THE BODY

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I love food.

I have never had a problem gorging on carbs and rarely count calories. I always thought that I was actually an Italian woman trapped in a freckled body and felt superior because I was one of the few girls in my year who wasn’t obsessed with what I ate. I had this idea that I was the cool girl, the one who ordered spaghetti on a date, slurped until her heart was content and never split puddings. Ever.

But what I lacked in obsession, I more than made up for in neglect. I used to be skinny and only ever used to move my body to shuffle to the dance floor, drifted from shop window to shop window and only ate vegetables because I had to. I would eat a cheese and pickle sandwich everyday after school, after snacking all day, and no one could understand where it all went.

But since I turned 25 and completely lost the ability to break down anything fattier than a carrot stick, I decided to give my body the leg up that it needed. In addition to buying a yoga mat – and actually using it – I’ve started juicing; making glasses of goodness that kick coffee’s arse in the pick-me-up stakes each morning. I cycle, I walk, I sit down less and I’ve started wearing heels again. Not only do they make me look taller than normal and feel a little more glam than when I’m in my jim-jams, they give my calves a workout when I get down and dirty on the dance floor.

Now, although I’m pretty laid back about what goes in my mouth (don’t), pretty much only eat when I’m hungry and give my body what it craves – even if that is a bar of Whole Nut -one rule I do abide by is that I absolutely never weigh myself. This isn’t just because the last time I checked (in 2005) I weighed eight stone and I would like to continue to pretend that I am stuck in that weightless, pubescent tunnel, but because it doesn’t matter to me what the scales say. As long as I don’t have to burst a blood vessel trying to fit into my beloved black skinny jeans and I can still cycle across London on a Sunday without passing out, then I’m happy.

Loving our bodies shouldn’t just be about pounds and ounces and although we’d like to say otherwise, most women my age tend to focus primarily on what’s staring back at them in the mirror. I love to try out the latest MAC lipstick as much as the next person and have an unhealthy obsession with clothes, but I cannot stress enough that it’s what’s on the inside that counts, so please, do not neglect your health.

You might be young, have hair like Rapunzel, a bang-tidy bod and your nails might be lacquered every Tuesday, but that’s not what’s going to keep you going for the next 30 years, is it? Just because we are young doesn’t mean that we are immune from life’s curveballs, no matter how invincible we feel after a few glasses of gin. Prevention is so much better than cure, so speak to someone if you are not feeling 100%. Go for all of your check ups – even if it means cancelling on friends – and have a timely route around for lumps and bumps, because no one else is going to do it for you… well, unless you ask nicely.

I, myself, have been feeling a bit fuzzy in the head as of late, so have been accepting advice from wherever it’s offered. One chap suggested to me that I would only be able to move forward with things and exercise a positive mental attitude if I explored what is good for my body. “Sort out the physical”, he said, “and the rest will follow”. And he was right. A few vitamins, some freshly squeezed fruit juice and some serious work outs later, I feel a lot more like myself. Actually no, a better version of myself.

I urge you to do it too and do it now; after all, once the arthritis sets in, there’ll be no Zumba for anyone.

Here’s to health and happiness. Have a wonderful Wednesday.

The Chub

large (4)Although being almost eight months into a relationship is quite the achievement for me, what isn’t an achievement, is gaining half a stone.

Girls, you know what I’m talking about: nights out dancing with your mates are replaced with romantic meals out, salads at lunch time are quashed by brunch at our favourite places which means too many cappuccinos and a silly amount of avocado. And sadly, from inside this cloud of candy floss, it is very easy to forget that cake equates to calories.

So a friend, who has been with her boy for over a year now, text me to comfort me and let me know about the vicious cycle: they feed you because they love you; they still think you look great. They keep feeding you; you diet; they ask you where your tits have gone-you start eating again.

My boyfriend’s housemate and his dancer girlfriend have avoided this weight gain by working out together (outside the bedroom you ‘orrible, crude lot). It’s a great idea in theory but a duvet day, particularly as the Autumn weather kicks in, is far more appealing.

This isn’t the first time that love chub has hit either. It seems that every time somebody loves me, they want to feed me up good and proper – I guess men really do prefer something to hold onto. And lads, if you don’t, you’re going about things the wrong way: stop feeding me or muffin top you shall receive. I practically rolled through the summer of 2012, found it tricky to fit into my car along with my uni stuff after my first year and felt bloated for the entirety of my seventeenth year on planet earth.

But I’d rather be fat with love than skinny and alone, right?

Coming from an Irish background, food, to me, defines love. Any rejection of food is, as a result, a rejection of that love. I’ve been told the same goes for Italian families: a mozzarella ball is practically a giant hug.

If you’re not of Celtic or Roman descent and are still not convinced that the two go hand in hand? Think about one of the greatest gestures of love: when a mother feeds her baby. Think of tea with friends, family dinners, baking for besties and food in the bedroom: these are all signs that, like it or not, love comes with calories. And I think I’m fine with that.

My beloved Kate Moss however, would disagree. She once said that, ‘nothing tastes as good as skinny feels’. Well little miss, you know what I’d say to that? You haven’t actually been in love.

Someone pass me a scone.

The Something

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So I seem to fancy absolutely everybody, but thankfully don’t act upon my every thought. And I guess this makes me, what I call, a Silent Slut.

Although I do find most men (and women) handsome in one way or another, I am no hippy. I judge Olivia Palermo when she puts a rare foot wrong in the fashion stakes and am the first to question why on earth anyone would fancy “the hoff”, but I really do believe that everyone is attractive in their own right. And I think I first realised this when I clapped eyes on Phillip Schofield and automatically wanted to drop my pants.

From this point forward, I’ve never gone for someone because of their veneer smile or perfectly preened facial hair. Instead, I’ve always dated the unconventionally gorgeous rather than the Brad Pitts of the world. Perhaps that’s because I’m not one of the gobsmackingly beautiful Angelina’s of the world, or perhaps because I think with my lugs rather than my lust. If someone can quite literally stop me breathing from laughter, they’ll always win over those who catch my breath because they’re tonker than Thomas the Tank.

Although undoubtedly a horrible generalisation, I’m not too sure I could trust the hottest of totties for longer than a snog in a club. Perhaps that comes down to my own insecurities, or maybe it comes down to watching my friends fall in the face of fitties. Either way, I think many are missing out on the good stuff because they quite simply, judge a book by its cover.

Take the new romance that has sprung off the back of being a celebrity between the talented Pro Green and MIC’s Millie Mackintosh. I judged them when I first spotted them in a glossy magazine. One, because I “knew” that if she’d met him growing up in Hackney as opposed to now, a UK rapper hanging out in Mahiki, she’d wouldn’t have gone near him with a polo stick. Thinking back, I might’ve judged too quickly. Perhaps Stephen Manderson enjoys jam and crumpets? Perhaps Camilla enjoys a fag and a bottle of voddy behind the bike sheds? Who really knows? And who on earth am I to judge? They’ve obviously found a common ground and have decided to take a stroll.

So give that person who might not “fit the bill” a shot. After all, you never know what lies beneath. I always thought my “type” was a rather large, well spoken, rugby player. How wrong was I?

So although I’ve worked out that everyone on the planet is a catch, why do I still grapple with the issue of working out my own strengths? All I seem to see when I look in the mirror is a slightly dodgy nose, a spattering of freckles and an awkward walk. What I should see is another catch of the day. Someone smack me in the face please and remind me that I, like everyone else, has that something that someone’s looking for.

The only thing that doesn’t have that special something?

Marmite.

But that’s just common sense.