I predict a diet
To me, the idea of watching what I eat has always meant counting how many chocolate slabs I can stuff in my face whilst the flatmate's eyes are diverted to the latest episode of Heroes. I've never really been too good at dieting. I've always been one of those people who opens the fridge and fondles the celery selection with intent, before shoving it aside to reach for the cheese.
But I'm not as young as I used to be and faced with the inevitable donning of a bikini in this city of eternal sunshine, the prospect of baring all has set the flames of fear alight. It suddenly dawned on me, as another friend bought his 6 month ticket to the gym in a bout of ‘New Year, New Me' insanity, that whilst I've always scoffed at the idea of dieting, I haven't stopped scoffing the food. I'm not exactly fat, but all of a sudden, somewhere between week one and month two of being in my mid (OK, late) twenties, I have noticed the following parts of my body begin to change:
I still have two. Both used to be toned and of twig like appeal. I used to be able to shake the salt and pepper pots over my plate in a restaurant with gleeful abandon, without worrying I would knock the person next to me out with a bingo wing to rival Big Bird's. The other day I positively puked when I saw a photo of myself with my arm pressed to my side. Forget about the manic grin on my foolish face - the focal point was quite clearly my enormous forearm. It almost spanned the entire width of my computer screen when I uploaded it. Cripes. Needless to say it was trashed immediately. I even emptied my trash in case it reappeared to haunt me.
Again, still have two, for which I suppose I should be grateful. These used to be smooth and lean. I used to wear tights and hot-pants and think nothing of prancing round my flat at Uni in skimpy shorts, with or without my boyfriend watching. I never liked my knees growing up, but at the compliments of many, I grew rather fond of the knobbly twosome and the day I discovered razors, my spindly pins were on permanent display. These days I find myself sitting cross legged in the presence of company, for fear that in spite of any charming banter exiting my mouth, they'll feel nothing but contempt for the superfluous spillage of what used to be a skinny pair of thighs, pouring over and off the seat I'm sitting on. They wobble when I walk and the idea of wearing pants in front of a man, let alone hot-pants, fills me with so much dread that at times I'm tempted to set my alarm for 6am, just so I can cover myself up for his awakening.
This used to be so flat it was practically concave. I was proud of my skeletal structure and the only thing about me that wobbled in my college days was my bottom lip when I got over-emotional at the nineteenth viewing of Titanic. At the mercy of a five year Heineken-infused diet plan, carefully structured around a daily McMuffin schedule, I am now left with a rather podgy middle half that doesn't really show standing up, but folds neatly over my trousers when I sit down. This results in me feeling like I should sit up straighter and breathe in when anyone talks to me. Which consequently results in me looking like a constipated soldier.
Used to be a good one. Used to get compliments all the time and also used to flaunt it in the tightest trousers known to man. Like the thighs it never used to wobble, but now it seems to sag a little and I pretty much have to sew myself into my size eight knickers. In fact, a couple of months ago, while in a...compromising situation... with my man, I was utterly horrified to feel him lifting my bum. I'm not exactly sure to this day what he was hoping to achieve - any amusement factor blew right out the window and in swept a tidal wave of total mortification, once I realised that perhaps, actually, he was wondering exactly what this incredible mass of surplus flesh was doing below my relatively well-proportioned upper half. I'm not quite sure either, where he was lifting it to. Perhaps he was hoping to rid the place of it altogether. Or perhaps he was secretly weighing it in order to relate the sheer size of it to his mates later. It's practically its own continent these days.
To the average human eye it might look like I'm still quite a thin person, but bit by bit I can feel it all slipping away. Literally. Still, the idea of exercise repels me more than the thought of boiling down some vegetables and sucking Satan's cabbage patch up through a straw. My flatmate joined the gym the other week and she's filled with the joys of their complimentary towels and intense weight training program. Yuck. She even gets up early on Friday mornings and just as I'm rising from my pit with a banging head, fag ends in my hair, last night's meat pie round my face and one sock missing, she's jogging energetically off in her Adidas get-up, clutching her membership water bottle. Disgusting.
Maybe I won't go to every all-inclusive brunch I'm invited to. Maybe I won't try and claim jumping up and down in Harry Gattos with no shoes on as exercise anymore. But it's just so HARD, changing the habits of a lifetime, isn't it. I might not look like I used to look, but my philosophy of attempting to live each day as if it's my last never did involve any physical, or taste bud torture.
I'm sure there are some lovely long, sweat-free jumpers I can buy in the sale instead?