Middle-Age: The Best Way To Gain Kilos Without Really Trying


Do you, like me, sometimes look in the mirror and secretly wish you were larger? Are you disappointed when you can pinch less than an inch, or can’t find clothes that fit because you’re simply too small? Do you watch other women on the beach flaunting their curves and muffin tops, and imagine yourself in their body? 

Well, worry no more because I’m about to share with you here my secret for gaining weight. And all that’s required for you to look YOUR BEST EVER YET is to be 1. Peri/menopausal, 2. A serious food junkie, and 3. A functioning alcoholic with a positive outlook.

I promise you it’s REALLY simple.

Here are my top tips for gaining weight in middle-age:

Holidays – The more the better, because…BUFFET BREAKFAST! Every one of us knows how easy it is to eat compulsively on holiday and pile on the pounds. Somehow, it’s so much easier to forget food discipline when the sun is shining and you can wear kaftans. Holidays gives you that free pass to eat as much as you can because in your head you’ve worked hard all year and your deserve it. Scientists have proven that our mindset changes as soon as we see an ice cream parlour or a cocktail bar in a relaxed environment where there is no-one we know to judge us.

Menopause – Thank God that our bodies think of us and protect us at what could be a difficult time of our lives, and one of the hardest transition periods of the ageing process for women. But ladies, I’m here to tell you that Menopause is our friend, proven by the way it increases our appetite to make us feel mentally stronger and better about ourselves, as well as laying down extra fatty tissue to protect our bones so we are physically stronger as well.

Serial snacking, is how I like to describe the chips n’dips that I like to indulge in right before meals (as well as mid-morning and mid-afternoon). I like to kid myself that eating natural, savoury snacks like hummus and peanut butter, i.e., foods that look low in calories, really are.

Meditation – Or what I like to call ‘mind over matter.’ I use the power of my mind to think about what food is in my cupboard – like ALL OF THE TIME. Obviously, I continue to count calories, but I use a reverse psychology where I have to think about how many calories I can gain. Scientists may remain uncertain about the true benefits of sugar consumption, but what we do know is how good it makes me feel and that’s good enough for me.

Alcohol – The jury may still be out about how much alcohol it is safe to consume, so I’ve decided to empower myself and run my own research at home.

Exercise – Step away from the gym because it turns out that it is not your friend when it comes to gaining weight. Exercise turns fat into muscle, makes you drink loads of water (which fills you up when really donuts feel so much better), and worse, it makes you incredibly boring. Have you noticed the reaction of your friends’ to tales about your work outs, new gym equipment and yoga? Instead, try mentioning that Amaretto ricotta cheesecake with white chocolate shards you baked recently and ate in one sitting.

The best part about this diet is that anyone can do it. I don’t know anyone who hasn’t eaten exactly what they wanted without gaining weight. It’s almost guaranteed! No more disappointment each time you get on the scales!

Middle Age, Weight Loss and Climate Change

If one step closer towards the end of the world is marked by Trump’s inauguration this week, then the heat wave in Sydney came a close second for me. 

A recent aerial view of Sydney.


If the adult human body is made up of 60% water, there can be no biological explanation for how my weight managed to remain stubbornly at the ‘overweight for my height’ end of the scales after the amount of sweating I’ve done, even when I put on my highest heels.


Some of you may be aware that we Sydney-siders have suffered in temperatures close to 40 degrees CENTIGRADE this week, and perhaps you have little sympathy if hypothermia/survival is your biggest concern at the moment. But the heat has been that intense that it has even forced even me, a committed aqua-phobe, to drink gallons of the stuff, and that’s something I usually struggle with… unlike five glasses of wine, say.  


If  you are one of those poor sods suffering in ice storms and shovelling snow on the other side of the world, I feel your pain, but let me tell you, living in a furnace is no picnic either, particularly for us peri/menopausal women.


It was 30 degrees at 9am on Wednesday morning and 28 degrees throughout the night – apparently a record – yippee! – and we have no air conditioning in our house, a compromise that was made when we  prioritised giving our two young adults a room of their own each when we moved recently.


And did I mention that they should have left home by now? Funny how quickly priorities can change.


