Food is not the enemy.

I've always said this blog is not just about food.  It evens says "For lovers of food and stuff" in my title.  So here's...



I've always said this blog is not just about food.  It evens says "For lovers of food and stuff" in my title.  So here's the stuff.

Today, I feel compelled to write about something that I feel quite passionate about.  Food.  Okay, so I lied in the previous paragraph.  But in all seriousness, I continue.

As a food blogger, I rarely, if ever, come across the words "I'm watching my weight".  Despite all the pictures of cakes and ice cream, all the food bloggers I've met are healthy, lovely women and men, who enjoy food, even the naughty stuff, but balance it out with a pretty healthy lifestyle.  A lot of them are active, and pursue running, (that seems to be the big thing, running) or go to the gym.  Most of the foodie instagrams I follow regularly have pictures of yoga on the beach (Jealous? Moi?), going for amazing looking walks or of them completing marathons.

I don't see indulgent people who overeat.  I see healthy people who seem to have their shit together.


I never feel out of place.  I feel like my love of food doesn't have to get in the way of a healthy lifestyle.  I feel like it enriches it.

These words:  Fat.  Gross.  Pig.  DISGUSTING.  I never hear them.  At least not in the circles I'm in. I like to think it's a fairly happy little community.  We'll joke about the 'food blogger pounds' but at the end of the day, I like to think myself and every blogger I've ever read, has a pretty healthy relationship with food.  We just really REALLY like to share that passion with others.  By talking about it alot.


Today, I was sent a facebook message, with a link to a Daily mail article about a surgery trials for "a miracle surgery" to stop sagging boobs.  BY SCREWING AN INTERNAL BRA TO YOUR RIBS.  Read that again.  SCREW.  RIBS.  INTERNAL.  Ugh, it sounds like something out of a horror film.  What made me sad was that someone had commented "Wish I had £6,000" on it.  If you feel like having a read, it's here.

It was like learning to love their body was more painful that screwing some cups to their ribs.  What world is it that not having a media perfect pair of knockers means you have to have painful surgery to 'correct' it.  I mean don't get me wrong, I can understand the need for plastic surgery.  Some people are in serious pain and need things altering, and some people need plastic surgery to live.  I'm not saying it's bad and I'm not knocking it.  But it's not just aimed at those people is it?  My friend put it perfectly.  It's to make you feel like you lack something, so you will buy it to feel 'normal'.  He was actually a lot more eloquent than that, but nevermind.


It's something I've had a personal experience with.  Body shame.  I've been 'unhealthily overweight'.  I used to live on junk food, and hate any form of exercise.  I treated my body like crap.  But I was inspired to be healthy by learning to cook.  I really liked the way I felt on good food and exercise.  Losing weight in the end just felt like an added bonus compared the way I felt inside.

By ditching the junk I wasn't turning my back on food, or starving myself.  It's just if I had that stuff, I didn't feel good anymore.  I felt like I was wasting my time.  I was pretty sure I could make my own indulgences and enjoy them a lot more.

But back in the day that body shame really affected my relationship with food.  I thought that starving myself was the answer, Food was the enemy.

Too many of my amazing friends feel they aren't good enough to enjoy life because they don't apply to certain standards.  It utterly and completely breaks my heart.  Because I've felt that pain too.


I'm lucky that I'm surrounded by no-nonsense strong minded women, who taught me that my worth is more than how I look.  That I can be so much more.  When I started to hate my body, all the harmful, provoking things were removed from my household, all the 'womens mags' of photoshopped women in teeny bikinis weren't in my view.  Instead I was given books, I was told to pursue my love of cooking.  I was encouraged to exercise for my health.  The best advice I was given is that looking pretty isn't a skill I should focus all of my energy on.  Be healthy and treat yourself right.  Those are things I was told mattered.

"Make food fun and healthy.  Don't make it a punishment."  These are all things that were drilled into me until it started to become a constant cheer in the back of my mind.


