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Feb. 5th, 2010

My Grotesque Body

Bakhtin theorised that 'the classical body' is only the ideal because it is closed off, smooth and ultimately sculpted. My body is clearly none of those things.

Foucault thought about bodies too. He claimed that 'the docile body' is a productive, self-regulating one. This self-regulation stems from the panopticon concept, the concept that someone, somewhere MIGHT be watching, and so the docile body behaves according to the norms and rules of whoever might be watching.

I have a 'grotesque body'. So does everyone. According to Bakhtin, my body is grotesque because I eat, get spots occasionally, my hair gets greasy if I don't wash it, I have periods, I urinate. The classical body is not seen as doing those things. Have any of your male friends ever said that they don't believe girls poo? Mine have, and that is a perfect example. They were trying to make their girlfriends, and the girls they fancied, into classical bodies.

My body is more obviously grotesque than other people's, at least to me, because I am overweight. Not ridiculously so, I can still make myself look nice, I still get chatted up and most of the time I'm fine about how I look. But I'm still trying to lose weight. Am I being docile? My society is watching me, by putting so many diet programmes on telly, in magazines and in people's prejudices.

Should I be more celebratory of my body? I have massive boobs for my frame, for a start. I look almost hourglass, since I have a little waist and big hips. Isn't that the 'classical' ideal? Kelly Brooke, Marilyn Monroe...

I'm still going to carry on with my diet, because my doctor said that I need to lose at least 3 stone to be as healthy as I can be. But I don't think I'm going to put as much pressue on myself anymore.

Feb. 2nd, 2010


I discovered something last week. It's unbelievable how simple some things are, and you never notice. All the diet articles I've ever read, and everyone who ever told me how they'd lost weight, all said that you'll fail if you try to eat food you don't like, just because it's healthy. Well, I discovered that I don't like potato-based soups. I made leek and potato last week and although the first bowl was filling, hot and lovely, I didn't really like it very much. The second bowl, after it had been in the fridge and subsequently microwaved, was impossible. Of course, I didn't eat anymore and as a consequence, I ate a pastry from the bakery and a (small, but that's not the point...) homemade pizza literally drowning in cheese.

HOWEVER I didn't give in, I did some extra exercise and today I made the BEST parsnip soup EVER. I am back on track. I am MORE than ready for my microwaved soup tomorrow :)

Writer's Block: Killer tomatoes

What's your favorite cult film of all time, and why? What are the essential ingredients for a cult classic?

Quite a lot of the books on my shelves could be described as 'cult' films. Party Monster, Dogma, Donnie Darko, True Romance, Pan's Labyrinth, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Tank Girl, Fight Club, Idle Hands, Labyrinth and Heavenly Creatures are the ones I can see at the moment!

I love film, in the same way that I love literature, and I think that unusual films or films that perhaps have flaws too obvious to make them blockbusters are just... more interesting than the formulaic girl-meets-boy-boy-fights-villain-happy-ever-after stories. Although, having said that, I like those too!

My favourite? Labyrinth. I'm a kid at heart :)

Writer's Block: Random acts

What was your last random act of kindness? Do you believe in karma?

I don't know about karma. My last completely random act of kindness was probably a couple of weeks ago. I work in a convenience store and a customer was short for his shopping by about 6p. He wanted to take something back, but for 6p it seemed ridiculous. I had some change with me so I gave him the 6p.

He was so grateful, and that in itself made me feel better - I think that is reason enough to help someone. However, every time he comes into the shop now he's very polite and asks how my shift's been, which makes my job more comfortable. I think a little bit of kindness can really make someone's day, and in turn might make them more receptive to a plea for kindness from someone else. Whether that's karma or not I don't know... but I don't think it matters, either.

Jan. 16th, 2010

Day... something or other.

I have been on a diet God only knows how long. It's never worked before... but I think I know why this time. I give up too easily... I have a wobble (like yesterday's Jaffa Cakes) I decide it's a no go. And if I get cravings... like earlier tonight, I find it far too easy to think 'oh, it's just one 450g bar of chocolate' or 'oh, it's only a pizza...' but this time I'm not going to fall into that.

