Have you ever stumbled upon a magazine called ‘Best’? You’ll find it in every low-grade supermarket next to the crossword puzzle books. They’re designed to sharpen the mind. ‘Best’ sets out to ruin it.
Reading ‘Best’ is like having your nasty aunty Pat round for tea. It’s sixty pages of fat-shaming, miracle diets and Meghan Markle bitchery, interspersed with motivational stories of women who lost weight by eating tar. Two dry heaves and a dizzy turn later, they’d lost a pound. There’s a problem page. Written by Vanessa Feltz. Who in their right mind takes advice from Vanessa Feltz?
‘Best’ is addictive. I have two settings. Worried for the world and craving cheese, and yet ‘Best’ has me convinced I’ll lose ten pounds in ten days by committing to their good sleep diet. You swig half a pint of Night Nurse before each meal. By the time desert arrives, you’re face-down in a plate of spaghetti.
Most mornings, the man in my mirror looks like something the dog slept on. My body isn’t a temple. It’s a phone … on emergency battery.
Lose weight … change everything
I know I should change my diet. Healthy eating involves more than an ability to refuse doughnuts. We’re talking serious lifestyle changes. Much as I’d like to fit 32-inch jeans, I’m not getting up two hours early each morning to turn a head of cauliflower into couscous for an exciting weekday supper.
I refuse to follow any diet plan where breakfast is two almonds and you get to lick an apple for lunch. You skip dinner to cry at photos of yourself aged 17 in Speedos.
I’ve tried a Fitbit. It was like having the bitchiest of gay best friends on my wrist. Most days, I spend my time counting down the hours until I’m allowed to eat again.
Meditation appealed. I loved being able to call lying down a lifestyle choice. I downloaded a class and put it on, before promptly falling asleep. At three in the morning, I woke starving and ate a whole bag of oven chips. Still frozen.
I’ve become an organ donor. It’s one way to make sure I get to wear slim-fit coffin jeans.
Whatever ‘Best’ wants me or its target market readers to believe, dealing with grief is hard when I can’t even drown my feelings in food.