I don’t need to diet, do I?

Ben MacDui. Please note: photo taken at the wrong angle making me appear fat.

I took one look at myself in the photo and realised I’ve been eating my way to paradise, well an early grave at least.  You see for years I’d been a lean fit hill walker and, in my mind that’s what I still was.  True I’d gained a few pounds and hadn’t been on the hills for a couple of years but I was so fit that wouldn’t matter.

When I got back on to the hills again, at the end of last year, I was confronted by a grim reality, either the hills had got a lot bigger than they used to be or I wasn’t fit.  That, and the fact that my hill gear was getting uncomfortably tight, told me that things were moving in the wrong direction.  In the gym I weighed myself on a broken down old pair of scales that told me I was around 14st, well that’s not bad is it, and, of course, most of that is muscle.  There were another set of scales in the gym, all chrome and shiny and digital and, far worse, accurate looking – I avoided those.

On my 57th birthday I walked up Ben MacDui in the Cairngorms.  I made it to the top and down but there was a lot of puffing and panting and it took me way longer than it should have done.  That showed me a little of reality but then there were the photographs.  Every time someone took a photo of me they got the angle wrong, they made me look fat! That just couldn’t be could it?  All these photos were wrong the plump middle aged man couldn’t be me.  I plucked up courage and climbed on to the digital scales.  JUST UNDER 15 ST.  I got off and tried them again, same result.

The truth was that my weight had been slowly rising over the last ten years.  Middle age and idleness were taking their toll.  My knees hurt and I was less and less keen to walk or run.  I realised I had two choices, continue down my current road and be looking forward to saying hello to 16 st or, and the very word frightened me, diet.  I’d never been on a diet, we’ll I didn’t need to, after all, I was fit and…STOP, STOP, STOP, look at the scales, look at the photos, you’re fat.  There is an obesity epidemic going in Britain and right now you’re part of it.  Keep going the way you are and pretty soon you’ll be a statistic.

A friend of mine recommended the Dukan diet; he’d lost two and a half stone.  So I bought the book, swallowed hard and started.

Good bye bread and cheese.  So long pies and ice cream.  Adios bacon butties and so long to my old friend the potato.  I love potatoes, not chips of course, what do you think I am?  Oh yes, a fat slob.  The only problem with potatoes is, if you eat enough of them, you end up looking like one.


All that was about two months ago.  I’m now down to below 14st having lost about 1st 4lbs.  To be honest it’s been a lot easier than I thought.  I’ve got used to the diet and I now realise just how many little “extras” I’d been eating.  A biscuit there, something they call chocolate here, a distant memory now the chocolaty stuff, I haven’t eaten any for two months.  It’s no quick fix, no diet that really works is but at least I can now get into my hill gear.  I feel way fitter and I’m on my way to loosing another stone.

When it’s hard I look at the photos and tell myself this isn’t for ever and it’s only food after all, despite the odd urge to gnaw a table leg or two.  Is the Dukan diet better than any other diet?  I’ve no idea, it works for me is all I can say.

Now you are waiting for the after photo aren’t you? Not yet, another stone to go and then the sleek hill God will reveal himself and, who knows, I might be in the photo too.

2 responses to “I don’t need to diet, do I?

  1. I walk the mountains in the mail because I don’t want to diet and give up choccie etc. I enjoy the hills too, but that is truthfully at least half the reason. But even though (until I broke my two bones recently) I still walk as much as I ever did (if not more), the weight creeps on as you get older. It’s true to say that your metabolism really does start to slow in your 50s 😦

    Another humorous post 🙂

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