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Fatness levels

ALLY McCOIST has tipped me over the edge.

I wasn't too bothered until Ally shared his tuppence worth.

Occasionally, as a reporter, you have to do undignified things, such as chase people along the street. Last week, I had to chase Mr McCoist up the road to ask him for a comment. He was a ways ahead of me so I had to do a fair trot to catch him.

He heard me clopping behind him, stopped and turned round to tell me he had no comment to make. "I have no comment to make," he said. "I'm not saying anything."

Oh, but he did have a comment to make. He did say something. Giving me a sympathetic pat on the arm he said: "You need to work on your fitness, darling."

I wish I had some pithy comeback. The truth is, I don't have any comeback. He's absolutely right.

Society has two groups you're allowed to love to hate - posh folk and fat folk. I'll admit to an unashamed working-class chip on my shoulder when it comes to the middle and upper classes but I'll never know what it's like to be from money.

Dieting wise, I would never sneer at the overweight. But I've never had much truck with women who are permanently on pointless diets, fussing over calories and carbs and generally dedicating brain power and time to the nonsense of the size eight ideal. It's not my bag. I have other things to think about.

Actually, I used to have other things to think about. I've put on two stones in four months. I'm not sure why. Hazardous shift patterns and a flatmate who loves to cook, maybe. It's occupying a lot of my thoughts.

Ma Stewart asked if I'm having a phantom pregnancy. I'm not sure if she was trying to be polite by the use of "phantom" or whether she was suggesting I'm now too beefy to attract gentlemen callers. But, either way, the point was made.

So now I have a dilemma. After all these years of sneering at dieting - from the Atkins, which seems so quaint now, to the latest fad, the 5:2 diet - I may have to pick one and try it.

At the faintest sniff of anyone suggesting they need to diet I've always thought, "Pah, just eat less and exercise more. Or stop worrying about it." But now none of my clothes fit. And I'm eating less and exercising more and the pounds are going nowhere.

To diet or not to diet. It's a dilemma. I'll get Christmas out of the way first. I've heard that said by dieters over many years and that, at least, seems sensible advice.

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