So How’s The Diet Going? A Diet Tale. Part Ten

diet strg
And another of these fucking pictures. I tell you, I’m glad this is the last part of this series, and I don’t have to go looking for pictures about dieting, because 75% of them are of this sort of heavy-handed nonsense. However, this is my favourite. The crazy eyes clinch it for me.

Hey, super being. Yeah, that’s YOU I’m talking about!

Well, here we are at the last part of this series. If you’re new here, welcome. Here are the other episodes. Maybe start at the beginning and work your way through it. Or just skip to the end, like I used to with the Hardy Boys books I used to read. That mill owner was such a fucking crook.

Here is the multi-season box-set for you to binge on:

Season One: The Shame of Weight
Season Two: The Quest for Thin
Season Three: A Feast of Fat
Season Four: Blood and Crowns
Season Five: The Crows of Wrath and Tiddly-Pom
Season Six: Oooh! Cosplay Ideas!!
Season Seven: More Tits And Shagging Than Even HBO Can Handle
Season Eight: Not As Good As Season Six, But You’re Hooked Now
Season Nine: The Expensive Battle Sequence And Everyone Dies

If you have read this whole series, then thank you for joining me. I really appreciate you being here.

If you are dieting: GOOD LUCK. If you succeed, please tell me how.


This time it’s war. It’s war on food, war on the doubting thoughts in your head, war on temptation. This is why you fail at diets, because the war becomes hard. There’s too much collateral damage. Too many civilian casualties. But in this war, the collateral damage and casualties are just your hunger. It’s almost as though you want to lose this war. NOT TODAY, MAGGOT. Not on my watch. You are losing weight, and you know it’s hard. This is a fight you have to win.

You are a PARENT now. You don’t allow your kid free access to television or sweets. You are strict on discipline, and you insist on good manners. You would do anything to prevent your child from smoking, drinking heavily, doing drugs, and becoming as overweight as you. So why do you do it to yourself?

Your child has big eyes, and has perfected the art of looking imploring when they want to manipulate you. Your inner child does this whenever you feel temptation. See a bowl of chocolate ice cream, or feel the need for a bag of chips? Your inner child gazes up at you. Do you give in to your real child all that much? I bet you don’t. So why spoil your inner child? You need to fight your inner child. Smack it in the face in exactly the same way that you wouldn’t ever do to your own real-life kid. Punch it into submission. Go on, be a horrific, abusive parent to your inner child. Just don’t do it in real life.

External pressures play their part. All around you are companies trying to convince you to buy their food. They make food look gorgeous and luscious and delicious, and very tempting. Takeaway Apps for mobile phones are a new industry in themselves. They didn’t exist 10 years ago. They are there to make vast amounts of money out of promising you convenience, no effort in cooking, speedy and tasty food, and they exploit your utter laziness.

Fighting for your attention – and losing, it has to be said – is the diet industry. It’s not just faddy diets, bogus science, patronising books, and pictures of people facing the agonising choice of vegetables or burgers… I mean, yes, it is all of that, but it’s an industry that is actually worth £2billion in the UK alone. Imagine that! Two. BILLION. POUNDS. Now realise that for the first time in the history of this blog, I’ve actually done some research for once.

Is the diet industry a help or a hindrance to dieting? It depends on your sense of cynicism, I suppose. I find it a massive annoyance, because pictures of smug arseholes tucking joyfully into a bowl of salad immediately makes me want to eat a steak and bacon sandwich. I don’t buy into the diet cult, and I don’t like the people who diet successfully and then crow about it. And maybe that’s why I have failed at pretty much every diet I’ve ever done. Losing weight isn’t the hard part. Keeping it off is the real challenge. A diet fails when your weight bounces back up to what it was. A diet succeeds not just when you lose weight and keep it off, but your entire lifestyle changes. It’s difficult to make these changes when you realise that the diet industry needs fatties like you. No matter how many books you read, how many diet clubs you join, it’s all money in someone’s pocket. I know it’s not what you should be thinking, but it’s a depressing modern fact. There are people who get rich from selling diet solutions to schlubs like me who regularly go on diets and fail.

I call bullshit. And putting a pic of a bloke in a white lab coat doesn’t make it any less so.

You are in Week Ten of your Diet. If you have lasted this far, that’s incredible. But it’s not good enough. The future beckons. Are you going to fight for your new weight loss? Are you ready for exercise? Are you prepared to take the diet up a notch? God knows, at this point you might be entering the ‘plateau phase’, where your rate of weight loss flattens out. If that happens, are you prepared to make further changes to your life?

So Week Ten is the season finale. The showdown with the end-of-level baddie. Be Buffy, and take down the Big Bad.

1. Fuck what the scales say – You have lost weight.

2. Feeling bullish/confrontational with the diet. Physical evidence is there, and if the scales lie to me again, the scales are going in the fucking bin, and I’m getting different scales.

3. And you know what? You’re buoyed up. A bit more confident about your body. Pleased that you are trimmer. You’re slightly frightened by the nightmare/comedy potential of loose trousers at work, but could always rush out to the shops clutching your waistband and buy some string and go full tramp as a temporary measure.

Oh boy, another smug arsehole tucking joyfully into a bowl of salad. Also – Olives: Ugh!

4. Your wife is being slightly frosty about the School Run Mum comment from last week, and just to prove a point, she comes with you on the school run one day when she’s working from home. Linda, one of the School Run Mums comes over and complements your wife on how slim she’s looking: “We noticed HE (nods towards me. Oh, I’m a ‘he’ now, am I? Thanks a fucking bunch, Linda…) has lost some weight, and he said you were both dieting, but it’s obviously really working. We all want to know: What’s your secret?”. Wife no longer jealous, and now pleased as Punch that other women are jealous of how she’s looking.

5. You’re not thin. You’re still quite fat. But you have lost weight, and it doesn’t feel bad. You’re not hungry throughout the whole day, and you don’t feel the need to have late night snacks.

6. Your co-worker offers you an M&M, and you practically smack it out of their hand: “You know perfectly well that I’m on a diet, and have been since January, and just because you lunched it during the first week of February doesn’t mean you can drag me down into the Failure Cave with you”. They look shocked for a second (and you think “oh fuck, here comes the HR meeting”), but they mumble a sulky apology and back away. You’re fucking BADASS.

7. You start to think you can do without sugary food most of the time. It’s such an indulgent waste, isn’t it? Of course you can manage without it. It’s just a luxury for those moments where you need a reward, but you can take it or leave it. You’re better than this. You don’t need sugary baubles. You’re not wedded to frippery.

Wedded to Frippery

8. Coffee doesn’t taste so bad without sugar or milk. In fact you go for a whole week without even opening the bottle of milk. Then, one day, you haven’t got any leftovers to eat so you go for cereal as a breakfast. You open the bottle of milk and have a cheeky sip from the bottle. It’s oddly grainy and tastes sort of sickly-sweet, but also there’s a nasty aftertaste. You look at the expiry date. It’s last week. You have just drunk the beginnings of yoghurt. Fucking hell, it’s rancid milk!! This is one of the most disgusting things that has happened to you ever.

8. You don’t miss chocolate. You eat plenty of fruit. Your kid notices this and wants to eat more fruit and less sweets. You’re good with that. Your kid also insists that they’re on a diet too, and this remark bothers you. Your kid is far too young to have body issues. Fuck’s sake.

9. Trousers are loose. Shirts are baggier. You’ve spent so long avoiding some clothes because you’re afraid that your belly will slide into view every time you raise your arms more than 45° that there are parts of your wardrobe that are like forbidden zones. Now you are looking at some of these shirts and contemplating wearing them. You try on an old favourite you haven’t worn for years. The buttons do not strain. This is good, very good.

