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100 Ways to Fight the Flab Tip-Writing Competition 2013



It was very, very difficult to choose. We wrangled and debated but finally in the end, we came to a decision. All five were terrific and in recognition of this, Mike and Janie of Chez-Castillon have been incredibly generous (thank you Janie and Mike!) and offered FOUR runner-up prizes of a £100 voucher to be used towards any of their fabulous courses. These go to:

  • Karen Booth for "The Regulating Waist Plan".
  • Jane Lovering for "Bum's Away".
  • Cathy Lennon for "Acquire a Labrador".
  • Tony Tibbenham for "Roll Six for Chocolate".

But the winner is … drum roll… etc…


CLARE MACKINTOSH for her ingenious poem!

Janie Millman, judge and co-owner of Chez Castillon, who had this one down as a firm favourite from the start, describes it as "witty and unique" saying: "It shows a great sense of humour. I really do think it's clever – I like the way she has managed to mention Chekhov and Shakespeare…" Adding "and I have always loved standing on my head."

So Hurrah for Clare and our brilliant runners-up and a round of applause to all on the long list and a huge thank you to everyone who entered. I am hoping some of you will agree to your tips (and you!) appearing in the print version of 100 Ways to Fight the Flab which is coming out at Christmas (Better get on and write it then, hadn't you? Ed).

Clare wins six nights at the amazingly gorgeous Chez Castillon in September (avec moi). And I am hoping she will give me permission to reproduce her poem in the book too.

In the meantime, your weekly Flab Fighting tips from me will resume next Sunday and for a hundred of the buggers all at once see the kindle book, available here for a mere 77p (what a bargain).

Thanks everyone. And Happy Flab Fighting.


Here – for your delight and delectation – is the poem…

Clare Mackintosh — The upside-down diet tip: a poem

I was trim, I was slim, I attended a gym,

Then I left work to become a writer.

Now I scoff, and I trough (and I'm still no Chekhov),

It's no shock that I'm getting no lighter.

I'm game for a change, I can't stay the same,

And I've hit on the perfect idea, It'll win, I'll be thin, I'll have only one chin,

A skinnier version of Shakespeare.

So what is the plot? It won't take a lot,

I shall stand on my head when I'm eating.

When I chew on my stew, without further ado

It'll stay in my head (that's the cheating).

Begone, Deli jelly! Don't enter my belly,

Go right up and hand-feed my brain.

All that bread can instead go direct to my head,

With an order of chicken chow mein.

I shall shrink, I shall slink, I'll be able to think,

With such nutrients feeding my mind.

I shall write, I shall fight, I won't ever turn upright,

In my quest for a tiny behind.

The End.

p.s. Don't try this at home.

Top Four Runners Up

Here are the top four runner up competitors, in alphabetical order by surname:

Karen Booth — The Regulating Waistband Plan

Sort the contents of your wardrobe into two piles – one a size or two smaller than your real size, the other one or two sizes bigger than you really need (this shouldn't be a problem for anyone who can relate to yo-yo dieting who's likely to have a range of sizes in their wardrobe for fat and thin stages).

The idea is to wear the smaller sizes whenever you're at home or working alone – anytime you're going to come across few people. You'll find it difficult stuffing yourself when your waistband's cutting you in two, you're likely to feel full quicker and the rolls and muffin tops you see every time you pass a mirror will be a candid reminder of the need to watch what you eat!

When it comes to socialising and being in company, it's time to choose from the "two sizes bigger" outfits and revel in the compliments when your friends ask if you've lost weight – well surely you must have done, your clothes are hanging off you!

This method also works well with the "fast and feed" plan, wearing your tight clothes on fast days will leave you feeling like you've troughed your way through a five course meal (well alright, you might also need to use a little imagination!) whereas your bigger outfits on a feed day will allow you to feel comfortable eating what you like – just don't overdo it and end up filling your "big" pants!

Cathy Lennon — Acquire a Labrador

The canine equivalent of the fat bridesmaid in lemon taffeta on your wedding photos, a Labrador will do comparative wonders for your silhouette. But he's a practical help as well.

You can get rid of those kitchen scales – when it comes to portion control, what he can demolish in thirty seconds makes the contents of your plate seem positively dainty. Even better, your chances of finishing anything are slim. Without a lifebelt and wellies you'll have to hand over at least half of what you're eating or risk drowning in a drool tsunami. Even cucumber and apple cores. And quinoa. (See! Helpful or what?)

