Sunday, 5 October 2008


Yes, it’s a sad thought, but I sometimes find comfort in the truth that it's inevitable that almost every single teenage girl out there has hang-ups about her body. One of the slimmest of my friends, for example, maintains the belief that her stomach and thighs are huge. The other day, exasperated, I pointed out to her that the width of her thighs was less than the length of a biro, whilst mine was greater. She flat out refused to accept that her thighs were thinner than the biro, until I wasn’t sure anymore if she was joking and actually has some form of body dysmorphia. I can only think of two people who do seem genuinely pleased with their shapes, and once I started thinking about it, I realised how ridiculous it was that so many of us have come to despise the body which thanklessly keeps us alive. I can see that there are also plenty of adults with similar ideas about their bodies, but I can also see that it seems to become less of an issue when jobs, money, serious relationships and other more important things begin to take up more thought and time.

Still, at the moment, it is difficult to see an end to the ultimately bizarre relationship that so many of us have with food. How strangely messed up is it that lack of proper nutrition is such a serious issue for both people with eating disorders and those who simply don’t have access to food, yet I can never seem to enjoy a beautiful, indulgent and tasty treat without the experience being disfigured by guilt?

And that’s the worst part for me. I can live with thighs bigger than a pencil, etcetera; in fact it’s rare that I can allow my teenage insecurities to get the better of me in terms of my general mood and eating habits (this really only happens on holiday, when my physical activity is approximately nil, my portion sizes have gone through the roof and I have to wear a bikini). I just really, really want to be able to love the food that sustains me without even a shadow of a whisper of ‘are you really hungry?’ There may only be two ways to go about this: time-travel back to my childhood, or forwards into my fully-fledged adulthood. Of course, both of these are impossible, so I began thinking of the ways in which I enjoy other things.

Yesterday, when I was eating my breakfast, I noticed how beautiful it looked. At the risk of being entirely ludicrous, I took a photo of it on my phone. Perhaps appreciating the aesthetic beauty of food would aid our relationship. It may be entirely ridiculous, but later on I saw a macaroon, and it sparkled so brilliantly that I took a photo of that too. I’m not convinced that it actually worked, but it’s more likely than a time-travelling machine..


  1. Perhaps the secret of healthy eating is enjoying your food but reducing you portion sizes. But I like the sound of your thighs!

  2. You have a great attitude.

    I try to ask myself this one question when I'm about to eat something:

    Is it fuel? or is it Fool?

  3. Great post. I am a sugar freak but I have recently learnt that quite often once you've had a couple of mouthfuls, the craving is gone. So mindfulness is the key. IE, take your time to savour the look and taste of what you're eating rather than gobbling it all just because it's there. As Gorilla Bananas said, portion control is also sensible. If my boyfriend fills both our plates up equally (can't he understand that I'm half his size so I can't eat as much!), I have no problem leaving stuff on my plate. It's wasteful but I'd rather be healthy and not feel so full that I can't walk! The irony is (as I think you've already figured) that when you get to thirty you'll really how gorgeous you are now. Typical!!

  4. Yep thats all very good advice, thanks!

    ENC, do you mean if it's fuel, eat it, if it's Fool, don't?

    Yep Rollergirl it's horrible to think that when I was 13/14 I would feel exactly like I do know, despite being slimmer. Life is crazy!