10. You begin to think that dieting might just be the new norm for you. From now on, it’s not ‘breaking the diet’ to have naughty food to eat. It’s bingeing, and it’s a thing to do on rare occasions, almost by accident.

11. But then you come home from work having had a shit day on the same day that your wife comes home from work having had a shit day. You really can’t be arsed to cook. She doesn’t want to cook either. You both look at each other, and like former alcoholics falling off the wagon, one of you says very shamefully, very quietly: “Takeaway?

12. The devil on your shoulder sings the praises of one teeny-tiny takeaway meal that won’t make a difference. After all, the people in the adverts for takeaway apps look healthy and happy and have lots of friends… but the pious angel on your shoulder pleads with you to stay strong, and the Shame Nun starts cracking her knuckles. You mustn’t. You shouldn’t. Don’t buckle.

13. And this time, you don’t. Get thee behind me, Satan.

14. But what this makes you realise is that the future is not rosy. The diet is never going to be easy. You will be tempted. And there will be failures. Just not today. But the reprieve is only until tomorrow. Then it starts again from the beginning.

I'm The Best
LOOK AT MY ARMPITS, WORLD! (which reminds me, next challenge is to lose those bingo wings…)

10 weeks in, and there’s much to be proud of. But you’ve done 10 weeks of a diet before. What about 20 weeks? What about 30? Are you going to last until the summer? Are you going to last until Christmas? What about those weddings you’ve been invited to? You can’t do the diet at a wedding. Or that dinner party? You gonna cancel, or ring them up with your bloody dietary requirements like a twat? You just have to learn to adapt. You need to learn when you can break the diet, and when you can’t. A celebration? Sure. Every week? Absolutely not. New words need to be understood on a literal basis: Occasional. Special. Treat. A little treat now and then is good, but it has to be a treat, not a regular foodstuff. Your diet needs you to be strong, for weeks at a time, from now on. In fact, it can’t be seen as a ‘diet’ anymore. It’s now how you should be eating from now on. Your life depends on it.


Really? Wow!

Wow. Yes, that’s a lot for one week. Hmmmm. You weight yourself again.

+1.5lbs. Wait a sec… that’s a difference of 7.5lbs. Aw FUCK. You suspect your bathroom scales have either been broken for the last 10 weeks, or they have been trolling you like a boss.

The bathroom scales go in the bin. New bathroom scales are sought. Maybe this should be Week One now? OK, let’s reset and start at the beginning again. Deep breath.


Diets do suck. They’re hard. But good health can no longer be taken for granted. You are in your 40s and you are a parent. Weight loss takes effort and willpower. It’s a long, dark road. Some days are going to be good, and some weeks are going to be bad. The end result is still going to be you, with all your flaws and personality defects, but for the first time in years – decades even – you will feel good about how you look and what you can achieve.  You should be proud of how far you’ve come, and look to the future, when you can be amazed at what you are capable of. Don’t give in to temptation. You can do this. You can do this. You can do this.





So How’s The Diet Going? A Series On Dieting. Part Nine


diet struggggle
Slightly more thoughtful than the usual “diet struggle” photos. Also, that burger looks revolting, and the healthy stuff looks like one heck of a salad can be made from those ingredients. Not really a struggle, is it?

Blessings be, whoe’er ye be. Be ye slim, or ye be huge and fat. Come in and sit ye down.

This is the ninth part of this series on dieting. I hope that, if you are currently on a diet, this is either a comforting read, or cathartic in some way. If you’re not dieting, then I hope this is mildly entertaining and distracts you from your worries, if you have worries. Do thin people actually have worries? I’ve heard they don’t. Well, being fat is not one of your worries, I’m sure.

As this is Part Nine, you have some catching up to do. PREVIOUSLY ON DADDY BURNS THE SALAD’S SO HOW’S THE DIET GOING? A SERIES ON DIETING:


Dieting is, let’s be honest, a fight within ourselves. And at no point does it suddenly become easy. It would be nice if homo sapiens had developed the ability to not put on weight, but we do. It’s one of our evolutionary successes that we can retain weight. It’s also one of our modern disasters that we make and consume so much food that is bad for our frail bodies. Mind you, without that, an entire industry, based around dieting, that contributes to our global economy and provides thousands of jobs, would be fucked without us fatties. On the other hand, it has given rise to that most baffling and irritating of professions, the Life Coach.

Honestly, has there ever been a profession that is more of an expression of our needless, greedy, consumerist, image-obsessed, insecure, lacking-in-motivation, aspirational society? It’s an industry purely driven by exploiting those who need a little encouragement and guidance. Has there ever been another job that requires people to be so smug and superior as an essential part of the job description? If all the Life Coaches were put out of business, would the world carry on as normal? You betcha. If all the sewage workers were put out of business, would things be OK? No, we’d be in deep shit. And yet, when The Cataclysm happens, all the Life Coaches will demand that they deserve a place in The Ark over, say, violin teachers. The moment we, as a civilisation, realise that Life Coaches are completely unnecessary, the happier we will be, apart from all the Life Coaches who will need to find work, obvs.

Fuck off and get a proper job that benefits humanity other than yourself, Gary.

For this reason alone, go on a diet by yourself, discipline and dedicate yourself to it, and put these shysters out of work.

Anyway, now that I’ve offended any passing Life Coach, let’s dig on…


You’re still doing well, but there’s never any let up with a diet. A constant sense of determination is needed. Even with the weight loss you are experiencing, there is still a need for motivation and discipline. Temptation is everywhere. And you’re prone to thoughts of “well, one spoon of sugar in my coffee isn’t going to hurt”. It isn’t, but then the following week, you’ll think you can get away with it again. And then it becomes every two or three days, and then every other day, then every day. And once those sugar-in-coffee floodgates are open, you’ll give up on other things as well. Before you know it, you’re stuffing your face again, and you’re back on the fat train. Choo-choo.

“Fleshy People” – band name.

It doesn’t help your self-esteem, to be honest. Being overweight is easier than being in shape. It takes much less effort, but your feeling of lethargy and self-disgust is directly in proportion. Losing weight takes an immense amount of effort and willpower, and it’s so tempting to slip back into bad habits, right? I mean, you’ve lived with chubby-you for so long, you should be comfortable with the way you look, yeah?

Well now you have a battle in your head for supremacy. The you that wants an easy life just wants to fall back into old habits. The you that rather enjoys the compliments on your figure, and the way your body seems to be slimming down into something more appealing, is rather unused to all this positivity. But the diet is hard work. Easy life is easy, but will result in more depression. Diet life is hard, but will have rewards… some day. But yummy food is also rewarding, and it’s rewarding right now!

Society does not help. There are people out there who actively hate fat people. And overweight people are everywhere… and yet invisible in the media (except on news reports that highlight the obesity problem). And all the time, there’s a nagging voice in your head that reminds you that you don’t look good and that you should do something about it. And you have an unshakeable feeling, down in the pit of your soul, that you are the wrong shape and the wrong sort of person. The truth is plain: When you go to bed at night, you dream of being a thin person. When thin people go to bed at night, they do not dream of being you.

And so there’s a cycle of love, hate, self-doubt, temptation, pride, failure, achievement, rage, inadequacy, reward, denial, discipline, greed, a wish for a better metabolism, a desire to look good, a burning need for all the wrong food, and a spark of hope for redemption. This is the diet mindset. More so than looking young and pretty whilst eating salad.

Your observations for this week highlight this storm of contradiction:

1.Weight loss is really starting to have benefits. You can stay on your feet all day without feeling weak, but you can also feel a little trimmer.

2. You tucked your shirt in the other day, and you didn’t look like a darts player with a massive gut hanging over your belt.
fat gif
3. Your belt buckle is not digging into the flesh of your belly anymore, and you do not get an icky red scab forming. Your wife appreciates this, as she says: “Thank God for that. I never liked the way you would slouch on the sofa and absent-mindedly picked the dry skin off your belly and then eat it. It wasn’t sexy. In fact, it was quite revolting”. When she says it like that, you suddenly realise it’s revolting too.

