WORKING LIVES

Martha is assistant director of modernisation at a primary care trust.

At the end of a busy week, she collapses in front of her PC to e-mail Mary, a former colleague, who has escaped Down Under

LHi Mary

Actually starting to get quite thin now as a result of Rog's 'Get Fit, Work Smart' campaign. I never saw him as personal trainer material, but I must admit he is pretty good at this Mr Motivator stuff. In my natural state I have the willpower and elegant restraint of Posh Spice on a crucifix binge in Claire's Accessories.

But now, mysteriously, I find I am giving the bread bin a wide berth and munching sunflower seeds instead.

'Take an Excellence in Eating Power award, ' Rog said when I got to work yesterday, handing me an orange sticker. Jenny, his deputy, has actually put on weight under this new regime, and she gave me a nasty look as she munched her salad sandwich.

Droopy Trudy, head of communications, seemed a bit put out as well. 'do not I get an award, too?' she asked. 'I am down to six and a half stone.' Roger sighed heavily. 'Trudy, you're doing a great job, but the aim of this campaign is to get fit for our Outward Bound weekend, ' he reminded her. 'At this rate, you'll be lucky to make it through the warm-up.' Jenny groaned. 'Roger, you will not even have a skeleton staff left after this, ' she said, with heavy irony. 'I've never been so demoralised in my entire life.' And with that, she lifted a Mars bar out of her drawer and took a large bite. Roger, a coward at heart, looked away.

'Whatever, ' said Trudy. 'We'll see who's got the right idea when we go on [PEC chair] Dr Armani's TV show tomorrow. Prepare to be shocked by your mounds of flesh!' Jenny groaned again and ate the rest of her chocolate in one bite. She was a funny colour for the rest of the afternoon and unusually quiet.

I felt a bit disloyal as I ate a fennel and carrot salad; Jenny and I are usually allies. But losing weight suits me. I noticed a man eyeing me in the Sainsbury's queue the other day. He was probably only wondering where I would found the wholemeal pasta, but it was a