"Number 96's Jeff Kevin (Arnold Feather) and Elaine Lee (Vera Collins) with Ian McLean and Steve Vizard on a reunion episode of "Tonight Live".
Okay, today's retro photograph (from 1993) celebrates two things. First, I thank myself for finding the "Number 96" DVD today - the very last one in stock was sitting on the "New Releases" shelf at HMV in the city. Stupid Myer/Virgin and Sanity elected not even to order in copies from Umbrella Entertainment for their shops (???), causing me lots of heartache yesterday, and innumerable angry and/or puzzled emails from vistors to my website this week.
And the pic also reminds me that all of the clothes I'm wearing in that scene actually fit me again, and some have even come back into fashion (I hope).
I started my writing life in 1993, and received an invitation to join Selwa Anthony's literary agency not long after. "Succeed Some More in '94", held in the November of '93, was my first event. Although I'm yet to have earned Selwa any commission yet, being a part of such a stimulating group of new and experienced authors is an incredible honour. One doesn't just learn more about writing and publishing at Selwa's annual seminar. Because each Aussie speaker has written (or published) in one or more of a huge range of genres, the attendees have their horizons widened too. I probably wouldn't have had a job as an editor for four and a half years without the self-esteem building and the skills awareness and the motivation that have spun-off from Selwa's seminars. Now I just have to finish writing something. (Or something good, anyway. Or at least something commercial.)
In November 1995, at "Succeed and Mix in '96", Dianne Barker previewed her diet and body shaping book, "Fat Free Forever", which she'd written with her then-husband, TV's "Commando" (Geoff Barker) of "Gladiators" fame. I was so inspired - and feeling Very Pudgy at 90 kg - I started the diet plan the very next day. Before Dianne's book had even been published, the notes I'd made of the diet plan's bare essentials meant that I had managed to lose 10 kg before Easter, and a few weeks later had reached 75 kg, ultimately levelling out and maintaining 77 kg. "Fat Free Forever" even permits a weekly Junk Food Day - and it really felt great when both my brain and my body started craving "healthy" junk food instead of the naughtier stuff. A sensible "sweat free diet" like this suited me well; I do walk a lot, not having a car, but I loathe most other sports and exercise.
However, as with many diets, people do tend to become complacent and fall off the wagon after a while, and they usually put back more than they lost. I barely noticed that, over the next twelve years, I sloooooooowly put back that fifteen lost kilograms - plus another fourteen for good measure! I began to think that I could have written a sequel (or a correction) to Dianne's book. I would have called it "Fat Free for Five Years".
Last September, once again feeling Very Bloated, I had to go to a day surgery to have a tiny carcinoma removed from the tip of one ear. The procedure required twilight anaesthesia and I suddenly realised that, when the nurse asked me to stand on a set of scales, she was going to announce the reading out loudly to the whole waiting room. Sure enough, "101!" she exclaimed, oh so gleefully. My only joy probably came from noticing that my surgeon obviously enjoyed his food more than I. He reminded me somewhat of Dr Frank Campion on TV's "All Saints"...
My (in hindsight, dubious) solution was to go on vacation with some friends who love their junk food, and I returned to work two weeks later weighing in at 104 kg.
Anyway, I resolved to dig out "Fat Free Forever" again - it's been lent out to numerous friends over the years, usually with excellent results - and I'm thrilled to report Repeat Success. It's been much slower going this time. One friend who chose the "Weight Watchers" way instead has spent over $450 to lose her weight. Thanks to FFF, I've now lost 18 kg so far and (according to the more generous 21st century version of the "Weight Watchers" height/weight chart I was given), I only really need to lose four more kilograms to reach a sensible, maintainable goal.
That's more than two Jack Russell terriers' worth of ugly fat I've managed to lose so far. And, to celebrate the fact that FFF has saved me well over $400, I raced out and bought myself a new leather jacket. Honestly, the scent of this jacket is so luxurious, I swear I can smell it from here. (And it's in the bedroom wardrobe at the moment; I'm not actually wearing it.)
My point is, in my typical roundabout way, I can now most definitely fit into the outfit that I bought in 1993 to emulate a TV historian on "Tonight Live". Those cool microfibre slacks once again fit my cool micro waist. Only four kilograms to go and I'm "Fat Free Forever" again. For at least five years.