There are many things I love about being a comedian. They include making people laugh, writing jokes and hanging out with my comedy partner, Ellie. The fact all these things usually take place in pubs is a massive plus.
But for me, the best thing about comedy is that I'm valued according to the quality of my jokes, not the size of my bum or the width of my waist. I feel sorry for people who work in industries where these things matter - like modelling, for example.
Kate Moss once famously said, "Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels." Poor love. She can't polish off the kids' bolognese as well as her own, then turn up to work in a pair of supermarket jeans she hasn't washed for three months, can she? But I can! Clearly, I am winning at life.
Right now, I feel like I am the perfect size for being funny. I have never felt happier or more hilarious on stage, or gotten as many laughs... And I've never been this fat.
But off-stage, I've been feeling a bit rough - tired, achey in the mornings and generally low. So I went to see my GP. She was very kind and very honest. She took my blood pressure, banged my knees with the kiddy's hammer and all the rest of it. Then she took a deep breath and announced: "You are short for your weight."
"Right," I said. "So you're saying I need to start wearing heels?"
Neither of us laughed, because we both knew what she was really saying. I have a bad case of Being Fat. I have left the land of Within the Normal Range, crossed the Overweight Bridge and arrived in the Valley of the Obese.
The doctor went on to gently suggest I "have a think about Weight Watchers" and "try some light exercise." But, she said, the bottom line (I do wish she'd used a different turn of phrase) is that I HAVE to lose some weight.
I know she's right. Since having kids I have put on 20kgs, going from a voluptuous size 12 to an extra-cuddly size 18.
Here's the problem: I DON'T CARE. Right now, I am, plain and simply, bloody happy. I've had two kids, kept everyone alive for six years and still managed to kick off a career doing something I adore. Yes, I have spent many hours eating biscuits and drinking wine with other mums in a bid to stop myself going insane - but the thing is, it's worked.
Losing weight and doing exercise do not feature high on my list of priorities, which includes things like keeping my family and myself happy, eating cheese, and sitting around watching funny cat videos on YouTube. Given the choice, I'd always rather spend an hour chatting with a friend over cake than trying to hold in a fart at a yoga class.
I know I have issues with food. Being hungry makes me angry (hangry?), and neither nice nor funny. In a bit to avoid this I usually preload before I go out, just in case, say, the cafe is slow with my toastie. I understand this isn't conducive to being thin and is, well, a bit stupid.
I am also scared of exercise. I don't mind showing off my body on stage (as anyone who saw the show where I spent two minutes jumping on a trampoline in an animal print leotard can testify.) But put me in a group of fitness-minded women and I shit my pants.
Back story time: I grew up in Australia, a country fixated on sports and the outdoors. I spent my entire childhood feeling awful for being unfit and terrible at exercise. The netball girls were bitchy, the hockey girls were bullies and I was always last in the long distance running race. I associate physical activity with failure and sadness, with ridicule and being made to feel bad about who I am.
Doing comedy has the opposite effect. I prance around in gold lycra catsuits, dancing to Bonnie Tyler songs and making literally tens of people laugh, all using the same body I was so ashamed of in my teens.
It's not that I've never wanted to lose weight, though, or that I'm incapable of doing it. Five years ago, I went through a period where I made conscious decisions about everything that went in my mouth. I obsessed over herbal tea, agonised over almonds and was generally a tedious person to be around.
But I had a goal: I was getting married. Five months before the wedding, I walked into Vivienne Westwood and announced my desire for a fabulous frock. With a lot of help from two shop assistants, and a fair bit of swearing, I squeezed into a size 16. Then I asked for the size 12.
"You know you can't return this, don't you?" said the dubious looking assistant.
"Yes," I said. "I am not going to be a fat bride."
So in fact, not only did I have a goal, but a deadline. For five months I refused cake, shunned wine and ran everywhere. And sure enough, exactly five minutes before I walked down the aisle, I was thin enough to fit into the frock. It was a big, stupid risk, but thankfully it paid off.
I'd be lying if I said I didn't enjoy being thin back then. I loved the compliments I got and being able to feel my hip bones. I didn't feel shy about trying on clothes, I had loads of energy and I was happy to lie on the beach in my swimsuit. I had done it - I was Helen the Lovely Bride. I felt SEXY!
There was just one problem - I didn't feel funny. I wasn't doing comedy, so I wasn't Helen the Stand-Up, and that made me sad. It felt like being hilarious and being a size 12 were mutually exclusive.
Don't get me wrong - I love thin people, and some of my favourite funny people in the whole world are skinny as rakes. I know that fat doesn't equal funny, as a general rule. But for me personally, it does.
That's because for me, being funny is about not giving a shit. It's about being at ease with reality, letting go of hang-ups and embracing life with honesty. And that includes accepting my body the way it is.
Plus, I am now one-half of a comedy duo, and I like being the warm and cuddly one. Ellie is lean, sharp and cynical; I am jolly, likeable and larger-than-life. It's an age-old dynamic, but that's because it works.
So it makes sense for my comedy career to keep mainlining carbs and cheese. Doesn't it?
Maybe Kate Moss has a point. There are all sorts of things wrong with what she said, but I do know what she meant in one sense, because nothing tastes as good as funny feels. No lasagne, cheesecake or milk chocolate Hob Nob will ever make me feel the way I do when a room full of strangers laughs at one of my jokes. So I just have to replace the Big Macs with guffaws.
I know it's time to grow up - I am heading towards 40 and ultimately, my fat might stop me doing what I love. I need to be fit to perform hour-long comedy shows and be a healthy, active mum. The kids are tougher to keep up with now they're older. So maybe it's time to skip those pre-lunch lunches and avoid the post-gig kebabs. Wish me luck!
A new episode of The Scummy Mummies Podcast is released every fortnight - listen free via scummymummies.com or download via iTunes. We're on Facebook and Twitter - @scummymummies. Come see us perform live at Camp Bestival, July 31st - 2 Aug.