3. Some of the people in work know you’ve been on a diet since January and are fucking annoying. One woman keeps saying – on a regular basis, like at least once a week – in a really condescending tone: “Gosh, you’re wasting away! Absolutely wasting away…” and then walking off smirking to herself. You are sorely tempted to tell her that she too would benefit from some weight loss, but… HR meeting? Is it worth it? Hmmmm. It might be.

4. One of the school run Mums says to you, apropos of nothing, without you actually telling her about the diet: “Have you been on a diet lately? I could swear that you’re looking thinner. We’ve all noticed it. What’s your secret”. And she looks at you in an appraising fashion. This is bloody great! You don’t tell your wife for about three days, but then you can’t help yourself and you blurt it out one evening. She doesn’t say anything, but purses her lips. The next day she enquires who it was who commented on you. Part of you is guilty for mentioning it, but a sizeable nasty part of you is secretly pleased she’s a bit jealous.

5. You do up your trousers one day. You have run out of belt loops. You need a smaller belt to keep your trousers up. This is working!

6. You do worry that if you lose lots of weight, you might end up with loads of loose skin flapping about, and you’ll look like someone has let the air out of you, but hey, that’s better than worrying about any sudden heart attacks.

Soooo… what you’re saying is that I’m going from looking undesirable, to looking freakish and weird? Why am I doing this diet again? (I mean, apart from the health benefits…)

7. And then you run into someone you haven’t seen for two months and they say “Wow, are you on a diet? You look trim!”… and you begin to suspect that maybe you were looking even fatter than you originally thought.

8. And then one day, you have a bad one. Work is stressful and you are argumentative. You feel shaky and weird, and you know this means low blood sugar. You are irritable and panicky. So you have one bar of chocolate from a vending machine. It’s a Snickers bar, your favourite. For a moment you get a rush of satisfaction and you feel better… but only for a bit. You catch a glimpse of a reflection of yourself in a mirror or a window, and you see you stuffing the chocolate into your ravenous maw and you are immediately revolted by what you see. All that work, shot down because you feel a little shivery. You absolute cunt.

9. You still finish that chocolate bar though.

You’re not peeling your belly skin, and the School Run Mums approve of your slimming body. WIN. That chocolate bar weighs heavily on your conscience. FAIL.


No. I’m not having that. I’ve been good all week, and I’ve stuck to the diet (apart from that chocolate bar). I have done NOTHING wrong (apart from that chocolate bar). This is like living in a dictatorship where citizens are randomly punished by The Fat King, whether there has been an infraction or not, just to keep everyone in line. I know I’m innocent. I hate dieting all of a sudden. But the evidence is there: My belt is too large, and my trousers are too loose. I AM losing weight. The diet IS working. Fuck that chocolate bar, it counts for fuck all. And I’ve had it confirmed that The Court of the School Run Mums, through their official spokesperson, have pronounced me to be thinner. And that means more than some numbers on a fucking electronic scale.

And the battle in your head keeps on raging…

Yes. But NO.

So How’s The Diet Going? A Fatty’s Progress. Part Eight

diet struggles1
Yet another “Oh God, what to eat??!” conundrum-picture, designed to make you feel both solidarity with the subject, and guilted into making a hard choice. This picture introduces the dark powers of the occult into your diet drama. Thanks for that.

Welcome one and all to the eighth magical episode of the Daddy Burns the Salad diet journal! If you’ve been following the series thus far, you’ll know that it’s a sweary look into the beastly mess that is dieting.

If you would like the full series on catch-up, here is the box-set:

Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five
Part Six
Part Seven

Dieting is not fun. Nobody ever says “I need to go on a diet! Hooray!”, because if you do diet, it’s usually because of bad things, not good things. Dieting goes against every instinct we have as animals. We need to eat food to survive. Eating less food will not help us survive, says our base brain. The trouble is, food is now more fattening, more tasty, more addictive, and more damaging than at any time in human history – apart from the 1970s and 1980s, when microwaved convenience food was rammed down our throats. At least now there is an appreciation of fresh ingredients and better cooking practices.


And now with all those thoughts weighing heavily on your mind, here is the next exciting installment…


This diet has been going on for eight long weeks now. Actually, they’re not all that long. Once you get into the swing of it, it’s not too bad. What you notice most of all is the change in your taste buds. The morning coffee – black, unsweetened – is not as rasping or bitter as it once was. It’s palatable. OK, so you still hanker for sugar and milk in your coffee, but that’s a lifetime habit. After all, you quit smoking years ago, and you still occasionally yearn for a cigarette.

You had Valentine’s Day last week, and it was great to knock the diet on the head for an evening. However, there are downsides. It’s the first meal you’ve had where you rely on someone else’s cooking, and it was very interesting. For one thing, you’re aware that people use oil in cooking, and lots of it. Having cooked for nigh-on two months with just oil spray, and then to have something that uses liberal amounts of olive oil means that you can feel a thin coating of oil all over your lips and around your mouth.

For another thing, when you’ve been eating a low-fat diet for a period of time, foods with lots of fat make you feel very different. You can feel the globules of fat coursing through your blood vessels. Why haven’t you noticed this before? Also, it does nothing for… shall we say… the waste products. Look, I don’t want to be immature about it, and we’re all adults here, but after a blow-out, your poopy-poos are squitty, and you would rather someone else wiped your bottom for you (although would you really want to put someone else through that disgustingness? Actually, in the midst of it, you totally would).

You can imagine the conversation between this model and her mother: “Hi honey, how did the photoshoot go today?” “Well, I sat on a toilet with my trousers round my ankles and my knickers on display, and pretended to show discomfort while a photographer yelled at me to ‘get in the moment’ and look hot and poopy at the same time. Mom, I wish I wasn’t a model anymore.”

And the benefits of dieting are really beginning to show. Not just on your waistline, but in other ways, as detailed below. So you go back on the diet this week. It feels actually quite good to be healthy, but somewhere in your head, you remember what it felt like when you had that first delicious bite of pizza, and a tiny part of you – actually a large part, because it’s your fat part – yearns for more. The struggle is real.

1.Every single advert on TV shows beautiful thin people eating scrumptiously rich, glistening, luscious, tantalising, gorgeous food. In reality, those actors would be going “No, I shouldn’t, I mustn’t, I have to watch my figure or I won’t get the roles” and starving themselves with a bowl of cucumber soup. Fuck them.

2. Meanwhile, you’re looking at myself in the mirror. Have you noticeably lost weight? Is your gut looking a bit more trim? Is your wife looking slimmer? She’s looking slimmer around the face at any rate. This is good.

3. No reported snoring. No acid reflux. This is good.

4. Work trousers in real danger of slipping down. This is not good. And while it’s great that underpants now feel somewhat loose, if trousers go south taking pants with them, there will be a meeting with the HR dept.
PG7Yoqo9QnGlBuhY2bhf_Shoots Pants Off.gif
5. It’s your turn to cook. You cook the same four things every week because a) you know they’re low-fat and diet-friendly; b) the kid eats them; c) curries, lean pasta dishes, and stir fries don’t get boring if they’re each cooked once per week; d) if you make large quantities, they’re your breakfast too!

6. It’s your wife’s turn to cook. This is where variation and diversity comes into the weekly menu. Wife is much better than you at experimenting with new recipes. Wife is also prepared to follow instructions from diet books written by people who were thin in the first place. And OK, some of the recipes are a bit bland, but at least they’re edible, unlike the onion-and-onion soup you get at work.

