Until I was 13 I was as thin as a rake. Then I got a terrible bout of food poisoning on a school trip to Russia, the effects of which lasted for six months. Since then I only have to look at a Smartie and I put on a pound. I also have quite a big frame (all that bale carting in my teenage years) and a long body, so even if I put weight on, I can carry it better than most. In my twenties I ranged from 14-15 stone. I remember when I lived in Germany I weighed 92kg. But in my thirties and forties my weight continually went up and I think I peaked at around 19 stone at the turn of the century. There’s a pic from a Labour conference with Mo Mowlam (where she squeezed my butt cheeks… but that’s another story) where I look like a right fat chozzer (that’s an Essex expression).

I got my weight down to 17 and a half stone but for a long time found it difficult to get below that. However, in the last couple of years it’s been between 16’3 and 16’7. So when I went to Spain a week ago, that’s what I was – 16’3. Today, astonishingly, for the first time in 25 years I am under 100kg at 15st 10.

Admittedly for the first two days I was away I felt rather ill and lost my appetite almost completely, but even so, losing half a stone in a week is going some. I even feel thin. My face is thin. I reckon I’ve lost 2 inches off my waist and could fit into 34 trousers with a squeeze for the first time since about 1990.

There’s no doubt about it that I have been eating better and less for some time now. I haven’t eaten any chocolate or sweets for six weeks. So the question is, can I or should I lose any more? I know there’s a point where people who lose too much weight start to look ill, wizened and old. Being a vain bastard I have no wish to look either of those!

It’s taken a long time to see the figures 1 and 5 on the scales rather than 6 or 7, but I don’t think I’ll go so far as wanting to see a 1 and a 4. I suspect that would be going a little too far.

At least my doctor will be pleased when I go for my next diabetes checkup!