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“Shed 14lbs in 6 weeks and STILL have it all!” “ What’s the secret? Four readers lost 19st 6lbs.... Find out how!” “No place like home for a total workout!” “Exclusive... I dropped four stone - GMTVs Andrea McLean shares her story!” So scream out the headlines on the latest copy of Slimmer. Enough to make me root around in the depths of my bag for £2.10 and shuffle up to the newsagents counter past all those size 8 women leafing through their Vogue and Glamour. The bathroom scales had not been particularly kind to me that morning, despite moving around on it to see if I could make the dial go down a bit and getting on and off it a couple of times to see if that made any difference. It was time to admit defeat, these excess pounds were not going to disappear on their own and a bit of encouragement was in order. ‘Slimmer’ shouted out to me from the shelf - be healthier, be fitter, have fun! Now I can be a bit of a cynic sometimes and looking at the headlines I was tempted to add my own interpretation.... “Shed 14lbs in 6 weeks and STILL have it all!...... still have it all.... mmmm..... burgers, chips, doughnuts, icecream, pizza, crisps, chocolate, apple pie, curry...... and still shed 14lbs? I doubt it! “What’s the secret? Four readers lost 19st 6lbs.... Find out how!...... which limbs did they lose?... “No place like home for a total workout!...... no place like home for sitting down with cocoa and choccie biscuits... “Exclusive... I dropped four stone - GMTVs Andrea McLean shares her story!..... Exclusive... I dropped four stone .... of potatoes on my toe... So, to the magazine. What’s in it that is going to make me that size 8? March is the month to..... gives you ideas on how to fill your month, rather than your stomach. Basically give up smoking (no problem there, non-smoker here
), buy yourself a bunch of flowers to take your mind off food (doubtful!), raise some money for Red Nose Day, don’t forget Mothers Day (they encourage you to buy smellies but this Mum would rather have chocolates!) and get walking. Next we meet our first successful slimmer (hate her already!), Deborah has lost loads of subcutaneous fat, gone from 11st 4lbs to 8st 7lbs, we get to read her list of food for the day, all the predictable healthy stuff, not a bag of Maltesers or a Mars bar in sight. Then we get to learn how GMTVs weather girl lost those four stones, having the baby could have a little to do with it perhaps..... it’s nice to read about a celebrity with a weight problem for a change though, good to know they are just like everyone else. After a liberal sprinkling of advertisements trying to sell us anti-ageing electrode face zapping equipment, diet plates, hypnotism and organic tampons (!!!) we have an excellent article on getting back into shape after childbirth, good advice and something that would have done me the world of good 8 years ago. Then the diet plan that will give you the 14lb loss in 6 weeks, a fully detailed meal planner, this was quite impressive as unusually there were foods there that I’d actually heard of and could buy in Safeways! Even I could cope with making beans on toast or a jacket potato with cottage cheese, all very sensible meal suggestions with a few little more exotic suggestions like pork with couscous. And a huge list of things you can browse on all day, although I don’t know how appealing a bowl of spring onions, sprouts, marrow, spinach and turnip would be..... Onto a page or two that only received a cursory glance, more celebrities and their lifestyle tips, not very helpful as they seem to be able to eat everything and not exercise yet still look great. Sickening. Then another successful slimmer, from 18st down to 11st 6lbs this time, and she eats crisps and
chocolate - this sounds more like it! Cadbury’s Lite Chocolate Mousse sprinkled with chopped up After Eight mints, this is a diet I could live with!! We continue with a selection of gym clothes... “Ditch those saggy jogging bottoms! Get your motivation surging!”. What if you have a saggy bottom to go with the jogging bottoms though? On to the beauty pages I think, you may be large but you can still have glamour in your life. Fast forward to the Shop Around section - what you can buy with minimal calories and where to find them, Barcardi Breezer Diet Lemon has just 110 calories apparently, now there’s a thought.... Time for some recipes to tickle your tastebuds and reduce that waistline, Hoi Sin Topped Pork, Spicy Noodles with Spring Veg and Peanut Sauce and Oriental Sardines to name a few (my idea of Oriental Sardines would be to open a tin of them in tomato sauce and eat them with chopsticks). Chilled Pineapple and Papaya with Coconut Zabaglione, Wild Alaska Salmon and Broccoli Frittata, Luscious Lamb Steaks with Garlic Mash, Dark Chocolate Cinnamon Pots, Zespri Green Kiwifruit Daiquiri..... stop it - that’s enough! And yet at this point we are still only halfway through the 107 pages. Yet to come we have a look at cereals, a letters page, a competition, another success story, the mandatory ‘fun’ quiz and a giveaway page which looks impressive until you read just how many of each item are given away, not many. We continue with fitness news, your guide to working out in the home (just make sure everyone else is out and the curtains are pulled), a guide to gym equipment, yet another success story (more gloating faces...), and a questions and answers page. There is a guide to your ideal calorie intake in relation to your weight and then to finish there are pages and pages of advertisements. So, ‘Slimmer’, will it do the trick? Will it give me the motivation I was l
ooking for? Perhaps, the bathroom scales will reveal the level of success next Monday I suppose, and if I leave it on the kitchen counter all week it will serve as a constant reminder. As a publication it is very good, there is a great deal of variety and the quality of writing is generally very high. The pages contain a fair few adverts which on the whole are quite informative as they cover food or items of interest to a dieter. There is enough within it to keep the reader entertained for a few hours and the recipes could certainly provide an excellent source of meal ideas for future reference, although some may be a bit over the top and fussy, when you are starving hungry the last thing you want to do is faff about in the kitchen for hours making interesting meals. Another good point is that the magazine does not encourage the participation in any particular slimming club as many do, i.e Rosemary Conleys or Slimming World magazine, this makes it totally unbiased which is refreshing. Celery sticks here I come, cellulite be gone!
Slimmer is one of the 4 or 5 slimming titles which grace our national news stands. Whilst all of these publications are good in their own way this magazine is a little different in the fact that it relies more heavily on celebrity slimmers than any of the others. While some people might not want to read about celebrities in this type of publication, I think it is good because it shows that although someone is famous they have the same battles with the bulge as the rest of us do and have the same frailties as you or I when it comes to putting on weight. The issue which came out quite a while ago which featured Lorraine Kelly, when she lost all her weight was really interesting and an inspiration to many of us mere mortals. Apart from this there are the usual low calorie recipes, readers real life slimming stories, hints and tips for successful slimming etc. All in all a good read.