7. Face facts, you over-privileged white male: Your diet just means you are eating less. You’re not making any huge changes to what you already eat. Your wife, however, has made a significant change. After being a vegetarian for almost 30 years, she has decided to eat seafood in order to get tasty low-fat protein into her diet. You’re so giddy and excited at this, you then forget that it’s only seafood she is accepting, and not full-on mammal meat, but you nevertheless make her a lamb curry, whereupon she looks at you as though you have lost your mind. You have, frankly.

8. Fish is expensive. It’s nice, but it’s expensive. And there are all sorts of ecological issues surrounding it, and you, being the fluffiest of fluffy liberals, spend a long time in the supermarket trying to comprehend which certification you can trust. Also, some supermarkets are better than others, but depending on which website you visit, all supermarkets and their policies on sustainable fishing are suspect. Is there any company who isn’t a complete bastard these days?

9. You have forgotten that shellfish is an acquired taste, and you’re expecting your wife to suddenly acquire it so that you can have a king prawn stir-fry. You’re being a bit selfish about shellfish (try saying that 20 times really fast). To a traditionally non-shellfish eater, prawns, crabs, lobster, and scampi are basically underwater insects; and molluscs either look like snot or labia or Cthulu. After a few queasy shellfish meals, your wife decides that fish is fine, but shellfish is a naaaah.



Feeling better now that fish is on the menu. However, there are limits. You are told repeatedly (in every diet pamphlet, diet magazine, or diet book) that fish is ‘brain food’ and ‘good mood food’, which is either a revolting image of a feeding brain, or a punchable phrase that was invented by a thumpable twat.

5lbs. Yay for FISH!

You have lost enough weight to earn yourself a present! Well done! You go into town, and after being sorely tempted to buy a single Snickers bar, you reward yourself with a CD. Oh for God’s sake, you’re such a bloody middle-aged man on a diet.

Lose weight with… what now?


So How’s The Diet Going? A Dieter’s Journey. Part Seven

diet struggles
It’s another take on the classic ‘apple-or-cake?’ diet struggle pics. This one is unusual in that it’s the first pic I’ve found where the person facing the agonising choice of a scrummy apple or a scrummy cake is actually someone who looks like they are dieting, although the facial expression is another case of ‘confusion = wronked face’.  To hold this pose for photo after photo must be fucking agony.


Here we are at the seventh part of a journey of fat reduction. Have you read the other parts yet? Oh, you so should! Here them be:

One   Two   Three   Four   Five   Six

Are you on a diet? How’s it going for you? By all means write to me and tell me if your diet is good, bad, easy, rubbish, difficult, lemon, hairy, or German. To be honest, I’m finding it hard, but there are coping mechanisms, as you can see in the following words…


At long last, something good is happening to you now. After all this grumbling, there is noticeable difference in how you look. People are beginning to ask if you’re on a diet (as if they didn’t know, with all your bitchin’ and complainin’ – clearly nobody listens to you), and you look down at your waistline, and you can see more of your feet than hitherto.

The new tactic of missing lunch, but eating of last-night’s leftovers for breakfast, is actually paying off. You look forward to breakfast time a lot more now, which is good because you now start your day in a positive mood. The good mood doesn’t last, and by evening you’re properly hungry, but you’re not miserable from the moment you wake up, and that’s good.

You look at yourself in the mirror. Lookin’ good! Lookin’ trim! And no more mirror demons either. Although, the little girl with the blindfold on who appears occasionally in your peripheral vision has started to move a little closer to you. Oh well. On balance, it’s a good week.

Hang on, do you want women to be ashamed to be fat, or embarrassed to be thin? Make up your fucking mind, patriarchy…

Here comes the first test of your resolve in this diet. We’ve arrived at the middle of February. This means that, holy crap, it’s Valentine’s Day!!! And you’ve both promised each other that you will have one night’s break from the diet. It’s no bad thing. Here’s how the evening goes down (minus the… oh, you know):

1. OK, the kid is away.

2. You’re not going out, because every restaurant in town is going to be packed to the rafters with long-term couples having stilted conversations, airing long-held resentments, expressing regret, and enjoying some quality awkward moments together.

3. You’re just having a night in. And because it’s Valentine’s Day, and you want to kick back and relax, you decide to have a break from the diet.

4. And maybe a glass of wine, or two glasses of wine – ah, who’s counting anyway?

5. Takeaway it is!

6. Curry? No, you can have curries on the diet anyway. Chinese? Nah, you can do that as well. Pizza?

7. Hmmmmm. Pizza is forbidden in so many ways – bread, cheese, salami. It’s impossible to do a diet pizza without it tasting of MDF and guilt. So pizza it is. If you’re going to flip the bird at your diet, you might as well do it repeatedly.



Day after Valentine’s Day:

*ding ding*

Back on the diet the day after Valentine’s. Let’s say the prayer all dieters say when things go awry: “Dear Lord, I promise not to blow the diet until Easter at the earliest. Please. I can live without chocolate until then, but for Your sake, can you give me some fucking light at the end of this bastard tunnel? Amen.


Nine. Whole. Pounds.

And there was pizza too! (but don’t read too much into that. Eating pizza regularly will not lose weight. In fact, it will do the opposite.)


#ThemefromRocky – see? I told you that you’d hear it at some point!

So How’s The Diet Going? A Guide To Not Being Fat Anymore. Part Six

Oh hurrah! It’s yet another picture of the eternal diet struggle. This pic is great – the hard choice between an apple (which would be yummy) or a cream bun (which actually wouldn’t be yummier than the apple, to be honest). I like her bitey-bottom lip face, it’s a bit, y’know, sexy. I must admit that in the course of the diet, I’ve not yet picked up the naughty food and the healthy food, and agonised over which to eat. Not once. And nor has any other dieter ever, I’ll warrant.

Hiya, o gorgeous one – yes, you! Last week, I begun this series on dieting.  Here are the other episodes if you fancy a catch-up binge:

Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five

Dieting is horrible, but necessary. I’m on diet number umpteen now, but this time, the diet has to work. Now that my circle of acquaintances is including more and more people in their forties, a number of my chums are exhibiting bad health issues all of a sudden. This has spurred me on to losing some serious weight. It’s not really an option for me to be crap about it anymore, so this one has to work, and I must not quit after three months.

You will notice that I am not including much exercise in this diet. This is because I hate exercise. It’s painful and boring and overrated. So getting fit will have to wait for another time. This might turn out to be a mistake. We’ll see.

Anyway, here’s the next spasm in the diet journey. READ ON…

Yeah, you appalling parent. Making your kid drink something that has not sugar in it?? AS PARENTS GO, YOU’RE WORSE THAN FRED WEST. (You gotta love vintage guilt-shame adverts…)


After a week of feeling like a sack of shite, you go back to work, but you feel gaunt. You look gaunter. Fat and gaunt is not a good combo.

You’re now in the middle of February, and it seems that everyone else in your office has totally given the fuck up, and lunched the diet. You don’t blame them. If anything, February is worse than January. The weather is awful. Everything is grey. There is no hope on the horizon. Summer is so far away, it might as well be on Mars. Sometimes, you wish you could just have a takeaway, just a bag of chips, just a quick burger. You try to make diet food appealing and fulfilling, but there are some days when you can feel your stomach crying out for food in its keening, wailing voice.

One night, you look at yourself in the mirror. You don’t recognise the person who is looking back at you. No, I’m not kidding, you really don’t. The person in your mirror is a demonic old woman, who stares at you with malevolent intent, and she bares her teeth. On top of everything else, you now have a haunted mirror. Oh, fucking brilliant.

