by Yaja Kindermann
At first it’s quite innocent.
But it soon becomes very sordid – very, very sordid, and it all begins with a carrot.
You think that what you’re doing is okay; that every woman does it – at some point. That it’s just normal behaviour. But you’re wrong and you know it.
You’re just deceiving yourself.
And when you feel guilty enough, and dirty enough, you switch the CD player off and turn the volume up on the kid’s T.V. programmes instead – for comfort – for vindication whilst you’re doing it.
If it happens on a Sunday, there’s no more ‘Steve Wright’s Love Songs’ during the session – oh no. You feel too guilty. So you switch on ‘The Country File’ programme instead and mute it because if you can’t hear them, they can’t see you.
The carrot soon progresses to a cucumber but it’s only when you dip the end in low-fat salad cream, that you know you’re really finished. Soon, what’s left of the French-bread ‘sandwich’ and curled up vol-au-vaunts from the day before is history – kids stuff. Ten more minutes and you’ll be deep frying a rich tea biscuit and pouring custard over it that hey, you’d made up without even knowing.
You curse the manufacturers of crisps for making them too ‘sharp’ then realise with fraying innocence that if you weren’t cramming two twenty-eight gram bags in each cheek, perhaps they could be forgiven. And all the while you’re blaming the carrot that had been left on the chopping board since yesterday. The carrot that made you do it, the carrot that’s making you think, ‘What happened? Where did I go wrong?’
Things were going so well when you first got up and began focusing on the day ahead. But the thought soon leaves you because there’s still a half eaten terrine of pate to get through to help you forget. You suddenly remember an actor once saying that the best way to avoid over-eating is to watch yourself doing it in the nude. Well more fool him. Clothes only restrict your ever expanding stomach.
And eating standing up doesn’t count apparently. So you try your best to rise from the counter, but your stomach’s so full, you’re doubled over and your size ten figure now resembles one of those pregnant models on the cover of a magazine.
Then things get really sordid.
Stuff you’ve dropped on the kitchen lino during the savage attack on a packet of frozen pastry suddenly looks very appetising. And isn’t that a strip of charred potato hanging off the edge of the chiller compartment? Without thinking, you hoist yourself up to it and catch sight of yourself on the steel flap, but as you snatch the potato with your teeth, the only thing that manages to pass between your lips is a painful groan.
What could be jam, jelly or juice is dripping off your chin. Your hair is littered with cake, bread and other suspicious looking crumbs and there are strands of chive poking out from in between every second tooth. You can’t swear on it, but something that looks like marmite is smeared across your face. You should feel terribly guilty, but instead the only thing you’re wondering is whether or not eating frozen chips could kill you.
And all because of a carrot.
Supplies are getting thin so you fall back onto your arse and survey what’s left of the weekly shop. You stare blankly at one egg, some left over ‘dip’, and a piece of broccoli cowering in the corner of the salad tray. It’s amazing how quickly your imagination can outstrip anything Jamie Oliver could cook up.
As you struggle to your feet, your stomach suddenly feels a lot better after the little sit down, and you eye up a bag of flour and bottle of olive oil on the side as if you were a sex maniac.
You spy a raisin on the floor and your mouth drools. You must keep going. If you stop now, you’ll realise that you’re still wearing your dressing-gown and haven’t even made it to mid-day. But you know that tomorrow will be different. You know that tomorrow you’ll be good. So you turn the frying pan on again, reach for the broccoli and give yourself a pat on the back for looking to the future.
Yaja Kindermann is from Herefordshire.