Shut your fucking cakehole about your stupid fucking diet

Like many children of the 60s, I was brought up more or less by kindly dogs and my days were feral.  No one considered it child neglect –  why would they? We were let loose after breakfast and were free to roam until hunger, darkness, or both, forced us back home again.  We knew our way around, we were fit, clever and curious, and no one died or got abducted.

60s mealtimes were generally fun, functional and uncomplicated.  Until Africa appeared in our vocabulary. Because in Africa the children were starving. Think about the starving children, the parents and grandparents commanded in voices thick with dread and threat, when any amount of food was left on any plate. Think about those poor, starving children. And so I did think about them, and I got properly confused because a six-year old cannot possibly process the gross immorality of mass starvation, let alone articulate any reasonable responses to such a meal-ruining guilt trip: i.e. What clusterfuck of adult corruption and political horror has caused these children to be starving?  And what can I, a six year old in the English countryside, do about it? What do these cold potatoes on my plate have to do with those African children? And why have you, adult-in-charge-of- food- and- cooking, put more potatoes on my plate than my little stomach can manage anyway? And are we therefore going to post these potatoes to Africa, or what?

No, there was no reasonable reply I could give to those doom-laden adults or the faraway African children with their swollen bellies and crusty, dying eyes.  But the message was clear, and it was right. Don’t waste food. Be grateful.

Fast forward to every single New Year since then, and the stuck record of the whining Western serial dieters. You could set your watch by it. Without fail, the midnight chimes ring out across Europe and the attention-seeking screeching begins. Look at me, they shriek, I am going to give up eating some food! It’s going to be soooo hard, poor me, but I am really going to do it. I am not going to eat any cake, or biscuits, or chips, or anything with a calorific content higher that a wren’s fart. I’m boiling cabbage soup, I’m juicing fairy dust, I’m vomiting after every teeny raisin I suck. Look at me, I’m depriving myself, they squeal, I am depriving myself for the greater good of me, the greater nobility of getting a flat stomach. And when I have my flat stomach, I am going to be soooo happy!  Because I have done it all by being soooo strong and brave and deprived and I haven’t eaten a cake for, like, a whole day. But please don’t stop watching me suffer, though, otherwise it’s all meaningless.

Serial dieting is rooted in neurosis. Over-eating is rooted in neurosis. Serial dieters are vain, body dysmorphic attention-seekers. If you really need to announce to the world that you are dieting, if you really need to give the world a running commentary on the amount of fat around your waist, or wobbling away on your arse; if you need to announce and analyse exactly what is or isn’t going into your mouth every minute, if you genuinely believe anyone has one single atom of interest about you and your lard, then you are an attention-seeking twat.

The gluttonous West is riddled with dieting fucktards.  It’s a woman’s thing, mostly, but men aren’t immune. I know all the arguments about social construction of body image, the real, dreadful manipulation of girls, the sexism snipers firing anorexic ammo in every advertising medium you can shake a celery stick at.  But I hear people talking about their relationship with food and I want to poke their eyes out with a sharpened chopstick.  You don’t have a relationship with food, you cretin. A potato does not give BJs or send flowers. You have relationships with humans, or animals even, (but not the BJ type, obviously. Go somewhere else if you do that).  You have a neurosis about food, and you need therapy.

The serial dieter’s need for applauded deprivation is truly offensive.  Can a woman stand in Asda or Waitrose, surrounded by food from literally all over the world, needing praise for what she is not going to eat, and honestly not see the revolting irony?

Oh and then there’s alcohol. Look at me, bellow the New Year’s new teetotallers, even louder than the cake-deniers. Look at me! I am not going to drink alcohol for a whole month! I am really struggling here, hahaha! they laugh, almost as if they find it funny. A whole month without Chablis, or Pinot, or Merlot or whatever the fuck fermented grape or grain you worship. Aren’t I suffering?? Isn’t it a nightmare?? The truth is that if you find it at all difficult to imagine one tiny little month out of the whole of your life without alcohol then you are drink dependant. You have an addiction. Grow the fuck up and own it. On a scale of one to ten, your dependency may be a one, or it may be a ten, only you know that. But there you go, telling the world all about your needy, seedy little drink-sodden existence, and like a toddler clawing for a hidden tit, you need to wail your deprivation until your face turns scarlet.  And then you shit yourself.

So just shut up. Shut up about how very difficult it is for you to avoid eating a cake or a bag of chips or a wheelbarrow of pork scratchings. Just shut up about not drinking a bucket of Chardonnay after your exhausting day doing all the important, exhausting things you do. Shut up about the size of your muffin top, your tits, your bingo wings, your sorry, swollen liver.  We westerners are living with more choice and waste than can ever be justified morally, economically, environmentally or politically. If you want to lose weight then eat some vegetables and go for a walk. Preferably all the way to Africa.  But just shut the fuck up about it.

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About sophiewellstood

Teacher and writer, sometimes the other way around. Some of my writing is traditionally published and in bookshops, as well as online. I've put some poems for younger people / lapsed adults here, and some proper swearing. I hope you enjoy.
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One Response to Shut your fucking cakehole about your stupid fucking diet

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