When your doctor replies to the question, "Should I do some exercise?" with the following answer, it's probably a sign:
"I wouldn't recommend it right now. You'd probably keel over there and then."
When you get to the stage where a person you don't really know - literally a step away from being a complete stranger - feels able to pat you on the stomach and say: "So when's it due?" that's almost certainly a sign. (I didn't smile back at her. She probably thought that being my size I could at least have had the good manners to be jolly.)
When you can't find clothes that fit you easily, that's not necessarily a sign. But when you can't even find a belt that fits, that's a sign. It's a great big sign. A great big fat sign, if you like.
The doctor was very nice, by the way. He showed me lots of numbers on his screen. There was the cholesterol one which was high and needed to be lower. Then the vitamin D and calcium ones which were too low and needed to be higher. Very low, they were. I have the vitamin D of a cave-dwelling emo teenager and the calcium levels of an 80-year old, bizarrely. Heaven help me if I have a fall.
The doctor, after warning me against exercise until I lost some tonnage ("Your knees would outlast your heart") gave me some diet advice. And it went like this:
"All the things you like to have? Stop having them. And all the things you really don't like, you need to have more of them. If I see you in Greggs, you're a dead man."
Before you ask, I'm pretty much quoting him word for word.
He prescribed me some calcium tablets to be taken for the next year. I wonder if it's possible to overdose on them? Would you go all stiff-limbed and grin at everyone? Who knows.
So this is why, after a last calorie-laden blow-out on Saturday evening, Sunday found Katie and me in the supermarket, looking at green things. We bumped into a friend; I told him we were strangers to the vegetable aisle and he thought I was joking.
I was not joking.
I'll tell you something, though. Those people who say, often in a breezy, carefree manner, that you can eat healthily and pay no more than eating junk? They're talking arrant bollocks. I've got a weekly shopping bill some three times my normal amount as proof. I feel that some adjustments might be necessary for next week.
But we'll make the adjustments and go on. Because there was another set of scary numbers over the weekend. An 18, followed by a 1. 18 stone, 1 pound (or 253 pounds if you're American).
We've been here before, haven't we?