I am on a mission. Again.

A month ago

‘Just two kilos, that’s all I ask,’ my gym buddy Debbie said as she shovelled a corner of muffin into her mouth. ‘That’s it, I’m starting tomorrow, are you in?’

‘I’m in! Actually, I’ve started today.’ My God that muffin looked good, it was so big that it was more like a  small cake than an actual muffin. Raspberries and chocolate oozed from its sides. Perhaps just a taste. ‘This morning I even chucked out my secret stash . . .’

‘Okay, now I know you’re serious . . .’ Debbie said as she put her fork down to gaze at her plate (now bearing only crumbs) in horror. ‘How will I ever lose these two kilos?’ She patted her baby-belly affectionately and we burst into laughter.

Debbie and I have this conversation about four times a year. It was approaching summer and as our thoughts turned to bikinis and brief outfits we declared that it was yet again time to start on “The Mission”.

I had an extra motivation you see, as the previous day, a glossy invitation arrived in the mail. “Black tie”, it read. Oh God I thought, what will I wear? ‘The blue dress,’ my husband suggested when I showed him the invite, ‘it looks great on you.’

Later that night, when I was sure that no-one would notice, I sneaked into my bedroom, locked the door and entered the wardrobe. There it was mocking me from its hanger. ‘You’re dreaming,’ it called out, ‘you’ve let yourself go.’ Ignoring its taunts, I summoned up the courage to retrieve it and try it on, only to find that the seams pulled at the side and the zipper barely met. Determined, I eventually struggled into it while performing some positions that I’m sure I could teach to the most experienced of contortionists. Then, triumphantly, I managed to zip it all the way up. I wriggled over to the mirror only to recoil at the sight of what resembled a baby hippo squeezed into a sausage skin and spilling out of its casing. I felt good but looking back at me was someone that I barely recognised.

Help! I thought, someone has abducted me and replaced me with a middle-aged woman.


Image sourced from: izlude13

I had to do something. This dress was special; it was a BIG purchase in a size too small. Its first and only outing had been a success that had been guaranteed by a spell at a health farm and a subsequent bout of food poisoning. I had been rewarded by the warm fuzzy glow that followed as compliments were bestowed upon me. Comfortably getting back into it would be a challenge. It was game-on.

And so began: “The Mission”.

At the gym the following morning I convinced Debbie to join me. This was serious and I needed some backup. Food plans were made and a strategy was employed.

When I returned home I looked over the meal plan. It was elegantly presented with photos of tanned fitness models leaping through the shallows. (Who really does that on the beach? Give me a sun lounge, a good book and a pina-colada and I won’t move for a few hours.)

girl on beach

I will save you the torture of deciphering the jargon in the food plan but it can be briefly broken down into the following:

  • Eat chicken for dinner every night. (I was going to have to be inventive with my cooking.)
  • Eat an omelette for breakfast every morning. (After eight weeks am I going to turn into a chicken?)
  • Protein (The “in thing” in the diet industry right now.)
  • Low carbs (The unfashionable thing in the diet industry right now.)
  • A salad wrap for lunch (Isn’t the wrap a carb?)
  • No alcohol, chocolate, sweets (The list goes on and on – basically you have to cut out all the good things.)

The big night

Mission accomplished. The ball was a great success and the dress fit perfectly.

blue dress


I am still waiting for someone to return my younger self, but in the meantime I am working on an improved version of this middle-aged imposter. Oh, and the secret stash of chocolate has been returned to its hiding spot.

The morning after

‘Just the usual, a skinny latte?’ the waiter asked.

‘Yes please, and I am just wondering, what is today’s muffin?’

Raspberry and chocolate chip muffins

Recipe sourced from Taste.com.au

1/2 cup (95g) white chocolate buds * 3/4 cup (155g) caster sugar

2 cups (300g) self-raising flour * 1/2 cup (80g) coarsely chopped macadamias

1 cup (125g) frozen raspberries * 1 egg, lightly whisked *

1/2 cup (125ml) macadamia oil * 3/4 cup (185ml) buttermilk

Preheat oven to 200°C. Line six 3/4-cup (185ml) capacity Texas muffin pans with paper cases.

Combine the white chocolate, sugar, flour and macadamias in a large bowl.

Coarsely chop half the raspberries. Add all the raspberries to the mixture. Stir to combine.

Make a well in the centre. Whisk the egg, oil and buttermilk in a jug.

Pour into the flour mixture. Gently stir until just combined. Spoon evenly among the pans.

Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until golden and cooked through.

Remove from oven, set aside for 5 minutes. Serve warm.