What it’s actually like to be on a diet

Oh I know….you’re not meant to say it. It’s become like this taboo word, instead, I should preach that I’m on a healthy lifestyle kick or some other delightful bullshit that makes the dieting package look prettier. But, that’s garbage. And, frankly I am tired of defending myself for wanting to lose those extra pounds. So, instead here are the hard and ugly truths about losing weight.

  1. Hard

Dieting is really really hard. Seriously, properly difficult. Every moment of every day there is temptation and if most of us struggle to say no to friends/family/colleagues, think how hard that is when confronted with the yummy deliciousness that is the Kosher Kingdom Pick ‘n’ Mix aisle *insert your favourite here*. At every moment, of every day you basically have to constantly say no, when your entire body is screaming, craving, desperate for you to acquiesce. And only the feeblest part of your brain, that knows this can spell long-term trouble is able to remain strong. Hopefully. So here’s my first truth about dieting: – it’s a bit like sex, if it ain’t hard, you ain’t doing it right.

  1. People suck

I dare you. I double dare you to tell someone you are on a diet. In general you will find two responses:

  1. “Oh that’s lovely, but please just try some of *insert calorific food of choice here*
  2. “Oooh you’re not getting anorexic are you?”

Both of these are incredibly annoying for rather separate reasons. For the first point I will refer you happily to my original statement. Dieting is fucking hard, and by tempting and teasing me with food I obviously want, but have actively chosen not to eat you are being cruel. The second point is so shockingly insensitive to both the severity of an eating disorder and the psychology that goes behind this tragic issue that it leaves me dumbfounded. Please, I beg of you try something new. When someone announces they are on a diet, simply say nothing. Boom. Ladies and gentleman problem solved.

  1. Calorie deficit

There is a shit tonne of health food stores out there where you can buy any number of delicious items. From rich and creamy peanut butter, to chocolate covered raisins right the way through to protein powder. You will, undoubtedly come out of these stores with the warm glow of self-righteousness and fragrant upper middle-class vibes. However, food that is of a high quality, organic, or “healthy” is not necessarily low calorie. Dare I say it…even an avocado is rather high in calorie…with the average hipster favourite being around 300 calories. And ultimately, to lose weight you have to be in a calorie deficit. That is it. So you can buy dates that were farmed by the spritely virgins in deep India next to the purest Himalayan mountains. Hell, they could come from Gan Eden themselves. But, unless you’re in a calorie deficit. You. Won’t. lose. Weight.

  1. Weekends

The problem with weekends is that they are two days long. And for the more observant amongst us they also contain Shabbat and its plethora of rigidly organised meals rich with fluffy carbohydrates and calorific deliciousness. And so you can be strict all week, take your foot off the pedal on the weekend and before you know it. You’ve lost before you’ve even had a chance. Sadly, on a diet, there really does need to be some sense of control i.e. I currently have a blanket rule that I’m neither eating challah nor am I drinking alcohol. If I’m honest this also has a little something to do with my behaviour on Simchat Torah and the resulting hangover tinged with shame, but that is somewhat aside from the remit of this story. On a diet you really can’t lose control for any lengthy period of time (think cheat meal, rather than a two-day orgy of fattening and calorfic food stuffs.)

  1. Gym

I love exercising. As many of you know, and judge, I pay inordinate amounts of money to attend glorified sheds around North West London. However, that being said you can go to the gym till the cows come home. But, if you’re not in a calorie deficit you can’t lose weight. That is obviously not to say that aren’t a huge number of extremely valid reasons for attending the gym – as it brings a number of health and psychological benefits. But, eating a KitKat and justifying it with time on the treadmill, it ain’t gonna work.

Now obviously I will end this article with the, rather more humble, acknowledgement that I am neither a PT nor am I a nutritionist. So for some properly reliable information go check out Martin McDonald #god on Instagram.

Meanwhile, I shall get cracking with my breakfast of boiled eggs and hope and see y’all on the other side.

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The Five friends we all have

 

 

It has been noted, mainly by men, that I spend a great deal of time on my blog judging members of the opposite sex. In fact, one delightful gentleman once commented that he would never date me as I would probably write about him, to which my other friend chimed in “only if you’re a dickhead,” which made me happy. Obviously, I did later write about him, but that is absolutely beside the point. In an attempt not to allow for my writing to get stale I thought this week I would take a slightly different tack and write about the five (female) friends we all absolutely have.

