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Weight is in a position of power when it comes to our happiness.
But why this obsession with the particular amount of half a stone – the equivalent of a Yorkshire Terrier?
And for most of you, no matter what your current size, would I be correct in thinking that half a stone would be just about right? Once, there was a 31-year-old woman who had been an average size 14 all her life. But though she was happy, there was always something missing. She was even embarrassed to go into designer stores, afraid that assistants would laugh at her for even looking through the racks. Spinning classes, a few weights, a little less food (carbs still allowed) and a lot of running.
Just enough to make a visible difference, to elicit those manna-from-heaven, ‘You look great — have you lost weight? She didn’t hate her body; being broad-shouldered, ample-chested and 5ft 9in put her in proportion, at least. She could never swap clothes with her size 10 friends. So, she built up an enviable collection of shoes and bags, because she could always be sure they looked great. Two months later the longed-for day arrived: she was half a stone lighter.
I haven’t done the latter, but if you were to offer me a choice between the two, I’d need time to think it over. I felt confident, I felt sexy, I felt as though a magic wand had been waved. Buttons didn’t strain, straps didn’t squeeze, flesh didn’t overhang. Everywhere I went, conversations would start with questions on how I’d done it, how good I looked, how inspired people were by me. Clearly this is due in part to the loveliness of the people I know, but not-so-lovely people were at it, too.