And yes, I admit that sweating excessively and unattractively is a first-world problem, but it was that hot that even the dog refused to go out for a walk, birds dropped dead from the sky and fans and oxygen tanks became impossible to find even on the black market.


Of course, NC, a climate scientist, basked in the glory of being right, as she held the thermometer outside her bedroom window each morning, and shot us us those smug, ‘told you so’ looks.


What you forget is how cranky intense heat makes you, and just how much sweat the body can actually produce when it’s put under pressure to prevent spontaneous human combustion. So how my body defied all those rules of mathematics that state that when you subtract something from a whole you are left with less, I’ll never know.


Sydney, once a civilised hood that has become renowned as one of the best cities in the world to live in, turned into a real-life version of Mad Max within days, its population forced to fight for every tiny breath of air, only able to find relief by standing inert in front of an open fridge door.


Mrs Woog summed it up better than me in this hilarious post:


Personally, I try not to moan too much, what with my NY resolution about gratitude, and on the whole I still prefer the heat to the cold. The onset of the symptoms of dehydration do give you an excuse to drink more wine.




The Curse Of The Middle-Aged Baby Belly: Can Women Have It All – Both Wine And Food?

A common thread of conversation among my middle-aged friends is “weight gain”. We usually begin to moan about how little we can eat these days somewhere between dessert and cheese and then wash away our concerns with wine. maternity-830683_1280


I have to admit that having never suffered from serious weight gain issues before – apart from when I first discovered pints of lager at university – I used to think that they were linked to poor self-control and that if you pretended to exercise and ate in moderation, it was possible to maintain your weight. But it turns out that there is some science behind the middle-aged tyre, something about protecting our bones from breaking – although which bones my layer of lard is shielding around my navel, I have yet to learn.


One of the biggest priorities when we were looking for our new home recently was that it should be walking distance to a local pool, because the crazy machinations of the way my brain works got used to that luxury at our old place. I’ve been swimming for a while now and I can definitely see the benefits, although up until now it was more about maintaining my mental health than trying to disperse unwanted fat. Sadly, it seems I may have to change my focus now.


My body has never conformed to what Dr Google says it should be doing at any given time, most recently proven when I went through one of the biggest stresses in life – moving house – and gained weight.


I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve reneged on the one deal I had with my body which was never to go up a dress size. Again. That might be because I’m more comfortable in myself, (although more likely to be because I love my food), but I now realise that I’ve been kidding myself for a while about my weight, aided by a combination of cheats such as changing clothing brands, choosing between wine and food , in other words, pretending that I can have it all. I also stopped weighing myself.


But those days are gone because my clothes have become so tight that even my support pants are struggling to hold me in and sadly, I look shocking in kaftans. I’m not vain, but a wibbly-wobbly tyre around what used to be my waist is not an attractive accessory, and typically all my extra weight has accumulated in the area between my breasts and pelvis so I look like I’m in the early stages of my second trimester. Why some of those fat deposits couldn’t have ended up on my wide, boney ass or in my lips is another of life’s unfair fuckeries.


I repeat, it’s not so much about the aesthetics, as proven by my recent descent into wearying pyjama bottoms as late into the day as possible (a benefit of working from home) and the fact that I didn’t complain or go back when a new, more economically-priced hairdresser gave me hi-vis, zebra highlights last week. My problem is that I’m very partial to retail therapy – particularly clothes – and my stomach is compromising that pleasure. Clothing manufacturers for young women do not incorporate the sort of elasticated, room-for- growth pouch you get in maternity clothes and I don’t know how I’m supposed to maintain my youth in slacks and smock dresses.


So what else can I do? Obviously I’m not going to become some aerobic psycho that takes up ‘boot camp’ and risk a premature heart attack or stroke and I fear that if I give up wine I might end up like those smokers who give up and then get lung cancer.


Calorie-counting doesn’t work either because my adding up becomes distinctly shady after the first thousand calories of Chardonnay.


And I do eat healthily most of the time. Although the kebab shop at the end of the road in our new neighbourhood was an unfortunate discovery.





The Secrets Of Trade Off Dieting

There are certain topics that even I won’t discuss on this blog, and one of them is ‘poo’. An article was doing the rounds on Facebook the other day that contained images of different poo textures and what they symbolise in terms of your health and I found it absolutely no problem at all to ignore it.

