Last week I was reading a counter to the accusation that Lib Dems have a civil liberties fetish when I read the following on the word “fetish”:
Make no mistake – and if you’ve spent any time in the fat acceptance movement, you won’t – “fetish” is just another way of saying “a sexual interest the majority doesn’t like”. You only get turned on by thin women? Congratulations, you’re normal. That’s fine, perfectly healthy. (You’re male, right? If you aren’t male, it might not be so fine, to the majority way of thinking.) But what’s that you say – actually, you only get turned on by fat women? Oh dear, that’s a fetish. It’s not healthy at all. In fact, it’s creepy. You’re not really interested in them for themselves. You’re objectifying them. You need therapy. You’re sick
I was not, until recently, aware of the existence of a fat acceptance movement and even if I had been I am not sure I would have supported it. There are people out there who have medical reasons for being overweight but the majority of us could lose weight if we wanted to. Myself and others I know have been jeered at in the street because of our size but I believe that calling anybody names is just a sign of a nasty individual. I can diet but there is little they can do to change their nastiness and they would as soon insult me for my big nose or baldness if my being fat wasn’t such an obvious hook. Whilst campaigning against nastiness is a laudable thing I worry that encouraging people to accept their fatness is akin to telling smokers they are an oppressed minority who should stand up for their rights and smoke themselves to death to prove the point.
I do not like eating in public because I assume that everybody who sees me will think I am stuffing my face even if I have not eaten that day (oddly I never feel bad about drinking in public!). I tend to put this aside when I visit restaurants hoping that I will be given a little unobtrusive corner. At the weekend we went to Polpetto, a wonderful if tiny restaurant in Soho. We were given a corner table and ate some of the best food I have tasted (I think it is now my favourite restaurant) but getting though the narrow gaps between the tables was a little bit of a trial, made more difficult by having shared a bottle of their excellent prosecco. It reminded me of why I want to do this diet: I want to be able to fit into society whether that means buying clothes on the High Street or not knocking into people as I squeeze past their table.
After what amounted two weeks off the diet whilst we celebrated our birthdays I was rather shocked that I had lost a pound at this week’s weigh in. I think it was entirely due to the soup I had for lunch.
Roasted Garlic Soup
This is a lovely soup that, because the garlic is roasted, takes on a nutty flavour and (I am told by the people I kept apologising for breathing on) doesn’t make your breath smell too bad.
3 bulbs Garlic (the fresh green stuff is best but if you can’t get it the normal ones will do although if you are using the pathetic specimens that usually pass for garlic at supermarkets you may need four or five bulbs)
1 medium potato diced
1 litre vegetable stock
Roast the garlic at about 140 degrees for forty five minutes until the cloves are brown and squishy. If the oven is too hot there is a risk that the garlic will froth up leaving you with what looks like a used roman candle rather than a parcel of soft brown cloves. Put the potato and stock in a pan. There are two ways to do this now: either squeeze each clove into the stock or put the whole bulbs in. If you squeeze you will then be able to liquidize the soup rather than pass it through a sieve however your fingers will require a fair amount of scrubbing to get rid of the smell. Bring to the boil and simmer until the potato is cooked then either sieve or liquidize. Season to taste.