You turn the mirror to face the wall, but  you can hear her whispering evil things all night. Demonic chanting can be heard. You are unwilling to allow the haunted mirror to become a portal to another hell-dimension, so you consider calling in an exorcist. Exorcists don’t advertise on, and you don’t fancy calling in The Vatican after last time, so you do self-exorcism by taking the mirror to the municipal dump and throwing it into the skip. The old woman beats her fists against the mirror glass and screams as the mirror smashes on a bag of builders rubble. Now you need to buy another mirror to see how fat you are. Plus you are in for a miserable seven years. Still, you have saved on bringing in a sub-contractor, and there are no stains or burn marks on the bedroom carpet.

Satanic mirrors aside, Week Six is the diet in full force. Your observations for the week leave you feeling as though you are merely existing, not living.

1. Can’t face breakfast. Every time you weigh out the 30g of cereal, you want to cry. You actually do cry one morning, and you hope your family does not see you being tearful.

2. There’s some stir-fry still in the wok from last night. If you eat that, and skip lunch, would that work?

3. Do NOT want to feel starving at 2pm though.

4. Or weigh out the cereal again. You’re basically punching yourself in the balls while telling yourself that you’re doing good.

5. Fuck it. That stir-fry was good last night, and it’s calling out to be eaten.

Yeah, that looks pretty fucking awesome. And not like 30g of cereal, which looks pretty fucking dismal.

6. WOAH! Stir-fry in the morning is great!

7. Go to work.

8. Lunch time – Go to cafeteria. Lentil and onion soup as the healthy option. You’re… not hungry. Should you skip it?

9. You are literally snubbing soup. And you’re snubbing all other food as well. You’ll have another fag-end coffee though… but you know what? You’re going to have a splash of skimmed milk in it. TREAT YO SELF.

10. 4pm – OK, You’re hungry now.

11. Come home, make low-fat curry.

12. 9pm – You’re… well… the tummy isn’t rumbling for once.

13. Wake up following morning. Wife muses, “You know, since starting the diet, you haven’t snored much. I’ve had a proper night’s sleep these last few weeks without wanting to smother you.”

14. That’s a point, when was the last night you woke with acid reflux burning your throat? Around New Year, wasn’t it?

15. “Thank you colleague, but no, I don’t want an M&M. No, please don’t be a dick and wave it in my face whilst whispering “Go onnnnn” in a seductive fashion. It’s almost as if you want me to fail. Well, not this time.”

You gone and done a few days where you eat last night’s leftovers for brekkie and… it’s pretty good. Hey, this could be your new diet thing. It certainly fills you up until the evening meal… yeah, it’s perfectly doable.

Next week is going to be tricky, though. You’ve got Valentine’s Day coming up, and you want to be able to enjoy it without feeling horribly guilty. Sometimes you’ve just got to fuck the diet off, otherwise what’s the point of living? However, would it ruin everything to indulge for one naughty evening? We shall see…

5lbs. WOAH! WIN!!!


So How’s The Diet Going? A Guide to Losing Weight. Part Five


It’s another of those wacky “Oh Christ, I’m dieting! Which food should I have?” pictures. I like this one because there’s an element of agony to it. And she’s pulling a wonky face that masks her true beauty.

Hi there!

All this week we’ve been looking at a diary of a diet. This could be your diet. It’s remarkably close to my experiences on my diet. I’m on my umpteenth diet now, and I’m not very good at this whole dieting lark. But as I’m now 40 years in this dimension, and my body is beginning to sag, I really need to lose weight and get healthy. We’ll work on getting fit another time. Right now, I need to shed pounds.

There are four previous episodes to catch up on. There’s one, two, three, and four – if you want to read them in order. Or don’t. I don’t care. Jump in now and catch up another time if you must. What am I, your mother??

Anyway, here’s the fifth part. There are more parts coming next week.


You are buoyed up by weight loss of previous week, and rightly so. You’re doing well. However, you must not get complacent. There’s a difference between doing well, and doing GREAT! If you were doing well and people told you that you were doing GREAT!, then you’re bound to completely fail the diet at some point due to the fact that you’ll think “Hey, I’m doing GREAT! Everyone says so. Now I’m tired and I can’t be fucked to cook for the family. Let’s get a takeaway. It’s just one takeaway. After all, I’m doing GREAT!”. So that’s why on this diet, you’re doing well if you lose weight. But you’re not doing GREAT!

You are beginning to have the sneaky suspicion that dieting is worth a lot of money to some people. There are a lot of magazines about dieting, just like there are a lot of magazines about fishing, guitars, knitting, and movies. Yes, blah-blah-inspiring-story-blah-blah-12-stone-loss-blah-blah-feel-so-much-better-anout-myself-blah-blah-before-and-after… and it’s everywhere. All the time. The overall message is to BE THIN. That’s fine, being thin is a good idea.

I can’t even…

There are a lot of overweight people around town. You’ve seen them. There needs to be less overweight people in this world… but every person in the movies is thin, it seems. So are all popular music stars. There are no fat people playing romantic leads in movies, even though most fat people IRL have romantic stories of their own that are just as romantic. Sometimes it would be nice if overweight people became visible. I’d feel the same if I were old, because young, thin, blemish-free are heavily represented in popular media, and old/fat people are not. It’s not just that real women have curves (they do, and they’re sexy as hell, BTW), but real people have armpit hair, and bad breath, and they absent-mindedly scratch their bumcracks whilst sitting on sofas while watching TV. Wouldn’t it be nice – or at least fair – if movies and TV and in popular music had a representative population of chubbies? Is being fat really all that bad?*

*well, of course it is, if it eventually kills you.

Once again, you look at yourself in the mirror. You are definitely looking thinner. Go you! And the trousers are looser, and the belt needs to be tighter.

You try a herbal diet tea. You might even go into a Chinese health-food shop, and buy a whole load. You make it, and within 4 hours, you experience spectacular diarrhoea. That’s how it helps you lose weight!

Sometimes you just gotta let Google Images take you on a journey…

This weeks’ observations:

1. Morning coffee tastes like mud. But then again, smoking cigarettes tasted like a mixture of inevitable cancer/stroke/heart attack, pub toilet, and ashtray, and you did that for years every morning like an eejit, so suck it up and drink the coffee and stop complaining.

2. Tiny amount of cereal sucks. It’s depressing There’s no lying about it. You would like to come up with alternative.

2a. Diet shake? Chocolate flavour ones are just about bearable. Strawberry flavour is revolting, banana flavour shakes taste of urine, and the coffee flavour shakes taste of old lady. Whatever the flavour, they’re all a salty, gritty, chalky path to misery.

2b. Kale and mango smoothie? Yup, sign me up for a ukulele twat-circle while I’m at it. Also, kale is the invention of Pazuzu, so noooope.

3. Work cafeteria has chicken in barbecue sauce with chips, and a chocolate brownie for dessert, and you wince at the sight of all your colleagues tucking into it… or a sweetcorn burger for vegetarian option, plus the same brownie pudding lushness… or leek and onion soup for the healthy eating option with raw blueberries for dessert. Soup looks like workhouse gruel, and blueberries have always been tasteless balls of wet disappointment.

4. MUST FIGHT ON. Diet wins. Inner monologue gives magnanimous self-affirmation and praise.

5. Want to punch inner monologue whilst consuming the broth. It’s like eating minus symbols.

Well fuck me, they pull the same imagery shit on men as well.

6. Choose leeks. Choose feeling like cardboard. Choose going back to work after lunch hating this world and the post-Christmas weight-loss mission. Choose refusing proffered M&M from slightly insensitive colleague. Choose feeling horrid when getting home. Choose feeling irritable at child. Choose eating recipe that wife got from diet magazine. Choose thinking that diet magazine has never heard of palatable food and is trolling fatties like me. Choose going to bed with rumbly tummy.

7. Wake up following morning feeling… well, crap actually. Have breakfast, go to work… and still feel crap. Actually, no wait, this is a real illness. Go home early.

