Let’s start at the very beginning. The end of eating out as a hobby.
[This post was written at the end of October 2016]
So here we go. How did I get to this point, yet again? And what is “this point” exactly? This is the point where I see a photo of myself (this particular one was on my birthday) and I don’t recognise myself or rather I do, but I see myself as I really am, not as I look in the mirror when I am fully clothed, in a good light and it’s first thing in the morning and from a certain angle it doesn’t actually look too bad.
This is the point where, having been on a Michelin crawl across France I realise that I didn’t enjoy much of it (the overeating) and a friend’s comment on Instagram (are you still alive?) made me feel ashamed of my gluttony.
That trip was both the end and the beginning. It was the end of writing about restaurants, at least in the way I had been previously and it was the start of a feeling that I needed to make some changes, because my relationship with food wasn’t making me happy.
The first thing I did was to stop going out so much. After five years of avid restaurant-going this felt strange. Whilst I always cooked a fair amount at the weekend, that was only because there weren’t any places local to me and going out meant committing to an half-hour car journey. Don’t get me wrong, I was happy to do that, but it wasn’t like London, where I was always thinking about the next new place I had to try and there were always plenty of places on my doorstep.
I was, when doing the review thing, often consumed by FOMO, other people’s Instagram feeds taking me on a virtual journey to parties and events to which I wasn’t invited and restaurants I hadn’t heard about. For someone with a competitive nature, it sometimes felt that I was lagging behind. I know it’s not logical. It’s frankly ridiculous in a woman of my age. I have a demanding day job and I’m older than your average blogger, but still. I wanted to be accepted. A part of me wanted to be a part of it, even though I’ve never been an “insider”. That’s finished.
I have been lucky enough to meet some really lovely people through the food thing though, and they are real friends. There are a few people I know where the only connection is food and an unhealthy obsession with it and I imagine that some of those relationships will fade. They need to be fed with food and lots of it and I’m not in that market right now. I’m not denigrating them, or it. I am that person and I have been for years. I just know that if I spend time with the feeders I will feel pressured to justify this shift and I don’t want to have to do that.
It’s fair to say that l have, for a few years, made food and restaurants who I am. Clients know about it, friends know about it. But I don’t want to be that person anymore and letting go of it will be an interesting experience. I don’t know what will happen or whether I am kidding myself and this is just another go at losing weight before I revert to type. My sister thinks it is. I hope she’s wrong. And she didn’t think that anyone would want to read ‘another bloody diet blog’. I hope she’s wrong on that score too.