Secrets Of The Trading Off Diet
Vintage Balance Scale by Joie de Cleve, found on Flickr.com

When it comes to ‘poo’, I’m a great believer in the adage that if it floats, everything is probably okay.

The only time I might take more than a glance at my poo is if it changes in any way, which happened last night, when I was struck down by a rare bout of diarrhoea in Byron. Inevitably, I was away from home, sleeping in the crisp-white, freshly laundered sheets of my guest house, but hell, it made a change from the usual holiday period to worry about!

Any change in my bowel habits is a pretty unusual occurrence so normally I might have felt some concern, but on this occasion I have to admit to experiencing an inordinate surge of pleasure as I rid most of the contents of my intestines.

You see, only hours beforehand I had consumed a whole bag of Pods on my own.

This was an extreme example of my approach to weight maintenance, which I like to call Trade Off dieting.

Now I realize that example probably sounds slightly radical to you, but when it comes to the balance between what goes in your mouth, and how much weight you gain, I know there’s no rocket science involved, and that if you like your food like me, balance has to be about careful trade offs – particularly once you reach middle age.

So the moral of last night is, that if you pig out on a whole bag of Pods and then are lucky enough for your gluttony to induce a bout of diarrhoea, the gods are obviously smiling down on you.

After thirty years of a roller-coaster when it comes to weight gain and loss, I GET calories now; I know how the psychology of those pesky little critters work and I know what I can and can’t eat. I know that if I want to knock back two glasses of wine in an evening, I need to eliminate carbs from dinner and forego any morning or afternoon tea snacks, no matter how healthy they are. It’s simple mathematics. I know now that I can NEVER eat dessert or cake because I have to counterbalance my other, preferred dietary transgressions.

My personal vice is chips. Some people think you’re lucky if you prefer ‘savoury’ food to ‘sweet’, but that’s a fallacy put out there by the cookie monsters who are always looking for excuses for their own bad habits. Whereas they might take their comfort from a packet of biscuits (or five), put a vat of humus or a plate of cheese in front of me and watch it disappear quicker than a bat out of hell.

And the bigger issue is that I don’t feel anywhere near the same level of shame as when I eat an entire bag of Pods, so it takes the brakes a lot longer to engage.

I’ve always felt an innate shame linked to sugar, probably because I was raised in the Medieval times when lollies were a Sunday treat. ‘Guilt’ means I don’t experience that ‘high’ or ‘rush’ you’re supposed to feel after sugar, although that may also be because, in general, my diet has had to become boringly healthy these days.

There is no doubt in my mind that last night’s diarrhoea was a Pod-induced drive by my body to purge my system.

However, I resort to much more comfort-eating these days, which I could blame on menopause, because I realize that my body is kindly layering a thicker foundation of fat around my bones to protect them – (thanks Meno)– but is more likely due to the stress of trying to cross the psychological bridge of ageing. Apparently, that journey is called the u-bend of middle age, and is responsible for all those male midlife crises, too.

It’s a strange phenomenon, because although I have always loved food, I have never used food as a comforting mechanism or particularly enjoyed over-indulgence in the past. I had far worst vices like cigarettes and wine to get me through the angsty periods of my younger years, so biscuits never really stood a chance.

And up until recently, the self-imposed regulations of my Trade Off dieting have worked quite successfully. Sure, I’ve slowly gained what appear to be a requisite number of middle-aged extra kilos each year over the past decade, but an increase in exercise and brutal self-denial have kept some of that potential weight-gain at bay.

But recently I have noticed that something has begun to tamper with my will power and the trade-offs are getting harder to balance. As the big 50 approaches, a revolutionary ‘fuck it’ attitude has begun to compromise my judgement when it comes to food, causing internal confusion. The confusion of happiness versus weight gain. Eating is much more fun now we have more income at our disposal to go to nice restaurants and can get out more easily. Eating out has become a hobby that both the old man and I enjoy and we can even enjoy it together. With the wisdom of middle age, I realise that it’s important to enjoy the excesses that my body will still allow me to enjoy because happiness is one of the main factors to contribute to long life and so I want to make the most of every day; and sometimes that might include new food experiences and over-indulgence.

