Published: 30/06/2005, Volume II5, No. 5962 Page 35

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

Hi Mary

I am still fit, but beginning to wonder if It is worth the effort. Now that our PCT's 'battle with the bulge' has turned us into micro-celebs, It is all got a bit scary.

Appearing with PEC chair Dr Armani on TV Local was the closest thing to hell on earth. Remind me never to whinge about the great life celebs must lead. I do not know how they cope. Seeing yourself on TV is like having to look at your most unflattering holiday snaps, not to mention hearing your horrible, whining, nasal voice and looking at your spare tyre wodging over the top of your trousers, all at the same time.

It didn't start well. 'Here we have a group of health service workers who are going to be pushing themselves to the limit - and boosting their own health, ' announced Dr Armani with his horribly sparkly smile. 'Let's pop you all on these scales to see where you're starting from.' All the old ladies in the studio audience clapped wildly. 'Starting from?

I've already lost a stone!' Droopy Trudy hissed. She was the only one of us who didn't blush scarlet when Dr Armani revealed her weight: a weeny six stone.

Head of modernisation Rog didn't seem too happy with his 13 stone 10.

Jenny, his number two, looked as if she was about to burst into tears with her 11 stone nine. And to my horror, it turned out I've lost a grand total of five pounds.

'Plenty of room for improvement there, ' brayed the glittery doc. 'And when are you brave souls going to be dangling from the end of a rope?' Rog revealed that we had just one month before our Outward Bound weekend. He looked as if Dr A was talking about a public hanging, rather than a spot of abseiling.

Back in the office, it was groans and chocolate digestives all round. 'Sorry about that, ' said Rog. 'Didn't think it would be so full-on.' After he had retreated into his office, Jenny turned to me with a shocked expression. 'Do you realise what just happened?' she asked.

'Rog apologised! He's turning into a human! Maybe this team-building thing is working after all!' Love Martha Next week: Bourbons bad, Clooney Good