I can’t believe how busy I have been recently with school starting, Niamhy breaking her leg added to the stress. (Catching her playing badminton and bouncing on a trampoline in a cast at the weekend didn’t help my blood pressure either!) I have resolved to go back to the Weight Watchers system, but I just can’t afford to pay them $50 a month forever or even for a few months, so I am resolved to cheat and steal their methods.

This is how to calculate your points without going to the meetings…

First your sex and if you are nursing…Females get 2 points, males get 8 points and nursing women get 12 points. I am female so I get 2 points, my husband gets 8 points.

Next you get points according to age. Between 17 and 26 years old you get 4 extra points; between 27 and 37 add 3 points; 38-47 add 2; 48-57 add 1; over 58 you add 0. It’s a metabolic thing. I am 46 so I get 2 more points, added to my 2 female points brings my total to 4. Andy is 41 so he gets 2 points to add to his 8 points making his total 10.

Then you adjust for your weight. This is easy, you just take the first 2 numbers of your weight in pounds. I’m 181 (eek!) so my points are 18. Andy is 270 so he gets 27 points! So now I add the 4 points I got from the previous 2 steps to my 18 points and total up to 22. Andy adds his previous 10 points to this 27 and gets 37.

Next your height; If you are under 5 ft you will add 0, between 5’0″ and 5’9″ you will add 1, and over 5’10” add 2. So, I am 5′ 3″ so I add 1 point, and get 23 points. Andy is 6′ 2″ so he gets another 2 points, totalling to 39 points.

Lastly activity: If you are a couch potato add no points, if you spend your working day standing add 2 points, if you spend your working day mostly walking add 4 points, if your job is a physically demanding job then add 6 points. Andy and I both sit at computers a lot so I am adding nothing at this stage.

So my daily points allowance is 23 points and Andy’s is 39. For the record, the maximum daily points allowed are 44 points. So now you know come over to the dark side and join me in cheating Weight Watchers out of a few dollars – I think they can take it…