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Label / Cat. No: BBC Records & Tapes REC 284
First Released: 1977

What The Album Blurb Says...

I say "enjoy your slimming" because it is much more successful if you do. It is a bore to be forever worrying about strict diets and complicated calorie counting. It can be just a simple "way of life". Regular exercise and sensible eating will keep your weight where you want it. It works for both men and women, as my husband could tell you. Cut down on fats, starches and sugars, exercise regularly and you are on the way. To help you to select the non-fattening foods there are two lists. Plan your meals around the first and try to avoid the second. Don't deny yourself all the foods you really like even if they are on the fattening list because this way leads to tension and you won't enjoy your slimming. Just reduce the quantities and include small amounts in a balanced eating programme.

For a really spectacular loss of weight, say six to seven stone, then I would suggest group therapy - Silhouette Slimming Club have wonderful results, which I have seen for myself, that is why I sought their advice with this album for those of us who wish to lose a lesser amount and to stay slim throughout our lives.

Don't forget the bathroom scales, these play a major part in our slimming plan. Decide on a reasonably weight for you height and work for that. I find at 5ft 2 1/2ins, eight and a half stone is about right and easy to hold, but bone structure can make a difference of several pounds. Weigh yourself once a week minus clothes and look for a gradual but steady weight loss - 2lbs a week adds up to nearly four stone in six months. Don't be disappointed if after losing weight at first - nothing happens for a time. This is quite normal while the body adjust to its new exercise and sensible eating pattern. But watch that fattening list! My own personal best hints are these: BUY THE RIGHT FOODS. If you have got them in the house you will eat them. If you haven't you will eat what is there, and they may be on the wrong list!

Finally, get out and walk. Carry nothing but yourself but carry yourself well - and don't worry. If you slip up today, there is always tomorrow.

Best Wishes,

Eileen Fowler


In a man's world a light-hearted approach to slimming is more likely to be successful than serious denial, as sensible eating and exercise are not usually his favourite subjects. he will joke about being overweight while fully realising the importance of keeping it down. Long hours spent sitting in an office chair or other sedentary occupations tend to tire the brain and exhaust the body, leaving him disinclined to take kindly to anything but the food and drink he likes in order to relax.

The pace of life today with its attendant stresses and strains can have a lasting effect on the way we look and feel and it's essential to counteract this in the best way we can. If overweight and the ensuing lack of vitality and energy is a problem , what better way than to Enjoy Your Slimming. Near starvation and tiring work-outs are out of date, and the more relaxed and healthy way to combat spreading and tension is in. It's a question of application. When eating out, study the menu carefully and choose as far as possible according to the suggestions given on List 1. If you really want Ma's apple pie, have it - not too much and not too often, and you won't feel deprived. of course you will want a drink, but the odd tomato juice can be useful. Drink, if and when you need it - or the occasion demands.

Figurewise - take a look at these diagrams and cut this exercise bogey down to size. concentrate on two areas - chest/shoulders and back for good posture, and you will never walk head first, but stay straight and tall. Work on the tummy muscles for control and you will look and feel better. try the following three exercises - Side 1. The Wall Game, Hairpin Bend and Arm Circling, Touch Toe. With a bit of help from the family regarding food, you will be slimmer and fitter and it's quite painless.

What I Say

I have this indistinct memory of seeing black and white footage from the early 50s of pert young girls in pointy bras and gym knickers doing healthy, wholesome exercises - presumably to keep them sound of morals and fit for whichever young buck they might marry, settle down with and make a home for. Assuming that this isn't just some figment of my fevered imagination, the work presented here by Eileen Fowler would be the perfect soundtrack to such a film.

Eileen is a no-nonsense woman. Oh, she seems friendly enough with her occasional chuckles and chummy manner, but the authority in her voice commands you to follow her instructions immediately and to the letter. There's a schoolma'am quality that marks her out for an ideal P.E. teacher in Malory Towers.

It turns out though that Eileen was a very sensible woman who spent her life crusading to get people fitter and eating more healthily. Perhaps it is this campaigning zest which fires the authority I mentioned. Yet that is forgiveable when you realise that what she's trying to do is improve people's lives. If there had been more people spreading Eileen's message a bit earlier, we might not be facing the supposed 'obesity crisis'. What's more important is that we might have been spared endless fitness DVDs of pneumatic 'lovelies' in lycra.

This album clearly focuses on the exercises - simple things that you can do at home. No equipment is needed, just a willingness to obey Eileen's commands at a moments notice. She whizzes through the exercises, and leaves it a bit late with the instructions. I have to admit, I haven't actually tried any of the exercises, not least because I know that a combination of my unco-ordinatedness and her late instructions would lead to an unsightly tangle. However, this isn't just about exercise. We are handily presented with two lists in the sleeve notes - food to eat lots of and food to avoid where possible. Unsurprisingly, the former is full of fruit, vegetables, fish and Ryvita whole-grain (OK, that last bit's a lie, but you get the picture), and the latter list seems to be a foretelling of my diet - chocolate, fried foods, biscuits, alcohol, and really anything that makes life worth living.

I would have assumed that this was common knowledge, even in 1977, but I really don't know. But that's the main feature of this record - it seems anachronistic, even for such unenlightened times as the late seventies. If this album had been produced in 1954 it would seem perfectly natural, but to think that it was produced in my lifetime makes it seem alien. To be fair, this record was a tie-in with Eileen's series of the same name on Radio 4's "Today" programme. I suspect that those listening to Radio 4 in 1977 thought it was still 1954.