  1. The Crazy One

Don’t get me wrong – all girls are crazy, at least a little bit. Particularly when we like a guy. However, there is quite clearly a line that the majority of us won’t cross – we might Facebook stalk going back to 2010 and we would probably work out who his ex-girlfriend was going on the minimal information we have been offered, but we wouldn’t like rummage through his rubbish to find old back statements. That’s the line….for most of us. However, I know a number of girls who have done unspeakable things in the name of boys, their job, their family etc…These are “the crazy ones” – frankly I like to keep on them tap, because they always make you feel a little less nuts when shit hits the fan.

  1. The bitch

The bitch, in my experience, normally takes a little time to come out of her shell. At first the bitch is effervescent, she is lively, she is the most fun in the room and you genuinely want to spend time with her. However, slowly, slowly, once she has ensnared you in her trap she will unleash the full force of her bitchiness and you will be left reeling and quivering in the corner. Of course, bitch is clever and won’t let you go quite that quickly….ladies in my opinion these leopards will never change their spots. Run far and run fast.

  1. The flaky one

There are friends, I swear to god, who I make plans with and simply wait for them to cancel. They will always have a good reason of course, another excuse to schlep out their back pocket so you don’t feel like an afterthought. Friends like this is quite possibly why most girls have gym memberships – with, now, plenty of time to get out our frustration.

  1. The one who disappears

Literally I have friends I won’t speak with for months, and I mean months. And then suddenly out of the blue they will message me wanting to meet up – this type of friend is then split into two categories. They will either then ignore your follow up message (which is really just the height of rudeness in my opinion) or arrange a meeting for like a month in the future after which time you won’t hear from them for another few months and so the cycle continues.

  1. Your actual friends

To be honest I don’t have a huge number of these, a fact which often makes me a little concerned, but I guess is pretty normal. These are the ones who are properly there for you, which isn’t to say your relationship will be perfect or something out of Sisterhood of the travelling pants – but it will be authentic, genuine, and something worse holding onto as opposed to a slot to fill an empty looking week.

Five signs a guy is into you…maybe?

When I was a kid I pretty much thought relationships were simple. You met a guy, he was into you, you liked him back and then you got married and had little blonde hair and blue eyed babies. Unfortunately, the whole dating game isn’t quite as simple as I had hoped – and whilst I can think of a few couples where that dream scenario really did take place…there are a number of others that bucked, defied and opposed this trend. The couple where the guy was never into him or the girl liked someone else, or they were never single at the same time, or they broke up for years. Whilst He’s just not that into you is a nice premise….sadly in my experience life isn’t quite as simple as that. Relationships are complicated, sticky and can’t be stuck in a mould quite as binary as Holywood would like. That being said, I do now believe they are three (handy that innit…) key pointers that suggest a guy is actually into you. So here goes nothing lasses….

 

  • He’s there

I mean this is the most obvious, but if he doesn’t text, call or Facebook message you back he’s just not that into you. At all. A guy who likes you will not only respond to your messages, but will message you of his own accord just because he’s thinking of you (n’aww). To test this theory out I wouldn’t message for a while and see what happens; and whilst this may prove painful if home boy doesn’t pick up the phone, it’s probably as us Mancunians are wont to say “nisht.”

  • Drama/emotion

OK so this is a recent revelation I had and so hear me out. Now whilst I am not suggesting that you cry or cause some form of dramatic altercation to coax your man out of his emotionally stunted shell, it is a pretty good test of his feelings for you. Take me for example….today an Instagram star I follow got engaged and I swear to god I cried, genuine tears. Never met her, don’t even know what she looks like because she hides her face, and whilst I know she was considered “old” in the community I don’t actually know her age. And still I cried. Let me tell you right here and right now that no straight man in the history of humanity has ever cried because his favourite football player got engaged. It’s just not a thing. Men, in general, shy from emotion (and in the same sense) drama – they have better things to do like say…scratching their balls, or other such things. And so if you introduce drama or emotion and they stick around, you’re probably good to go. Examples of this would be tears, angry text message. I swear to god I once told a guy I liked him and he simply didn’t reply, such was his desire to put as much distance between himself and any irrelevant emotion or drama. It hurt, but the point was made loud and clear. Just something to consider.

  • Hungry Eyes

This was a term I coined some time ago and basically refers to that look a man gives you when he wants to say….do more than discuss moral philosophy on a Sunday afternoon if you catch my drift. Now obviously men are relatively physical creatures and so may well often have hungry eyes. So as in all things context is king and this doesn’t apply in every setting. For example in a night club at 2 am on a Saturday night, not to be crude, he probably just wants to bang. However, if it’s a normal hour and you’re doing a perfectly mundane activity, such as cooking dinner or watching TV, and he has a hungry eyes; I wouldn’t say it’s a bad sign.

