‘broad bean’ and other edible body shapes…?

‘broad bean’ and other edible body shapes…?

Or ‘My Button Keeps Popping off My Pants and other Food Stories’

fruit and vegetables in boxes

I am fortunate to have been pretty much the same shape and size my whole adult life but now I have bumped into a bit of a mental hurdle and I’m literally clambering over it to the next dress size up. It hasn’t been a good dayyear trying to pretend my trousers still fit around my waist.

In talking about what you should not eat – ie dieting – has your body shape ever been compared to a piece of food? For example ‘apple’, ‘pear’, or if you’re VERY unusual, ‘inverted carrot’. (I made the last one up – it applies to the male physique). Terribly bad luck if you’re over in the cake category, like nobody loves to have a ‘muffin-top’  do they? But at least muffins are kinda cute and tasty! OOH, imagine being shaped like a koeksuster (if you are not south african, they look like this:)


They are so utterly sticky syrupy and delicious that they are the best thing to eat if ‘cake shaped’ is what you aspire towards.

In the past have been poked a few times, ‘you’re so thin!’ I found that slightly disconcerting, I couldn’t help it and I certainly would not be poking anybody back saying ‘well, you’re sooo fat!’ Nowadays I think my shape could probably be called ‘broad bean’, no, not just one bean on it’s own, but a little line of them in the pod. From the front I’m more or less straight (as I said I used to be) but from a different angle I’m full of irregular bumps.

I wouldn’t mind if the bumps that are meant to be bigger are actually bigger than those that are meant to be smaller but sadly my breasts are slowly being out-bumped by my tummy. I am fully blaming my tiny bosom size. In fact the word bosom could hardly ever refer to me. As my youngest daughter asked me once, ‘Mummy why have you got no line running down your chest like Mabel* does?’

When I was an impressionable, self conscious teenager, they were referred to as ‘mosquito bites’ by my nearest and dearest. So you see, I have no pride in my top deck area, only disdain and to be absolutely perfectly honestly frank (I have NOT admitted this before) I think I may suffer from breast envy (I’m blushing now!)  

And for that reason, I NEVER make remarks about my three girls’ body shapes that is in anyway disparaging.

it’s all in your jeans?

But the truth is, although I’m approaching middle age and am spreading a bit around the middle, I am just plain lucky with my shape – it’s all in my jeans apparently (?). They say you grow to become the shape you inherit and it’s very little to do with your diet or exercise regime. (Unless you are eating platefuls designed for more than one person at a time while lying on the couch – honestly you need to be a little sensible and self-examining and hence I will be upping my fitness programme and not taking that extra biscuit anymore).

And so this brings me to the nutshell of my food discourse. I have to reveal another kernel of truth (apart from my breast reveal), I am so SICK to DEATH of these incessant food fads and silly diets in our Western culture because of the way they convince us to buy ‘healthier’ when it’s those who are promoting the ‘diets’ who benefit.

I’m angry because I grew up in a country where people are starving and are only too thankful to have anything to eat. How dare anyone suggest to the poverty stricken that ‘organic/paleo/xyz free’ is the way to shop? How have we lost perspective on eating? How have we become so obsessed with food that we spend billions on wasting it while billions of our brothers and sisters are dying for lack of it?

the reality of food poverty

In April we were driving through South Africa and stopped off in a one horse town where the horse was probably eaten already – all that was left were a few scraggly goats wandering the main road. Three small boys, the age of my own kids, dressed in rags you or I would have thrown away five years ago, came to me asking for food. They were shuffling in their weakness and I cried afterwards when we drove away.  I had given them the picnic we hadn’t eaten and they carefully shared it fairly amongst themselves. I was upset by the injustice and suffering though and resolved to always travel with food to give away.


Back home in our neat and pristine European environment I can’t help but wonder. It is one thing to have to eat certain foods for serious health reasons – like illness or allergy – but perLEASE, why is the space allocated to the ‘gluten free’ section in the supermarket FAR larger than the percentage of people in the world who actually are allergic to gluten? Is this just a fad, making money for the supermarket?!!

I think it’s time for a health change in our culture, we need to be healthy in our exercise and eating HABITS. How about we obsessed less about what we eat, spend less time eating for a start and spend more time acting on helping others who need to eat?

*Not her real name


30 thoughts on “‘broad bean’ and other edible body shapes…?

  1. I nodded all the way through this in recognition (except for the bosom bit, I think I got your share) but the whole food/diet thing drives me insane. Every day there is another piece of advice out, which totally contradicts last weeks advice. As you say, the only people profiting are the people writing the books and selling the myths.

  2. Gosh, I couldn’t agree more (apart from the boob thing, mine are fine thanks). WHY do we need 35 different types of muesli?? Too much choice, when so many are starving. And don’t even start me on all the food which gets thrown away just cos it’s close to its ‘Use by’ date… I think it’s almost criminal, how much food we Westerners waste 😩

  3. I’ve always been quite happy with my body until I got sick and sedentary and basically fatter than I would like to be. I’d never dieted or given into any fads, but I will hold my hands up to trying out some ‘fad’ eating habits in the last year. I was promised that they would improve my immune system and make me slim. They did neither but I did learn some healthier habits and learn that certain food made me feel better than others. I’ve given up on being slim again, but I am careful about what I eat. (except when someone pulls the biscuit tin out)

  4. As a fellow girl with no boobs I am with you.. and to be honest with food as well, we eat sensibly and carefully I try and check the fridge to see what needs using up and go to our farm shop to buy small quantities of meat x

  5. Eat less, move more, everything in moderation… is the sensible advice I wish I could follow! I seem to have mixed it up as I eat more, move less and as for moderation… Thanks for linking up with #TheMMLinky x

  6. Now I’m craving a koeksister! Thanks for that. Will go get some from Checkers tomorrow! lol

  7. This reminds me of the advert for Coca Cola where the guy is asking for a drink and the Chinese guy in the shop thinks he’s asking to date his daughter due to him using his hands to outline the bottle shape!

  8. Loved this, it made me chuckle… inverted carrot haha! I’m slowly but surely getting to grips with my new body post babies and am working up towards getting serious about losing the weight. I have lost some, and am back in my pre pregnancy jeans but I am a long way off from the happy size 14 that I used to be. I will get there one day, but I can’t survive a day without a cookie at the moment. I blame sleep deprivation! Xx

  9. My weight was fine until I had my second child. It’s hard to loose it but so easy to put on. I guess with age it doesn’t help either. Great post, thanks for sharing x

  10. Sometimes I think the internet exists so that people don’t have to do anything anymore! We read about books instead of reading them, look at recipes instead of cooking, watch people getting fit instead of exercising… buy books on fad diets instead of eating less crap. It’s a goldmine. Part of me is kind of impressed by the business acumen 😉

  11. I couldn’t agree more! I love to cook from scratch, I’ve refused to deny my children any food, instead saying ‘anything in moderation’ is good. When did common sense disappear?! x

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