That first glass of wine of the day just isn’t the same anymore without a bag of Veggie Chips and some beetroot dip; and I’ve grown equally partial to an intravenous-drip of homemade hummus while I work.

How do you control your weight?

The Soul-Destroying Fuckwittage of Dieting

The Soul-Destroying Fuckwittage of Dieting


So I do realize how highly unfashionable and politically incorrect it is these days to mention wanting to lose weight, and that we should all proudly flaunt our lardiness as an expression of our inner confidence and contentment, but I have a very good reason for going on a diet.


It’s not for some vacuous reason like I think I’ll look more beautiful, or because I aspire to the sylph-like proportions of catwalk models or Disney princesses; or even because as winter approaches, at some point I need to get back into my skinny jeans.


It’s simply because in two weeks time I head back to the UK for what will be a marathon event of gluttony with family and friends, as well as some solitary confinement with my father who remains in denial about his alcoholism. Frankly, I’m bloody terrified I won’t fit into my Emirates seat on the flight back.


It’s not like I want to drop anything stupid like an extra tyre; a measly 2kgs will suffice.


A small steak and kidney pie made as a one cru...
A small steak and kidney pie made as a one crust pie with puff pastry for a lid. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


How hard can it be? Stupid, naïve-me thought, (was it only) three weeks ago.


You see, I’m not normally THAT vain about my body or weight. I eat healthily, generally – well, apart from at the weekends or when I’m REALLY hungry or hungover. I also try and fit in exercise when there’s absolutely nothing else to do.


And I’ve finally come to terms with the fact that as you age, your weight increases at an unnatural and unfair rate, disproportionately to how much your body consumes. I’ve managed to ignore those extra kilos that menopause has unjustly thrown my way without getting my big-girl knickers in a complete twist.


But everyone has a line, and I’m over mine now, and I haven’t so much as sniffed a steak and kidney pie yet.


And I know that if I cross any further over my line, it will be a slippery slope towards Weightwatchers, Spanx and the plus-size floor of Myer.


The problem is… dieting is just so fucking soul-destroying-ingly boring.


It’s not like I didn’t do my research before I started denying every aspect of happiness in my life. I read all the books and blog posts about how to go about a diet, sensibly, and came to the conclusion that the only way to really lose weight was by eating less food.


In theory.


It made sense on paper, but as biologically logical as it sounds, my body refuses to play the game. It has reacted to its sudden reduction in calories as a personal attack on it and the fact that I’m MAKING IT RUN, too, was undeniably the final straw.




You see, over the past three weeks, I have made healthier food choices: I have halved the amount of expensive, sugary cereal I normally inhale in the morning, I’ve given up red meat and stopped drinking alcohol three days a week. I have either run or swam on alternate days; or done both on days I’ve needed to clear my brain of Kurt stress.


Yet, in spite of all this pain I have gained 500g.


And this, ladies, is the point where we all fail. Days like these, when you hop on the scales full of hope, only to feel as disappointed as you did when Abbott survived the Lib Spill, inspire failure, not success.


They become FUCK IT! days where the local bakery becomes your safe zone again.




Because, mathematically speaking, less calories + exercise (should, by rights) = weight loss.


So it’s either the jungle for a month or a bean and rice diet, because if Merv Hughes can do it, so can I.



If you found this post vaguely entertaining, come and share more laughs at my expense on either my Facebook (www.facebook.com/mymidlifemayhem), Twitter (@louisasimmonds) or Instagram (Louisa Simmonds) pages. And by the way, it’s #celebfreddie all the way.


