Thursday 27 October 2016

Sophie White... New me in six steps

At the end of yet another stint of extreme self-denial for Sophie White, she leaps off the wagon as she accepts that the 'binge, purge, repeat' cycle isn't working

Published 01/06/2015 | 02:30

Sophie White
Sophie White

I have written before about my problems with food. People have criticised this, saying that because I am roughly person-shaped, I do not have the right to complain about my body.

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They are missing the point. It's not my body that I particularly have a problem with - in fact, I have the body confidence of a woman many times more attractive; an unwarranted amount of confidence. It is food that I have a problem with; I have no idea how to eat moderately or rationally.

Recently, the WHO released the disturbing findings that, if current trends continue, by the year 2030, over 80pc of the Irish population will be obese. My first thought was, "Sweet relief, we can all be fat together. No more food guilt".

I maintain my 'healthy' weight by lurching from one strict regime to the next. And I have displayed some impressive self-control at times, but at the end of whatever extremist approach I am currently engaged in, I will inevitably reward myself with feasts of grotesque proportions. It is an endless cycle of binge, purge, repeat, and I am exhausted by it.

The 12-step programme has helped addicts for decades now, and I have a personal six-step version that I undergo on practically a monthly basis. I start out with high hopes, though invariably the 'steps' soon become regressive - usually step six involves some kind of fried sandwich. These are my six steps.

Step one: admit powerlessness - this comes after a week of relentless and joyless eating and discovering that my 'fat-day pants' no longer fit. Step two: find hope - usually through some new diet craze like the 5:2, the one where you eat five Ryvitas and two tomatoes every day and lose loads of weight. Step three: surrender - after a last supper of sweet 'n' sour chicken balls, fried rice and chips, embark on the latest strategy filled with optimism.

Step four: make amends - this is the part where addicts apologise to those they have hurt in the past. In my version, I apologise to Himself for the things I may have said when hungry and/or in withdrawal from sugar.

Step five: lose weight - rigidly stick to the regime with obsession-bordering-on-mania until I fit back into my jeans. Step six: reward myself - celebrate with a fried sandwich, then proceed to eat everything in sight until I feel physically ill and can, once more, no longer fit into my 'fat-day pants'. Repeat ad nauseam. Leap off the wagon in style with this intense, delicious sandwich.

Fried peanut butter sandwich

Serves one - best enjoyed alone, as others will judge you for it.

You will need:

2 teaspoons of butter

2 slices of white bread

2 tablespoons peanut butter

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ banana, thinly sliced

1 teaspoon honey

Spread the butter on one side of the slices of bread. Then spread the unbuttered underside of one of the slices with the peanut butter, sprinkle with the cinnamon, top with the thinly sliced banana and drizzle with the honey. Place the other slice of bread on top with the buttered side facing out. Heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium-high heat. Cook the sandwich for two minutes on either side until it is golden and crunchy.

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