8. Your child eats a chocolate bar, in a classically childlike sort of way. For a moment, you genuinely consider asking your kid if it’s OK to lick the chocolate from their face.

9. Wonder if “comfort food” is allowed. You are ill after all, and you need food that will get you better. Like cake.

10. Wife makes wifesoup. Leek and potato much better than leek and onion, for some reason.

11. You have a couple of days off work, feeling not so much run down as run over. Tempting to eat naughty food while everyone is out, but can’t be bothered going to the shops. Illness good for diets, it seems.

“I don’t want to exaggerate the hardship of this, or be over-emotional, or be first-world-problem about this, but being on a diet and ill at the same time is the worst thing suffered by anyone ever.”

None. +2lbs.

Hang on.



What the fuck?

Actually, properly, seriously: What. The. Fuck?


Tell me HOW.

You ask yourself: “I’ve starved myself. I’ve been ill. I’ve been good. I’ve not given in to temptation. WHAT MORE CAN I GIVE?? WHY MUST THOU TEST ME??”

Might I suggest sir try some herbal diarrhoea-tea if the current choice placed before sir is so troublesome?

So How’s The Diet Going? A Series On Losing Weight. Part Four

Aaaaaand it’s another MILF facing the impossible choice. No need to look so fucking glum about it, madam. That salad looks rather good and the pizza looks a little soggy. I say GO SALAD!

Well, look who’s here. It’s you!

It’s yet another chapter in the diary of diet. Here is chapter one, chapter two, and chapter three. If you have arrived here without reading all the other chapters, I’ll just wait here until you’re caught up.


OK, all done? Good. I especially liked the bit in chapter two where the haunted doll attacked everyone, didn’t you?

So anyway, I am dieting. Are you? I hope so. Now we can diet together, won’t that be fun??

So far, it’s going OK, but dieting is not easy. There is temptation everywhere. There is also an industry based around convincing you to lose weight, but sometimes you suspect they are not completely there for your benefit.

Anyway, here we are at Week Four. It’s getting tough.

Why, that name alone is inspirational! I’ve been inspired to not fucking touch it, whatever it is.


The diet is beginning to bite. At least, that’s what the gnawing sensation in my stomach feels like.

There is a myth that only women diet. All of the diet industry’s magazines on the subject are very much aimed at women, and the imagery is all about shaming women into losing weight by using images of women who are incredibly thin and elegant. If I were a mum, I’d be the kind of mum who feels assaulted on all sides by personal feelings of guilt and inadequacy, of paranoia at the school gates, of feeling judged by all the other mums, and feeling bad about wanting a career and wanting to be there for my child. On top of that, I’d feel crap every time I turned on the TV and saw a billion thin women smiling at me with their stupid, perfect, smug faces. Yeah, I’d be that kind of mum. Thank God Sarah is not like that, at least not outwardly. I know she has to put up with all that though, and she does it with remarkable grace, and only occasionally gritting her teeth.

It’s not just women who diet. Men diet too. But the imagery is different. A lot of diet imagery for men is either showing toned six-packers (an unrealistic goal for me, aged 40, with a lifetime’s habit of snacking late at night) which I suppose is the male equivalent of a bikini model, or the pictures are of middle-aged men who have shed loads of pounds.

In these images, these men who diet are usually podgy blokes in plain shirts who went bald in their twenties, who have gone to seed, never worked out, and are now approaching impotent middle age with just type-2 diabetes and heart problems to look forward to. When they lose weight, they are pictured much thinner, sometimes with arms raised in triumph, but always looking much happier with themselves. Good on you, chap! Well done! There’s always a happy-ever-after vibe in these stories. And maybe they stay that way… but I don’t often see a follow-up. Maybe it’s because happy-ever-after is really a myth, and that dietees really do put the weight back on. Depressing thought.

Now all you need to do is reverse that early male-pattern baldness and you will be fighting totty off with a shitty stick!

I have it on very good authority that women don’t feel sexy when they’re overweight. Well, neither do men, I can assure you. It’s awkward to look at oneself in the mirror and be objective about your appearance. It doesn’t feel sexy to take off your shirt in from of your wife and have your belly spring forward, free from its prison, and then plunge downward like the world’s biggest monoboob.

(It doesn’t stop sex, of course, because sex is awesome! And yes, blah-blah-good-exercise-blah-blah. But men do sometimes look at their figure in the mirror and inwardly sigh. I mean, I’ve not checked in regularly with other men, but I’m pretty sure that’s the case).

Anyway, you’re in Week Four now. The diet now is a war between contrasting angels and demons, battling for your chubby soul. The following is a typical internal argument between the bit of you that is tempted, and the bit of you that wishes to stick to the diet.

1. It’s 9pm, I fancy a late-night snack.

2. NO! Stop that thinking.

3. It’s a groggy morning, I fancy one spoon of sugar in my coffee.


5. Just a splash of milk?

6. NO!!

7. Come on, would it hurt to have 45g of cereal rather than the concentration-camp ration of 30g? Just one more sodding raisin will not kill me!

8. NOOOOOOOO! That way fatness lies!! Do you want to go back? DO YOU?

9. You are a fascist, inner guilt-monologue. Do you know that? You’re like the fucking Shame Nun from Game of Thrones, season 5.

Say the word ‘biscuit’ again. Just even think it. I dare you, I double dare you, motherfucker…

Trouble is, tempted you is often a bully to sensible you. So you think about your image and how you feel about yourself. You look at yourself in the mirror. A slightly gaunt, grey, pissed-off version of you stares back. But you are  looking thinner. No doubt. this is… good? Yeah, you look better. Wow, this feeling good about the way you look sure is an unfamiliar sensation. But by gum, those cravings are getting bad, and naughty food is hella tempting.

Out of sheer curiosity and not desperation, you think very hard about trying a weight loss pill. Then, as if by magical coincidence, there is a news report on that particular pill, and the report states that one of the side effects is anal seepage.

Anal. Seepage.

Seepage from your bumhole.

That doesn’t even bear thinking about.

WHY IS EVERYTHING SOOOO HAAAAAARD?? Things are so hard, you are actually considering taking a pill that will cause my anus to weep oily liquid.

4lbs. YASSSSSSSS!!! Thank you, Shame Nun!! No need for pills means reduced risk of bumleak

Sounds great! Sign me up!

So How’s The Diet Going? A Series on Losing Weight. Part Three

Oh yes, it’s another one of those stock photos about diets that show a MILF weighing up which food she should have. Should she have the good yucky food? Or the nasty mmm-tasty food? I think that she’s going for the naughty food, because she has a wicked gleam in her eye. Saucy!

Hey person!

I’m writing this series on dieting, because I am dieting right now. What strange creatures we are; to want morsels that delight our acute sense of taste, and then to create such foodstuffs that cause immense primal cravings… and then decide those foodstuffs are actually terminally bad for us. We’re weird.

So yesterday, I did another episode about Week Two of the Diet.
But if you want to start at the beginning, go to Week One.

If you’re dieting, then I look at you with understanding and pity, and hopefully you and I can feel a sense of solidarity in each other’s journey.

If you’re not, and you have never dieted, well la-di-da. Aren’t you the lucky one?

In the meantime, we enter Week Three.


Reality is sinking in now. Yes, you’re just beginning to feel the benefits of losing weight – your clothes feel less tight. Is that waistline slimming down? Are your trousers feeling a little less restrictive? Is the flab on your belly feeling less voluminous? – but you’re also noticing some problems. You’re tired, even though you seem to be sleeping better. You occasionally feel a bit shivery, like you need some sugar. Fruit is great as a snack, but fruit is not as satisfying as biscuits. Every person in work is still on their own diets, so there is a support network… apart from the fit and thin people, who are annoying as fuck right now: Stuffing their faces with brownies, commenting on how they can eat anything, telling you that you look soooo much thinner in THAT voice. What absolute shitters.

