Keeping Mum

Dita De Boni looks at the trials and tribulations of being a parent.

Points pro

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My weight has gone up and down like the proverbial yo-yo, but luckily for me, down more than up... I have lost almost six kilos. Photo / Thinkstock
My weight has gone up and down like the proverbial yo-yo, but luckily for me, down more than up... I have lost almost six kilos. Photo / Thinkstock

It seems indecent to be talking about something as trivial as dieting at a time when the fate of 29 miners is unknown, and their prospects thought to be bad.

There's little that anyone can do except hope for the best, and for solace for the affected families. Especially the family whose 17 year old son is in the mix; the sight of him in his school uniform, smiling with his young-man face in a framed photo on his mother's side-table, was particularly affecting - especially those of us who fear our sons will be caught up in dangerous enthusiasms of their own as they get older.

And yet life continues for most of us as always, and mundane routines can become comforting when contrasted with the harrowing times others are experiencing.

Of course, one mundane routine that this mother-of-two will never quite take to is restricting her diet in order to lose kilos of stored baby fat (as in, fat accumulated through having babies).

Readers, I thought I would update you on my quest to lose the baby weight that I mentioned to you some three months ago.

I have been attending Weight Watchers meetings for 12 weeks now and have had victories and defeats in that time.

My weight has gone up and down like the proverbial yo-yo, but luckily for me, down more than up... I have lost almost six kilos.

While people are quick to congratulate me on this weight loss, I am rarely eager to revel in their praise. That is because I am petrified that "pride cometh before a fall" and it will pile back on as soon as I even think about sneaking in just one of my favourite late night snacks, butter and Nutella on toast.

Suffice it to say I cannot have Nutella in the house - or sweetened condensed milk, or cooking chocolate, or even maple syrup when times get tough. I start to find myself sitting in front of an open tin of sweetened condensed milk, my fingers sticky, the syrup running down my chin like a human version of Winnie the Pooh. It gives a whole new meaning to the phrase "yummy mummy".

Strangely, however, and despite the fact I have none of these delicious ingredients about, I have noticed with alarm that my babysitter has taken to, more and more frequently, making delicious cakes and biscuits while I am out of the house.

I don't think the lovely girl is there to sabotage my efforts but it can be quite disconcerting to come home to an ice-cream container full of caramel squares when I have used up my points for the day and my only remaining allowance is cauliflower soup, a banana and half a cracker.

However I persevere - and I've even added something even more loathsome into the mix - exercise. It is a real struggle to find time in the day to do it, but of course no health revolution is complete without it.

I like aerobics, but classes for the woman who has given birth in the past five years are not without difficulty.

If one instructor's not bellowing at you to "pull your stomach in!" (something you are, in fact, doing, and yet it still looks like a a mound of scone dough), there's some other one making you jump up and down vigorously 20 times, straining your pelvic floor muscles to beyond breaking point.

One aerobics class in particular makes me laugh - wryly. The instructor is a stunningly beautiful young woman with a body like granite, and the contrast with her flabby, heaving, sweaty classmates (including myself) could not be more pronounced. We are the very things she is terrified of becoming, I'm sure.

Back to food however, and Weight Watchers has recently changed its points system to supposedly allow more food to be eaten.

It is still a restriction - even though in theory you can eat as many apples as you like - there's no way it would be successful otherwise.

And, for me, it has been successful, in the final analysis.

Even if I still spend most of my nights dreaming about deep fried chicken, black forest gateau, and endless flutes of highly calorific - but highly delicious - champagne.

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