Let's get this straight.  I'm short.  Like seriously short.  I was not born to be a catwalk model.  I'm told that to feel good, I have to eat yoghurts, dance around on a beach during a sunset, take tablets that could make me crap myself and I am apparently chained to my addictions of cakes and muffins.  I'm told to turn my nose up at food, to not eat as much of it, or to eat this, and that and to diet until my hair falls out or the life is sucked out of me.

If I were to believe all this toss being thrown at me every day, I should be depressed, ashamed and have no life, It's suggested that I should be shut up in my room, dreaming of becoming like the photoshopped mecca we're told to strive towards.

But I'm not.  I lead an awesome active life, full of friends and family, full of laughter, travels and events and not full of shame.  I'm perfectly happy thank you.  Yes I suffer the horrible pain of feeling a bit pants about myself every once in a while, but then I take a step back and I OWN IT.  Cause I don't have to feel that way.


No one has to feel that way.  Food isn't the enemy.  Real food is awesome and can really ameliorate your life.  Learning about it really helped me.

So if you're reading this, and maybe you've felt bad about yourself today for some reason, maybe you skipped a meal because you're feeling a bit bloated and skanky.  Maybe this makes you feel like you aren't worth anything.  Take it from someone who has felt that way.



You always have worth.  Always...

RANT OVER.  I'm back this week with some pretty banging recipes, so stay tuned!

I really recommend reading the articles over at Beauty redefined.  They are brilliant and inspiring.

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69 Comments

  1. A well written post, Emma. And you are so right about food: balance is the key! If I had £6,000, I would get my dream camera and some good lens :-)) You look GORGEOUS!

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    1. Thanks Angie! I like your idea of what to do with £6,000 - much better spent. I think I'd spend it on a tour of Italy eating a lot of food! Then I'd give my kitchen some love with it!

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  2. p.s Have you seen the plastic surgery that Mega Ryan did to herself? Chris...who wouldn't get old?...she was so beautiful and she could have been old and graceful .. but now she looks old with a plastic face and plump lips...

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  3. Thank you for this passionately written piece. I'm in complete agreement that food is not our enemy and I love your point about it enriching your healthy lifestyle. So, so true.

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  4. I LOVE THIS! I'm always beating myself up about food and how much I eat one day and the next. "You always have worth." Thank you. Now I can't wait for the 'banging' recipes.

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    1. Banging recipes are a good thing. I promise!

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  5. Harriet Davis7 May 2014 at 04:37

    Bookmarked. This is something I needed in my life today. Thank you Fork & Good!

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    1. You're welcome Harriet, Thank you for reading it! :)

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  6. Maya Food lover7 May 2014 at 04:44

    When she was four, my daughter told me she wanted to be a ballerina but she thought her cute little baby belly meant that she wasn't pretty enough to be one. My heart broke that day and I've been trying to teach her positive messages like this ever since. I'm glad you had the strong role models in your life to help you. Such a positive message from someone who has obviously battled with her own demons. God bless you.

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    1. Your story actually broke my heart a little too, your little girl is lucky to have a mum who wants to teach her positive messages like that! Thank you so much for your comments. They made my day :)

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  7. this is exactly what I needed to hear today.. your awesome emma :)
    much love and ill be seeing you later ;) xxx

    OWN IT

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  8. this is exactly what I needed to hear today.. your awesome emma :)
    much love and ill be seeing you later ;)

    OWN IT

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  9. very inspiring words, im going 2 take these to my meeting tonight. Are those pictures some of your recipes? do you have the ww points of them?

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    1. Hello Anonymous! They are indeed pictures of recipes on the site, except the cream tea - I can link them up if you like? I'm afraid I don't point anymore, and I haven't for a few years, but if you are on the online, they have a recipe builder. All of these recipes are easy to input into that :) Hope that helps!

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  10. i eat what i want and dont put on weight. so i dont really get this. like just eat less if you get fat? just my opinion.

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    1. Hello some guy! You are as entitled to your opinion as I am too mine, and I respect that.

      Unfortunately, as you put it, you can eat what you like and not put on weight, which is fantastic for you, but also means that you've never had to struggle with the stigma of being overweight and the pressure that comes with that, not just for women but for men as well.