Yesterday, I got past the wobble. I did extra exercise... I'm not saying I worked off any setback, but it made me FEEL better and got me back on track for today. And today, when I got a craving for something sweet, I drank a glass of juice and then chopped up some raw veggies to graze on while I watch Desperate Housewives. Also, going through photographs of my best friend helped. She looks AMAZING, and she always has. I'm not jealous -- I'm so happy for her, and what's utterly bizarre is that she has as many body issues as I do, except hers are aimed at other body parts to mine.

And looking further back... to photos of me and her when we were 16, it's incredible. She has hardly changed and I have put on 4 stone 10 pounds. If I WORK at it, I can get back there, or at least close to it. I think I'm going to look at those photographs a lot over the next few months. For now, I'm going to get back on my trampoline!

Jan. 15th, 2010

16 stone.

I might as well say it: I am borerline obese. I don't know how it happened and frankly it's just ridiculous that less than 3 years ago I was borderline underweight. However, I have lost nearly a stone since Christmas, although I wish it would slow down a bit -- purely because I'm afraid of putting it all on again just as quickly. I've been exercising every day; nothing heavy, it's almost comical, all I do is sort of bounce along on my mini-trampoline in a vaguely 'jogging' motion for half an hour while I watch telly. All the same, I've cut down on unhealthy food (I had a bit of a wobble today concerning Jaffa Cakes but then I walked home from town and did my jogging for an hour instead of half an hour so whatever...) and I've got a diet plan now.

Hopefully I should see some results soon! I'm not buying any new clothes until I've dropped a dress size. A) a good incentive and B) good for my overdraft!!

Writer's Block: Toy story

What was your favorite toy when you were a child? Do you still have it? What did it mean to you?

I have a monkey called Charlie. My uncle brought him back from Florida for me when I was 8 and 11 years later I still hug him when I'm asleep. He has been on every holiday I've ever been on, he's been to every music festival I've ever attended and he even came to America for 10 weeks with me over summer while I worked as a kitchen assistant on a Summer Camp.

He's the best toy EVER. Fact.

Writer's Block: Do (political) opposites attract?

Are there any political issues, such as abortion or capital punishment, that are so fundamental to your core values that you could not respect and/or trust someone who held a contrary view?

I have quite strong views on many issues. I am pro-choice, anti-capital punishment and so anti-BNP it sometimes physically hurts. People have called me wishy-washy, over-sensitive and unrealistic, but I don't see it like that. I can't help but argue against anti-abortionists and pro-death penalty views, and if someone I meet admits to supporting Nick Griffin and his fascist, racist, nauseating policies then that person can forget being any part of my life. And when they find out my total lack of respect for the so-called "British National Party" they invariably don't want to be part of my life.

Writer's Block: What I did for love

Have you ever made an important life decision (such as where to work or attend school) based on purely emotional factors, even though you knew it was not the best choice for you? Would you do it again?

I am glad to say that I did not allow the fact I was in a relationship to affect where I came to University. The relationship did not survive, but I'm still grateful because if I had stayed home I wouldn't have realised how much he was holding me back. It has taken me a year to pay off the debt he left me in, but if I had stayed with him I would have been far worse off in the long run.

Writer's Block: BFFs

Who is your best friend and why she or he is so important to you?

My best friend is quite simply amazing. I have known her for seven years now and she never ceases to amaze me. We are so similar in some ways, meaning that we like the same films, have similar taste in music and our sense of humour means that we often end up finishing each others' jokes at parties. On the other hand, we dress differently, we are different sizes, we have almost polar taste in men... all the things we might fight about, we don't! She is my best of both worlds and even though we now live in different cities I know she is always there for me, as I am for her. She is the most honest friend I have, I trust her judgment implicitly and I really cannot imagine life without her.
I love you, Rie xxxxx

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