Monday, 4 May 2009

Z ate good food

Well, I don't think I've come home from Italy any lighter. I wasn't too outrageously off-diet, but I certainly ate more than I can get away with. I bought a new skirt and pair of trousers just before I left and I have a feeling they were both slightly snugger by the end of the week. Both size 10, but now that sizes are so much bigger than they used to be, I have to be mindful that, were I to be the weight I was when I was 40, I'd be an 8 if not 6.

I had a long chat, when both of us had quaffed quite a lot of wine, with a friend who is very slender. She is also athletic; at the age of 79 she still plays golf and tennis and walks a lot too. She is very much in favour of not letting yourself go as you get older (let alone when you are young) and she agrees with me that I've a way to go yet. My daughter thinks I've lost enough - I know what's in her mind; my mother became very thin and was, by choice, slightly underweight for years. Sadly, in her last years her thinness was not by choice. I know that Weeza is concerned that I might take dieting to an extreme. I don't think this is likely at all myself, and I also don't think she appreciates quite how small my frame is. Since 10 stone is normal for her and she's only a couple of inches taller than I am, she thinks that 9 1/2 stone is about right for me, but it isn't.

Accordingly, my resolve is stiffened. I'm going to diet properly again, having been quite casual for the past 6 months. I cycled a lot, nearly 25 miles, in the week before I went away, and have walked a lot in the past week, but I had a chest infection for a couple of weeks before that and hardly cycled at all, so things slipped somewhat there.

My friend is concerned about her granddaughter, aged 21, who she says is 3 stone overweight. She has complained of aching joints, and May pointed out that she could be storing up trouble for the future. I asked in what ways she overeats, and why. May thinks that it's lack of confidence, particularly in regard to men - she almost wants to make herself unattractive (I know that big women can be very attractive, but in this case she dresses to camouflage and uses her size as an excuse not to have a boyfriend), she snacks frequently and she eats a lot at mealtimes too. Simply, what she thinks of as a portion is twice what May does. On the other hand, and I tried to hint at this tactfully, if you're lacking in confidence then being told you're fat and it doesn't suit you, by however well-meaning a person, can make you feel worse rather than giving you encouragement. May's firm "you've lost a lot of weight, you look years younger and much better - now lose the rest" is, I know, absolutely true and I respond well to hard facts, but a young and unsure woman may not.

Anyway, no time to do the weigh and measure biz now, but the diet is back on, properly. I said, a while ago, that I wanted to be below 9 stone by November. I'm changing that. The target is my birthday in September. Then I'll look to the next half stone. That probably will be enough.

In Italy, nearly all the women were slender. I don't think I'd overeat for long if I lived there, it'd be too shaming.

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