It's D-Day. Time to jump - well, belly flop - on that dieting bandwagon again.
It's more depressing than a fun sized Mars Bar.
I've had to work really hard at not being fat for 25 years.
I'm short, so every wobble shows. Plus, I love eating and I hate exercise.
Despite the silver stomach lining that Norovirus weight loss brings, the pounds have crept back on after too much slobbing in front of the TV.
"Let the pig see the trough."
Which celeb endorsed regime will I try?
The one that Scary Spice pushes? Maybe I can wear that leopard print catsuit after all in the name of girl power.
Or a leotard like Rosemary Conley or Madonna. I could confuse people with an ageing face, yet a youthful bod - like a female Skeletor, or Gillian McKeith.
|What do you mean you don't know the grapevine Gillian?|
Perhaps I can try a food replacement diet and survive on a calorie controlled combo of shakes, bars and soups. It worked for Pauline Quirke. What she gained in years she lost in weight.
Meal replacements are as tasty and satisfying as fly paper. They cost an arm and a leg - and the hand that you will end up gnawing because you are starving.
Over they years I've tried them all. No carbs. Calorie counting. The toast diet , blood group diet. Cambridge, South Beach, North Birmingham.
I may have lost weight temporarily, but the side effects were rancid. Spots, fainting, wind, halitosis. I felt like a guest on Trisha.
Take the soup diet. It made my breath stink and turned my wee green. My family started calling me Grotbags when my face started to go the same shade as broccoli.
Starvation - It isn't a proper diet until you're emaciated, end up in A & E next to an accountant with a can of Lynx Africa accidentally stuck up his bottom, and hallucinating that Doogie Howser MD is your assigned doctor.
Quick fix diets left me feeling tired, lacking in energy, deprived of pleasure and fantasising more about food. Like a WB cartoon where everybody turns into a joint of meat, only it was chocolate for me and I really had to stop when I mistook the cat's tail for a Curly Wurlie.
Trouble is. I love food. When I am eating I obsess over the next meal. Thin people don't do this. It's hard to survive on a lettuce leaf. I need a substantial meal. Enough to feed a grown man, preferably Dolph Lundgren portions.
My husband is naturally thin. It's not fair.
When he orders a curry, I dissect the menu like it's a double glazing contract and look for the least tasty/filling/ option. Hopefully, the kids will inherit his skinny genes and not my elasticated maternity ones that could house a family of four - and their pets.
There are always extreme measures like a gastric band, hypnosis, acupuncture, jaw wiring or amputation.
I watch all the trashy shows like Botched up bodies, Supersize vs Superskinny, You are what you Eat. Well Dr Gillian (fellow colleague of Dr Fox, Dr Hook and Dr Howser) in that case, I am a peanut butter chunky Kit Kat, and I'm not afraid to admit it.
Maybe I can fool people that I'm slim. I found a pair of 7 inch heels that I once wore as Magenta to Rocky Horror this elongates the body, stretches out the fat and gives the illusion that I am Jerry Hall. More like Ben and Jerry's. More on this in the blog: http://thenews-on.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/shape-where_4.html
I'll stick with the only diet that works for me - Weight Watchers - because I can still enjoy booze, chips and chocolate. Just not all together, or in large amounts, unfortunately. I don't pay for the classes anymore, but I do follow the points system, where each item of food has a points value.
I could go on Mastermind with my specialist knowledge of points. Magnus could hold up matchbox sized portion of cheddar and I could reel off the number four like Matt Damon in A Beautiful Mind.
Plus, I'm great fun to go out with, jotting down every morsel of food that passes my lips in my food tracker diary.
You say potato, I say deep fried with a side order of onion rings, please.
I was a skinny child, but piled on the pounds in my teens. I confused being a vegetarian with simply eating potatoes - namely chips
At 16 I joined Weight Watchers, stuck to the plan, lost weight, bought clothes and snogged boys.
Content in my first long term relationship, I ballooned, while he remained skinny. After he dumped me, I lost loads on the heartbreak diet - the best plan of all!
Over the next 15 years or so, I maintained my weight by joining a different Weight Watchers class every year. I was sensible-ish in my eating habits and knew more than 20 different uses for Ryvita and low fat cottage cheese.
Does my bum look big in this?
Then I became pregnant with twins, piled on five stone, gained a belly as wide as I was tall, scoffed everything in sight, "I'm eating for three!" Yes three ice road truckers named Dave who dine at Bab's Caf all day.
I pleaded with the 20 or so medics present to do a tummy tuck and quick bit of lipo while they were down there.
Afterwards, I assumed the weight would drop off immediately. But a year on and I was still rocking the maternity tabard look.
"The pounds just dropped off running around after kids," they said in magazines. In that case, because I have twins, I should look like Kate Moss, I thought.
Instead, I was stuck - Augustus Gloop style - up the slide at Ankle Biters Playcentre, being de-wedged by a caterpillar mascot that looked like a giant purple penis, to the sound of small children singing the theme tune to The Teletubbies.
Something had to give. It did. The arse on my reinforced pregnancy jeans. During the walk of shame back to the high chaired seating area.
So I re-joined WW and became a gold member; finally reaching my target weight after 20 years.
Ab Flab, sweetie...
But I haven't necessarily stuck to the plan since, which has resulted in some weighty moments.
Last year, I starved over Christmas and was miserable. Just because I had to meet some old college friends.
I wanted to look so different from the chubby Anna they had once known. But after all that suffering, I discovered that half the group had cancelled and that the reunion consisted of just three.
It reminded me of the scene in Absolutely Fabulous, where Edina fasts and brings in the marines in a desperate bid to lose weight when an old nemesis drops by, only to discover that her formal rival is now blind.
Fortunately, this Christmas I had woman flu and spent the entire festive season in bed and comatose. Thus resulting in a pretty impressive weight loss. Result!
Why do I want to be thin?
My clothes hang better. I look and feel more confident. But, because I have been big, I don't want to go back there. I still bear the scars of two Chelsea Girl shop assistants having to assist me out of a size 14 ra ra dress. "'You're gonna have to use those nail scissors," Trace, one said, as the other tried to liberate me from the garment.
I just want to feel comfortable and to not look down and think an alien is bursting out my stomach.
So here we go again.
So one last supper please. Diet starts Monday!