As with that Peter Powell exercise album, it's hard to pick out any individual tracks, so instead I've compiled just a few of my favourite soundclips. I'm very pleased to know how to avoid a 'Dowager's Hump' thanks to Eileen's sound advice. Now, can anyone tell me what a Dowager's Hump actually is?


Side 1

1. The "Wall Game" For A Slimming Stretch
2. "Hairpin Bend" For Tummy Muscles
3. "Circle Touch Toe" For Arms, Chest, Shoulders and Back.
4. Sequence - Repeat all three exercises linking them together

Side 2

1. See Saw Stretch For Waistline And Knees
2. "Roll And Reach" For Tummy, Seat And Hips
3. "Rolling Pin Roll" To Fine Down Your Figure (sic)
4. Sequence - Repeat all three exercises linking them together and improvising to the extra music

Sound Clips

Is Your Right Knee Ready?
That's What I'm After
Dowager's Hump
Do What Now?

Final score:

1954 out of 10

Google Is Your Friend

Date: 2008-07-14 02:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

Now that you know what it is (sorry to ruin any naughty illusions), I must say this lady does look rahtha British, except she doesn't have the obligatory cake on her head:


Jolly ta, then, blokey-poo! ;)

Re: Google Is Your Friend

Date: 2008-07-18 09:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Howdy y'all!

Hmmmm. Speaking as a thoroughly English gentleman, I have to say that I have never seen a lady with a cake on her head, as much as I may have wished to.

Equally, the phrase 'Jolly ta' is alien to me, unless one is speaking of one of Her Majesty's Royal Navy, in which case you may refer to a member of personnel as a 'Jolly Tar'.

Having said all that, your picture does look like my gran. And I am thoroughly disappointed that a dowager's hump isn't more filthy. But then again, there's an opportunity for a niche porn site if ever there was one...
From: [identity profile]
I can see how you'd think Ms Fowler's comment, "shoulder/neck tension can lead to a dowager's hump," could be construed as erotic ~ if one didn't know what a dowager was. Well, even if you DID know ~ as in your reference to niche porn.

And, after all, it's probably pretty common for a shoulder/neck massage to lead to other things.

As long as I'm doomed to be old anyway, I wish I were a dowager $$$
Without a hump.

Wellll ..... he would have to be very, very dishy. ;P

a cake on her head

Date: 2008-07-18 06:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
---Eddie Izzard reference, when speaking of any lady in the gran age range ~ including his own gran, and the Queen Mother (that bit was recorded when she still was with us ~ I mean, y'all). If you haven't heard his albums, well, you MUST.

Come to think of it, Jackie Kennedy would often wear a cake on her head, and it was considered high fashion. Usually chocolate.

Hmmm. Why did the term 'Jolly Tar' remind me of the pre-Beatles Eppy hanging out at the docks? Never mind.

"Jolly ta" ~ hahaa, I made that up. We can make up stuff here, because we live in the land of life, liberty and the pursuit of dotty fabrications (WMD's in Iraq and many such delightful creations).

Which brings me to another Izzardly reference:
...because you have a gun problem, and it's because America's worked too well. You've worked too well. It was a good idea, freedom, ya know, the pursuit of freedom...happiness...pursuit of enjoyment? Happiness? The [I have no idea what he says here], I don't know, something. The pursuit of something.
But you pursue happiness. [Mimes stalking with a rifle, with American accent]
"C'mon, ya fuckin' happiness!"
"I found me some happiness, I'm gonna shoot it now!"
"You fuckin' happiness!"
"You come at me with those big fuckin' eyes, and..."
"Oh, shit. I shot my mother. I thought it was a deer. Oh, dear, anyway...well, we'll put some antlers on her, and do a sort of Woody Allen-type bit of stand-up."
Umm...yeah. So, umm, uhh, yeah, so, the gun control thing. 'Cause we've got no guns, Australia's got no guns, YOU've got 'em all. And you're the Roman Empire now, ya know, there's no other superpower, so you're just out there and we can't catch up. Europe could get there, but it'll take us a bit of time. 'Cause we had it, the British Empire, and we lost it by going "Oh, do you think so?" and, "Umm..." a lot.
And "Oh, really? Have they?" There was a lot of that towards the end of the empire. "Are you sure?"
Eddie Izzard, Circle transcript (
I wish I could link sound bites. If you want me to upload Circle or any other Eddie Izzard albums to megaupload (or wherever), please let me know. I personally prefer the audio version of all his stuff ~ because I usually find his appearance, though not unpleasant by any means, still a bit distracting to the material. *Sorry, Eddie, I love ya anyway.*

(no subject)

Date: 2008-07-17 11:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Picture the scene. it's 1977, disco and funky tunes are a-spinnin' all over, punk is looming in the urban sprawls of cities....Blondie are even mixin' the two! Then this exercise album appears, with its insipid and leaden Reggie dixon/mrs mills backing muzak. To cap it all, instead of some hip talkin' dude, there's this plummy RP schoolmistress telling the overweight plebs what to do! WTF?

it's 'retro' before the term was even invented - breathtaking in its incongruity! a piece of pre-postmodernism! (or a commercial screw up of epic proportions!)

(no subject)

Date: 2008-07-18 09:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Ah, but you see, I'm pretty sure Eileen Fowler is the godmother of Rap. After all, in a number of the exercises she's barking her instructions in a speaking voice, rhythmically, over a musical backing. If that's not Rap, then I don't know what is.

She's not Retro, she's ahead of her time!


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