I went shopping for lingerie. After my experience with the magic knickers I was searching for something flattering, comfortable and unlikely to cause stress fractures. After a while, as I looked for something that would lift me here and pull me in there, I became aware that it was unlikely I would find the ideal garment. I actually tried to put on a body shaping elastane cocoon in Marks and Spencer and had to give up, exhausted. It got as far as my knees and then rolled itself up into a thick sausage of lycra fabric, tightly cinched my legs together and refused to roll up my body any further. It was like trying to put on a wet swimming costume.
Deciding that underwear that gives you an unwanted workout and sheen of sweat while cutting off the circulation in your lower legs wasn't for me and should, in fact, be lobbed forcefully through the changing room curtains in the general direction of the perky sales assistant who recommended it, I returned to the lingerie department, discouraged and dishevelled.
I had originally been thinking along the lines of "if I can only find the right underwear I won't need to lose weight." This is stupid thinking. Even if I managed to wear something so tight it squeezed all the lumps and bumps of my torso into a smooth and shapely form the fat would simply be displaced elsewhere. I would have great big wobbly arms, ankles or a fat neck.
Time for a rethink.
I bought perfectly ordinary underwear, the kind which does not purport to have magical powers. It covers and supports the parts it's supposed to and lets the rest hang free, undulating gently, unrestrained. I also bought exotic oils and lotions to massage into my skin. My thoughts had turned from the delusional retail Utopia I had fondly imagined and were now counselling acceptance of what nature had seen fit to bestow upon me. "If I rub gorgeous smelling creams over my body, leaving my swells and hollows soft and scented," I reasoned, " then I don't really need underwear at all."