Saturday, February 05, 2005


Losing Weight is Easier Than Losing Our Sight

Once upon a time, in a faraway land, there lived a young girl called Lizzie. She was slim, beautiful and very happy. Then she got married, had three children and put on three stone. By the time she was 35, she was fat, shapeless and fed up.

Every day she looked in the mirror and thought: ‘I’ve got to lose weight’. But every day there were so many things to do that by the time she was finished, she was in no mood to think about slimming.

But this didn’t stop her worrying about her weight. In fact, she worried constantly. So even though she coped wonderfully well with the rest of her life, when it came to slimming she felt a complete failure. She felt incapable and useless. Result? She ate even more rubbish, put on even more weight and received even less respect from those around her, including her husband.

It was a trap from which there was no escape – or so she thought. Then one day, a friend told her about an old woman who lived in the big city, across the river. Known simply as VJ, she was rumoured to have magical powers. Even the king consulted her, it was said. When Lizzie heard this, she was over the moon. Perhaps this mysterious woman could help her to lose weight.

So the following Monday, she took the coach to the city and by nightfall she was standing outside a large oak door inscribed with the initials VJ. Taking a deep breath, she knocked and entered.
VJ was sitting by the fire. When she saw Lizzie, she smiled and gestured to her. ‘Come in child’ she said. ‘Come over here by the fire and tell me what’s bothering you.’ So Lizzie did. She told the old woman how she hated being fat, but how incapable she was of doing anything about it. ‘I’m so weak-willed’ she sobbed. ‘I must be the most useless individual in the whole world. Now no one takes me seriously, not even my husband. I’m so miserable. '

‘Please don’t be upset, my dear’ said VJ. ‘You may be overweight but you’re still a very lucky woman. I know several women who would give anything to be in your shoes.’ ‘I don’t care how lucky I am!’ wailed Lizzie. ‘I want to be slim! Please help me!’ The old woman squeezed Lizzie’s hand. ‘OK’ she said softly, ‘wait here for a moment and I’ll fetch you something.’

She got up and left for a few moments and when she returned she was holding a small flask filled with a green liquid. ‘Here’ she said, ‘take four drops of this, every day, for a week. It should do the trick.’ Lizzie went home bursting with optimism. Her weight problem was over. The old woman had cured her!

The moment she got home she took the flask and measured out four drops. She repeated the dose each morning for the next six days and on the seventh day she woke up with a terrible shock. She was blind!

It must have been the green liquid. But why would VJ want to make her blind? Then it dawned on her. It was VJ’s way of showing her that being fat is a lot easier to cope with than being blind. Lizzie buried her head in the pillow and wept tears of regret. If only she had understood this before, she would never have felt so helpless about her weight. She would have done something about it! Now it was too late. She was blind for life.

But Lizzie got a second chance. Two days later, her sight returned and from that moment on, she vowed never to make excuses about why she couldn’t lose weight. Never again would she feel helpless about her size. She would start a new diet and this time she would follow it until she was slim. So she did, and ten months later, she was a lovely size 12.

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