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I'll Have My Cake And Eat It

I'll Have My Cake And Eat It

Thursday, April 28, 2016 - 10:39

So, it’s January again - time to pack away the decorations, hoover up the piles of pine needles, lose two stone and train for a marathon.

That’s right isn’t it?

Just casually get fit and thin.

To what end though?

I was talking recently with a friend about dieting. I was eating a cake and muttering something about losing weight when she stopped me with a very simple but very thought provoking question.

“Do you actually want to be thinner?” she asked.

This in itself is a good question, because actually I don’t necessarily want to be thinner. I don’t want to be horribly obese or anything, but I’m not unhappy with my body as it is.

“I guess I’d like to lose a little bit of weight,” I said, “just to keep at a sensible level.”


Another good question. Why are we all so obsessed with losing weight? What exactly is it we are expecting to happen when we are suddenly a dress size or two smaller? And what, more importantly, are we missing out on as we put our lives on hold, waiting to acquire the perfect figure?

A few years ago I did lose weight. Not loads, but I went from a size 12/14 to an 8/10. For several years beforehand I had been fantasising about getting down to that size, imagining this wonderful new life for myself, a life that would only happen when I could fit into a size 8 dress.

Do you know what actually happened?


I was still exactly the same person. I felt the same, I did the same things and I had the same friends. If anything I just looked a bit older. Not much of a result really, all things considered. Gradually, over a few years, I put the weight back on, and still things remain unchanged. Except for that ridiculous voice in the back of my mind that still keeps nagging me to lose weight. ‘But look at your bottom,’ it whispers to me ‘imagine how much better your life would be if it were a bit smaller, less inclined to knock over small children.’

Except I know better.

My New Year’s resolution this year then isn’t to torture myself at the gym three times a week or deprive myself of eating the foods I like, it’s to appreciate myself for who I am.

And when the little voice pipes up? I’ll just shove a cake in its mouth. That will keep it quiet.


Jo Middleton writes the award-winning blog Slummy single mummy and is Director of media training company Inside Scoop.



Such a good point you make Jo. I lost about 2 stone a few years ago and I had a ball wearing size 10/12 clothes. I felt confident. I've put on weight after a year of anaemia (and too much energy boosting chocolate) and I'm now wanting to get back to where I was. I'm still the same person, with the same friends, but I definitely felt physically better when I was slimmer. I'm now in a size 14 again and I've decided I'm not mentioning the "d" word but instead am bringing more healthy things into my life including healthier food and exercise and will see where I end up. I will still bake yummy gluten-free cakes but am going to maybe eat slightly fewer lol.

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