Not only can the Labrador deploy the Vulcan death stare to Oscar-winning standard when you're trying to eat, he will offer you the same "aid to willpower" when it comes to exercise. Labradors are creatures of habit. You thought death and taxes were hard to avoid? Try missing his usual walk time. Seriously. Psychologists in the military use Labradors as the go-to training aid for SAS-style relentlessness. You'll cave. Eventually.

On the plus side – and Labradors usually are – you'll have someone who looks fatter than you do in high viz lycra. And to keep your motivation up he'll always let you win any race. Well, you won't be stopping every few yards to sniff crisp packets and lick empty Greggs bags, will you? (WILL YOU?!) But don't do your business in the street like he does. Unless you're an actual marathon runner.

Jane Lovering — Bum's Away

I recommend placing a large picture of one's object of desire some six feet distant, then practising "lunging" forward with alternate legs to place a kiss upon said object of desire. Not only does this shape the behind, but it gives necessary practice in the "snog and retreat", which comes in handy should one actually meet the object of one's desire.

  • Aim for ten kisses with each leg.
  • No liability accepted for restraining orders.
Tony Tibbenham — Roll 6 for Chocolate

If you really want that chocolate roll a dice and if you get a 6 you are allowed the treat. Variations include rolling 2 dice and only allowing the treat if you get double 6.

Things to be aware of: Only allow yourself one roll per treat, no rolling for hours until the 6 appears. Consider rolling really vigorously so you must scramble all round the room and under the sofa to find the dice after the roll: That way you get exercise and the chance of a treat.

↑Top Short List — Top Twelve

Here are the top twelve, in alphabetical order by surname:

Name Tip Name
↑Karen Booth The Regulating Waistband Plan
 Philippa Bowe Clean out your colon
 Tracy Fells The E-Plan
 Jessica Kennedy Stop Doing the Dishes
↑Cathy Lennon Acquire a Labrador
↑Jane Lovering Bum's Away
Clare Mackintosh The upside-down diet tip: a poem
 Jan Newton Make Rejection Work for You
 Janet O'Kane Why join a gym when you can work out at the supermarket?
 olivespastavino Sleep The Fat Away
 Rebecca Stanley In a Spin
↑Tony Tibbenham Roll 6 for Chocolate

↑Top The Competition

To celebrate the launch of Jane's new eBook, The 100 Ways to Fight the Flab – The Wannabe Guide to a Better Bottom, Jane and Chez Castillon are offering the chance to win a week-long writing course at the fantastic Southern France location in the Dordogne. See below for full details, rules↓ and entry form↓.

Closing date: 25th April 2013.

Judging panel includes:


To enter: Write a diet or fitness tip of your own in no more than 250 words. Entries will be judged on originality and entertainment value.

The author of the best tip will win a week's writing course with Jane Wenham-Jones, September 28th – 4th October 2013 at Chez Castillon (see their site for full description) including meals and accommodation (flights not included) – worth £875.

↑Top Rules
  1. Entries should not exceed 250 words and should be the original, unpublished work of the author.
  2. Entries should be in English and typed.
  3. Copyright will remain with the author but entrants agree to the winning and short-listed entries being published (fully attributed) on janewenhamjones.wordpress.com and wannabeawriter.co.uk. Permission may be sought to feature the winner and short-listed authors on other selected sites and include their tips in a future published work.
  4. Only one entry per person.
  5. Each entry must be subject-headed with the official entry code WRITERSBOTTOM13.
  6. The judges' decision will be final and no correspondence can be entered into.
  7. Entries which fail to conform to these requirements may be disqualified.
  8. Entry is free with no purchase necessary. However, it is strongly recommended that you read the book before entering, as the winning tip must be your own – i.e. not already included in 100 Ways to Fight the Flab.
  9. No cash prize alternative to the prizes will be offered.
  10. All entries must be received no later than 25th April 2013.
  11. Entries should be e-mailed to jane@janewenham-jones.com.
  12. The winner will be notified by e-mail after 31st May 2013 and announced on janewenhamjones.wordpress.com and wannabeawriter.co.uk.

These rules and on-line/e-mailable entry forms are also available on Jane's web site.

Entry Form

You can download an entry form (in MS Word format) from here, or fill it in directly on Jane's blog.

Thank you for entering, and good luck!

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