"So do you want beans in a tin, haggis in a tin, or beef tongue in a tin?"
We were going camping and were at the supermarket getting provisions. The Scottish Companion had become obsessed with the great outdoors over the past month. First he said he needed a new sleeping back coz his old one smelled like "Man Fumes". But he ended up buying two. And a tent. And a camp stove. SC works from home, so by the end of the week he is always going bonkers with cabin fever. When I get home on a Friday I just want to sit on my arse, but he is itching like mad to get out of the house. So last weekend I reluctantly agreed to go camping with him.
It wasn’t til we were at the supermarket that I began to get excited. I wanted to buy one of those dinky disposable barbecues so we could grill some vegetarian sausages into charcoaled stumps. I wanted to roast marshmallows over a roaring fire. I wanted to make a damper. Food food food. Food makes everything so much more interesting.
But we ended up in the canned food aisle, deciding on a tin since we were only away for one night and had limited equipment. Good lord, you can buy some awful shit in a tin. SC chose a Vegetarian Balti Curry which looked absolutely honking. I almost went for the Weight Watchers Ravioli until I thought what sort of ravioli comes in a tin? but also ravioli is too posh for camping. After reading some labels and tossing aside trans-fatty candidates, I settled on Beef Stew. Mmm mmm.
Earlier that week I’d thought, "We’re not going anywhere this week, absolutely nothing is happening! I have a perfectly empty week ahead so I’ll be able to have 7 Days Of Perfect Eating. Woohoo!". Then this camping thing had come out of the blue and now I’d forgotten that and was giddy with the Eating Potential of the trip.
But I had a realisation right there in the supermarket aisle, that there is really no such thing as a Perfectly Empty Week. Something also comes up. Whether this is a spontaneous camping trip, a birthday cake at work or a quick drink with friends, there are always little situations happening that you haven’t planned for. So it dawned on me yet again that that horrible phrase "Lifestyle Change" is really true. I would have to keep reading labels. I would stay hyper-aware of what I ate. I would have to assess each situation individually and make the wisest choice. All these little things that crop up will keep on cropping up, they’re just life happening, NOT opportunities for wild abandoned eating.
My beef stew really looked a lot like dog food and didn’t taste that much better, but it was a modest choice and was so much fun heating up on a dinky camp stove while being attacked by midges.
I finally figured out why models are so skinny. Coz they bloody need to be.
Before the Vegas Wedding, my sister and I brainstormed on How To Look As Skinny As Possible in photos. Shoulders back but relaxed. Sucked-in gut. Arms held slightly away from your sides so they looker smaller don’t splodge out all over the place. Body turned ever so slightly and putting one hip and leg forward. The Vegas photographer did our photos in less than ten minutes, barking out, "Stand here! Face that way! Smile! Kiss!" I totally worked it baby, moving seamlessly through the poses. So the photos turned fine, my body arranged pretty well considering my dress was so bloody tight that flesh was threatening to spill at any moment.
So I naively hoped the Grazia photo shoot would be just as rapid fire, but it actually took three hours because firstly, they weren’t a production-line Las Vegas Wedding Chapel, and secondly, they needed pictures in a whole different bunch of poses. Dammit. Once the hair and makeup was done, I was leaned against the couch while the photographer did some test shots. I tried to look casual as I arranged myself according to my sisters advice. The photographer started shooting and I grinned or smiled or looked "mysterious" or "knowing" or "flirtatious" as requested. I doubted any of my expressions really varied but she said I was doing great. Woohoo! This was going to be a piece of cake.
But then I had to get on the bed. Oh dear. It was a vast four-poster with a luxurious purple satin cover. Now please do not leave comments saying I am putting myself down here, because I am going to state a fact. Anyone with a bit of extra flesh knows there are a very limited number of ways you can arrange your body in a flattering light. Standing upright is one. Actually that’s about it. Once you’re sitting or laying down, you don’t have control and things start flipping and flopping around.
"I’m not sure this will be a flattering angle," I squeaked nervously. The photographer told me not to worry and got the makeup artist to try the pose while she adjusted the lighting. The MA, gorgeously slim, jumped onto the bed and landed delicately on her side, leaning on her elbow. her elbow. Perfect. Then it was my turn. The bed groaned as I clambered on and tried to replicate the pose.
Quite often when I’m laying in bed at night on my side, I grope my hips in the dark and feel the bone and say, "Ooh you’re getting so skinny! Oh yes you are!", and ignore the fact that the sideways positions means the three-tier wedding cake of my boobs and guts all falls down and pools on the mattress. This was how it was at the shoot. I sucked in as hard as I could but my flesh combined with the folds of my clothing made it all very awkward. The photographer told me to relax but how could I relax when I had a severe case of Crotch Bib?
(This is what the Scottish Companion calls the curious phenomenon whereby when I sit down there always seems to be this huge bunch of fabric in the crotch area of my jeans and trousers when they’re getting too big for me, and since I am a slobby eater I always end up dropping food there, hence Crotch Bib.)
These jeans were new and not too big, but they sat on the waist and not the hip so the fabric puddled when I lay down. Yet somehow I could feel the breeze on the top of my arsecrack. It was all going pearshaped. I fussed and clucked and tried to smooth everything down. I was beginning to see why there had been a huge rack of these jeans on sale for £20, needless to say I have not worn the ill-fitting mumsy bastards since. Every time the photographer asked me to move my hand one inch or tilt my head ten degrees, my carefully arranged clothes would go sproing! and I’d have to yank my top down over the Crotch Bib. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. A similar thing happened in the next pose, the Come Hither On The Chaise Lounge.
It was such a relief to see they ended up using the flattering Upstanding pose, the very first bunch of shots we’d done. I know how to best arrange my flesh!
The article was actually like a photographic montage of How Dietgirl Has Tried To Disguise Her Body over the past decade. Hiding behind the wedding bouquet in Las Vegas. Hiding behind the cake at my 21st birthday party. Hiding behind a brick wall at university. Heh heh heh. And I was still trying to hide now, with the dark jeans and the wrap top, but it’s nice to be at a point where you only need clothing for camouflage instead of brick walls.
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Get a load of lovely Nicole here, she is getting hooked on a running! Hehe. You know I do read bazillions of blogs, but I read them sneakily via Bloglines so I don’t often get to comment. So in case you wondered if I am big snobbypants, just know that I am actually lurking and watching you closely like some perve in a raincoat.