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My brief encounter with magic knickers

THE thing about control pants is that they are a short-term solution to a long-term problem. I know this because I tried them one time when I put on weight.

Spanx weren't knocking around back then, so I got myself a pair of Sloggi Control Briefs that sucked my tummy in, which meant I didn't have to.

The results were instant but the feeling of removing my control pants at the end of the day was one of relief, mixed with a tiny bit of despair that while my magic knickers had created a momentary -- if pleasant -- fiction, there was really no escaping my weight gain.

Women in particular are masters at lying to ourselves when it comes to body issues. We will go through several stages of denial before actually admitting that we have been a bit of a Miss Piggy.

Before I embarked on my brief fling with Sloggis, I had completely convinced myself that the dry cleaners were responsible for shrinking my skirts.

And I am not alone, a pal of mine recently told me that she was sure her slimming club 'altered' the scales.


However, eventually the lie, like our bellies, becomes too big to ignore.

Most of us get our 'aha!' moment when we see a picture of ourselves which categorically confirms we have in fact become a fat bast**d.

I'm in my 30s, so I've quite the photo collection by now, but I'm also a lot more clued up about health, diet and fitness and so I can complete a successful U-turn long before I arrive at the control pants stage.

One thing that I have learned is that sadly, no matter how much you exercise, diet is 80pc responsible for your size.

So while it is comforting to know that even Gwyneth Paltrow has admitted to using Spanx for red carpet outings I shall remain impervious to the spring shapewear offerings from the likes of Spanx, Marks & Spencer, Plie, Prima Donna, Body Shaper and The Contour Dress.

>dee o'keeffe