WITH summer holidays beckoning and thoughts of having to expose various white bits to the world, I’ve started a diet.

My husband’s doing it too – at least he’s eating the same as me when we’re together – although he’s really not overweight, he just wants to be able to indulge while we’re away.

We both enjoy our food and a drink or three but the difference between us is that he plays lots of sport. I don’t, basically because I’m rubbish at it.

Swimming is the only sport I’ve ever been good at.

When I was at school, my mother thought I’d meet a nice young man at the tennis club, so she paid for tennis coaching.

She should have saved her money, it didn’t make me any better at tennis and I certainly wasn’t interested in her choice of men.

I’ve joined gyms in the past and stuck with them for a time, I’ve even done a bit of running, which I absolutely loathe.

So consuming fewer calories is the only option.

I wasn’t big as a child, but I wasn’t skinny either.

I don’t think I was ever a size 10, I must have gone from childhood straight to a size 14.

It seems like I’ve been dieting on and off most of my adult life.

Although I’d like to blame it on a thyroid problem or my genes, that isn’t the case.

I don’t think of myself as particularly greedy, just someone who enjoys food – and lots of chocolate.

It’s irritating that when you’re not dieting people feel they can comment on what you eat especially if it’s something unhealthy.

But start a diet and people will encourage you to break it, with: “Why bother? You don’t need to diet, You’re fine as you are” (patently not true).

So how I look at it is that I’ve not given up on myself yet, I still try.

After all I’ve got a wardrobe full of clothes I could wear if only I lost some weight.

I’ve lost weight successfully in the past, it’s keeping it off that’s the problem. And getting older doesn’t help.

It struck me on Saturday how difficult it is to stay on the straight and narrow when you go out to eat.

You really have to avoid Chinese, Indian and Italian eateries, fish and chip shops and McDonald’s. Not only are they off limits but coffee shops are a dieter’s worse nightmare.

The choice at most of them is sandwiches, calorific pastas, cakes, pastries and biscuits, not to mention the drinks they sell like coffees laced with cream and syrups.

Drinks I have no problem with as I take both my coffee and tea black, but food is harder.

These shops can even muck up simple salads by sticking goat’s cheese in them or pasta or oily dressings.

Perhaps there’s a gap in the market for somewhere you can pop in for a quick lunch that won’t pile on the pounds.

Let me know if you find one.