I have realised that my attempt to 'be good' and eat healthily has to start on a Monday. Some people can't get out of bed unless the minutes past the hour are a multiple of five, some people feel a stagnant underlying pressure to arrange their socks in pristine sets of 5, but personally, my OCD-esque necessity lies in not being able to start any diet or healthy eating plan on any day other than a Monday. Why? Well, it's pretty logical. Monday is the start of the week, thus lending itself to a 'clean slate'. After a long and stressful week punctuated with comfort eating, snacking, food on the go, the odd meal out - the calories soon add up. Then comes the weekend. Well, you can't start your diet on the weekend, can you? The only two days given to us by society to have some form of freedom, to do as we please, we should be able to let our hair down and have the odd treat. Which brings us back to the only valid option, I'll start again on Monday.
The problem is, as much as your intentions are ablaze with grim determination come Monday, by Wednesday night you are sat rocking back and forth in a darkened room having withdrawal sweats from the wine and chocolate you have forgone, and by Friday you've broken free from your dietary reins in a disillusioned frenzy and are eating cake…with your hands…out of the bin. Don't try to deny it, depriving oneself of the joys of life - i.e. everything that is bad for us - usually has alarming and uncontrollable effects, resulting in a hefty backlash and a binge session so severe that even the dog starts to look tasty.
I've tried to be bold several times and go against the grain, aiming to start my 'Jennie-Be-Good' eating regime on a Tuesday or a Friday, but to no avail, as my inherent excuse generator continually reminds me that it would be a far better option to start this torturous process on a Monday. When you think about it though, as if Mondays aren't bad enough. Monday is proven to be the absolute worst day of the week and on top of that you are taking away all the naughty foods that satisfy you in your darkest hour. You may as well go the whole hog and blow torch my Sex and the City boxiest while you're at it. Realistically, the whole concept of going on a diet that cuts out every food and drink that I enjoy is never going to last very long, but I'm good at perseverance, even if it does last two days a week.
Sunday, 8 May 2011
In the time I've taken out from blogging, I've done a few writing ventures - one of which was being Editor of Nutrition Rocks for a short while. In that time I wrote a column, 'Confessions of a Real Girl' where I spoke about issues all women face to do with food, eating and weight.
Here is the first one I did.
WARNING: Boyfriend May Cause Bloating
I've been told countless times that being in love is a fast and effective way to lose weight. Your eyes meet across a crowded room, you feel a lustrous mythical aura envelope your person and in under thirty seconds you've chucked the gigantic slab of cake you were rapidly devouring in your lunch break over your shoulder. No more food is necessary from this point on. You have found love and love is your fuel. As much as the sudden ability to survive off little more than air in the first stages of blissful adoration seems magical, it is thought that chemical secretions in the brain cause appetite suppression when we meet that special someone. Pleasure doused neurotransmitter, Dopamine, is often released during the wistful process of euphoric fancy, and one effect of this joyous chemical is a diminishing desire to eat. Lucky us.
However, this turn of events and resulting brain chemistry can prove troublesome, as it's right about now that you tend to get asked out for dinner. As if having a surging feeling of trepidation in your stomach (otherwise known as infatuation) wasn't enough to put you off your food, you now have the added pressure of avoiding food in teeth, food on face and a plethora of other terrifying possibilities encountered at the dinner table. This often results in a strategic thought process to pick the 'easiest' meal on the menu and a consequent none-eating of said meal. Involuntarily starving yourself for the first few weeks of a new relationship gives you a slimmer waist line and helps your boyfriend to validate the stereotype that women don't eat, which of course we all know isn't the case on a solitary Friday night when the only thing stopping you from opening another tub of ice cream is the walk to the freezer.
Of course, time goes by and you leave the flurry of infatuation, returning to your usual eating habits. However, for some reason you now experience an ability to match the appetite of your boyfriend. You cook a romantic meal for your man, and whereas a few weeks ago you'd give him a considerably larger portion than yourself, your inherent greed returns with a vengeance and you are stood staring at both plates thinking you want more. Before you know it you're armed with a bib and a fork ready to lock horns in a feasting battle. The jump from no appetite to eating everything within your peripheral vision is a result of comfort, which doesn't quite hit you until you realise you've put on two stone and strangers are offering you their seat on the bus. Enter a state of bleakness and despair. If possible, it is a state to be avoided because with it brings lowered self-esteem and often a series of non-effective crash diets to try and banish your newly formed love lumps. A simple 'head over heart' approach to eating is needed here. Realisation of the cause of your primary lowered appetite, acceptance of its return, portion control and the knowledge that men are built to consume more calories are all helpful in the art of striking a balance between love-sick starvation and contented consumption.
Bella Towse is a London based illustrator and Visual Planner at Pearlfisher - where I have done quite a bit of work experience, researching trend insights. Bella also did a gorgeous illustration (love heart above) for one of my column articles for Nutrition Rocks. I love Bella's style. She uses layers, colour and composition to create really inventive constructions that are both exciting and abstract. There are more illustrations on her website - showing her drawing skills as well as mixed media like the pieces above.