Well it is about time I wrote a post on dieting isn’t it. What is a fat-girls blog without harping on about how dieting doesn’t work/that it’s down to my glands/my family are big boned etc etc etc…? Well I am NOT one of those girls. Dieting and exercise does work, your rib cage & frame really doesn’t have much to do with your mass body weight and although I have a glandular ‘thing’, there is medication and it does work. You can breathe a sigh of relief.
There are too many dieting discussions to have for one post. In Part One I will look at Slimming World. In further posts I will cover the ‘Cambridge Diet’, Weight Watchers & Slim Fast. Oh, yes, it really IS that exciting…..!
The first thing most people ask when I say I go to a slimming group is, is it like the Little Britain sketch? Well – yes. It is. I has the same comedy gold moments but in all fairness I havent met a bully yet, which is nice.
So for those who have never been to Slimming World, let me paint you a little picture. Before I do though please note that Slimming World does work for so many people! The people are usually very lovely & supportive too, you can call your Consultant at anytime and they are there for you which is really helpful. This is just one person’s perspective, my little perspective…..
You have seen the laminated-do-it-yourself-rained-upon posters tied to lamposts…you have seen the old banners on school railings & although you don’t go to a ‘meeting’ (Mafia nor IRA) you know that the name of your local consultant is ‘Sheila’ and her phone number is bloody everywhere around town.
The meeting starts at 18:30hrs, being new you get there a little earlier. It’s an old Church community centre/room/hall which smells of piss, is damp, yet still gets booked out the entire week. The creaky floor boards & children’s pictures on the wall remind you of primary school and send a shudder through you as you remember having to sing hymnes praising Our Lord, The Holy One, Our Saviour. ’Tea’s and Coffees in the kitchen Laaaddiess!!’ a Bristolian accent pounds through the shed, uhhh I mean Community Centre – you know it’s Sheila. There are a couple of tables with Slimming World foods on alongside Magazines and a petty-cash style tin. Behind sits an old biddy who has probably been doing this for 30 years. You dont question her, you pay whatever she asks and you moves on.
‘Ohhh we’ve got a new one! Have you been to Slimming World before my love? You have, well I can guarantee with our new X plan you wont be leaving! Now sit yourself down over there, fill out the form giving us all of your personal information in the world, stay for the meeting and we will ‘ave a chat after alright darlin’??’
In the middle of the Alcoholics Anonymous style circle is a table full of cooking books, courtesy of some thin graduate at Slimming World HQ. There is an anemic looking basket with a dodgy black banana crudely sitting in the bottom. The room soon fills with people, some fat, some thin, some old, some young, some stupid looking, some quietly embarrassed to be there, some who wait all week to go just for the conversation. You over hear snippets of chatter whilst you wait for it to kick off….
‘Aint that 5 syns though init?’…..
‘Julie told me that Sarah said that our Trisha made that meatball thing that was in the book last week right and it tasted like dog shit…like I told Sarah, use Dolmio……’
….’Well I told ‘er she gotta leave the bastard, after all he don’t support her…..’
‘Yeah well you gotta eat the buffet at a Wedding aint you? It was our Suzanne’s big day, tell you what though, she aint half put on some weight…..’
The meeting is pretty much a waste of your time. Every week all the meeting consists of is everybody telling everyone else how they did, why they think they put on 3 pounds when they thought they had followed it by the book and then a round of applause if anyone has lost more than half a pound that week. There is nothing more to it than that. But a reason to stay is for the comedy genius moments that arise. They include:
Sheila: So why don’t you think you lost this week then Judy? * Condescending tone*
Judy: I dont know really…..*silence for five minutes* The thing is I starve meself all day, I only eat fruit but then I go shopping like on an evening and I just eats everything like.
Sheila: Right, well Judy, you know that Slimming World isn’t about starving yourself. You have to eat. Now what were you on that day, a red or a green day?
Judy: I dont know. All I remember was getting in the car in the Asda car park and stuffing my face with a whole multi-pack of crisps. An entire multi pack. It was DISGUSTING. I disgusted myself. *Shakes head* Disgusted.
Sheila: Well everybody lets give Judy a round of appaluse….. now, who is next….. Oh, Darren love *only man in the room, scared stiffless of Sheila* you’ve lost 8 pounds WELL DONE DARREN LOVE….WELL DONE BABBER!
And it goes on. People clap. They clap if you lose. They clap if you put on. They just like clapping.
The basket remains mainly empty of fruit for the ‘Slimmer of the week’ and people complain discreetly at how much it costs them to go each week.
I once overheard a lady saying ‘I put on 2 pounds! I dont know whether it was the large stuffed crust of the two bottles of white wine to be honest….I cant believe it’ At this point, whilst in the queue of doom *weigh in queue*, I laughed. Unfortunately she wasn’t being sarcastic. She looked at me in disbelief.
Another occasion a young girl who wasn’t-quite-all-there told the Consultant how she was doing really well. The Consultant asked what she was having for tea that night. Her response was pizza and chips. This was over 15 syn allowance for the day. She shrugged it off. She was a slim girl, I think she went primarily to make friends really. She was a really sweet girl & the Consultant did a really good job of explaining how to make that meal better….Home made chips etc. The funny part though, was when ‘Sheila’ asked the girl where she was going on holiday that weekend…., her response , as factual as America was West and China was East was….. ‘Grandma’s’ !!! Grandma’s is obviously a magical place.
The positive side to Slimming World is that if you can get on with the diet then it does work. If you do it properly, you will lose weight, I support it entirely. The consultants, although a little bit funny at times, are very friendly and supportive. They have a computerised system, so you go with your weigh in book which doubles up as a syn guide and bible, you take a credit card style check-in-thingy and its all pretty straightforward. You can go to any group and it is very simple. The people, although usually very strange, are down to earth and you hear some extremely funny stories. There isn’t much paper work and you can be in and out within 5 minutes, which you want to do unless you have an hour to listen to people lie about their week.
Part 2 will cover the Cambridge/Any-Liquid Diet.