I have come to the rather alarming conclusion that I am anorexic. This startling revelation occurred last week when I was watching Dr Phil who was explaining to a rather tearful-looking woman that her child had a severe eating disorder and would need years of therapy.
According to Dr Phil (who I am convinced will be made a saint one day), one of the first signs of anorexia is when an individual looks in the mirror and sees a fat person.
I was stunned.
That is EXACTLY what happens to me! I had quite obviously become anorexic without even knowing it!
Stephen, on the other had, was confused.
“My Angel,” he frowned, “I really don’t think he was referring to you! You are definitely not anorexic!”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” I asked, eyes narrowing. “Are you saying I’m fat?”
“Noooooooo,” Stephen replied nervously, a film of sweat beginning to appear on his upper lip. “I’m saying that people with anorexia don’t eat … and you do … that’s all!”
I must admit that he had a point. I have never been one of those people that “forgets” to eat. I mean, I have forgotten to pay the phone bill, I have forgotten where I left my handbag; I have even forgotten my own cell phone number. But I have never forgotten to eat!
However, with 5 kgs that stubbornly refuse to budge, I have been known to resort to rather … extreme measures… in order to reach my ever-elusive goal weight.
Take the first year I met Stephen, for example. He had just been seconded to the UK for eight months, and I was two weeks away from flying out to join him for my birthday. In the interests of being all thin and gaunt when he picked me up from the airport, I decided to call in the great guns that would help me lose as much weight as possible in two weeks.
Having looked at Weigh-Less (too slow), Atkins (too many eggs) and gym (too much effort), I stumbled upon an advert in the local Classifieds that promised to help me lose 8 kgs in 8 days!
I was thrilled. I had only hoped to lose five – but eight would be an added bonus! Why had no-one ever told me you could lose so much weight in so short a time?
I couldn’t wait!
Two precious days later, armed with an alarming amount of R750 for the first consultation, I arrived at the specified location in Sandton, and was rather surprised to find it was a townhouse as opposed to offices.
Nevertheless, I rang the bell and waited for the dieting guru of the twentieth century to impart pearls of wisdom that would change both my appearance and my life. A dieting guru who, on opening the door, looked to be at least eighty five years old and smelled of denture cream and mothballs.
I was horrified. What on earth had I let myself in for?
Anyway, being way too polite to say: “Listen you toothless old git! Stop placing adverts in the newspaper just so that people will come and visit you in your old age.” I meekly went inside, praying fervently that I was not about to be kidnapped and sold as a sex slave to an overseas buyer.
It gets worse.
Having had my blood pressure taken (the ‘Medical’ part of the consultation, I suppose), I was led to a chair in a lounge that smelled alarmingly like cat’s wee and made to sit through a one-and-a- half hour lecture on how this diet had changed the lives of thousands of people.
I must admit, a small glimmer of hope began to flicker.
Before it was completely doused by Grandpa’s next words …
“The diet,” he maintained, “is very easy to follow. You see, you simply… stop eating.”
Silence while I tried to absorb the fact that I had just paid R750 to be told to stop eating. Nil by mouth. Nada. If you work it out, I had paid R375 for “Stop” and another R375 for “eating”.
Apparently, by starving your body of food (I believe he called it “fasting”), you force your body to begin to use its reserves of fat, and hence the radical weight loss.
“In fact,” he wheezed, “My wife managed to stay on the diet for 28 days once!” which wasn’t exactly comforting news considering the fact that she was nowhere to be seen. Probably because he had hidden her body under the floorboards.
I had had enough. Thanking him most generously for his time and his amazing diet plan (my mother had taught me to always be polite to the elderly); I stumbled out into the fresh air, cursing myself for my sheer and utter stupidity.
Anyway, the story does have an upside. Owing to the fact that I had paid the old geezer the rest of my money for the month, I could not afford to buy groceries and ended up losing 3 kgs.
The downside was that those 3 kgs came back with a vengeance in the UK when eating Stephen’s cooking!
I just can’t win!
In retrospect, I have to agree with the old saying, that if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Which doesn’t help at ALL in my quest to get into my bikini in time for Christmas.
I guess I had better put down my second packet of jelly babies and head back to the drawing board.
But I think I might just have a cup of hot chocolate before I start….