Dieting At The European Championships In Lisbon!

Thursday’s post on Failing French Women Don’t Get Fat (In New York) was so fun to write and so I’m going to carry on with sharing another past dieting story. It feels kind of embarrassing to admit these things, especially because some people reading this knew me back then and would be thinking, “Really?!” However, through repetition, the ego mind (inner critic) actually gets quieter, as I go into in my MAGNETISE guide. Love yourself. Love your Life. And manifest.

But back to my dirty secrets. When I started high-school, I didn’t take art because there were lots of other things I was interested in, like theatre arts and home economics. So instead I turned myself into the art project. At the same time, lacking friends, I would go to the library to read cook books at lunch time and Dolly and Supermodel magazine after school. It was a potent cocktail for feeling obsessed with food and my body. This continued for fourteen years, until I actually started harnessing my creativity consistently through writing.

The opposite of addiction is not sobriety but connection. When I was with my friends, like on holidays and when travelling, I didn’t think about it and just ate when I was hungry. The European Cup, held in Portugal that year, I went to with my ex-boyfriend (then my friend) from London.

We were staying on the main square, alive with fans from all over Europe, and got to see Portugal win against Holland in the semi-final. I remember eating a lot of roast chicken, rice and fries from a bar/trattoria just by the pensione we were staying at. I didn’t drink alcohol as much, after three months in India the previous year, and was more into hanging round cafes and writing, talking and taking photos. When I drank every day, I didn’t look or feel my best. And that occupied my mood.

We met this very cute Greek guy on the square when Greece got into the finals and 18,000 Greeks descended on the city in chartered flights. Nik was 18 and I was 25 but it was just interesting to talk to him and learn about his life. I craved kindred-spirit conversation more than anything.

“Women turn to food when they are not hungry because they are hungry for something they can’t name : a connection to what is beyond the concerns of daily life. Something deathless, something sacred.”

~ Genene Roth, Women, Food and God.

In India I had mostly not eaten between meals and it made me feel thinner and holy.  Now, done with drinking, I decreed that I would only eat meals and, when we went onto a seaside town, I put myself on a strict diet that I found in a magazine and felt quiet. After two days of soup and diet coke, we took the bus to Porto and he flew back to London. I ate one last Portuguese custard tart and took the bus to France.


I’ll tell you what happens next on Tuesday.

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I love you,

Mireille xx

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