The Cottage Smallholder

stumbling self sufficiency in a small space


(Written mid February 2007 and discovered when considering my waistline and searching for decent soup recipes on the laptop today. Inca poses with a twelve inch pocket tape measure.)

Inca and tape measureListening to the reports of the London Fashion week and the sizes of models. D and my sizes were not mentioned. I wasn’t surprised as we are drifting fast into the cuddly range that means clothes cling to our bodies rather than drop enticingly from the slimmest of shoulders.

Before today, I hadn’t realised there was a size 0. In the UK, this is equivalent to size 4. I’m pretty sure that I’ve never met anyone who is size 4. Danny says that I probably have, they just blended in with the table legs.

I’m not planning to downsize to 0 even though this would make life a lot easier in many ways. We’ve run out of clothes that fit. Either we roll into Newmarket and trawl the XL section of the racks of TKMaxx or we wobble off a bit of weight and delve into the wardrobes upstairs.

I’m going to bite the bullet and donate my doorstep sandwich recipes to a worthy charity. I’ll start exercising by dusting off the soup pot. If we have soup or salad for lunch we can drop a dress size in a month, even though Danny always refuses to slip into a dress to prove how much he has slimmed down. He prefers to model his Matador trousers and flamboyantly tussle with the Min Pins.

Soup for lunch has a dramatic effect on our waistlines. Within months we can wear our Wellingtons as body armour and tackle all the things that only ultra slim people can do, such as personally clambering through the plug in the sink and clearing a blockage. My last foray into this quarter had me reaching for the double cream immediately. Fatties drift about in a bulgy sort of way. Thinnies always have to prove how slim they are.

So this year*, we are going to be moderate and just make soup for lunch, which we plan to consume rather than relegate to a life forgotten in the freezer.

*Clearly it didn’t work in 2007. We are having another go in 2008 as D is concerned about the plumbing.

  Leave a reply


  1. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Zoom,

    That’s the problem with baguettes – so much more hanger appeal than a cracker.

    Hi Mildred

    I quite often have a bread roll (small) with my soup but no butter. We generally cook from scratch as the food tastes better.

    Hi Amanda

    Well done you! I love the name Pig2twig! The soup for lunch (instead of sandwiches) has a big impact on our weight. I’m also trying to cut down on fat filled food.

    Hi Sophie

    Loved your husband’s heckle!

    Hi Sam

    Oh I know the feeling. My plans are always for the future (after Christmas, after Easter etc.) and then I forget about them. This year combining the new budgeting challenge with trimming down has made the whole thing a lot easier somehow.

    Hi Ash

    Danny can be very amusing on form. Love your new blog!

    Hi Kate(uk)

    Poor you. Both with your heart and having to cut out the things that give so much pleasure.

    Interestingly – the bean soup at lunch time (and a lentil one) seem to satisfy and destroy the old 4 o’clock cravings.

  2. Kate(uk)

    Last year I was instructed to no longer eat strong cheese or chocolate nor to drink proper drink as my heart can’t cope and goes bonkers ( technical term). I bit the bullet and obeyed, my consoling thought being how much weight I would lose. Sadly, no difference whatsoever. I was clearly not eating enough cheese and chocolate nor drinking sufficient quantities of hooch. Damn!
    I’m trying to keep to a sensible porridge with fruit for breakfast regime to avoid late evening munchies.Has it worked so far?
    What do you think!

  3. so, i’m not the only one after all! thank heavens for that! i to, have decided that THIS is the year. i had a surprise phone call last week from an ex boyfriend wishing me a happy birthday. he asked what our plans were for the next year and i replied that i would be starting exercising in the next couple of weeks. his answer caused me to stop dead! ” but sam, you’ve been “starting exercise in a few weeks” since i’ve known you, and that’s 14 years!!!” he of course was right and that has made me determined to do something (i think!!)

  4. I loved this:

    ‘Danny says that I probably have, they just blended in with the table legs.’

    Rolling around here laughing out loud ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Size 0 is ridiculous, but it did inspire m’hubby to call out one of his better insults to a bunch of ultra-skinny cheerleaders.

    “I’ve seen more meat on a KFC!”

    Happy souping ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Amanda @ Little Foodies

    I’ve been saying this for the last 6 years… THIS year however IS going to be different. I looked at pig2twig and signed up on the spur of the moment but then realised that it’s very much like atkins or southbeach diets and not sure my liver or breath could take it. It does look quite inspirational though, with a good forum.

    As I’ve had quite a bit of time for planning and research I’ve come up with a plan to change our personal shopping habits and budget – hopefully all for the better, also hoping that it will reduce the size of my bottom. I’ll blog about it soon.

    Wish you lots of luck!
    p.s. I do the TKMaxx thing too.

  7. haha Fi, your post today is very funny and well observed! Soup is good, no bread and butter though! Having said that, we have just churned 12lbs of butter, I am sure we have used more calories in its production than we will consume in its eating. I am also convinced that jetisoning the Supermarket trolley and its sugar and additive laden convenience foods in favour of self sufficiency, not only leads to a healthier, toned and detoxed body, it liberates the mind too.

    Thanks for your inspiration!

  8. I have been having soup for lunch AND supper, but not achieving the desired result. I’m thinking perhaps it’s not alright to eat a baguette with the soup. But the baguette ‘completes’ the soup in a way that, say, a cracker cannot.

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