So there are my three component parts that taken together (the crucial part of this little hypotheses) that might, maybe prove you have a shot. But, frankly like I have said men are a complete mystery to me…so let me know your thoughts. God knows this shit is but the contents of my confused brain.

Five things you should never tell someone who’s just been through a breakup

 

There exist a select group of people on this earth, untormented, lucky bastards who have never properly experienced the earth-shattering event that is a breakup. This is either because they have been with the same person since they were like eight or because they have not quite met someone they like enough yet. And whilst Tennyson may have maintained it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all; frankly you should all read some of his darker shit, because the guy was a wack a doodle. A proper breakup is heart-wrenchingly, terrifyingly, immensely painful; and literally feels like you are being torn apart from the inside out. And so for the lucky few of you haven’t experienced this pain here are the top five no-nos to say to your friends going through this.

  1. Maybe you’ll get back together

Oh I know…your sister’s cousin’s aunt broke up with her boyfriend for three years and then they got back together, had a brood of kinderlach and lived more happily ever after than Cinderella herself. This is the exception to the rule. Again – please let me repeat this for emphasis – the rare exception to an otherwise flawless rule. Most people break up and do not get back together and, frankly, of those who do attempt to reconcile the odds are not in their favour (just look at Digby and Liv from MIC). So do not put false hope in your friend’s head, trust me they’re already there- building Hollywood fantasises without you adding fuel to the fire.

  1. I told you so

OK so yes they went for the drug addict/casual drug dealer and so literally nobody is surprised it ended (not that I’ve ever been there.) In truth, we all know those couples who are hanging on by an ever so tenuous thread that threatens to break at any moment. However, when the end does come, as you knew it would, you’re allowed one I told you so, but that’s it. Because, frankly it’s just unconstructive feedback and unfortunately not all of us go for the good Jewish boys with stable jobs and five-year plans (again…this is not about me, obviously.) So instead remember that love is blind and even  Hollywood starlets like Katie Holmes fuck up from time to time.

  1. Try not to think about it

I’m going to give you a case study about a couple called Brad and Jen, in this case study Brad leaves Jen for another woman. And, in this scenario, this is how Jen’s brain will look – work, Brad, food, Brad, need to pay the tax man, Brad, just saw a film posted that reminds me of Brad, wonder what Brad is doing now, does he think about me, must go to the shops and buy some milk, Brad…basically all Jen will be able to is think about is Brad, admittedly interspersed with some other thoughts. But, trust me most of her brain power will be focused solely on him. So saying something as insensitive as “try not to think about it” is akin to saying “it was only a dog” to someone who’s lost a pet – something that I learnt the hard way let me tell you. But, another story for another blog – perhaps entitled top five times I’ve put my foot in?

  1. But it was only three months/it was never right etc…

These lame platitudes are irrelevant. There are couples that date for years that never really give a shit about each other (I can literally think of two off the top of my head) and others who date for three months and burn hotter than the sun. Not only that but just because a couple shouldn’t be together doesn’t mean they don’t love each other tremendously. Don’t invalidate someone else’s experience because you have nothing better to say – keep your mouth on lockdown and pass the fucking vodka bottle. Which brings me nicely on to my last point….

  1. If you have nothing helpful to say…

The truth is you will get over a breakup (trust me on this one), but in the immediate aftermath that is irrelevant. And to be honest there really isn’t anything that can be said, done or interpretively danced to improve the situation. My advice – just be there for your friend, get drunk, binge eat, watch A Walk to Remember (a massively underrated movie) and pray to whatever god you believe in that it doesn’t happen to you.

Five signs you’re a fake girlfriend

It looks like a relationship and feels like one. You talk constantly, tell each other your hopes and dreams and in an alternative world, you have all the makings of a Disney movie. Apart from that one minor, if oh so important, technicality; that you’re not actually together. Often these are born out of break-ups where couples can’t quite let go, men who can’t commit, are scared to be alone or really just really like the taste of your cooking. But, nevertheless we’ve probably all been in one or, at the very least, seen friends suffer through them; so for the sake of humanity here are my five signs that you’re a fake girlfriend or boyfriend (a less common, but just as valid conundrum) – I’m all about the #equality.

  1. No kissing

Obviously, this is the most crucial point to my hypothesis: the lack of intimate physical contact. You might touch, hug, accidentally on purpose brush their leg with your arm, but that’s as far as it will actually go. Because otherwise you would actually be dating, or friends with benefits. Which is another topic for an entirely different blog. Although may I be so bold as to add that there is a myriad of ways of obtaining aforementioned “benefits” without ruining a friendship although as usual, I digress. In a fake relationship however close you get both physically and emotionally; fake boyfriend is never gonna lean in for that Hollywood moment. Because home boy knows once that line is crossed there really is no turning back.

