OK, so here are the stats: since I met nutritionist Amelia Freer on January 2nd 2013, I have lost 10 kilos in weight (which is just under one and a half stone). I have also lost 6cm off my thighs, 10cm off my hips, and 11cm off my waist. I have gone from a tight, snug size 14 to a baggy size 10 and I can now wear all the clothes that have been hanging, somewhat forlornly, in my wardrobe since the collapse of the Berlin Wall.
No joke. I have a vintage wardrobe to die for. Only the other evening I slipped into a Rifat Ozbek Chinese mini-dress that I last wore in 1997, the night Tony Blair was elected, and even then I could only fit into it because I’d just come out of hospital after a virulent bout of pleurisy. Anyway, this time around, it fitted so well that as I paused by the red wine, King Don himself Simon Cowell gave me the eye! Move over Sinitta: a summer of jet-skis and gin palaces with black loo paper awaits!
Obviously, the dizzy heights of Cowell-eye are a stupendous achievement, but there is something else. I remember speaking to an old friend once who was fitted with a gastric band (for medical reasons) and who’d lost a huge amount of weight, some four stone in all. While she was, of course, delighted with the result, at the same time she remarked she was now so much more obvious in the street, in a restaurant, at a party, in the office. Not that she looked like Ursula Andress emerging from the foam; but that she had ceased to disappear.
And I feel slightly the same. Maybe it’s the fact that my clothes now fit, or that I am not lumbering around ten extra bags of sugar/butter/pasta but I do feel more present when I walk into a room. More certain of being there.
Other perks, as I have previously reported, are that I’m no longer suffocated by my own boobs when doing yoga. The roll of fat that previously stopped me putting my forehead to my knees has disappeared, and when I bend over to zip up my boots, it is a lot easier, less huffy and puffy, getting up and down. And I even, on one very odd occasion, broke into a run. Naturally it was an error that I rapidly corrected, but it was interesting to see that it could be done.
So was it hard? How restrictive was Metabolic Balance? Did I have to ruin my life to shed those pounds? The first couple of weeks were not fun. I found the lack of coffee impossible, if only for the first two days, and the restrictive first two weeks turned me into a psychopath. It is difficult and dull to go out and only be allowed to drink fizzy water. However, I did soon learn to spend a large part of my evening sitting on my hands. It is also impossible to go for a weekend in someone’s house and bring your own diet along like some nil-by-mouth starlet. It looks needy and vain and, quite frankly, poor form.
So did I cheat? Yes. Quite a lot. Mainly at parties and mainly with booze, plus the occasional full Sunday lunch. But after a while the pros outweigh the cons. You do feel better, you do look better and, weirdly, for anyone who is prone to the black dog, you feel happier. For me, breaking the Wine O’Clock habit was crucial. I realised it was possible to put my children to bed and not have to reach for a large glass of rouge. I also realised that I could go out and not have to consume the European wine-lake in order to have a good time.
Will I keep it going? Absolutely. I have reached my target weight and I am never going back to the other side. I will stick to Amelia’s three golden rules. Don’t eat between meals. Don’t mix proteins. And if you need to drink alcohol stick with vodka as it has the least amount sugar (I made the last one up but she did once confirm that it was true but would, “over her dead body” recommend such a thing!).
So is Kate Moss right when she says “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels”? Well, partly. I do like my nosh, but I like my new size 10 Topshop jeans a little more. Fingers crossed I am still in the Rifat this time next year.