Monday, February 04, 2008

Quick- fix me

My name is Claire and I’m a quick-fix-aholic. I have become obsessed, perilously so, with reading about wonder diets and exercise systems guaranteed to drop the pounds in the blink of an eye.
When I meet friends we inevitably discuss what we’ve eaten, what we plan to eat, how ‘bad’ we’ve been and how we all think we are hideously, grossly overweight. And then we share stories of the people we know, or have heard about, who have lost a jillion stones in three minutes or other such impossibilities and we all get that faraway look in our eyes. Imagine, we think, we could lose a jillion stone in three minutes and finally fit into a size 12 (although I’d be happy with a 14 for that matter).
We’ve had that “I just wish I could wake up thin” conversation a thousand times and some of us have even gone so far as to try radical, and possibly dangerous, ways to shift pounds. From herbal tablets which give you palpitations to bizarre detox diets which leave you weak with hunger and more likely than ever to go on a chocolate bender - we’ve been there.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a woman in possession of a large arse is always on the look out for a miracle cure.

Now I admit, I’ve been tempted by certain easy ways out myself. I’ve looked into gastric banding, but bizarrely am not fat enough for many clinics to take my hard earned (well, hard borrowed to be honest) cash. I have consumed a wide variety of diet pills from Adios to those prescribed by my GP. The only thing I’ve drawn the line at personally is Slim Fast as after months of guzzling Gaviscon when pregnant I now have an aversion to pink gloopy drinks.
I have found a method that works for me, in the form of the Glycaemic Index Diet - although it’s a long hard road filled with horrible temptations like Christmas and, this weekend, the boy’s 4th birthday party. Much as I approach all these occasions promising to stay “on plan” and nibble my salad and grilled chicken while everyone else tucks in, I inevitably fall from grace. This weekend I’m sure the allure of the fresh cake from the Lep, complete with oodles of squishy cream will be my downfall. So while GI works and it has been getting results I still can;t stop getting that faraway look when someone mentions instant weight loss.
I watched ‘Supersize Vs Superskinny’ on Channel 4 on Tuesday night after a friend recommended it. She said it would help me with my distorted body image. But in fairness to her the same girl said she didn’t think I needed to lose weight so clearly it is not my image that is distorted. Anyway, in the interest of research I sat down and watched as a 7 stone skeleton woman was forced to swap diets for a week with a 33 stone man mountain.
Neither of these people were particularly healthy and it was interesting to see their reactions to each other’s food - but quickly my attention moved to the segments where journalist Anna Richardson set about examining the quick fix weight loss methods.
Putting my low GI oatcake to one side I switched my attention entirely to her. Sure I could do GI - but if I could do GI along with miraculous quick fix wouldn’t i have the best of both worlds? First on her list was investigating tummy tucks. One lady went from a size 18 to a size 14 overnight - with just an operation! I was about to hit Google for some tummy tuck-tastic searching when she spoke to a lady who developed a horrendous flesh eating infection thing which left her with a 12 inch OPEN WOUND across her stomach. (I felt the need to emphasize the open wound bit ). When that healed, after a long time, she was left with an horrendously scarred and bumpy tummy - all in the name of being thinner. So, deciding that I am too much of a coward to take such a risk I watched on for what came next.
What came next was a Green Tea Tummy Massage. Now, please, please can someone offer this in Derry? I’ll be first in the queue, I promise! Basically Ms Richardson had her tummy massaged to within an inch of its life until she was just about to burst and - basically - pooed herself down a dress size. She lost an astounding 4cms off her tummy in just one hour. I could do with that kind of help! Of course poor Ms Richardson also blocked the toilet which perhaps wasn’t her finest hour but surely a woman has to suffer in the name of the body beautiful?
But then I suppose suffering - or working for it - is what it is all about. Losing four centimetres on a massage table isn’t going to promote long term weight loss if the first thing you do afterwards is fall into old habits and reach for a bar of chocolate (or a birthday cake from the Lep).
So I’ve come to realise, with a certain sadness I have to admit, that there is no such thing as a quick fix. Although I have just seen a lip gloss advertised that promises to curb your appetite and promote weight loss. Maybe I’ll just give it a wee go.

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