  1. Meet the parents

I have to be honest this is not a phenomenon I can even begin to fathom having neither a degree in advanced psychology of frankly even the faintest inclination of the inner workings of the male psyche (for further information please feel free to read my previous blogs.) However, fake boyfriends almost always want you to meet their family – “oh you’ll get on so well with Aunt Sandra/Sister Beatrice/Mummy Hannah.” True story I once had a fake boyfriend who was more than happy to introduce me to his entire extended mishpucha until we actually started dating when his enthusiasm cooled quicker than an Eskimo at Christmas. Go Figure.

  1. Everyone will thinking you’re dating

“But surely you are,” “I mean you can tell me…honestly,” or my personal favourite “c’mon you must be banging.” And you’ll smile coyly and protest loudly whilst secretly being pleased that outsiders validate your hope that maybe this actually is going somewhere. Luv I’m afraid that until your not-so-significant other gets the memo, and regardless what the rest of North West London believes, it isn’t so.

  1. Girlfriendly duties

This can span anything from cooking, ironing to emotional support that goes far beyond normal friendly duties (weddings, funerals, family crises etc….) What I have learnt over the years is that if you give a man an inch, he will indeed take a mile. And quite frankly single men are quite possibly what keeps the entire takeout industry afloat, so do your bit for the economy and put the pot down.

  1. Listen to your gut

If you will indulge me a momentary segway into religious philosophy if for no other reason than my brief seminary education should count for something, in the Jewish religion there is the Yezter Hora “the bad inclination” and the Yetzer Tov “the good inclination” which both live within within you. Now in a fake relationship, your Yetzer Tov will instinctively know that the late night phone calls, the constant messaging cannot possibly be healthy. However, your Yetzer Hora will apply pressure, with a serious of “what ifs”, – What if he falls for me? What if he changes his mind? What if I suddenly grow wings and could fly? All possible, in theory. In actuality – much much less so. Lads and lasses listen to your instinct and to your Yetzer Tov….run far and run fast. Because, whilst the relationship may be fake when it ends, and trust me on this, it will feel far too real. And there simply isn’t enough Ben ‘n’ Jerrys in the world.

The Five things you can only know if you are a Northerner that moved to London…

As my friend pointed out to me this title is a little more niche than my usual fare, but at risk of oversharing my personal life I thought I would do a blog that’s a little less about me and a little more about the experieces of every single Northerner who has moved to good ol’ London town.

  1. Parking Fines

I dare. I double dare to ask your Mancunian friends about how many parking fines they got when they first relocated to this city. See…the problem is that living in Manchester we were spoilt. We believed that parking was a right…you needed to go to the Doctors, visit your grandma at the old age home or heck do the shopping and you could just park.  And so it took us some to adjust to this new world of parking permits and jurisdictions. Let me tell you right now it’s Manchester Jews and Manchester Jews alone who keep Brent and Barnet council afloat. You should also know that parking fines always come in trios….in London you better believe it never fucking rains….

  1. Double Standards

As a Mancunian I can bitch about Manchester all I want….that’s my right having been raised and lived in the city for 18 years. I can call it dirty and grey and a bit of a shit hole because frankly all of this is empirically true. Especially when you consider that London has Buckingham Palace, the British Musuem and like a thousand Oxfam Bookstores to name just a few of its more notable sites. But, so help you god if you are from London and dare to besmirch our city, because suddenly we become like a mama bear; ready to defend to the death. With stealth and cunning we will smell out any criticism and make sure you regret having ever opened your own mouth. And quite frankly native Londoners….I suggest you take a walk down Brent Street (particularly the Tesco in Sentential square) late at night before you get busy with me and my city.

  1. Driving for fun

For a short while I lived in Paris and absolutely bloody hated it which is another story for another time. However, on returning home (which at that point was Manchester) I would go for long drives just to calm myself down, to feel free, it was like the obese man’s version of running. All the endorphins, but none of the actual exercise. Win bloody win. That all stopped the moment I moved to London. Suddenly, driving stopped being a pleasurable experience, because….well quite frankly and I’m just going to say it….London drivers are fucking nuts. Cars stopped in the middle of roads for no reason – with no one in them. Impossible junctions where cars angrily and obstinately refuse to let you go even though it’s a red light and they can’t move and then, frankly, there are the pedestrians who waltz in front of cars as if they’re going for a lazy country stroll in the Lake District. What I learnt and I learnt bloody quickly is that driving in London isn’t so much fun as it is a fight till the end.

