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Most women may think all their problems in life would be solved if only they were thinner. It may seem churlish to complain - I should be grateful to be reasonably healthy and have a full set of limbs, I know - but if I were plumper not only would I be more attractive, but life would be much simpler.

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Instead, we are destined to drown in baggy floral ensembles from stores such as Marks & Spencer, which only seem to stock voluminous clothes.My frustration with being skinny is so long-standing that about a decade ago, sick of my lack of curves, I had breast augmentation surgery, which took me from a C to an E cup.If the choice were mine, I certainly wouldn't look 15 years younger from the back than from the front - as proved by the lascivious young man who, last year, admired me from behind only to loudly voice his disappointment when he got a close-up of my 50-year-old face.We've been together eight years, and he is still bemused at how much I can put away: 'You're always eating!A 20-something skinny can stock up on tiny tops and tight skirts at Topshop and Jack Wills and look fantastic.

We ageing skinnies risk looking like mutton dressed as lamb if we wear any of the outfits which fit us properly.

(Given that the Government estimates that our obesity epidemic will cost the NHS £6.4 billion a year by 2015, I assume that the health risk rolls of fat pose must be much greater than my lack of weight).

Just as those desperate to drop a dress size might struggle to find fashion that fits, coming across an age-appropriate outfit for a fifty-something size 6 is rarer than a leftover biscuit at Overeaters Anonymous.

I eat twice as much as I did in my 20s (when I looked better), only to find myself a stone lighter now than then. I've never dieted, so my metabolism has never had a chance to slow down. My boyfriend does all the dog walking - I don't even leave my house save the occasional errand.

These days I try to expend as few calories as possible, and don't give a fig about being unfit.

' he will exclaim as I sit next to him watching the news while crunching toast spread with lashings of butter, topped with clotted cream.