      So your comment of "eat less", while it makes sense in simple terms, is about as useful as being itchy and told not to scratch.


      Thanks for reading though ;)

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  11. I just want to hug or high five my computer right now! Great post!! You have a great perspective and I can feel your love and positivity behind it all, it just shines :) It is such a shame that we are taught to tie our self-worth to our weight, I have fallen into the trap myself.

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words Abby! You are definitely one of the food bloggers I was talking about :) That's so true. It is so easy to fall into, we're taught such lies!

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  12. Christine Pooley7 May 2014 at 06:45

    This is a fantastic, positive and inspirational post Emzy, I'm really proud of you. You always have been and always will be a beautiful person inside and out. I have got an awesome daughter :). Love you loads xxx

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  13. So beautifully written Em, and 100% correct ... I wish I could print this out and hand it out to every young girl I pass on the street tomorrow. People are SO brainwashed by the media and unhealthy images, sense has just got completely lost, so many young girls out there don't have a clue how to be happy and healthy and it's so so sad :(

    x

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    1. I completely agree with you Chloe, it's scary! It should definitely be something they teach in schools, properly! Not half an hour making soggy garlic bread and limp chicken curry! x

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  14. Faith in humanity restored. What a brilliant post.
    I bet you are a great person to be around. I feel uplifted just reading your words mate!!!!!

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  15. I was 15 the first time I was hospitalised with my eating disorder. The worst part about it is that I felt so alone and bitter at the world. I just wanted to be thin. I thought my life would only better if I was thin or dead. I had no worth otherwise. "You always have worth" You are amazing. I've never been able to put how I felt into words but you eloquently just pulled them out of my head and lay them down for me to feel like I'm not truly alone. Thank you. I'm in tears. Thank you.

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    1. Good morning Lilly, thank you so much for commenting with your story, I really appreciate it, your words break my heart! I'm so glad that you know you are never alone! If any of these comments have proven anything to me, is that we've all been sitting this these self hating bubbles, not knowing that everyone else has one around them too. YOU are the amazing one. :)

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  16. Beautifully written, perfect! You continue to be an inspiration xxx

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  17. So utterly proud of you - I could bust! Brilliantly observed, beautifully written piece. I absolutely love the idea that pretty isn't a skill you need to spend time on. I'd go further - it isn't a skill - full stop. So for all the little pot-bellied ballerinas out there - I say - LET'S DANCE and then have some yummy food x

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    1. Oh my Louise I love that! Can I use that quote on my page? It kicks ass!! I completely agree with you!

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  18. This inspired me to treat myself so much better yesterday. I made a full meal! From scratch!

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    1. You have no idea how happy it makes me that I inspired someone to cook. Living the dream!

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  19. I just saw that you asked for our stories on your fb page. I read this post yesterday and it encouraged me to go and cook and meal for the first time in months. Im always feeling guilty when i eat but every time i took a bite, i felt positive and kept saying your words - that food is not an enemy. i really really really like the link you posted at the end.

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    1. Hey Anonymous, glad someone is reading my facebook page! Once again, I'm so happy that it encouraged you to go and cook a meal, this makes me so happy! I'm really really really glad that you took the time to read it, so thank you! We shouldn't have to feel guilty for fueling our bodies, and especially if you took the time to make it yourself! :)

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  20. you sound jealous of us pretty girls

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    1. Did it make you feel better to write that? If it did then I feel sorry that you missed the entire point of the post.

      Thanks for reading though :)

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    2. Just wow...

      PS - Emma is a pretty girl ;)

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    3. you sound like a very UGLY person, anonymous.

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  21. ((an old WW reader))8 May 2014 at 02:57

    You have come so so so far! This is so inspired Cookie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Everyone should be sharing this.

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    1. Hello and thank you so much! Which WW are you? :)

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  22. Just wow...

    PS - Emma is a pretty girl, didn't you see the picture? ;)

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  23. Very inspiring - I used to read you WW blog, and this is such an awesome point of view, and one we girls need to hear more often. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thank you for reading Ella! (LOVE your name!)

