Taking Stock with Rob Stocks - June 27, 2011

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I’ll be the first to admit that over the years I’ve got more than a little bit tubby.

The slender figure of my cross-country racing youth has been replaced by a beer barrel tummy and, compared to some of my marathon running, endurance walking colleagues, I’ll admit I’m a bit of an athletic flop.

This was highlighted last week when I made my return to the football pitch, after eight months on the sidelines. Half an hour in, I was barely able to stand, never mind run.

I know I’m not the healthiest chap in the world and, up to now, it’s never really bothered me. But on Father’s Day, all that changed when My Good Wife, with the best of intentions, decided to point out the rotund nature of my figure.

Not wanting to upset my nearest and dearest, there was only one option. I’ve decided to go on a diet.

It’s not a concept I’m really familiar with. I’ve always seen diets as something of a fad.

Over the years there have been plenty of weight loss crazes – some crazier than others, and all equally lucrative for the publishing company involved. The plans you hear about on daytime TV really aren’t for me.

For one, I’m afraid of salad ,and very fond of things like bread and pasta – strictly taboo to some diet aficionados.

Instead, I’ve decided to go down a simpler road – cutting down on portion sizes and fizzy pop.

Pleased with my progress I’ve moved on to the next stage of operation slim, namely calorie counting.

I’ve always been deeply suspicious of those folks who stand in the supermarket aisles closely studying the nutritional information.

What it tasted like was always far more important than how fat it would make me – but all that’s changed.

Now I’m part of the calorie-controlled club. Good news for my wallet, as I give the chocolate aisle a wide berth, but bad news for The Boss, as my lunchtime expedition now takes three times as long, while I work out whether I can treat myself to a pack of cheesy Wotsits.

I’ve been hungry pretty much non-stop since last Monday but, as they say, no pain, no gain.

And it’s proving great entertainment for The Munchkin, who insists on telling anyone who’ll listen that “Daddy’s not having sweeties because he’s fat!”

If everything goes according to plan I should, eventually, have my slender figure back, or at the very least be able to see my feet without bending.

It will take a lot of willpower – something I’m not blessed with in large quantities . One Jammy Dodger and it could all be over quicker than you can say Atkins plan.