People still look at me slightly askance when, in response to their “How did you lose weight?” question, I say, “I just stopped eating cheese.”
I have to follow it up with, “I really love cheese. No, really, really love cheese. No, not like that. But honestly I love eating cheese.”
If I’m unlucky I then get into a conversation about the different types of cheese, the many varieties, the stinkiness, the blueness. I have to quash this line of conversation very blooming quickly. I do not like all cheese. I’m not a maniac. I like Cheddar cheese, I like the Double Gloucester, the Red Leicester, the Lancashire crumbly cheese. I like me a bit of Edam. As soon as any weirdness starts going on with the cheese, you know, streaks of colour, foot smells, I become not a cheese lover. I am not an aficionado of cheese, I am not a connoisseur of cheese. I love your basic cheese.
And in the mythology of me, it is probably true that I could eat the whole of that lump of cheese in a single sitting.
And yet when I come to write my best-selling tome of diet advice, possibly entitled ‘I lost weight and so can you!’ (just send me cash now if you want to pre-order this) I feel it won’t be much use to say on every page, ‘Stop eating cheese!’ I believe there may be more to it than that.
My best advice at the moment, if you are somebody almost exactly like me, is take a long hard look at yourself and think about the food that you guzzle more than anything else, you know, the one with loads of calories in it. And just eat less of it. Imagine, every time you go to eat some, that somebody is watching you and shaking their head sadly, also possibly tutting. Or you could just imagine a flood of cholesterol swooshing through your arteries and plaques of, not to put too fine a point on it, crapulent gloop (okay, I did apply a slightly finer point than necessary because I didn’t want to offend) adhering to the walls of your blood vessels. Or you could just imagine yourself having a heart attack and being no longer alive to eat cheese in moderation. I have attempted all of these methods of food control, but if they don’t work you could try these instead…
1. Employ an army of mice. This almost never ends well and only works for cheese, or if you are mad keen on eating grain, but requires the secondary employment of an army of cats and so if you are a mad cat person you will at the very least be happy.
2. Acquire an extreme dairy intolerance, the kind which means you can’t even go into the countryside for fear of meeting a cow. Unfortunately this may limit your exercise opportunities and it is not easy to acquire food intolerances, despite what everybody seems to think. Yes, I am saying that your lactose intolerance is probably all in your mind.