25 Diet Questions You Know You Want To Ask

Dear Diet Helpline,

25 Questions About Dieting You Know You Want To AskI recently started your ‘How To Be Really Miserable Without Even Trying’ diet, but have since noticed some worrying side effects. I am aware that not all diets suit every body-type, because each person has a different metabolism and physiology, but please would you reassure me that this is the right diet for me by answering the following questions:

  1. If your diet is so ‘easy’ and ‘satisfying’, why am I always so psychotically angry and hungry?
  2. Why haven’t I lost any weight yet when I’ve been on your diet for five days now?
  3. Why can’t I still fit into anything at my local surf shop?
  4. Why does cutting out sugar make me want to take an axe to my husband’s head every time he looks at me?
  5. Can anyone actually eat quinoa, bulgur wheat, kale, buckwheat noodles or seeds without retching?
  6. Do organic chips really count as carbs?
  7. Why don’t I feel ‘full of life, confident, energised and happy’ yet, as described on your website?
  8. Why do all the healthy drinks you recommend taste like cat piss? Eg. Green tea,  vegetable juices and just about anything with coconut water.
  9. What does ‘bikini ready’ actually mean and will it involve trimming?
  10. Why do I want to eat my weight in Big Macs after jogging?
  11. Does stopping for coffee during exercise count as interval training?
  12. Can jogging really cause a pelvic prolapse?
  13. Is my husband right when he says that sex is the best form of exercise?
  14. Does lying there while we have sex and thinking about Jared Leto’s hair and Chris Hemsworth’s chest count as exercise?
  15. Is it normal to clear a shopping centre with wind?
  16. Does having a pelvic prolapse prevent you from having to have sex?
  17. Is it normal for me to miss Snickers bars more than my deceased grandmother?
  18. Why is my sleep continually disturbed by visions of Chris Hemsworth in his Thor costume delivering pizza to my door?
  19. Does a salad without crispy bacon and croutons even count as a meal?
  20. How much is too much cucumber?
  21. According to your website, nuts, bananas and avocados are fattening? FML.
  22. Has it been scientifically proven that fruit is full of sugar?
  23. I read on Pinterest that chocolate is a vegetable? Please confirm?
  24. Is it normal for my skin to be a fluorescent shade of ‘Hewitt orange’ since replacing my Snickers bars with carrots?
  25. Do cocktails count as shakes?

Yours truly,

Mrs FuckNewYearsResolutions

Are You Middle-Aged and Worry About Your Health All The Time?

day: twenty-three.  [worry]
day: twenty-three. [worry] (Photo credit: Hammonton Photography)
So when I peed yesterday morning, it was pink. Probably too much information I know, but …just saying.

In my mind, I obviously had full-blown bowel cancer.

So I did what every woman does when faced with death; I began planning on where I would shop during my last few months.

Until Dr Google stepped in – my reliable, virtual GP, who saves me at least $75 in real doctors bills every day by reassuring me that my latest symptoms are NOT of the terminal kind. He/she informed me that my pink wee, (that resembled watery Ribena), was in fact a bi-product of the roasted beetroot I’d devoured the day before for lunch.

Obviously, I supplied NC a sample for examination.

I worry obsessively about my health these days. My fears might be linked to my general state of anxiety, (although frankly the meds should be dealing with that), but I think they are more linked to middle-age. Once you pass forty you seem to worry about abso-fucking-lutely everything, just for the hell of it.

But you worry particularly about how long you have left.

I don’t want to die now.

Mortality doesn’t worry you when you’re younger. You have zero concept of death then. But I’m ‘old’ now. My kids look at thirty-somethings and think they’re old fuckers – they only tolerate being associated with the old man and I because we pay their phone bills.

When you get beyond your forties, having survived those exhausting years of horrible little kids, when the teenagers are biting at the bit to get out and you’ve given up trying to reach the top of the corporate ladder, because brown-nosing has finally become intolerable, your outlook changes. You’ve finally made it through to the other side and discovered the wisdom that none of all that actually matters anyway.

So you don’t want to kick the bucket. Yet.

In fact the only things that do matter, (apart from fantasising about retirement, loose clothing, travel, food and young men), are being alive and having your health.

Because there’s so much to do now.

Which is why it’s so easy to become fixated on your health.

I worry about every change in my body, from every minor twinge, ache, the colour of my wee and the firmness of my stools, to the lumps, bumps and unusual creaks my bones now make.

The word ‘time-waster’ is obviously written on the top of my profile at the doctor’s surgery.

And all the latest crap in the media on the latest diet fad, exercise, power food, pill and lifestyle, sucks me in.

It’s not like anyone really knows the secret to long life, do they? We all know deep down that our lifespan is in the hands of the Gods, fate and DNA.

