Did I Eat That……
New jeans, that was exactly what I needed to cheer me up.
I picked a rather fancy pair from the rail in the natty designer shop. The label swung tantalisingly from the belt declaring them to be the new ‘Lift & Shape’ design. This was emphasised by the purple sparkly sticker on the back pocket. It promised a full transformation from a sagging, droopy bottom to a firm, uplifted derriere.
Fishing around for a pair that was as near to my size as possible, it struck me that this shop only seemed to cater for the eternally thin and equally malnourished amongst us. Not feeling the urge to traumatise myself further by publicly declaring the size of the pair that were now draped over my arm, I ambled off to the changing rooms.
Ten minutes later, I was still huffing, puffing and wriggling to get them on, as my face began to turn fifty shades of red with exertion. This was a bigger struggle than I had anticipated.
Feck me… if my Nan’s old saying of a ‘moment on the lips, lifetime on the hips’ was true, I must have devoured the whole bloody cake and cookie display at Sainsbury’s..!
Grabbing the waistband, I gave an almighty tug upwards, bending forward in what was a futile attempt to stretch the material over my wobbly thighs whilst giving myself a very unattractive and positively painful camel toe in the process. Pausing for breath, I looked in the mirror behind me.
I wanted to cry.
Staring back at me was a massive rear-overhang. The jeans were tucked, or should I say, squashed under each plump, dimpled cheek. Even if I managed to get them on and zip them up, the promise of a firm, uplifted booty was never going to materialise, and at £40 a pair, I expected to at least be able to sit down in them. I peeled them off and kicked them into the corner of the cubicle.
I had to face facts, I desperately needed to diet.
There, I’d said it!
I could do this….
I had willpower….
I had lettuce….
I had an old Weight Watchers’ magazine from 1978….
What could possibly go wrong?
BREAKFAST: Sugar Free Muesli
Jeez, this was like chewing on your Grannies old knickers. I started eating a small bowl at 7.30 a.m. and was still going strong forty-five minutes later. I found a sultana, which was exciting.
LUNCH: One Calorie Cup-a-Soup
They lied. I couldn’t find half a calorie let alone a full one. Watch Loose Women on television as a distraction to stave off the hunger pangs. The adverts are a killer. I am getting obsessive thoughts about food. Decide that I am no longer in love with Gary Lineker or his damn crisps.
DINNER: Weight Watchers’ Extra Gourmet meal
I’m actually bordering on hysteria, I’m so hungry.
Wow, a real fit-in-your-eye meal this one. I found a pea. No wonder it has 200 calories in it. A whole pea can really bump up the calorific value in a meal. Think I might be going slightly diet crazy as I’m more excited about the pea than I was about the sultana this morning.
The pea has rolled off my fork onto the floor and the dog has eaten it. Try prising his mouth open in desperation, but it is lost forever.
My pea is gone.
I swear that dog has a smile on his face.
20 minutes opening cupboard doors, looking inside and closing them again.
15 minutes opening the fridge door, looking inside, mentally eat the contents before leaving door slightly ajar so I can cosset the lump of cheese bathed in the ambient fridge light.
Indulge in one Ryvita – unbuttered. Chew, cough, gag and splutter, but persevere.
20.43 hrs Get up, wander around the kitchen, look in the fridge, close fridge, open fridge. Poke finger in cottage cheese, close fridge. Resist initial temptation.
20.55 hrs Get up, wander around kitchen, look in cupboards, talk to myself. Look in fridge, poke finger in coleslaw. Take small nibble from slab of cheese. Smooth over teeth marks with finger to hide evidence.
21.03 hrs Watch television. Grab large portion of tummy fat and do Homer Simpson impressions complete with voice over. Eye up dog’s half chewed marrowbone biscuit and guess calorie content. Eye up dog and challenge him to who can get to the half-chewed marrowbone biscuit first.
Dog wins as my wobbly butt gets caught in the arm of the chair.
21.09 hrs Sneakily slide hand down back of the sofa just in case any errant sweeties are inadvertently hidden there. Pull out one yellow, crusty Liquorice Allsort coated with crumbs, fluff and……. Eeeww! I wretch. No, no, no, I’m not THAT desperate.
Notice dog is now sitting on his bowl of Tesco Value Dog biscuits whilst giving me a defiant scowl.
21.14 hrs Half a box of After Eights, two chocolate cookies, packet of cheese & onion crisps, whole tub of Twiglets, jar of jellybeans and a bag of peanuts….
…. ALL to myself.
Oh well, there’s always tomorrow!
Heading towards the locker room, the overpowering stench of sweaty socks, underarm perspiration and other manly odours seeped out through the open door to greet me.
Gone were the days when the Police Women’s Section had their own place, crammed into the corner of the old boiler room, where you hopped over dislodged nuggets of coke and coal left over from the heady days of a heating system that alternatively made you wonder if you were going down with a severe dose of man-flu or hitting an early menopause.
