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It’s not safe and it’s not sexy

September 5, 2011

A much beloved member of my immediate family recently described me as ‘living on the edge’ on account of my liking for Roquefort, the unpasteurized and veiny, often more green than otherwise dairy product that another beloved member of my immediate family refers to as ‘cave cheese’.

What’s good about it?

  • It’s made from sheep milk so I can eat it and not wheeze
  • It tastes like heaven, if heaven is a lovely filthy place
  • It sounds posh – and I can pretend I am, at least for the few seconds when I’m buying it or offering it to guests
  • ….who will say no, because nobody else likes it
  • Emily from the Cheese Emporium at Victoria Station, who is the loveliest lady I’ve never had the pleasure of knowing, used to make me roquefort sandwiches to order, even though she wasn’t supposed to

I would like to announce that, sadly, my love affair with the cave cheese is over for good.  I turned to it briefly in the early hours of Saturday morning after a busy and stressful Friday night and it turned on me in return, causing me to spend most of the weekend having unasked-for dancing lessons.  I am done with you, Roquefort or Rochefort or whatever your name is, you pretentious gut-wrangling cheese.  Colleague K may well say “it could be anything you ate up to 2 days before” but the prime suspect is already exiled to the bin.

Why is this even wordpress-worthy?  Well 1) sympathy please and 2) I happened to weigh myself on Friday morning and, just out of interest, again on Sunday evening.  The difference in the 2 weights was amusing, or would have been if I hadn’t been so wobbly I nearly fell off the scales.  This made me think of people who inflict similar sickness upon themselves in order to lose weight and just how dreadful or dreadfully confused their lives might be for that to seem a viable option.  I’ve been down and eaten way less than I should and hated how I looked and all those things and while I don’t feel in any way superior to people who have bulimia or similar (or superior to anyone for that matter) I find it hard to contemplate what it must take to make yourself ill every day.

Eating disorders are a complex topic that I don’t feel qualified or intend to take on.  Just making a note here.

Safe ways of losing weight?  Slowly.  With exercise.  With healthy eating.
Which is exactly what I’ll be continuing to do here, soon as I’m all better.


From → Junk

  1. I was put off Brie for years due to going down with a very nasty bout of listeria the first time I tried it. Salmonella was far worse though – I lost 10kg in 3 weeks, and I really do not recommend it as a weight-loss program. It utterly wrecked my health and I wasn’t really back to full fitness until about a year afterwards.

    I’m not happy with the weight I’ve put on over the past couple of years (I went up 3 dress sizes in 6 months last year thanks to a change of medications), but I prefer to lose that weight the slow, steady but sure way of eating healthily and exercising more. My two younger sisters both have eating disorders (one is bulemic,the other a recovering anorexic) and having seen the hell they’ve both been through, I would never be even remotely tempted to go down that route. 😦

  2. Sorry to hear re your sisters’ EDs and hoping for the best for them. Also thank you for reading, when the topic is close to home.

    If I had more awareness and information from a variety of sources, or more experience, then I might have liked to talk in more depth about ED things but I didn’t want to risk being over-simplistic or saying anything offensive or outright stupid, which were my fears if I broached the subject in more detail.

    You’re right, eating healthily and exercising is steady and sure, and it’s easier for one’s body to find the weight it wants to be. If I get tempted, even slightly, to take any other course of action e,g, pills, crash-dieting, I remind myself that I’d like to be healthy and fit like a Ninja. And so I think, would a Ninja do this? Nope, they’d eat healthily and exercise (er, a lot). I have to admit at this point I’m not entirely sure what a ninja is but that I’ve seen them in cartoons and I’d like to have all that energy.

  3. Ajva permalink

    I bloody love Roquefort. It’s what I’m missing most while pregnant.

    (Sorry if this comment seems to miss the point. :o) )

  4. I had been wondering what to buy for you as a birth gift and had been thinking it would be good, alongside something for baby, to get something that was just for you. Would you be allowed Roquefort post-birth? If so, how soon? x

  5. The thing about anorexia and bulimia – for me, but I understand from the literature, also for many other people – is that fundamentally, they’re not actually about wanting to lose weight or hating how you look. Those are more symptoms than causes. What they’re really about is control. Most anorexics probably realise on some level that although they will eventually lose weight by starving themselves, they won’t be healthy. Most bulimics probably realise on some level that vomiting doesn’t cancel out the calories they’ve consumed, so they won’t lose weight by binging and purging (at most, vomiting reduces calorie uptake by a third). But in almost all cases, anorexics and bulimics fear being out of control (not just in their eating, often also or predominantly in some other area of their life) and/or feel controlled by other forces in their life (typically parents, since EDs often start in a person’s teens.) Starving or purging feel like ways of reasserting control, because – let’s face it – it’s very difficult to force a person to eat without damaging them, which carers are usually reluctant to do, and it’s very difficult to stop a person doing something that you can only find out about by invading the privacy of the bathroom. (Yes, we learn to purge silently so that no-one hears.) As a strategy *for asserting control*, if you’re desperate enough not to care about much else, it’s entirely viable up to the point where it kills you, and, well, you’re desperate enough not to care.

    The really damaging part of the pervasive diet-and-obesity narrative, from the point of view of an anorexic or bulimic, is probably not the meme that thinner is healthier, but the meme that losing weight is *something you can do by willpower*. That’s the part that makes it attractive for anorexics and bulimics to use weight and food as their weapon for gaining control, and that’s the part that makes it compulsive, because when it doesn’t work, when you still feel controlled by your appetite or by your parents or whatever, it seems like you ought to be able to do “better” by sheer willpower alone, so you try harder, and eventually you do indeed get “good” enough at it to do yourself some serious damage. That spiral itself gets out of control very quickly, but because you’ve internalised the narrative, it’s very difficult to spot that the sense of being in control of yourself is false, and once you do spot it, the cycle is so ingrained that it’s very difficult to stop.

  6. Sorry, not sure what’s up with Gravatar and those long strings of letters and numbers!

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