Family: Janet Christie’s Mum’s the Word

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Weight of Expectation is off the scale

While the obesity crisis wobbles on around us there’s slim chance of it biting here. It’s all five a day, protein shakes and “I went to the gym twice today,” with us as I struggle to fill the gaping maws of my skinny offspring.

Pity I’m too busy sitting on my ample (I’d call it fat, but the F-word is no longer bandied about as in my childhood when parents/grandparents/school friends/total strangers would happily alert you to the fact your hot pants were showing the strain) backside working to partake in the healthkick.

It’s not that I’m not happy they’re being healthy, but the shopping is taking its toll as I explain to the woman in the fish shop as she bags up twice my usual haul.

“It’s my sons, they’re trying to put on weight. And their sister’s into healthy eating too.”

“That protein thing?” she says. “Yeah, they’re all at it. Bulking up. Hope you’re putting up their rent...”

Er no. Full time education and rent aren’t easy bedfellows.

The “lanky p****” as one of Youngest’s online acquaintances called them recently (the retro insult making them laugh) are spending ridiculous amounts of time on the scales. “Another half pound!” they announce, gleeful. And as ever an edge of competition has crept in. “How did you do that?” one says, annoyed, as the other edges ahead on heft.

“Chicken fillets and two teas. Two lunches too if you can. And protein shakes in between.”

“Yep. Doing that.”

Tell me about it. Heaving around the shopping bags will have me more ripped than Youngest’s jeans in no time.

Then just when I’ve given up all hope of even a sniff of a pastry bake ever entering the house again, Middle is found in the kitchen mixing up dough. A lot of dough.

“Pizza night tonight,” he says, flinging flour in an arc across the kitchen table. “I’m making the bases and everyone can put their own fillings on top. Lean chicken, that kind of thing, keep it healthy.”

Fat chance – I’ll be having the triple cheese and a stuffed cheese crust. Got to keep my strength up.