le weekend

I was planning to tidy up the house today but instead I have been making a mess (see above). Sometimes it's good to make a mess.

I've had the day off today, so as well as making a mess, I have been eating crumpets and drinking tea and going for slightly damp walks and not bothering to put any make up on, and just generally doing the sort of things it is nice to do when you don't have to go to work on a Monday.

It's been a good weekend. I've been feeling a bit weary, mainly because I went out on Saturday night for my friend Jamie's 30th birthday. I am not very good at staying up late, and so I was particularly tired on Sunday - also because I had been dancing a little too enthusiastically to the musical stylings of Mr Scruff (who didn't look anything like I thought he would, though saying that, I'm not sure quite what I thought he would look like - a bit like one of his illustrations, perhaps?) and because I had exceeded my usual 2-beer limit. Yes, that's right. I had three beers. THREE. I am a party animal.

So I spent most of yesterday lying on the sofa and being very lazy. I bought myself an ELLE which is a bit of a treat for me: I have a slight addiction to fashion magazines but have recently been trying to wean myself off them. I then got very, very cross with a ridiculous article in said ELLE magazine where they had asked three high-achieving businesswomen to keep food diaries of everything they ate for a week. One of the women thought nothing of going for a 50-mile bike ride without any breakfast. She did have a latte afterwards, but sometimes no lunch. Another one snacked on delightful-sounding things like soya yoghurts, but ate practically no carbohydrates, like, ever. A third one did manage a diet coke once in a while, and also ate some fries, but still seemed to think that "a green salad" constituted a reasonable dinner. It was awful. I just wanted to scream "eat a potato, for heaven's sake!! have a piece of toast!!" The worst thing about it was that the article presented it as if all this was really quite normal. There was a nutritionist saying things like "it's a good idea to eat breakfast" and "why not combine carbohydrate with your protein?" but basically, the general attitude was that it was completely normal, if not healthy, to eat practically nothing all day except a few almonds and maybe a banana if you're feeling really crazy, and to shun all forms of carbohydrate as if it was the devil's spawn. Which, when you think about it, is actually very irresponsible. I'm all for healthy eating, but don't enough girls (and women) seem to have food hang-ups (not to mention out and out eating disorders) without a magazine suggesting that practically starving yourself is completely normal behaviour, and indeed might help you get ahead in the business world?!?

Clearly I am never going to be a successful businesswoman. After reading this, I was so disturbed I had to eat an enormous sunday dinner (cooked by my most wonderful boyfriend whilst I lay on the sofa being enraged)- roast chicken with gravy, roast potatoes (lots), braised red cabbage and carrots. And then a large bowl of apple crumble for pudding as well. It was very, very delicious and I was very, very full.

After this, I thankfully found a much more sane article in the same magazine by a very sensible chap called Walter Kirn. He writes:

Maura... was not a fussy eater, and it showed in her hips. It also showed in her face, radiant with the happiness that comes from filling up on pasta and not leaping up afterwards to go running. This distinguished her from the other girls I dated during my first two years at college. They were slimmer than Maura, their features more symmetrical, but their facial expressions were harder and more anxious, particularly at meal times. Salad without dressing will do that to you.

Well, quite.

Salad without dressing, indeed. What's the point of that?


19 August 2008 at 16:07 sally cook said...

Oh, how women are fascinated by what other women eat. It's bizarre the amount of 'food diaries' and 'typical day's eating' articles that spring up in magazines. I don't think I've ever seen one that looks terribly appealing. They're either starving themselves or main-lining cholesterol. Whatever happened to the 'mainly carbs, bit of protein, bit of dairy, as much veg as you like' approach? More pasta, more potatoes I say. And PLENTY of dressing on the salad!

By the way, I called in here to remind you - as promised - reading night next Tuesday, same place, same time. See you there? x

19 August 2008 at 19:07 Katherine said...

My rage has abated slightly now. But I do think it would be quite entertaining to start my own food diary. It would include things people (i.e. me) actually eat, like "weird sweets left in the kitchen at work, which were a bit disgusting but I was hungry" or "cereal eaten straight from packet while standing up in kitchen".

20 August 2008 at 12:11 Jo said...

I like your idea of a real women food diary,
Mine would include things like: teaspoon of mango chutney, biscuit tin crumbs, bowl of custard…..

20 August 2008 at 19:50 Katherine said...

mmmm, bowl of custard
that's what i'm talking about!

21 August 2008 at 12:49 sally cook said...

...bite of smoked sausage, straight from the fridge, half a babybel, mini pickled gherkin, crumpet with cheese on it and a few stray rocket leaves found wilting in a bowl on the worktop, handful of almonds, piece of Toblerone...

Real women's food diaries. Ace!