Like many women, I've been a yo-yo dieter since my teens. I've followed restricted regimes like the cabbage soup diet. I've studied Atkins, the F Plan and countless others. I've 'gone for the burn' with Jane Fonda and sat in a draughty hall with other weight watchers.
Of course, you know what happened. Initial enthusiasm at weight loss followed by increasing demands on my won't power ending in 'failure' and giving up. This was swiftly followed by weight being regained ... and a little bit more.
By my 50s I'd practically given up but, inevitably, the crunch finally came. I returned from a holiday in Scotland where I'd almost been reduced to tears trying to keep up with my husband and son. My size 18 trousers barely fastened and the scales had edged up over 14 stone. Something must be done!
Now I can't pretend that I've banished the yo-yo and I can't pretend it's been easy, but each year since with NC I've managed to be just that bit lighter before the dark winter nights overcame my resolve.
This year, my husband and I have been dieting together and what a difference it has made! Almost every evening we have taken our dog Flossie for a walk at a nearby lake. The complete circuit is 4 ½ miles and my Fitbit gives a buzz towards the end saying I've done my 10,000 steps. After a day at work it would be so easy to say 'I'm whacked, let's have a night off’ but between us we managed to cajole, encourage and bully each other into keeping at it.
This has made a big difference to the rate of loss this summer and for the first time in ages I have begun to enjoy clothes shopping again. The only black thing I've bought is a pair of NYD jeans!
Sadly the park closes at dusk so week night walking is out but we still go at the weekend and I do try to wander about more at work. Of course it also helps that I'm not sitting opposite someone scoffing piles of bread and butter with our lunch time soup or salad.
So here we are starting a new year. The press is full of diet and exercise plans all promising a new you. The time of year I would usually get reluctantly on the scales to discover the damage done by three months of sloth and greed. The time of year for 'fat fit' trousers to come out of the cupboard. The time of year for sharing coffee and a cream bun with someone fatter than me.
But what's this? Can it be? Do my eyes deceive me? I've stayed the same. Hurrah, what joy I've stayed the same. And that, dear readers, is all you should think when the scales won't budge. That really is your long term goal. The pinnacle of success for the yo-yo dieter.