Pushing the door open, I stood and marvelled at what I now shared with at least thirty-two other men. The grey metal lockers stood rigid to attention, doors left open sporting hastily cast off uniform jackets, a moth-eaten pair of Y-fronts and a shoe lace, gave an eerie echo of abandonment. I scanned the bottom end of the room, and there in the corner was my target.
Westbury Police Stations all-singing, all-dancing special edition, digital scales. The sign above it on the wall, held on by a yellowing strip of cellotape declared in bold, black letters;
For the sole use of the male & female of the species
No weighing of kebabs, testicles or other singular bodily parts
No animals, no car or bike parts
I sighed. So far I had endured four weeks, six days, eighteen hours, forty-five minutes and ten seconds of my Diet from Hell, not that I was keeping tabs or anything, which was now culminating in this tense moment.
Right, come on Mave, way to go girl, let’s get this over and done with.
I stared at the zero’s, willing them to be kind to me as I gingerly stepped on to the scales. I was on the threshold of triumph. I, Mavis Jane Upton would roar in the face of adversity, I would snub even the smallest blob of cellulite, I would squeeze into a size 10 bikini without the very real threat of giving myself a deep vein thrombosis in one or both legs, I would….
Shit, you’ve got to be kidding me!
10 stone 4lbs 9oz
Jeez, there must be some mistake. I was 10 stone 5lb 9oz when I started.
Malnutrition, near starvation, cabbage soup, the ensuing flatulence and total denial of earthly pleasures for over a month all for the sake of losing just one measly, rotten pound! It had to be what I was wearing, it just had to be.
Frantically, all reason lost, I stripped off down to my matching pink underwear. I tried again.
Furtively looking around to ensure I was still alone, I flung caution to the wind. Off came the frillies too. They might skimp on material so they probably wouldn’t weigh much, but what the hell, every little bit helps doesn’t it?
I stepped back onto the scales, stark naked but eager. Still no change.
This called for more drastic measures….
Grabbing my pony tail, I yanked out the velvet scrunchie along with four hairclips. These were quickly followed by my watch and earrings. In fact, I was that desperate, if I had been wearing dentures they would have been yanked out too and placed on the nearby bench to sit alongside the discarded jock strap, solitary trainer and a dog-eared rolled up copy of The Exchange & Mart. Standing on tiptoe on one leg with my fingers clinging to the window sill to alleviate a little of the pressure on the scales, I sucked my stomach in, gracefully lifted my other leg and skilfully executed a near perfect arabesque, whilst dropping my head forward to look down.
Now there was only skin, bone and me between my foot and a decent digital reading.
10 stone 4lbs 6oz
Just as a groan of despair caught in my throat, the swing doors to the locker room suddenly creaked and thudded open.
Panic began to set in as a collection of baritone voices heralded the appearance of the afternoon section arriving for duty. Scooping up my clothes, I desperately looked around for an escape route. None was forthcoming.
Seriously, you’re kidding me! Was my Guardian Angel faffing around on a cloud somewhere eating Philadelphia Cheese and not paying attention? Helloooo, I’m in desperate need here!
“Tell yer what lads, I think I’m in with a chance with that redhead from The Farmers….”
That was Johnny Clarke’s voice, I’d know that anywhere. I had less than five seconds until they emerged from behind the row of lockers to catch me in all my glory.
Think Mavis, think….
Squeezing myself into one of the open lockers, I pulled the door shut by the metal rod. I sat in silence with my knees up to my ears, stark naked and in total darkness, perched on top of a pair of smelly riot boots, a spare truncheon and a rather large A4 Court File that had, much to my discomfort, quite sharp corners. I slowed my breathing to an almost non-existent gasp as little beads of perspiration began to form on my forehead.
The lads continued their locker room banter.
“Nah, no chance Johnny, she’s got the hots for Bernie from the Dog Section mate, dream away sunshine. If I were you I’d….”
…….and suddenly the locker rod was fiercely yanked out of my fingers as the door swung wide open to reveal the owner of the voice and the smelly riot boots I was currently sitting on. I was staring eye to eye with Constable 8632 Charlie Banks, well at least I hoped it was eye to eye, who was now rapidly changing from a pretty shade of pink to a more radiant tone of red.
A deathly silence followed, before I found the ability to speak.
“Oh, for goodness sake Charlie, stop gawping and shut the bloody door will you. This is an undercover covert practice session…. the Detective Inspector will have your arse if you blow this, you idiot!”
Coughing loudly, Charlie turned beetroot red, mumbling as he slammed the door shut. “Jeez, sorry Mave, err you couldn’t do me a favour and pass me my butty box whilst you’re in there, could you?
Sniggering in the darkness, whilst frantically scrabbling for anything that remotely felt like Tupperware, I couldn’t help but be relieved as to what a flat cap, a helmet and an A4 file could cover in an emergency whilst feeling an overwhelming sense of pride in my ability to lie with such conviction whilst clutching my underwear, rather than wearing it.
Gina Kirkham © 2017