A thin person wondering how wide she is. I’m twice the person she is. (literally)

January is really doing its business. There are news reports on how this is the most depressing time of the year – yeah, no shit. I bet the reason why it’s so depressing is that it’s not Christmas for the rest of the year, and everyone is feeling the effects of sugar withdrawal. January is such a blast.

You find that you spend more time than before looking at yourself in the mirror. Part of you imagines what you might look like when you’re thin. And part of you is looking for evidence of thinness. What you definitely do is grab a fistful of your gut and wobble it up and down. Wob wob wob, you say to yourself, and then you jiggle it a bit and marvel at its liquidity, and then you feel dispirited. You are reminded (by some science report on a slow-news-day) that humans have evolved to maintain weight during times of famine. It is hard for humans to lose weight. Well, thanks for that, science wonks.

You also see adverts in the back of magazines (that you read in the dentist’s, honest) for weight loss pills, and weight loss teas. Do they work? You plan to find out in a week or so.

Be still my throbbing wang!!

1. Food is… well, it’s not too bad. You can still eat some things you like, just not LOTS of the some things.

2. Drink is… well, you were mostly drinking diet soda before the diet, so no worries there.

3. Black unsweetened coffee in the morning is an acquired taste, but coffee is an acquired taste to begin with, so it’s just the same thing, only a bit more intense.

4. Your kid asks for a chocolate bar in the supermarket one day and… you gaze longingly at your kid eating it. You need to stop that shit in public, otherwise people will see you gazing at your child with drool hanging out of your mouth and get the wrong idea.

5. It’s a fucking drag sometimes. Food is on every single TV programme. Sometimes it’s on the news. There are adverts for delicious things every 15 minutes. And practically everyone on every TV broadcast is thin. But look out at the world, the non-broadcast world, and you see fat people. Fat people in the street, fat people in their cars, fat parents on the school run, fat people in work… It’s like the world already has those podgy child-adults from WALL-E. You look at some people, with their round faces, tiny little eyes, red cheeks, and bulbous rolling bodies, and think ‘well, at least I don’t look all that fat’. But you do. You really do.

6. Watch a movie, or any contemporary documentary film footage from, say, the 1930s. You hardly ever see anyone fat in those movies. And in the newsreels of the time, everyone is thin and walking everywhere because cars weren’t invented until the Jaguar E-type in 1978 or something. And when you do see a fat person in those films or newsreels, they’re always greedy, devious, evil, or a person of wealth and power who is not to be trusted, like Sydney Greenstreet in Casablanca. Or they’re a hapless comedy figure.

7. Food has become an obsession. It’s like that urban legend about men thinking about sex every six seconds. You think about food in an unsolicited fashion. It rises, unbidden, from your consciousness and then you fixate on it. You cannot not think about food – and it’s always the wrong food, bad food, non-diet food:
Barbecued meat with sticky marinades.
Ice cream.
It just pops into your head when you least expect it, and then you spend 20 minutes thinking of nothing but. Far better to think about sex: Boobies. Bum-bums. Sticky-up wands. Soft hair. Fleshy wobbly bits. Jelly. AARGH! FUCK NO!



“I can still do this. It’s worth it. I can still do this. It’s worth it. I can still do this. It’s worth it. I won’t lie, it’s not easy. God, I so want to eat some food.”

1lb. Hmmmm. Should really try harder.



Stop it and fuck off.


So How’s The Diet Going? A Series on Losing Weight. Part Two

Welcome to the second part of our look at dieting. If you read yesterday’s episode (CLICK THE LINK, FOR GOD’S SAKE!!), you’d know that it’s all about starting a diet, how hard it is, why people look stupid when they model for those diet photos, and the added idiocy of having a last final hurrah takeaway.

So how about you? Are you on a diet? How has it worked out for you? Is this your first time on diet, or are you like me, and a serial dietee?

Please write and let me know ‘cos I’m bored and lonely.

Anyway, enough of the jibber, and on with the jabber…

So many of the photos I find on Google Images about dieting have a beautiful thin woman looking agonised over choosing between something yummy (burgers, chocolate, doughnuts, cake), and salad. Like those are your only choices. More and more, I find myself thinking: “You can have the burger, love. It won’t kill you. Me, on the other hand… just pass the fucking salad, OK?”


Week Two is the week when you actually start a diet. Before then, you’re just a diet-tourist, dipping your toes in the water, seeing how horrid it is. You can pull out at this point without really losing face. After Week Two, this is less of an option. Week Two is when it starts to feel a little more of a long-term commitment. But so far, things are OK. You’ve not put on any weight, you might even have lost a few pounds, you’re just feeling a little empty and wan (I love the word ‘wan’. I could say it all the time: wan wan wan wan wan wan wan. I’m gonna slip it discreetly into this post a few more times now). So far, it’s all going reasonably to plan.

The challenge is now to have a diet mindset. If you are on a diet, you have to BE the diet. You are not eating fat, or carbs, or sugar. You are changing the way you see food. You might start actively hating those things, a bit like ex-smokers always become incredibly annoying and preachy about other people smoking in public.

Your offspring will notice what is going on. Being a parent on a diet is a wobbly balancing act between being evangelical about healthy eating, and also allowing your children their regular indulgences. Unless your kid is a wobblesome lard-bucket, it’s not fair to put them through your grown-up bullshit food anxiety problems, and certainly not fair to expect them to join you on your diet. It’s tricky. It is, of course, a Good Thing to encourage your children to eat healthily and not to overdo it… but is it a Bad Thing to instil your shame at your body into them at such a young and impressionable age? Probably not, but you don’t want your daughter (or your son) to obsess over their weight while they’re still in primary school.

Inevitably though, the whole household will adapt to the changes you are enforcing. Buying habits will change. More fruit, more vegetables (expensive!) but less selfish indulgences, and less crappy-snacks available around the house. Smaller portions at dinner time. Some foods are now completely off the menu. There are more experiments with cooking.

Week Two of the diet usually coincides with the grip of post-Christmas January. The weather sucks. There’s no light. Everyone’s depressed, maybe feeling a little bit wan. The kids are back to school for the worst term of the year. You’re back to work, and the TV schedules have stopped being so fun, and are now pumping out diet-industry adverts and healthy eating cookery shows. You start to feel empty. Hey, this is dieting!

“Oh boy! Today I get a tomato!!” I mean, this is a stupid example of the diet industry. Get a beautiful, thin, elegant model, who looks absolutely flawless, is the pinnacle of human beauty, and then Photoshop the heck out of her face. Fuck this world.

Here is a typical day:

1. You get up in the crisp winter morning ready for work, and get offspring assembled for school. You make yourself a black coffee, and pour out the “recommended” (according to the back of the cereal box) 30g of bran and raisin-based cereal. No more Coco Pops for you, pops.
2. 30g of cereal is a tiny amount. Literally four bran flakes and a raisin. That’s a normal breakfast?! Who for? Bobby Sands??
3. Black coffee without any form of sweetener is fucking disgusting. It’s like drinking a cigar in liquid form. Why would anyone do this?
4. You’re walking to work. Walking to work is one of your New Year Resolutions, and for once, you’re going to stick with it and you are not going to dump it the moment it gets hard or inconvenient. It’s a three-mile walk, but it’s mostly downhill.
5. *puff!* *pant!* *wheeze!* *gasp!*
6. Walking downhill at 8am, in the freezing January morning, for three miles, is fucking tiring. You arrive at work sweating, disgusting, red-faced, and foul. It’s a good look!
7. “I’m not walking home. That’s one resolution into the bin, and I don’t care, because actually living without knackeredness and breathlessness is more important. Fuck walking. I’m taking the bus with all the methadone addicts.”

