I've been dieting for a month now, trying to get back down to my 1998 weight of seventy-five kilos. I'm almost there, seven down with two kilos of stubborn weight to go but I've discovered in the process that as one ages and one's metabolism slows, how little one can eat and still not lose any weight.

Of course, 1998 was the year that I attempted to run across the Sahara in the Marathon Des Sables, you might expect me to have been a little leaner. Too much super-marathon running caused my Achilles tendons to give up and my orthopaedic surgeon to be somewhat unsympathetic and so the best I can do is jog a little and use the gym.

Never having to bother about weight before, I've also noticed how insidious "grazing" can be. I miss chocolate desperately but live on strong coffee, which is possibly worse than "snacking" between meals.

I'm going to have to exercise a little harder and eat even less carbohydrate than my single piece of buttered toast in the morning. No pain no gain I guess. There is no secret to losing weight. Forget Dr. Atkins Just exercise hard, don't eat and be totally miserable in the process!


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