Sunday, 8 May 2011
In the time I've taken out from blogging, I've done a few writing ventures - one of which was being Editor of Nutrition Rocks for a short while. In that time I wrote a column, 'Confessions of a Real Girl' where I spoke about issues all women face to do with food, eating and weight.
Here is the first one I did.
WARNING: Boyfriend May Cause Bloating
I've been told countless times that being in love is a fast and effective way to lose weight. Your eyes meet across a crowded room, you feel a lustrous mythical aura envelope your person and in under thirty seconds you've chucked the gigantic slab of cake you were rapidly devouring in your lunch break over your shoulder. No more food is necessary from this point on. You have found love and love is your fuel. As much as the sudden ability to survive off little more than air in the first stages of blissful adoration seems magical, it is thought that chemical secretions in the brain cause appetite suppression when we meet that special someone. Pleasure doused neurotransmitter, Dopamine, is often released during the wistful process of euphoric fancy, and one effect of this joyous chemical is a diminishing desire to eat. Lucky us.
However, this turn of events and resulting brain chemistry can prove troublesome, as it's right about now that you tend to get asked out for dinner. As if having a surging feeling of trepidation in your stomach (otherwise known as infatuation) wasn't enough to put you off your food, you now have the added pressure of avoiding food in teeth, food on face and a plethora of other terrifying possibilities encountered at the dinner table. This often results in a strategic thought process to pick the 'easiest' meal on the menu and a consequent none-eating of said meal. Involuntarily starving yourself for the first few weeks of a new relationship gives you a slimmer waist line and helps your boyfriend to validate the stereotype that women don't eat, which of course we all know isn't the case on a solitary Friday night when the only thing stopping you from opening another tub of ice cream is the walk to the freezer.
Of course, time goes by and you leave the flurry of infatuation, returning to your usual eating habits. However, for some reason you now experience an ability to match the appetite of your boyfriend. You cook a romantic meal for your man, and whereas a few weeks ago you'd give him a considerably larger portion than yourself, your inherent greed returns with a vengeance and you are stood staring at both plates thinking you want more. Before you know it you're armed with a bib and a fork ready to lock horns in a feasting battle. The jump from no appetite to eating everything within your peripheral vision is a result of comfort, which doesn't quite hit you until you realise you've put on two stone and strangers are offering you their seat on the bus. Enter a state of bleakness and despair. If possible, it is a state to be avoided because with it brings lowered self-esteem and often a series of non-effective crash diets to try and banish your newly formed love lumps. A simple 'head over heart' approach to eating is needed here. Realisation of the cause of your primary lowered appetite, acceptance of its return, portion control and the knowledge that men are built to consume more calories are all helpful in the art of striking a balance between love-sick starvation and contented consumption.
Bella Towse is a London based illustrator and Visual Planner at Pearlfisher - where I have done quite a bit of work experience, researching trend insights. Bella also did a gorgeous illustration (love heart above) for one of my column articles for Nutrition Rocks. I love Bella's style. She uses layers, colour and composition to create really inventive constructions that are both exciting and abstract. There are more illustrations on her website - showing her drawing skills as well as mixed media like the pieces above.