Here’s another beautiful thin lady looking ruefully at a salad, whilst luscious things tempt her. I’m posting this because there’s more than enough of this type of photo to go around.

OK, so how are you doing? Fun, huh? Dropped a belt loop? Feeling wan right now? Are your clothes feeling baggy? Feel like jumping up and down like the annoying chumps in those stock photos that appear on the covers of diet magazines yet? Or do you feel like shoving your trolley around a supermarket with kids whining for sweets, and you looking at bags of crisps in a longing fashion? Diet crisps are the worst. As is diet cheese. Diet food in general sucks. But the diet is doing good things. You get a good night’s sleep, but you’re not sure why. Those late night snack cravings are sometimes hard to overcome… but you overcome them, and you don’t die. You’re not going to die. You’re not starving. You’re OK. The end result will be worth it.

(Actually, I don’t know this for a fact, because I’ve never had an ‘end result’ from dieting, because I always fail at dieting like a big fat ugly failure).

I can do this. It’s easy. I can do this. It’s easy. I can do this. It’s easy.

2lbs. OK. Not bad. I can work with that.

Wow! That’ll fill me right up for the day! Mmmmm! I’m sure I won’t feel like a wan and empty husk by lunchtime!!

So How’s The Diet Going? A Series on Losing Weight. Part One

This is not a picture of someone who has had to go on a diet to lose 7 stone. But it is a picture aimed at people who have got to go on a diet to lose 7 stone. Weird, huh?

Welcome, pilgrim.

You may recall, at the beginning of the year, that I realised I was a massive fatso. I therefore pledged that I would go on yet another diet. The difference between this diet and all the other diets I’ve ever done is that I’m going to actually lose weight on this one. And when the diet finishes, I’m actually going to keep the weight off; although Christ knows how I’m going to manage that, because I put on weight like most people breathe (the horrid reality is, I’m basically going to have to constantly diet for years).

Why am I doing this? Why put myself through the agony of shedding pounds? Haven’t I got enough shit to worry about?? Well… because I’m fed up of being fat, of looking in the mirror and seeing rolls of flesh, of having clothes that strain against the skin, of having sleep apnoea and acid reflux; and feeling like a waddling Jabba is not good for my self-esteem. Also, I’m getting older, so like an old car, my body is finding it harder and harder to be repaired. Lucky for me, my wife is joining me on this journey, so I’m not alone. And if you’re dieting too, then you’re going through it, and I salute you from afar.

So here is a new series on dieting. It’s a week-by-week outline of how a generic diet unfolds – all the ups and downs, temptations, pitfalls, triumphs and frustrations. So sit down, open a box of non-fattening snacks, and pour yourself an unsweetened mug of black coffee, or whatever you’re drinking at the moment. NOW READ ON (dot dot dot).


  1. It’s the week after New Year. You are feeling bloated and weary. You dread looking at the scales when you weigh yourself.
  2. Holy shitsauce! HOW MUCH??
  3. This has to be a mistake. No no no no no no no.
  4. Is this thing broken?
  5. You actually shout at the scales: “I mean, I knew I had a bit of a blow-out over Christmas, but COME ON!”
  6. That’s it. Your youth is over, and your body is in decline. You have to lose weight this time. No excuses anymore. “I know I said that last year… and the year before that… and the year before that… and the year before that… and the ye- OK I ADMIT I COMPLETELY SUCK AT LOSING WEIGHT.”
  7. It’s the New Year, so the diet industry is going into overdrive, and everywhere you look there are before-and-afters, lots of stock pictures of once-fat people leaping joyfully into the air, and thin people with white smiles and lovely faces grinning at you from the covers of diet magazines. Most dietees don’t look like agency models. They certainly don’t look like you. But enough cynicism, lard-ass!

    Of course, if these people really were obese once upon a time, when they land, they’d be like: “AAARGH!! MY FUCKING KNEES!!”

And thus it begins…


You are commencing your diet. Good luck, you! And because you think you’ll never eat luscious food ever again, you have one final blow out – a big takeway banquet all the way from the Jasmine Kitchen Oriental Takeaway & Restaurant. Rice, dumplings, MSG, fried meat, sweet-n-sour, grease, sauce, flavour… “Oh God I swear I’m gonna miss food so much.”

For a laugh, you and your wife weigh yourselves afterwards, feeling bloated and sweaty and massive, in order to get a ‘peak weight’ from which you can see progress. When you see what you both weigh, neither of you feel like laughing all of a sudden. The meal put on at least 5lbs on top of your already-massive weight and you can feel the food churning in your gut. This is serious stuff. Even if you lose an unrealistic 8lbs in the first week, you’re still massively overweight. You go to bed feeling horrid and guilty and bloated and sweaty and massive, and you think very hard about what you absolutely have to do. This is your thought process:

  1. So I just need to cut down on what I eat, right?
  2. I should cut out sugar, salt, fat, grease, butter, lard, cakes, chocolate, cheese, bacon, biscuits, puddings… OH FUCK, why does everything yummy have to be so evil?
  3. I can keep the sugar in my coffee, can’t I?
  4. NO! No, this time, it has to work. Has to. I shouldn’t weigh this much. I must lose weight. No sugar or milk in coffee. Not even skimmed milk. I HAVE to do this properly.
  5. Here we go, smaller portions, less calories…
  6. Nah, I’m not joining a gym. Exercise hurts. I’m going to lose weight without doing much exercise. That’s a solid plan!
  7. Nah, I’m not going on a specialised diet. They’re money-making fads and scams.
  8. Nah, I’m not joining Slimming World, Weight Watchers, or any of those cults for fatsos. I’m just going to eat less. That’ll do the trick.

You cannot be pissing about any more. You HAVE to lose weight.

It’s only a bowl of fucking salad. No need to look so smug about it, you thin cow.

So the diet begins in earnest. You read books, you read pamphlets, you do not visit a dietician because you don’t fancy being patronised for 15 minutes in a doctor’s surgery. You try and figure out a strategy, but the numbers and the calories and the planning of meals becomes too much. So your wife takes over, and understands it completely. She explains how it will work – the calorie limits, the foods you can and can’t eat, if you can work any treats into the diet, and what to do  and you nod and say loudly “That’s Great!”, but behind your eyes, your brain goes “doobie-doobie-doobie-dit-dit-doooo…”. Later on in the diet, when you get confused about all the different rules and measurements and allowances, she’ll explain all this again with increasing exasperation at your inability to listen to, or comprehend, important information.

The first week is an exercise in self-conditioning and building up willpower. The diet hasn’t properly kicked in yet, so it’s not hard. All you notice is that, in the evenings when you would normally indulge in a little snackeroo, you feel a bit hollow. Being more hollow is kinda the idea, though.

Guilty, but determined. You’re gonna do this. You need to hear the Theme from Rocky at some point, but at the moment this shit is easy. You kid yourself that it will stay this way, which is foolish. Be honest with yourself. If you were, you’d know it’s going to get more difficult to maintain the diet as time goes on, because your previous attempts at dieting always come undone when the shit gets hard. Usually around Easter, or when work stress gets on top of you and you order a takeaway. First it’s just the one, and then a few weeks later, it’s another, and then it’s the odd choccy bar to keep your spirits up, and then… you’ve fucked it again. THIS WILL NOT HAPPEN THIS TIME.

“OK, so the first measurement can be classed as a false negative due to the frankly irresponsible ‘last hurrah’ takeaway banquet. Let’s gloss over that. No, I’m not telling you what I lost in the first week. Oh, all right, it was 0lbs. But that’s a draw, right?”

Holding a set of scales whilst pulling what is very similar to an orgasm-face? Yeah, that’s my experience of dieting thus far.

It’s Week Two. Will the willpower hold? Or will things go horribly wrong at the first hurdle?