'Haven't you lost weight?' they say, meaning it as a fantastic compliment, something you should be grateful for. After all, who doesn't like to be given credit for weight loss?
'No! No!' I shout back at them. 'I have not lost weight. But in your imagination and memory I am so colossally fat that when you see me in the flesh you are astonished by my actual level of fatness! I now have to go and eat a 1kg bar of chocolate to make up for the hurt and distress you have caused me!'
Of course, I don't really shout that. That would be insane! Though I did once eat a 1kg bar of chocolate I found in a friend's cupboard during a party. It shouldn't be too big a surprise that her main memory of me is fatty boom boom who eats all the chocolate from the back of the cupboard where only a fatty would sniff it out.
This unfortunately means that when I do actually lose weight, it is difficult to interpret, in the early stages, whether the compliments are based on accurate and objective reporting of the fatness of my face, or whether they are from a position of general, well-meaning encouragement. I'll try to take them at face value, but I think I need to lose a few more pounds before I genuinely believe them.
In the meantime, I present another hideous selfie!