Things are a bit tight at the moment. In more ways than one. Can a bit of string be the solution?

Can the Mallory Band - a posh bit of string round your belly - help you lose weight?
Can the Mallory Band - a posh bit of string round your belly - help you lose weight?
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How long is a piece of string? In our house, the answer would be: never as long as you need it to be.

It’s a dead cert that, after a frustrating shufty through our odds and sods drawer (every home has one, surely), there will not be a piece long enough to tie around my big Christmas belly. Why would I want to, you ask? Well. Because a simple bit of string could give me the willpower to do what I haven’t done since I rejoined WeightWatchers in October; stop stuffing my gullet.

Getting wed - and not looking like a burly transvestite builder in my dress - provided the motivational force that shifted my excess baggage. Over seven months, with WW guidance, I lost 21 lbs. But five years of marriage has piled it all back on.

Everything in a size 12 now sits at the back of the wardrobe, smirking: ‘You can’t wear me anymore, fatty - ahahahahaha!’ I am now buying 14s. Now’t wrong with being the nation’s average size if you’re happy with it, I must point out. But really, I am not. I am sick of having to find drapey clothes that act like sofa throws on a well-cushioned human form. Sick of having to undo the button on my jeans when I’ve had my tea.

What I need to do is absurdly simple. I need to eat less. But finding the willpower is so damned hard. Bad food is NICE. And there’s still stacks of it in the house. On taking down the trimmings on Twelfth Night we discovered all the tree chocolates still in situ (that’s what happens when your kid goes to live in London), So we ate ‘em, while also battling to make an inroad into two whacking hunks of leftover cheese.

Chocolate and cheese; such a great combination. Why can no one come up with a diet where you eat only things that begin with ch? Chorizo could be on it, too. And chips.

I AM going to stand on my WW leader’s scales on Thursday. To face the music, but still I fear imminent failure. Research backs me up. One in two fall off a diet within 24 hours. One in 20 have NEVER got to dieting Day Two. Simply having a bad day is enough to send us clawing through the biscuit tin. Pathetic.

So, that string. The theory? A piece tied around your middle tightens when you eat a big meal and reminds you to eat less, says former rally driver Penny Mallory. She’s invented the Malory Band, basically a posh bit of string priced £24.95. Money’s tight at the mo, so I’ll DIY; tie a couple of shoelaces together. It’s not a good look, but neither is a Santa belly.