I once read that for every week you spend away on holiday, you put on two pounds.
Now I don’t remember where I read it, or even if I wrote it myself before I read it (possible), but it’s a figure that has stuck in my head and also on my hips.
Because year after year I prove it correct.
After spending three weeks touring France and Italy with a very limited budget, four ravenous children and a hungry husband, I was hoping that the pounds wouldn’t have crept on.
After all, when you’re camping in the middle of an Alpine valley and the nearest shop is 30km of hairpin bends away, the number of late night snacks goes down rapidly.
Since being back I haven’t yet summoned up the courage to get on the scales, as I was very disappointed that none of my clothes seemed baggier even though we walked many miles around Paris, Rome and Florence and through said Alpine mountains.
I guess that even though the rations were limited, sitting down for 3,060 miles of driving left time for whatever calories were still in my body to crawl into fat globules and start nesting in preparation for the long winter months ahead (which began without a doubt on bank holiday Monday – how miserable was that).
What brought home the weight situation horribly, though, was a Sunday afternoon BBQ at a dear friend’s house.
My husband was perched on a bench, so after a piled-high plate of sausage, burger, chicken and potato salad (plus a few Minstrels and Haribos) I decided to join him and snuggle up against the chill winds of the south coast.
The sound of the crack was like a gun going off. People looked round as we hit the floor on the broken bench of shame.
Needless to say, the next morning, still feeling embarrassed, I was up and out running.
It was only around the block, but far enough to test my knees, hips and heart.
I can report with relief that they held up to the initial strain of post-holiday fitness exercise.
Some people always try to get their body in shape for the summer. If I start now, I might just make it for 2015.