Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I'm here to help

I was quickly scanning the DJs (very limited) book section on the off chance that they might have the book I was looking for. As a result, I found myself looking at the health section - not something I generally do. And what did I find?

So apparently we can get fat by being nice, as well as being lazy, neurotic and completely lacking in will power. Curiosity got the better of me, and the website had some excerpts, including the How Nice Are You? quiz. For the record, I come in only slightly nice, which probably won't surprise many people.

So this wonderful psychotherapist, Karen Koenig, is going to free you from your tendencies to help other people at your own expense, and she's going to start by helping you "to view yourself honestly and accept who you are -- warts and all." Warts you may accept, fat, on the other hand, must go.

So I read on to see what the platform is. She says lots of eminently sensible stuff about gender roles squashing women into nice personas, all of which I buy. I may have a teensy problem with this though:
By reading this book, you'll learn how putting yourself last and doing what others want rather than what you want has set you up to feel cheated and drives you to overeat.
See, now here was me thinking eating was what I wanted.

The next chapter looks like too much fun:

About the biology of eating and weight

How stress makes you eat

How personality traits push you toward food and away from people

In the end though, as much as I wanted to hate every bit of it, it seems like this book is actually about having a good relationship with yourself and a good relationship with food. Both of these things are admirable aims, and mostly the stuff I'm reading in there seems pretty good - if clearly not applying to me, since I'm not actually nice.

There is this:
...we still have a long way to go not to be viewed as a bitch when we're outspoken and assertive. Even in this day and age, there are men (and sadly, women as well) telling us how we should and shouldn't act, what choices are okay to make and which ones will damn our souls to hell, and trying to narrow our rightful human potential.
And this:
Recognize that women have a history of subservience and are fighting an uphill battle to be not nice and accepted in today's society. Men don't have to jump through these hoops. If the deck seems stacked against you, it's because it is!

So why the fuck is she selling it by demonising fat?

It's all about fighting societal norms, while endorsing one of the most pervasive and destructive ones out there. Koenig says:
Women are expected and socialized to be agreeable, pleasant, kind, comforting, nurturing, self-sacrificing, dependent, generous, good, polite, other-oriented, helpful, well behaved, gentle, sympathetic, compassionate, gracious, and, of course, respectful.
...and thin.

A lovely little elixir of self-empowerment washed down with a swill of self-hatred. Thanks for that.


  1. Sounds like you need the consoling and infamous Nerida Pat...lol
    Can life get any worse? Ya need to eat more at Atom's...Bloody good Thai! It will keep me going for weeks lol
    P.S how do u rate the Penfolds Bin 407 Cab Sav 2005? Its a bloody good drop, but i was a bit dejected as it was priced at around $ 50. I tried the Yalumba Eden Valley Voigner with the Thai, but it got a bit overpowered once i hit the red curry - It was almost there...You could be right about the beer, but im determined to persevere. Thanks for the advice! Must try the sparkling red next time. We need to share the banquet next time, the more dishes we can taste the better, just to experience the profound depth of this chef's culinary skills. lol
    P.P.S Have u noticed the feedback at the Eatability website? Atom responds to EVERY comment. Hows that for dedication and passion?


    And while im here, I totally endorse the incredible rating of 8.6 with 88 odd reviews...The Food is sensational!

  2. Ugh, what a frustrating read that must have been, with her always on the verge of getting it properly and then falling back into fat hatred instead.

  3. @BudGSmuggler: Atom is damn fine indeed. Did you have the Massaman? My usual approach with Penfolds is to buy cheap ones and cellar them. Better value for money. I don't like Voigner as a rule, so I tend to stick with my bubbly reds - or more often beer. :)

    @tigtog: Absolutely, I started out being frustrated that I couldn't just hate it outright, and then I was frustrated that she was so close, yet so far away.

  4. We did indeed have the Massaman. It was fantastic, was my favourite MAIN of the evening. It wasnt sickly as some Massamans Ive tasted in the past. If I could fault it, it would have been the SIZE of the serving. I thought it could have had more meat and potatoes. Having ordered 3 mains and 3 entrees, we had plenty, however, if we were dining with 4, then the Massaman, would be far too small to divide between 4. The beef was drowning in a bit more sauce that I would have expected, but if you were a rice soaking fiend like Nerida that wouldnt have been a problem lol.
    The highlight of the night was definitely the Miang Goong, and it was so scrumptious I took the liberty of ordering another serve immediately after the first was polished down lol.
    The great thing about the waiters was that nothing appeared to be a problem. However we found some difficult to understand, and before eating our first course of Miang Goong, we thought he was trying to warn us NOT to eat the Betal Leaves lol. The other waiter clearing the dish said we should have eaten the leaves too lol. The second serve we didnt make the same mistake. I am not entirely convinced the flavour of the leaves enhanced the entree lol. Visually essential though.
    The money bags were so FRESH and crisp and dipping sauce fragrant and complementary.
    The chicken Cashew nut dish we HAD to order to compare with other restaurants, because that is our fav. dish historically. It didnt disappoint, and quite a healthy serving, much more generous than the Massaman. Other restaurants appear to get this dish right, so in comparison it didnt appear SUPER special. Scrumptious nonetheless.
    I will have to speak to Nerida to confirm our 3rd main. It was Barramundi in a curry. I am not sure which dish on the menu it was now. I believe we ordered the Choo Chee Barramundi fillet, but i dont recall any kaffir lime leaves in the dish, nor did i recall too much coconut infusion. I recall more of a red curry, but maybe it was just the reflective red lights and too much wine at the time LOL.
    There is a Barramundi red curry on the menu too. Personally I thought this dish was a bit bland, prolly my less fav dish of the evening. The fish was cooked perfect though. I certainly didnt taste the sweet components of the suggested ingredients.
    Upon returning I would most definitely be consider less curry, and more fragrant dishes. Perhaps the Roast Duck Salad, or anything with duck in it. Or even the fish fillet wrapped in Banana Leace. Having said all that I would be satisfied eating 6 servings of Miang Goong lol. Actually If i tried another curry apart from Massaman which would be a prerequisite on return, it would be the Red Curry Duck. Boneless roast duck, lychee, pineapple, coconut milk and cherry tomato.
    Truth is there are so many dishes Id like to try lol Id love to share in the chef's degustation, if there is one... lol I dont think there is...I would like to meet Atom though, if thats his real name LOL... I regret not reading the banquet menu on the back.