Over the festive period, all I did that was different from normal was eat a big dinner, snaffled up party food at highly inappropriate times of the day, nicked half of the chocolates I bought my husband (sorry Andy), and drank a bit more alcohol than normal. I still went out for my daily walk and did housework (although maybe not quite as much as usual!). I guzzle herbal tea by the gallon anyway and this Christmas was no different.
In short, I don’t think I’ve been especially unhealthy but instead just took it easy, and chilled out. I don’t believe I’m unique in that.
Us curvy women are more likely to put on weight than our slimmer sisters this is true. Even so, why then do we all feel so much guilt? Could it be connected with us being barracked and told we should feel awful, because if we don’t – well, there’s something wrong with us? An unholy torrent of emails from slimming companies started appearing in my inbox just before Christmas, and right on time on 1st January. They suggested diets aplenty:
Eat what you want…just fast for two days each week.
Eat what you want…just from certain food groups.
Eat what you want…only between 9am and 5pm.
Eat what you want…as long as it’s eggs.
Our shakes are delicious – and you won’t feel hungry, we promise!
I’ve had a leaflet through the door from not one, not two but three local slimming groups, and one from the local gym. That’s quite an industry going on there.
It was my wedding anniversary this week so we went to celebrate in our favourite Italian restaurant, The Casa Italia on Stanley Street in Liverpool. We love it due to the food and atmosphere but because of the amazing sculpture of Eleanor Rigby (from The Beatles song) right across the road. Everyone says hello to Eleanor before they go in and tuck into their food with no self consciousness, but hey that’s Italian food for you!
On Saturday I posted pictures of our dinners – and wine – on Twitter and Facebook. I had many tweets back, some telling me how ‘jealous’ people were because I was eating pasta in January. For a couple of minutes I felt like a big old greedy heifer, then I thought no – this is just silly. Eat your food, woman. It’s delicious!
I’m not saying people shouldn’t limit the amount of food they have if it’s calorific or liable to put the pounds on, but should there be a sense of shame at a bit of pasta?
What got to me was that people felt guilty, about the thought of having a hearty meal. A mere two weeks after the last one.
With women feeling more unhappy than ever about their bodies – unjustifiably, in my view – than ever before, being told we have to diet or else isn’t good, is it?