There are three ways women deal with the annoying fact that they wake up every morning to find themselves a little heavier than they would like.
Some women vocalise this fact at every opportunity and hate-talk themselves into submission.
"If I have that piece of cake I'll be an even uglier, fatter, more disgusting person than I am already," they say at a birthday party. "Pass it over."
Other women choose always to be on a diet. Popcorn diet, no carbs diet, no protein diet, no dairy diet. Each diet seamlessly joining the other in one long sari of lifetime denial. Their ability to say "no" should be bottled and handed out to P addicts at the chemist.
Others, like myself, just ignore the fact.
"I'm healthy, I'm happy and I can still make it up the front stairs," I say then summon up the sisterhood. "Who says everyone has to be a size 12 anyway? Some of the most gorgeous women I know are big."
This was until I read a book. It took only a few days to get through the slim volume but I gave it a go because a book by the same author had been responsible for my husband and, more recently, my son giving up smoking.
My husband gave up four years ago after 34 years of being a very heavy smoker. He was rarely seen without a fag in his hand, coughed every morning like a soldier recently gassed and smelled like a barbecue.
Then one day he read Allen Carr's Easyway to Stop Smoking and his lungs breathed fresh air one fine sunny September morning and were never clouded again. A month ago, my 25-year-old son did the same thing.
"Does he do one for weight loss?" I asked my husband.
The book was on my bed the next day complete with a hypnotherapy CD.
Now all I am interested in eating is fruit, vegetables, nuts and grains. "I seem to have become a vegan," I said to the family as I savoured my eggplant, farro salad and mushroom medley with the amount of "oohs" and "aaahs" I would normally emit if I was consuming oysters, champagne and duck.
I go to the supermarket and marvel at the delicious broccoli, the crisp cabbage and the gorgeous asparagus, where before these items were thrown in the basket but never quite made it on to my daughter's and husband's meat and potato-filled plates.
We now eat two completely different meals. Which would be all right if I would shut up for a minute.
"Did you know that some of the biggest animals on our planet are herbivores," I say. "Elephants and giraffes don't eat meat!"
Then there's the plastic bag story.
"You wouldn't shove plastic bags in the car and expect it to work, even though plastic bags and petrol technically come from the same source. So why would you eat processed food instead of real food!"
"Could we just enjoy dinner?" said my daughter as she picked her way around the vegetable garden on the table.
"Of course, darling," I replied, lapping up the last tendrils of seaweed. "Lovely nuts for dessert."
It's too soon to tell if my elephant diet is having any effect but, quite frankly, I no longer care. Meanwhile, my husband and daughter have decided it's probably better if I eat alone.
"We just want to eat our meat in peace," they say. "And we don't really want to look like a giraffe."By Wendyl Nissen Email Wendyl