Walking into the hall was like first day back at school

Karel Doubleday, who used her mum's blue badge so she could park close to her workplace

NEWS COMMENT: Blue badge abusers are cheating the system

Have your say

Being away quite a bit over the past two months has been fun, but it’s played havoc with my waistline.

I’m pretty small really – only five foot four inches (all right, five foot three-and a half, but who’s counting?) That means any weight gain is noticeable on me.

I only have to glance at a slice of chocolate cake and the calories have already attached themselves to my hips.

But when you’re away from home, you obviously eat and drink out a lot more. Well, this week I decided enough was enough. I needed help.

Now, I’m aware of the general rules of losing weight. Eat less and exercise more are pretty much all you need to know.

But seriously ladies (and guys), how many of us use ‘tricks’ to kid ourselves? ‘Oh it was only a little bite’ or ‘that wouldn’t be too bad’.

I’ve been there and done it and have the hips to prove it. So I did the unthinkable – something I haven’t done in about 10 years.

Yep, I went to fat club…I mean Weight Watchers (other slimming clubs are available – and I’ve tried and tested most of them).

Walking into the meeting hall was like going into class on the first day back at school after the summer holidays. Painful.

As I waited patiently in the long line of other ‘hopefuls’ waiting to be weighed, I felt a fever-like panic wash over my body. What on earth would the scales say? I cursed myself for getting to the point where I had to put myself through such an ordeal.

These clubs are nice and welcoming, but a girl my age should be able to simply say no to the fifth glass of wine or plate of nachos without having to seek professional help!

Once the dreaded weigh-in was over, we all sat down for the leader’s chat, which kicked off with a discussion about tea and coffee followed by an extensive and informative talk about jacket potatoes.

I was taken aback by the detail that went into talking about the humble spud. But, hey ho, they say you learn something every day.

So as I count my daily ‘pro points’, I wait to see what weight I’ve dropped to by next week. Wish me luck!