The gauntlet has been laid down, and I have accepted the challenge.
One of my gallant colleagues within the Southwark Liberal Democrat family has announced that he is going to make a serious push to shed some weight over the next six weeks leading up to Federal Conference in Harrogate, and challenged allcomers to join him, a prize to be awarded to the contestant who loses most weight over the period. How could I resist, especially given some of my previous comments? I wasn't the only one though, and it looks like there will be a number of us playing (I'm not naming them to protect their privacy).
The referee for this contest is Caroline Pidgeon, a woman described by one competitor as 'annoyingly thin'. Jealousy is a terrible thing, isn't it? Paul Baichoo, one of our rather more svelte colleagues, has offered to lead a public workout session in one of Southwark's parks, and this may well take place, albeit without my participation (if I thought I was a fit sight for impressionable children, I wouldn't need to lose the weight...).
As far as I can tell, the quickest way to shed some useless bulk would be to persuade one of Peckham Rye's Labour councillors to resign, but as it would be difficult to get one of them onto a set of weighing scales, I'm just going to have to rely on a proven formula, diet, exercise and stress.
I am going to take the risk of doing this publicly though, so that you can watch my progress and hassle me for my failings (you know that you want to). I'm not going to tell you my starting weight (even a bureaucrat has his pride, after all), but I'll provide regular updates on weight lost (in kilogrammes) and the impact on my Body Mass Index (BMI). I may even indicate how I'm getting on relative to my 'opposition', depending on how things are going.
My family will no doubt be taking a close interest too, especially my father, who has been attempting, in a good-natured way, to prod me into action to do something about my figure (or lack thereof).
So let the contest begin, and let the (low fat) chips fall where they may!