We’ve had such an amazingly positive response to our posts about body image that I thought it was time we had a laugh at the expense of the diet industry. I shared this image on the Wingz Facebook page recently and it went viral – clearly there are a lot of people who identify with the tyranny of the slimming club.
So, thank you to the originator of the image – I’ve searched online to try and find out who created it but to no avail. And in his or her honour, I’ve come up with a list of ‘odd things about slimming clubs’ that anyone who is a veteran or even just an occasional visitor will probably recognise. Post on the Facebook page and let us know any more you can think of…
Unfeasibly long toilet queues
The queue for the toilets in slimming clubs is even longer than the queue in a nightclub after midnight. Probably because every woman is trying to squeeze out just a little bit more to achieve the goal that was set for them by their club leader the week before, and they are hoping that going to the loo three times in the hour before class will counteract the multi pack of KitKats they scarfed down at the weekend.
Now, this doesn’t happen at all slimming clubs but when it does it reduces women to toddlers as they all clap each other for the sheer audacity of turning up when they’ve gained three pounds. You get a clap for a gain, a loss or staying the same, and sometimes you can sense the tension as the woman who is ‘Slimmer of the Week’ for the third week running pulls off yet another prize while Brenda, who’s been coming for two years, still hasn’t got her first half stone award.
Slimming club dress code rules
The strange phenomenon that is dressing for slimming club weigh-in. There’s a strict etiquette to this; the first week you are permitted to wear jeans and a thick jumper, even in July. “It’s a bit chilly in the church hall.” The following week, and for the rest of the time you make it to group, you find the flimsiest summer dress in your wardrobe and wear that instead. You can accessorise with cardigans and jumpers which are always discarded on the back of a chair along with your shoes, socks, watch, earrings and anything else that could affect the all-important number on the scales.
Bizarre slimming club food rules
You can eat a butternut squash roasted (with spray oil) but you absolutely cannot slice said butternut squash and roast it to make ‘crisps’ because you might overeat them. You can eat cereal with diet yoghurt but not milk; if you have it with milk you can’t have any more milk for the rest of the day unless you ‘count’ it. A ‘chocolate-flavoured’ cereal bar with a list of ingredients as long as a restaurant menu is fine for breakfast, but avocado on toast would take you over your treats limit and is actively discouraged.
The Sad Fruit Bowl
Group members are asked to bring along a ‘free’ item or some fruit for the lucky slimmer of the week. This delightful collection of slightly on the turn bananas, apples the kids didn’t want and the occasional minging noodle snack is donated to the person who managed to successfully lose the most weight, whether it’s due to a particularly nasty bout of diarrhoea, not eating all day or actually sticking to the plan all week.
The recrimination corner
The point in slimming club meetings where a minute dissection of every morsel that’s eaten takes place, and grown women (and men, sometimes) compete to come up with inventive ways to beat the system. Adults are heard agonising over whether they gained weight because of that one meal where they ate a bit of chicken skin, or whether it was the third Hobnob that took them over the edge. And witness the righteous indignation of the dieter who has genuinely stuck by every rule, filled out her tracker religiously and STILL not lost anything.
After class food dash
The mad dash for the chip shop/corner shop after class. The phenomenon of the lost hours between weigh in and the following day, where all diet club members go a little bit wild with the food and wine, because they’ve been to Fat Club and how they can let their hair down. They’ll start again tomorrow of course. All calories consumed in this period are consigned to some kind of mysterious food Bermuda Triangle.
“It must be STAR week”…..
Grown women who can’t bring themselves to say the words ‘pre-menstrual’ or ‘period’. Really?
Have you got any anecdotes about slimming clubs you want to share? Post them here or in the Facebook group. Then give yourself a clap for coming…