I read a Sunday newspaper supplement today that was devoted to helping its readers shed their excess weight. It was full of tips: two pages were devoted to what celebs allegedly do to lose their extra pounds. Cameron Diaz apparently exists on snacks, Jennifer Aniston is said to sprinkle mustard seeds over all her meals, and queen of the skinnies, Victoria Beckham turns to a herbal tea. Personally, I think Mrs Beckham just doesn't eat.
The magazine also featured tales from real readers who had battled their own weight problems. One underwent self-hypnosis, one went under the knife for liposuction and another for a gastric band operation. As I type, Channel 4 is repeating the Half Ton Mum programme about Renee Williams, who had gastric bypass surgery when she weighed almost 70 stone. Apparently she would eat eight burgers at a sitting - or rather a lying down, as her massive bulk meant she was bed-bound. She died less than two weeks after the operation.
What strikes me about all of these women is the fact none of them thought: "Oh, I'm overweight, perhaps I should eat less and take more exercise." Instead, they turn to surgery, hypnosis or faddy products.
When I stopped smoking, I put on a stone. I make no excuses - I pigged out, so I put on weight. I have now lost 12 of those 14 pounds, simply by eating less. It's not that difficult. Nobody is forcing you to stuff your face; sometimes, all you have to do is say "No thanks."