This week, the Mediterranean diet caught my eye because it apparently prevents senility – which is interesting because I’ve been drinking wine, chomping on olives, gorging on brie, pasta and pizzas my whole life but I’m still overweight, and I still leave my keys in the fridge.

So now I’m worrying about my weight too. You definitely have to cut back on your calorie allowance in middle age, because your body determinedly deposits every excess calorie in places that don’t need filling. And not on your boobs or your arse or in the crevices on your face, but generally around your waistline or thighs.

Fat has always made a beeline for my stomach and I’ve noticed that I’ve started doing that middle-age thing of dressing to hide it now. Remember Liz Taylor’s kaftan phase? For a while now I’ve noticed that I buy loose tops and dresses, anything that will hide that baby belly around my stomach that screams ‘Not a bun in the oven but I might have eaten all the pies.’

It’s not that I really care about what other people think of how I look, but I am vain enough to care when my jeans are too tight and when my dress size goes up a size.

So I fight the battle of the bulge – roughage salads and no carbs; water until I’m peeing every five minutes; exercise and abject misery. The reading on the scales never really seems to move anti-clockwise, though.

A bit like my age.

And the anxiety about the extra weight must put extra stress on my heart, so diabetes is bound to kick in and that worry causes my heart to start racing and I get all sweaty and experience pains in my chest and…..


Perhaps I should take my own advice and just live every day as if it was my last.

But supposing it is my last…..?

The 5:2 Dog Diet

As many of you will know, I am a fervent supporter of campaigns that demonise the objectification of women and I detest the unrelenting emphasis on women’s weight that leads to body image issues and the propaganda pertaining to the all-consuming need to be thin.

The issue of weight control has to be handled delicately, and never more so than when its side effects may be harming the health of your own children.

It has come to our attention that the Spoodle Princess is getting a bit fat porky.

 The 5:2 Dog DIet

When we returned from our most recent dysfunctional holiday, which the Princess spent at a resort in Dural (!), it was obvious that she had lost a lot of weight. You know what holidays in the sun are like? All that exercise, fresh air, tanning and ball-chasing – sometimes a girl can just forget to eat!

Then again, it might also have been because she was actually walked occasionally, or because for ten days every predatory male dog south of Sydney chased her for what we like to call, a special cuddle.

I’m not sure if it was the guilt of sending her away or the fact that her selection of designer coats was a little loose around her small frame when we returned, but the family began to compensate by overfeeding her.

Anyone who has a Hoodle (Spaniel crossed with human) knows how easy that is to do. There’s always that leftover sausage or NC’s* cooking (often only fit for Hoodle consumption) and the Princess’s favourite meal, Spaghetti Bolognaise.

Over the last week, however, we’ve noticed that she has developed some rather embarrassing love handles and is becoming harder to carry during her walks.

Upon analysis of her feeding habits, during one of our recent family therapy sessions, (and a mortifying reading on the scales), it appears that the Princess has actually been eating more than the rest of the family put together, which, when you consider that her fighting weight is 8kg, is obviously detrimental to her health.

Her level of fitness has obviously already been affected.

She no longer chases the ball like she used to, when for a few minutes of the day she would forget she is human and behave like a common dog. She struggles to jump onto the sofa to vacuum crumbs, and I am certain that I discerned a tut the other day when I suggested a walk around the block.

So I have been forced to mention the D word in the house, which is something I have tried to avoid as the mother of NC, knowing what an impact that word can have on young girls.

I have had to remind the Princess that she is in fact a DOG and porky dogs are no fun at all.

In her defence, I know that she wants to help herself. I can tell that she is uncomfortable in her pink velvet Dogue coat when the hood sits that little bit too tightly around her neck, and she is struggling to bark really threateningly at Trixie Yapface next door without pausing for breath. She takes her role as guard dog to the family very seriously, and was embarrassed to find herself breathless recently after an ill-timed dash downstairs to give the postie his daily warning to ‘fuck off’.

The old man spoke on the Princess’s behalf at the meeting and we have finally managed to persuade her to try the 5:2 diet. This diet proposes that you eat for five days and fast for two – we did need to correct the Princess’s initial assumption that this involved five meals for five days a week and two on the other days.

Weigh-ins have been a traumatic process for the whole family, but we know that we have to be strong for our girl.

