Okay, apologies in advance for the prolific use of the F word in this blog, the word we don’t use in front of the children and some of our more sensitive friends - FAT. That was just the first; there will be more to follow. Anyone of a delicate disposition when it comes to talking about being FAT, those who prefer ‘Big Boned’, ‘Well Built’ or simply disguise the topic by talking about ‘lovely faces’ and ‘it’s what’s inside that counts’ can look away now and incidentally what’s inside if there is FAT outside, is FAT!

And incidentally why are we comfortable prodding our friends and telling them they are so skinny? so slim? Why is that okay if telling them they are fat isn't? 

Let me if I may go back to New Year’s Eve 2013, approximately three weeks ago. I was in Hong Kong airport with my family after an eight-hour drive and a thirteen-hour flight and was preparing for the next leg of our journey. I thought I was preparing for my trip to the UK, but it was to be the beginning of a much bigger, longer, tougher and more fulfilling journey that even I could imagine (and if I do say so myself, I’m fairly good at coming up with them!)

My family of three big blokes (one husband and two sons) took a table at Pizza Express and we ordered 4 large pizzas, which were tucked into with gusto and were delish! I was half way through mine, when I remembered taking our boys, when they were small to Pizza Express in London and the three of them ordered a pizza each and I did what I usually did, just had a coffee and a slice from my husband’s plate…

I sat at the table on NYEve and realised that I could now match them bite for bite, portion for portion and without their tall, muscular frames and hectic exercise regime (I have one rower and one runner!) I had become FAT. For the last couple of years, people have been telling me to dress to ‘flatter my shape’ or ‘how to make the most of my hair and face’ and I honestly wish someone had had the courage to tell me what I needed confirming, that I was FAT. It might have garnered me into action sooner.

Not that I am blaming anyone but myself, it has been me that chose to be greedy and me that chose to sit on the sofa instead of moving my bulk and exercising, me and me alone. I could blame medicine, operations, genetics or my sedentary career and living out of hotels, but I know that even with all these factors taken into consideration it’s been over-eating and under-moving that has brought me to my present shape. And believe me, this is not project vanity, but project future health, if there is FAT I can see, what’s going on on the inside? I hate to think.

SO – 2014 is the year of reclaiming me! I will get back to the woman who modelled jeans and toothpaste (not at the same time!) the woman who felt confident and sexy. I am eating healthily and exercising for the first time in years and I already feel better. My goal is to be a little bit fitter and trimmer than I was yesterday – every day. I shall keep you up to date with my progress.

My publishers have given me a shiny new Facebook page! Whoop whoop! Do stop by and have a LIKE if you get a mo. I’ve been in the beautiful Portuguese mountains this week, hiking up hills and writing my new novel Heaven and Back – I think you’ll like it. It’s moving and a great insight into family life. It is lovely to catch up with Poppy and Martin too, a bit like visiting old friends. I have a new short story coming out this week – Ten Pound Ticket. Happy reading!

Finally I would like to say that even the hardest of trials is made easy when you have a good friend by your side. And this has been particularly true this week – so to my great mates I say a big THANK YOU!

Love and Luck people, Love and luck.

Mandy x