Work those Abs

If, unlike me, you are one of the few women in the country with a genuinely flat stomach, then stop reading now.

I don't have a flat stomach. Nor, I should state clearly for the record, do I have a gently curvy in a womanly sort of way stomach. I have a slightly flabby, have-you-though-of-losing-a-couple-of-stone stomach. Or tummy, as I sometimes like to call it; much friendlier word, isn't it?

And my shape means that I don't wear hip-hugging pants with my midriff showing. Or clingy cut-on-the-bias dresses. Or I do, and people point and stare.

But even with regular clothes, I struggle with VPL. Now, if I had a more manageable tummy, I could wear a thong thing, immortalised by Monica. They're great - I gather - because you only get a line up the crack of your bum, rather than that no man's land where your pelvis meets your thighs. But a thong doesn't hold in my tummy.

Now there's a few different options. There's the M&S firm-control undergarment, known to the women of my family as Iron Pants as they feel like you have a piece of cast iron down the front of your knickers. But they do hold you in. Of course you can't really sit down without looking like you've slipped a disc as iron generally doesn't bend. And you can't breathe. And they don't make the fat dissapear… they merely disperse it. So you may get an overspill round your waist, or those strange bulging thighs, both of which look a little just-arrived-from-planet-flab.

But you can solve that problem: next you try bodyshaper tights. Initially, these look good, as it's pretty much an all-in-one lower body garment. But in fact what it does is move the fat lower down. Instead of bulging at the top of the thigh, you bulge half way down the thigh, where the control bit ends and the real tights start. So no good for tight fitting skirts, or trousers. Of course you could try trouser shaper tights; they push the fat even further down your thighs, so you have bulging knees.

There's no escape. There is no place for the fat to go except down the gym.

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