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  24. Cookie! Louise sent me your way haven't been here for a while but what a fab blog honey - just what I needed today. Keep going girl you rock xxx

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    1. Hi Andi! Hope you're awesome! Thank you for your lovely words!! Great to hear from you again :D xx

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  25. Well said Emma, food is never the enemy. You are a true inspiration x

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    1. Cheers Michelle :) Food is amazing! I couldn't live without it ;) x

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  26. Well said Emma, you are an inspiration x

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  27. Jason with a J8 May 2014 at 06:22

    I love food. You love food. WE ALL LOVE FOOD. YAY FOOD.

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  28. BIGMOUTHMUMMA8 May 2014 at 06:46

    YES EMMA! Read your amazeballs rant on facebook and had to come see what the fuss was all about. Oh darlin I am so in agreement with you that I am going to go and eat a homemade biscuit and have a nice cup of tea in your honor. Food is awesome and so are you girl!

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    1. Awesome! Enjoy the biscuit, I'm so jealous right now! Thank you for the lovely words! :)

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  29. Wonderful post, Emma. I'm a big girl, and come from a long line of big girls and boys. But my doctor tells me I'm healthy, too, so I just keep on enjoying good food and exercising when I can. We are are different and should celebrate our differences since they are what add the spice to life!

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    1. Love that you have a little cooking pun at the end there Linda! That is so true, life would be incredibly boring otherwise. :)

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  30. Having followed your earlier blogging in the world of ww its so refreshing to see someone who has evolved away from the diet industry to totally changing their mindset about food to the point it becomes an everyday pleasure and not in the camps of 'good' or 'bad' food, having fought, won, lost and re-challenged my own food demons it is very inspiring to see you come through the other side and see food as an exciting, everyday pleasure. I'm just starting my own battle again and it was great to read this post yesterday. Oh and the trolls, they don't deserve a second of anyone's brain power, but great responses nonetheless!! Xx

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    1. Haha thanks :) I think if I cared more they wouldn't be as calm! I'm so glad to hear from you, I remember your screen name :) Good luck, and remember that you're awesome and it doesn't have to be a battle against yourself!

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  31. Emma, this is a great post! I thought it was really inspiring!

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  32. I shouldn't have to need to read something like this to feel good about myself. But I do & I have. Have you ever been told that you are quite wise for someone very young!

    Please don't publish my name I'm worried the trolls will target me and I'm not good at responding to them :-)

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    1. Don't worry anonymous, not even I know your name! I'm so sorry that the few bad eggs have made you feel that way. But I totally respect that. Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment. :)

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  33. Hello from a first time reader - what a fantastic introduction to your site!

    Thank you for such a positive post that makes such perfect sense and is truly liberating :)

    Vicky xx

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  34. Can't believe I missed this this post. I feel like I want to hug you, Emma! This is something I think about a lot and is also the main reason I avoid mainstream media (especially the dreaded Daily Mail.) We're constantly manipulated into striving towards this digitally enhanced, surgically altered, cartoon-like image that not even the most beautiful catwalk models could achieve and it's INSANE. It took me a very long time to realize that and find my true self-worth. The world needs more awesome women like you sharing words like these to counteract all the crap being spread out there!

    PS. When I saw the comment your mum left you it really made me smile. I can see why she is proud of you xxx

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    1. Thank you Aimee, that is so lovely! You are so right, no one can achieve the look that's being touted as perfection. I've had so many emails about this and it's clear that no one really knew anyone else thought like this!

      I normally avoid the daily mail too, I once saw a picture of like taylor swift coming out of the gym and the headline was basically "FEMALE DARES TO SWEAT"

      Stupid.

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  35. What a fantastic post! Very well written and I enjoyed, and agreed with, every word of it. Don't much like the idea of screwing cups into my ribs, but I've discovered recently (after a severe ankle injury involving a mooring rope cut my running days short) that piling a few blogger pounds on takes care of those sagging boobs right away. Mine have never been this perky since I started growing them (and I nursed three babies, I know all about boob sag!) :D Thanks for the follow on Twitter, by the way, pleased to 'meet' you. :)

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