Monday, 9 January 2017

That hourglass figure

Oh ho! Another very encouraging result when I hopped onto the electronic scales at home this morning. They said 13 stones 10 pounds, or 87.1 kilograms. And my home weight on 31st October had been exactly 15 stones, or 95.1 kilograms. So I'm back on track after Christmas! The gradient of the line on the graph in my spreadsheet has steepened again.

Of course the 'official' Slimming World weigh-in in three days' time won't be quite so good, because the home weigh is done in the nude, and first thing in the morning before breakfast. The SW weigh-in is with clothes on, and in the evening after some unavoidable noshing during the day. Still, I might finally get down to an official 13 stones 12 pounds - which has eluded me for two weeks now - representing an official one-stone weight loss. I yearn for that metaphoric fanfare of trumpets!

But figures aside, what matters is a glorious feeling of lightness, nimbleness and well-being. There's no doubt about it: you feel better (and younger) when slimmer.

Do you look better?

Now that's a more difficult question. I have to admit that when I was carrying more weight it did seem to suit me. A fuller figure, with plenty of curves, made a volupt Restoration beauty out of me - albeit in a well-past-it, sadly-deluded, poor-old-dear sort of way, you understand - but nevertheless I wouldn't have looked completely out of place in a bare-chested group painting of Charles II's best mistresses. He didn't mind how old they were, just so long as they were fleshy and fanciable and their clothes came off at a touch. He didn't do skinny.

Fast-forward to 2017, and fashion standards are different. The chubby look is out. Slender is good, bingo wings bad. These are social norms, but only that.

However, there is also an awareness that low weight can be healthy and assist longevity. So my very serious bid to lose excess pounds is not, I assure you, a sign of rampant Stick Insect Syndrome, but a quest for good health and a long life. If I fit the current fashions, so much the better, but I am not aiming for a fresh career as a skeleton.

In fact, I shall stop the show, and cease to slim down, as soon as I am thin enough. The weight at that time won't matter. I will want to stabilise at whatever weight makes me look nicest. On the evidence of old photos, that should be 12 stones 5 pounds, or 78.5 kilograms. But if it's actually 80 kilograms, then that's where I will blow the whistle and jump off the Slimming World bus.

I'm sixty-five this year, and my fear is looking scrawny and haggard, as I would if I went beyond that optimum shapely covering of fat that smooths out arms and legs and neck, and pads out the face in a flattering way. I will accept a bit of a tummy in order to retain a slimmed-down but smoothly feminine look. Fat isn't all bad: it's natural, after all, and has a physical purpose. It plumps you out, and insulates you from the cold. You don't want too much, but you can look ill and unattractive if you lose too much of it.

I'm not counting on ever having a perfect 'hourglass figure', with a pronounced waist. I'm not large-breasted or wide-hipped enough for that.

This morning my 'vital statistics' were 43-36-42. When I was last at my target weight of 12 stones 5 pounds, I was 40-35-40. That was in early July 2009. It won't necessarily be the case that a return to that July 2009 weight will turn back the clock, and reproduce the symmetrical result I had then. And to be honest I won't worry about it. Any kind of waist will do, so long as I do indeed have one.

I don't do perfection. Ballpark is enough.


  1. Lucy, you are already looking more beautiful and the extra pounds you plan to lose can only improve your looks still more.

    If excess weight simply went on evenly then I could accept your point about volupt beauty, but it doesn't. Well mine didn't. A big fat tummy just looks like what it is... fat! I'm not suggesting that yours was excessive, but a nice flat tum does look nicely feminine. Friends will say "My word, that Lucy Melford looks lovely. It must be down to that Pilates group she attends!" And you will smile knowingly.


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