I Love My Love Handles and So Should Every Woman! as Scientists Announce They Can Freeze Away Tummy Fat, One Woman Is Deliciously Defiant

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Byline: by Arabella Weir

WHEN I was eight years old I first realised that food wasn't my friend. I turned to my mum one day and, without giving it a thought, made a remark any young girl might make any day of the week: 'I love chocolate.'

My mother's response was as stern as it was bewildering. 'Well, rabella,' she said. ' hocolate doesn't love you.'

At first, I couldn't understand what she meant -- I was bright enough to know that even my favourite food didn't have feelings of its own. But I soon worked it out. hocolate was making me fat.

And, as she and my father made clear time and again, fat was not a good thing to be.

It has sometimes felt that food is actively my enemy, that it is deliberately trying to upset me.

As a teenager, I was rounder than all my lithe, mini-skirted friends and I've had a combative relationship with food for most of my life.

In fact, I've never really been fat -- it's just that, as my friend Griff Rhys Jones pointed out to me recently, I'm not thin. And you can very easily be 'not thin' without being 'fat'. After all, that's what most women are.

I remember a doctor saying to me: 'You are what we call a "famine survivor".'

He explained: 'If everyone were given nothing but a pint of milk to live on, you'd survive long after everyone else has died. You store what you eat. Others burn it off.'

SUPER news if we'd been living in the 16th century and I were a starving peasant. Not such fabulous news when it's the 21st century and I'm a 2-year-old mum of two.

I may have made my name with the catchphrase 'does my bum look big in this?', but I think the best word to describe me is well-covered, rather than that dreadful word -- 'fat'. Anyway, there was and is no answer to that most deadly of questions.

I don't know how much I weigh (the healthiest thing I ever did was chuck out my bathroom scales).

But I do know that I'm a size 14 to 16 depending on what area of my body we're dressing. I take regular exercise -- I run two or three miles, four times a week -- and I've finally got a sensible relationship with food (OK, let's say ranging from sensible to, erm, a bit crazy, sometimes).

In other words, I eat and drink because I enjoy it. And I'm prepared to live with the consequences. What are the consequences? A lumpy bit here, a bulge there, a pokey-outy bit there. Some people might consider these bulging bits to be 'love handles' (though I've always thought that term applies to men's wobbly bits). But they are part of me and I am totally relaxed about them.

Even if that means that my bra strap pressing into the flesh on my back can resemble an uncooked sausage wrapped in rubber bands.

(Though, rather to my delight, I've noticed recently that even really thin women have a bulge there once they get to the age of 40 or so.

I think it may have more to do with the elasticity of one's skin rather than how much 'tucking in' one goes in for.) But that does not stop me being intrigued by reports of a new machine that promises to banish love handles for ever.

The ,000 oolSculpting device -- not yet available in Ireland, however it is already up and running in a London clinic -- promises to 'freeze away' unwanted body fat painlessly.

Once the fat cells have died -- miraculously, skin and muscles survive the sub-zero treatment -- they are flushed away by the body, leaving the patient looking slimmer. …