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Posted Wed 22 August 2018

It’s time to pack and my new swimming costume lies on the bed. Sadly it has a better figure than I do. Thanks to the wonders of Lycra, it will push me out and hold me in and just about make me confident enough to lie on the beach. Is it just me who has a tiny hankering for thick black tights or high waisted jeans? I’ve exfoliated, depilated, buffed, tweezed, painted, coutoured, cut carbs and conditioned. I’ve learnt how to stand in holiday snaps to show my best side, and I’ve vowed to cut the Prosecco until we set off in a last ditch attempt to shed a few more pounds.

Oh, and I’ve booked to see a Plastic Surgeon in September. Don’t ask me what for exactly. I just know something needs doing.

Firstly there are a couple of moles that got burnt in May. Who knew sunburn was even possible in late spring? This is the UK after all.

Secondly, I’m going to ask about my boobs. Decades of insecurity have finally caught up with me so I’m going to take the plunge and at least ask. The final straw was in France this summer. I’d found some gorgeous lingerie with which to astonish my partner and was waiting at the till to pay. As the sales assistant took the garments she read the size and looked me in the eye: ‘Zat’, she announced, ‘eez hextremely small.’ I was left speechless and, suddenly remembering I had to be elsewhere, plonked the lingerie on the counter and walked out of the shop, my faltering body confidence in tatters. So I’m going to at least ask about augmentation. I don’t want to go too big, but I’m fed up of having to wear chicken fillet bras.

Lastly my midriff. I have an extremely glamorous friend who used to teach aerobics (remember that?) and now runs her own wildly successful start up. (‘Our client base has grown so much that we need to re-strategize.’) I know the feeling: my puppy is still chewing my bras from the laundry basket so I need a new strategy too. I’m not remotely jealous of her: her pert, slim figure must be like a stick insect in bed, and the tax bill from her company must be a nightmare. No, I just want to ask the plastic surgeon about the area round my belly button that won’t go flat, no matter how much I hold in my tummy. The decision was made when my friend commented: ‘You know, I could always tell which of my aerobics ladies had children because of the bulge (pointing at her own pancake flat waist). No matter how slim they were, you could always tell.’ At that point I was holding my breath so hard that I could barely reply, all the time knowing my tummy still revealed its pregnancies.

So wish me luck – it’s time for a new me. I’ll let you know how I get on. Oh, and keep it to yourself.

© Catherine Cowen writing as Patience Wellbeing, Plastic Surgery Blogger