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Slim Pickings!

Apr 12, 2018

I thought I’d heard it all before, but I read recently about a plastic ‘diet’ pig that sits in your fridge and ‘oinks’ every time you open the door - ‘Gruntz’ I believe he’s called. Obviously the concept is that this stops you indulging in an act of spontaneous consumption, but I’m not convinced that it’s a particularly good idea, in fact in my case it might even make me proceed towards preparing a bacon sandwich; which could be one of my rasher decisions (yes I know!). 

I am aware that there are some medical conditions where weight gain is unavoidable. But generally the act of dieting seems quite obvious to me; if you consume more calories than you require to generate the energy needed for the mere act of conducting your life then you put on weight. The opposite is also true – and of course the resulting achievement of your ideal weight can be maintained by establishing parity between these two positions. Simple? Apparently not…… 

I looked on Amazon to see how many books are on offer on the subject of dieting - and lost count! The rite of passage for a celebrity seems to include a period of over indulgence, followed by: weight gain; weight loss; writing a book about dieting; then putting the weight back on. This process seems to be a most lucrative addition to a celebrity’s income and as a result we hear about high carb, low carb, high protein, low protein, lactose, 5:2, 1:7, 24 hour and all sorts of complicated constrictions. From my point of view I have combined all of these to produce a regime which is a mixture of both protein and carbohydrate diets on a ‘365’ basis (or ‘366’ in leap years). It’s called the ‘Tony Allen Perfectly Normal Diet Which Includes a Degree of Common Sense’. Of course the title needs to be slimmed down a bit but it could earn me a fortune. 

To paraphrase the old joke: ‘I’ve been on a red wine diet – I lost three days last week!’ But dieting is never easy and the more quickly that you lose weight the more quickly you put it back on. Steady as you go is the best advice I was given, accompanied by a degree of patience…… and I’ve been there. 

When I was about 27 years old I was involved in a job that required copious amounts of business entertaining, and as a result I had slowly but surely increased my weight by a considerable degree. I had applied for a new job and as part of the interview process I was required to have a medical with a Harley Street specialist. After the medical he asked me to sit down and from behind his highly polished antique desk he proclaimed the words: "Well you seem OK at the moment, but to be honest old boy, you’re a bit of a fat slob!!" (I thought the second exclamation mark was appropriate here). Now I should add that nobody ever believes this anecdote to be true; but I assure you that it is. "How dare he!" is the most common response which I receive.  

Now I know that we now live in different times, and I am aware that in today’s world this story would very likely produce censorious headlines in most of the tabloids. Further still, in all of the various organs of social media, I would have been portrayed as a victim. But the reality here is that our consultant had cleverly and unequivocally worked me out to a tea. The consequence of this episode was that my wounded ego had produced a response that subsequently lead to my losing 3 stones (19 kilos) in weight, and he was the one who suggested that I do this slowly and patiently. My loss occurred over three years and I have never put it back on again. 

Are you still on a diet resulting from a New Year resolution? From what I gather it is very doubtful. But for those of you who still are, just remember that patience is the most important piece of advice that you can receive. Whatever diet you are on, if it’s working for you than just carry on ‘making haste slowly’. There is no magic bullet apart from common sense, and we all possess this in varying degrees. 

I am very much aware that this is a vast subject and please don’t think that I have been proselytizing, because if nothing has worked for you so far, then all you have to do is just simply to go out and buy yourself a plastic pig called ‘Gruntz’ – who knows it might well be the answer to your dietary prayers! 

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