Thursday, September 21, 2006

[French] Women Don't Get Fat

Okay, I know... I usually title my blogs according to a song's lyrics that I deem suitable for the blog's topics and mood. Now I would like to extend this priviledge to a bevy of books I have previously read. Hopefully it'll get you interested in reading the particular book, or at least skimming it off.

(I wish there are more high-quality bookshops in Indonesia. Went through a hard time for having to order many things off the internet.)

Following in the manner of writing structure I was re-immersed in during ELUPP, there are a couple of things I would like to express in this post. Okay, okay, it gets a bit formal... I kind of need it myself since I tend to forget lately. It's some sort of sign of ageing (don't like it to happen to my brain) but oh well, this shall serve the purpose.

I would like to give kudos to these three ladies who deserve it well, displayed in ascending numbers):

Amel Rani Denia
Hope the pictures come out alright. Almost all girls gave valuable feedback on each other. The sole reason I put these three's pictures is because they braved themselves enough to confront my shortcomings when my flaws surface, risking themselves to be viewed as a 'busybody' or 'know-it-all' person by irritating another girl. However, I respect them for their rebukes as these proved the three as being observant, open-minded and courageous. They are the ones who came home with a definite learning experience and a transformed mind. Thank you for your well-meaning support... I love you all and hope to see you when I'm around ^__^

(Yeah, you three are famous as hell now ;p Don't worry, I'm using your formal portraits. The candid pictures stay in my camera.)

Secondly, it's back to the issue of super-skinny models. As I have mentioned in my previous post, I do not approve of unnatural ways to alter one's experience. It is possible to achieve a better figure (be it of a larger or smaller dress size) by improving one's diet. What I imply by the word 'diet' in this context is the way one eats; its meaning is not restricted to "reducing one's intake of calories" - please refer to the first meaning of this Oxford Dictionnary entry, the first being its original interpretation. However, as we humans consist of an assorted bunch of people with differing genes, this means that it is statistically and realistically nearly impossible for one to possess the genes to 'a perfect mannequin body', with models being the genetically weird exception. This implies that if one tries to train one's body to this idealised mannequin-like body when it is not meant to be such, one is not respecting the body. In relation to these body-bending efforts, Albert Camus once said: "Nobody realises that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal."

Don't be normal, just be yourself. A weird self is perfectly acceptable and, contrary to your belief, is interesting enough on its own.

(Anne, that applies to you too.)

(...I should really thank Aesop for being so generous in educating its customers.)

Talking about food, I found out that the soba-somen-sweet potatoes trio does its job in clearing up my pimples and making myself less sluggish. Plus, they are easier to prepare than cooking rice on top of a stove. Yes, you can tell me I was stupid enough not to bring a rice cooker along to England, but this just proves I can survive without it sans instant rice. I gave up the hope of eating instant rice well back into my high school days, when my exchange mother's well-meaning attempt to serve a rice dish caused her to buy and cook the six-minute box of instant rice at Carrefour.

I have lately been cooking up semi-vegetarian meals on weekdays for two reasons: (1) the sinshe (i.e. Chinese doctors) I met told me I need to detox (2) vegies are faster and easier to cook than meat, and they are less pricey too. Vegies are actually pretty nice and score good mileage in terms of keeping oneself full. These are my staple food items:
- wakame » proper unseasoned seaweed
- sweet snap peas » nice and crunchy
- fresh shiitake mushrooms » pretty affordable and look substantial in comparison to wilt-looking blanched enoki, and they are better than the dried variety since I won't need to spend time soaking them up
- ciabatta bread » usually baked fresh hence it contains no preservatives; goes well with e.v.o.o.
- milk and yogurt » very handy for thickening up sauces; good for breakfast too
- honey » goes with yogurt; good to have to bolster one's immunity in case of runny nose or a high body temperature
- garlic » gives off a nice garlicky smell I guess...? :p Assists to control high-blood tension too
- 'traffic light' capsicums » I love colours in my dish ^o^
Contrary to what is generally assumed to be my diet for people of my build, I eat. An awful lot of food. My dearest cousins-cum-housemates and uni friends will happily vouch for me on the ferocity to which I devour food. I watch the quality of food that I eat, but generally I just don't care that much ^__^;>

(For bokap and nyokap, I hope this post shall well serve the purpose of informing you that I am looking after myself well. Don't worry about me too much ^__^ )

Oh bokap, I also want to tell you that fresh dates taste normal. I got a sample from a fruit seller today; shared it with Anne. It was a bit tarty at first bite and wasn't as sweet as the dried variety, but it tastes good nevertheless. Oh yeah, contrary to what we believe, fresh dates can be eaten fresh.

I also wanna share how I successfully battled my pimples within the past two months without taking Chinese medicines (they cost a fortune in here.) It was down to what I normally eat (see above), daily servings of pu'erh tea, the two-dinar rice powder I bought in Dubai plus this breakout cream-and-powder thing (i.e. my 'breakout nukes') I got in here. I have tried doing without one of the four on my lazy days and the remaining three (or two, or one) wouldn't work. Oh, and lots of good plain water.

The only gripe I have for London, apart from the astronomical prices of things, is that it's somewhat dirtier than Jakarta. Can it be attributed to me getting around on public transportation and on foot? Ibeth once remarked to me that her feet got so dirty for walking around town in sandals; I definitely wouldn't try doing this in Jakarta. They are 110% guaranteed to be dirty, both the footwear and the feet.

Finally, on the topic of being fashionably late. Being late is definitely not something on a fashion designer's book - you wouldn't dare to finish your show collection three hours late since everything is timed to the minute. The teachers are notoriously finicky when it comes to being on time, or even early. At the moment I'm still looking for which link on the fashion supply chain ultimately projects this image of lateness to the whole industry for the general public's heuristics. I'll get back to this at the end of the academic year (please remind me in case I forgot.)

Okay, I guess you're kinda confused/bored/enraged/amused by this post. The book is really interesting, though, as the phenomenon is applicable to people of all races and gender. You might wanna read it to discover that it is possible to have it all: eat what you want and be happy with your body figure. Go ahead and have a read! Have a good day, I'm off to bed now.


Devi said...

Hi Marsh, thanks for your wishing upon my bday :)

I haven't read the book anyway, but I've read some articles related to the book content. A bit confusing I suggest, since my friend who has ever stayed in Paris for years said that there are also fat French women! It's just a stereotype I suppose.

As for veggie food, my mom has been being a vegetarian for 10 years and somehow sometimes her food are more expensive than mine, LOL.

I have problems with pimples as well! *sob* But since I'm not very fond of vegetables, it's very hard for me to be a vegetarian. I avoid meats in some occasions though. Does your rice powder from Dubai are sold here?

mukuge said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mukuge said...

I reckon rice powder should be available in normal wet markets. It is white and looks powdery fine. Probably 'tepung beras' is worth a try.

Pour some rice powder to a soppy hand and rub your palms before massaging the whole thing on your face. It's a major constituent in Dermalogica's Daily Microfoliant, but somehow getting it in a jazzed-up powder shaker (as opposed to a flimsy plastic bag) costs 50x more 9__9 marketing magic I guess? :p