Sadness and a vow

Desperately sad news from my eight-year-old daughter: one of her classmates’ mums has died from a brain tumour. She was only 35 and leaves two little girls. It’s heartbreaking and I don’t know what to say to my eight-year-old. How can I explain something so frightening and inexplicable? Life is so fragile, but we tell our kids it isn’t and block out the fact ourselves, because confronting our mortality at every step would leave us in a permanent state of fear.

Lily birthday card 2

It gave me sobering pause for thought: brain tumours are completely unpreventable, a horrendous kind of lottery. Any one of us could develop one. But working on my new book on health, I’ve realised some cancers are very preventable, and one of the biggest risk factors for them is obesity. I’ve lost a stone and a half so far this year, but I’m still obese, mainly due to my lack of willpower. Why am I risking my life when my daughter is so precious to me? I’d do anything to stay alive and care for her. The thought of not being there for her is unthinkable.


So today I’m starting my diet over and making a vow to stick to it. I won’t be blogging about it much, but from now on, I’m going to follow a diet of fish and tofu, whole grains, vegetables and fruit – along with loads of exercise. This is the most horrible kind of wake-up call, but I really need to heed it.


This post has been made possible by my awesome Patreon supporters Peter Weilgony, Ricky Steer, Marc Alexander, Sammy and Jelly, Charlie Brooker, Mary and Tim Fowler, Steve Richards, Alan Brookland, Mark Ormandy, Oliver Vass, Keith Bell, John Fleming, Mark Bailey, Rebekah Bennetch, Matthew Sylvester, Brian Engler, Jack Scanlan, Aragorn Strider, Lucy Spencer, Dave Nattriss,, Mark White, Dave Cross, Graham Nunn, David Conrad, Rob Turner, Shane Jarvis, Emily Hill and Marcus P Knight.

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4 thoughts on “Sadness and a vow”

  1. How tall are you, Ariane? 7st 11lbs sounds like a quite extreme goal to aim for! I’m 5’2″, and I was 7st10lbs for much of my 30s, quite skinny now I look back on it. I’m a stone heavier now (in my early 50s) – wouldn’t mind losing a few pounds but I don’t aim to get back to that, I don’t think it would be realistic…

    1. I’m exactly the same height as you – 5’2” – so being 7st 11lbs will give me a BMI of 20. I’m 39 and just want to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight. Don’t worry, I’m doing Slimming World and they don’t let you lose an unhealthy amount of weight. I bet you look great – you’re well within the normal BMI. (I think we’re technically overweight at 9st 11lbs, and obese at 11st 9lbs, which is easy to remember.)

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