  1. A Shmy

Now for those of you aren’t akin with the Northern butchering of the Yiddish language a “shmy” is basically like a look – you’d go for a shmy to the shops, or if you’re really trying to lay it on thick you’d go for a “shmyke.” To be honest, no-one is really sure if this word is actually Yiddish or just made up by impassioned Mancunian Jews…but I feel it perfectly represents the Northern curiosity to know what’s going on at all times. It’s why me and my friends, when walking down Golders Green Road will look into every restaurant to see if there’s anyone we know and then quickly look away – heaven forbid anyone should catch onto our nosy ways. Or why…when you we see an ambulance, police car or any other vehicle associated with an emergency we will crane our necks and dart our eyes – even if we’re driving to make sure we know absolutely what’s going on. Though, of course, none of your gossip can beat the shit that goes down in Manchester although that is another story for a whole other time.

  1. Jewish Geography

No-one and I mean no-one plays Jewish geography like the Manchester Jewish community. This is mainly because of our afore mentioned innate nosiness, which combined with an incredibly small community which is essentially made up of four families who all married each other, means we will not rest until we have found a connection to you no matter how tenuous. We want to know who you are, who your parents are and quite frankly we won’t stop until we are fully satisfied that we are either related or about to be. Londoners….just go with. Trust me it’s so much easier this way.

6. Money

To explain this point I will start with a funny, and yet tragic story – a tragicomedy if you will. Picture the scene I’m like 20…and going to the cinema in London for the first time armed with my student I.D and a naive belief that working hard and earning a good wage will one day be enough to grant me a mortgage. Ha, fool. But, more on that later. And the sales assistant turns to me and goes that will be £12.50 please and I swear to god I laughed, I thought she was joking. I was brought up on the AMC cinema where tickets were like £5. I didn’t know it yet but this moment would come to symbolise my entire London experience. Because in London basically I can afford a pair of shoes….not even like a fancy pair, but like a semi-decent option from Office, ideally in the sale and then I could live in the box. In Manchester, I could buy a fucking three-bed semi in Prestwich and live happily ever after.

L’shanah ha’bah b’Manchester?

The Five things you should never say to a curly girl

  1. Don’t you ever think about straightening it?

Hmm I dunno babe…have you ever thought about binding your feet because they’re looking a little big to me? Or like your eyes are brown, it’s kinda boring, but I’m sure a quick eye surgery would fix that right up. For all you homies out there with straight hair let me make one thing perfectly clear…curly hair does not like to be straight. At all. Even with a professional blow dry my hair lasts, at the most, a day straight…and that’s if all the stars align and there is literally zero (and I mean zero) humidity, rain or any other weather that could upset my overly sensitive hair. I once attended a wedding where it rained and in the time it took me to get from my car to the chupah, armed only with a scarf that didn’t quite cover all my hair, it had curled up, but just on one side. Just the one. I swear to god I have photographic evidence. So yes to answer your question I do indeed think about straightening it, but I like my hair to all stay one shape, and preferably not like Monica’s in “that” episode.

  1. Is it naturally like that?

Of course, in the morning whilst birds dress me and doves tweet above my hand I exit the shower and my hair cascades in waves down my back like some Fairytale Princess. Bitch, please. Keeping this ‘fro tamed takes nothing short of an army of products all of which splatter my bathroom making it look like some kid’s playground post-hair-wash day, as well as a whole host of techniques like plopping, smasters and others that you can’t even try to understand. Hand on heart I am part of a Facebook group with 40,000 women around the world discussing techniques in minute and careful detail. No, sweetie, no it is not naturally like this.

  1. Keratin

How many times have I heard something along the lines of, “but my first cousin’s mothers, aunts on my father’s side had keratin and it really worked for them.” Keratin is for people with wavy hair, a slight kink maybe at best. Like Christina Aguilera, these Ashkenazi curls cannot be tamed by man or man-made products.

  1. I wish I had curly hair

No, no you don’t. Listen over the past few years I have come to love, respect and accept my curls as part of me. But, if there was an option of me popping out the shower, wrapping one of those cute towels around my head like I was in the movies and simply flouncing off to my meeting with perhaps a touch of mousse then, frankly, you couldn’t sign me up fast enough.

  1. You wash your hair how often?

Curly hair doesn’t get greasy, it just doesn’t. And so we don’t need to wash our hair like normal people…and yes that means waiting up to a week (sometimes more) before plunging our hair into the shower. It doesn’t make us dirty I promise….trust me you’d understand if you saw quite how long it took to get these curls looking springy and sprightly.