The North Shore has high standards and you need to be able to wear your collection of designer coats with pride, so the other bitches stop and stare in envy rather than bark out the number for Weight Watchers.

*Nerd Child

The ‘Replacing Food With Wine’ Diet For Women

I’ve never really been one for diet fads or exercise.

Food and wine pairing at the fine dining resta...
Food and wine pairing at the fine dining restaurant, The Flute, in downtown Mumbai. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s not that I’m one of those lucky skinny bitches with an irritatingly fast metabolic rate who end up slimmer than before they had babies; I’m just fundamentally too lazy to be arsed.

I also REALLY like food.

I honestly believe that a little extra meat on your bones looks a damn sight healthier than the skeletal look as you age.

Lucky that!

Having said that, I admit that I am a good (ahem!) 20kg heavier than I was on my wedding day and I don’t really want to get any heavier, so to maintain this new (just about acceptable) middle aged weight, I’ve had to make some radical adjustments to my lifestyle.

Such as:

  • Working my ass off in whatever my latest fad exercise is
  • Walking the dog when I can be bothered or she makes me feel guilty enough
  • Creating a personal diet plan that includes wine suits me.

The problem with all those commercial ‘diets’ with controlled eating plans, those ‘questionably thick’ shakes, putrid soups or just lemon juice (WTF), is that they don’t allow for you having a life, and although they might bring results in the short term, maintaining that new weight proves difficult once you get off the diet treadmill.

Scientists have proven that once you reach middle age (just when your comfort-eating skills have maximised), your body doesn’t need the same amount of calories as it did before – it also takes malicious pleasure in depositing the surplus.

I am a strong advocate of ‘The Replacing Food With Wine Diet.’

You see, the biggest problem I have with watching my weight is that I am an alcoholic.

The fact is, that I enjoy a glass or two of wine in the evening so much, that I am happy to sacrifice food for it.

And there’s nothing controversial in that statement – even Weightwatchers allow you to drink wine if you save the points elsewhere. If you need any more justification, wine is apparently now beneficial for heart health (well, this week anyway).

There’s actually no massive secret to maintaining a healthy weight when you reach middle age, but it does involve hard work and discipline in the form of exercise and a calorie-controlled diet.

Deciding what those calories will be is the fun part.

Here’s an example of my typical day (give or take a few hundred calories):


Bowl of cereal or scrambled eggs on toast, juice and coffee

Morning Snack

A real coffee or some fruit


Sandwich and fruit,

or soup, bread and fruit,

or crackers, cheese and fruit

or (a Weightwatcher’s favourite), beans on toast

(Sneaky biscuit)

Lunchtime is when I eat carbs. If I don’t eat carbs at lunchtime, I put on weight because I start gnawing on my own arm or attack the cookie jar by 4pm.

Afternoon Snack

Cup of tea and biscuit


Lean meat or fish, with salad.

Reward Time For Being So Inhumanely Stoic (Orgasm Time)

1-2 glasses of wine and a few squares of the darkest, sexiest chocolate I can find.

This diet seems to work for me – at the moment. I probably consume in the region of 1500 to 1700 calories per day, but I do try to exercise at least three times a week. I know the recommended amount of exercise is 30 minutes per day but P.L.E.A.S.E!

My diet is noticeably low in fat/cholesterol due to a genetic cholesterol issue, but sometimes if I’m feeling really crazy, I might sneak in a yoghurt or smoothie instead of fruit.

I’m not what you’d call slim, but my weight hasn’t really changed over the last three years, and with menopause looming, I realise that my diet plan will need revising at some point – I may then be forced to cut out food altogether.

Crème brûlée (Creme Brulee)
Crème brûlée (Creme Brulee) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Rest assured, I am no saint and at the weekends I love to ‘eat all the pies’ as much as the next person. But I do make informed choices. If I do have a big meal out, I’ll try and cut back the next day and I always endeavour to opt for Asian food (except Chinese) which is usually less fatty. (Actually that’s a blatant lie – my penchant for Creme Brulee, may go some way to explaining my Rubenesque hips).

But the best thing about The Replacing Food With Wine Diet is that you always feel content because you’re pissed full all the time.

Have you found a diet that works for you?