getting on post-hip operation?

    What many people don’t realise is that a person can be thin but very unhealthy too. They may have lots of hidden visceral fat that is not obvious to the eye. They may have high BP, high cholesterol and high blood sugar too. Thin does not always mean healthy.


    • Deborah Garlick

      Jane’s getting on brilliantly, she’s even taken up swimming again and getting her fitness back!