The lockdown weight gain is only getting worse - Gaby Soutar

The return to restaurants has scuppered my diet.

Published 17th Sep 2021
Updated 16 th Sep 2021

Most of my life, I’ve been slim-ish.

In fact, the second most common question I’ve always been asked as a restaurant reviewer is “where do you put all that food?”

I think it’s rhetorical of course, but I always say I’m wearing elaborate corsets and Spanx.

I don’t think I’d be asked that quite so regularly now.

Apparently, during lockdown, most of us put on about 10 pounds.

It’s true that pretty much every friend and family member I’ve seen, after a long hiatus, has had a softer jawline and slightly cuddlier texture.

In my case, and probably theirs too, that’s in part down to the lack of active commuting, and a general sense of low-energy ennui. Team that with the sudden normalisation of Biscoff doughnuts as an afternoon snack.

Currently, doing up my jeans is like tying a string round the middle of a balloon – a perfect illustration of the Soutars’ propensity to apple-shaped-ness.

We should change our surname to Braeburn. When I walk, I feel a gentle ripple, like I’m a blancmange on top of a speaker.

The problem is that it’s getting worse. I thought I’d spring back after lockdown, like celebrities are supposed to two minutes after giving birth. However, I’ve been hamstrung by the excitement of returning to restaurants.

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I have bon vivant-ed my way round them with great gusto. I check my willpower at the door, before scanning the QR code.

In my last The Scotsman Magazine restaurant review, I ordered a pizza that was topped with sausage, bacon and Buckfast. In tomorrow’s magazine, you can read about me troughing pig’s head terrine and chocolate mousse.

Now it’s autumn, when the temperature drops and my hunger takes the form of a bear.

However, since it’s Friday – one of my official treat days, which also includes Monday, Wednesday and the weekend – and I’ve already purchased my regular caramel brownie, I’m going to port these worries for the weekend.

Also, in case you’re wondering what the number one most common question I get asked as a restaurant reviewer is, it’s “do they know that you’re coming?”.

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The answer is no, but I’m definitely much harder to miss these days.

Gaby Soutar is a lifestyle editor at The Scotsman. She has been reviewing restaurants for The Scotsman Magazine since 2007 and edits the weekly food pages.
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