Sunday, June 19, 2011

A weighty issue

Most women I know have issues about their weight. Most would like to lose a kg or two, usually from their thighs or tummies. Some agonise about it. Some take weight loss to an extreme; over the years I've known anorexics, bulimics, abusers of diet pills and other narcotics, extreme exercisers - all in the name of thin.

Kate Moss once said something along the lines of: "Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels." There are many many women out there who've adopted this as their mantra.

My weight is usually fairly consistent, give or take a few pounds - a combination of nervous energy, smoking (yes, rap knuckles) and trying not to eat unless I'm hungry. The exception is when I'm pregnant, when I start to pack on weight from the moment the pregnancy test shows positive; I now know, thanks to my wonderful Dubai-based OB, that this is mainly down to a glucose problem that only appears when I'm knocked up... something to do with rogue hormones apparently (I won't go into any more detail as I know many squeamish boys read this blog as well as women - so I'll spare you). What it also meant, apart from having to feed beads of blood into a little machine three times a day (yawn), was that my pregnancy diet was dull, dull, dull... Combined with the usual ban on sushi, rare meat and excessive wine, it's no wonder I spent those long pregnant months feeling as miserable as sin.

You see, I love food. I love to cook (when I'm in the mood), I love to try new flavours, I love trawling around foreign supermarkets to find new and exciting things to taste, I love the discovery of a truly excellent restaurant, I adore red wine (nothing fancy, nothing expensive, just drinkable).

For me, happiness is sitting around a big table with good, honest food, free-flowing wine and relaxed conversation (with the moments of reverent silence that mark a truly great meal).

So it came as a bit of a shock this morning when my lovely Pilates teacher looked at me and said: "Kate, I think you need to eat more." Especially shocking since she is probably the skinniest person I know - truly beautiful but with very little meat on her tiny frame. I've been going to Denise since well before I became pregnant with Baby Belly, over two years now, so she has seen me pre-pregnancy, during pregnancy and throughout the long recovery period since Bells was born nearly a year ago. I trust her judgement, as I do that of Mrs G, my friend who also attends Denise's class, and who also agreed that I may have taken it a bit far.

So I came home and I took a long, hard look at myself. I weighed myself for the first time in a month. Then I sighed and went out to buy a packet of biscuits.

Losing weight can be seductive. And the less you eat, the less hungry you become. Perhaps you lose sight of yourself. Sometimes it takes a good friend, one who's not afraid to be honest, to bring you back.

On the menu tonight? Chicken escalopes with a semolina and herb crust, spinach sautéed with garlic, a tomato salad with balsamic glaze (found in Italy, truly delicious) and for dessert, my special chocolate cake which uses almond meal instead of flour - bestowing an amazing rich texture, a slightly gooey centre and an almost crystallised crust. I might even make a raspberry and mint coulis - what the hell, it is father's day today, after all.


juicyfatkin said...

Very well said, however please save some of that chocolate cake for me I've not had any of your yummy deserts for ages. My mouth is watering at the thought of it.

Plastic paddy said...

Yum! What time! Wish I had the same problem, but you'll probably get lots of predictable people saying that!

Kate S. said...

Juicy - it's yours. I'll bring you a slice when we meet on Tuesday morning. In fact, keep those compliments flowing and you might well have me baking one just for you... Thanks matey.

Plastic - not yet, but probably. :-)

expatmammy said...

your really brave for that post, to be so honest! As lot of people would brag to make other feel worse. I have always struggled with weight issues, they've got worse since being pregnant, I had gestational diabetes, mix that witha very insulting endocrinologist and postnatal depression and you get..... well basically I'm staring at a different body to what is actually there.x

Kate S. said...

Thank you mammy. As are you for sharing that. Gest diabetes combined with postnatal depression is no joke.

I sympathise and I'll be in touch off-blog in the next couple of days.

Anonymous said...

Many women get super skinny after the birth of a baby - could be all that running around, sleepless nights, anxiety about the precious bundle...whatever, it is worth looking at your diet and keeping up with vits and iron supplements. The weight usually comes back as life settles down again.

Anonymous said...

You're all crazy. Fat chicks rule!