Tuesday, 27 May 2008


I would like to be able to say in a few months time when I am svelte and slim that it was all my own hard work, that through gritty determination, a rigorous diet, some serious self-denial and sweaty, mind numbingly boring exercise that I achieved this killer figure. That would make me a terrible liar though and whilst my faults are myriad; being honest and candid isn’t one of them. So I hold my hands up and confess that I have taken myself off to the doctor where he immediately directed me on to the scales and before you could say clinically obese, I was handed a prescription for some diet pills.
It’s a shocker to tell you the truth. I knew I was overweight and bits of my anatomy were wobbling with more gusto than a row of jellies at a birthday party but still, obese? The very word conjures up families as seen in Disney World, turning puce whilst waddling in the Floridian sun. Believe me I’ve seen them.
I slunk out of the surgery the ‘o’ word spinning in my head and headed to the chemist where I duly handed in my prescription. I was never more ashamed than when I self consciously handed over my contraceptive pill prescription when I was a teenager. It’s a small town and I was convinced someone would meet my mum in the street and declare,’ Oh, so Alice is having sex then’. The irony was though that I wasn’t doing you-know- what but, ever the good Girl Guide, I wanted to be prepared.
I hung around the chemist waiting for my pills and as the girl handed them over to me, she smiled and said in a loud whisper, “Don’t worry. You don’t look that fat”. I grabbed the bag in mortification and fleeing, ran head first into Mags. I pulled at her sleeve and dragged her outside.
“Oh my God Mags, you wouldn’t believe it, I’ve just been to the doctor to ask for help to lose weight and he told me that my BMI was clinically obese. So here I am with magic pills which should have the effect of transforming into a subject from a before and after Channel 5 shocker”.
“Bloody hell Alice”, Mags said grasping me to her pert, pointy chest, “Poor you, let me just get my vitamins and I’ll buy you lunch”. Walking to a restaurant was hardly the kind of exercise the doctor had in mind but I was feeling down in the dumps and a good meal usually has a positive effect on me. Not so today. As Mags sat down to eat her pesto and mozzarella baguette, I picked over a ham salad.
“D’you know what’s missing from my plate?” I asked her gloomily.
“Olives?”, she suggested. I shook my head, “No, chips”. She laughed and choked on her baguette simultaneously and I fished my new wonder pills out of my bag.
“Let’s read the side effects”, I said pulling out the leaflet before muttering, “Oh dear God”.
“That bad?”, asked Mags.
“No I can’t read it. I need my glasses”.
“Bloody hell Alice love”, Mags said for the second time that day, “You haven’t got much going for you”.
“I’ll choose to ignore that remark”, I said, positioning my specs and reading the leaflet. I sniggered, “Well the first side effect, fortuitously, is loss of appetite followed however in quick succession with constipation, hot flushes and anxiety”.
“Nothing new there then”, replied Mags dourly.
We finished our lunches and came home to my house for coffee, picking up the Red-Head who’d been to play with a friend on the way.
The mother of the child looked a little nervous and very apologetically said, “I’m afraid that while I made their sandwiches your daughter went to the bathroom..” but before she could say any more, the Red-Head came hopping out, only no longer a Red-Head, more Raspberry-Head.
“Hi mummy, I look like Stephanie from Lazy Town don’t I?” and before I could say a word she launched into a very loud and very repetitive rendition of the theme tune.
“I’m so sorry”, said the mother, “They were only alone for a matter of minutes but she got hold of a sachet of my teenager’s punk hair dye. I just can’t understand how a three year old could have opened the sachet”.
“But I’m very good with my scissor skills, they told me at play school”, quipped my daughter, pausing for a moment only to start singing again.
“It’s a wash out dye if it’s any consolation” added the mother.
Arriving home I sat my lurid daughter down firmly with a large jigsaw puzzle before making the coffee. When I walked back in Mags was playing with my Nintendo DS. “Beat that”, she said punching the air triumphantly, “My brain age is 30”.
Feeling fat and old and discouraged, my mood exacerbated with having an unruly child, the last thing I needed was any more corroborating evidence that I was totally past it and to honest and I was about to decline. Instead a fighting sprit came over me, “Hand it over then” I said. With stylo poised I quickly did a series of random tests and minutes later a fanfare played flashing the brain age of 24. I was delighted.
When Hubby came home later he found me in the kitchen, the radio on loudly, accompanying Guns’n’Roses rather wildly with a mean bit of air guitar.
“Good grief Alice, do you have any idea how ridiculous you look? What's the matter with you?”
“I feel like a girl” I shouted, “Mags came round. We did the Nintendo thing and she was amazed that I had the brain age of a 24 year old”.
“What did she say about your 45-year old arse?”
“Your name never came up,” I replied.

Thankyou Yvonne for inspiring me.


thefoodsnob said...


(Sorry about the technical obese thing, I don't always think it's accurate, by the way!)


Mary Alice said...

Oh that was good one on the old arse there. I suffer along with you. Vigerous exercise was never my thing and I do love food. I used to be able to get away with it but after age 30, something happened.....and the pounds they do creep.

DL said...

Love the punchline!

BMI bollocks! As a (moderately) overweight 46-y-o, I don't reckon I'm any less healthy or have any poorer life expectancy than if I were a couple of stones lighter. And my casual survey of sickie-takers at work says that it's the racing-snakes who run umpteen miles a day who are habitually off with colds and anything else going.

And a final thought, we males tend to have a markedly different perspective on what looks appealing than you lot do. S blames it on growing up with Twiggy.


Hen said...

What satisfaction to quick quip the commander!

Thanks for coming over to say 'hello' yesterday - we were in a daze of fashion 'snow blindness'....waiting for the next outfit to be paraded out of the changing room....
...hope your glamorous girl had frock fun too and that you enjoyed the rest of your day in town!

Anonymous said...

I've been avoiding a visit to the doc for the same reason.
The comment at the end? Brilliant!!

Exercise togs on and about to go to the gym. *sigh*

Candyce said...

I was sitting in the little room waiting to see the doctor when I saw the BMI chart. I knew I was a "bit overweight" but was 2 pounds away from obese. I was in shcok. Me obese???? So I went to WW and thankfully did well and now am in my BMI zone. Not well into it but into it.

I did have to admit that I weighed more than when I was full term pregnant with either of my four kids. So I was carrying a baby around in a way.

I loved your quick thinking! I always think of those things later.

Candyce said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Elizabeth said...

Perfect to have a quick reponse!
I never do!
Don't worry too much about the
BMI thing, the way the medical community has revised the "optimum" chart,
most professional athletes chart out as "obese".
It's all a scare tactic!
Blessings, EJT

enidd said...

fantastic punchline. why can't enidd get any of those damn diet pills when she (and her wobbly arse) definitely need them.

Sally Lomax said...

Brilliant as always Alice. Clinically obese is a silly term.... If the Government really wants people to be thinner then they really need to be a bit better at handling the overweight!!!!

Loved the punchline too! xx