Belfast Telegraph

Could a weight-loss TV show help you slim? Fat chance

By Nuala McKeever

After four weeks of healthy eating, almost daily exercise and no alcohol, some insights have been achieved. For example, I now realise there are quite a few things that DON'T make you fit.

Here are some I've learned through personal experience.

Sitting chatting to your friends over a skinny cappuccino about how much weight you need to lose.

Sticking out midriffs with said friends and competing to see whose is the most gross while simultaneously not implying that anyone other than you needs to lose an ounce.

Watching documentaries about people getting fit and losing weight while drinking a bottle of wine and eating a family-sized bag of salt and vinegar and thinking, "Oh my God, that's so inspiring!"

Crying at said documentary and punching the air in half-cut solidarity with successful weight-loss/health-gained person.

Walking around the shops wearing lycra and trainers and carrying a bottle of water with a sports cap on it.

Looking up times and prices of pilates classes near you.

Sitting online late at night looking up supplements and hi-protein shakes and powders that create lean muscle and wondering what they'd taste like. Bookmarking said web pages and thinking, "I must order some of that".

Making lists of healthy food to buy. Making lists of exercise to do. Making lists, generally.

Trying on jeans you can't really get into and struggling to make the button close and the zip go up.

Feeling guilty. Feeling fat. Feeling hungry. Feeling, generally.

Opening wardrobe doors when you're supposed to be going to bed and stroking tops that are too small for you, remembering how you still felt a bit fat even when you DID fit into them.

Lying in bed mentally berating yourself for not eating the healthy food you bought and not doing the exercises you listed. Berating yourself for feeling guilty. Berating yourself for berating yourself. Berating, generally.

Writing "Day One" in your diary. Writing inspiring quotations on nice paper and propping them against your bedside lamp. Writing generally.

Standing in front of the mirror pulling your bingo wings back to see what you'd look like with upper arm definition. Imagining, briefly, what it would be like to be married to Barack Obama.

Standing in front of the mirror pulling the sides of your face back with your hands to see what you'd look like with a facelift. Imagining, briefly, what it would be like to have plastic surgery.

Feeling smug about not being as vain as silly women who have plastic surgery.

Leaning in closer to the mirror and wondering if having those little vertical lines around your lips filled with something plumping would count as plastic surgery.

Wondering how much said procedure would cost. Wondering, briefly, what it would be like to emerge from a private clinic in an elegant headscarf and large sunglasses.

Breathing deeply and exhaling for more seconds than you inhaled while mentally repeating, "I am slim, sexy and gorgeous".

Talking to people who are slim, sexy and gorgeous. Talking to people who do lots of exercise. Talking to people who have lost lots of weight. Talking, generally.

The good news is I've discovered the things that DO make you fit and lose weight.

Guess what they are? Eating well and moving more.

All the other things help too, of course... just as long as you don't confuse them with the real thing.

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