Stop judging. You're beautiful...
I've been pretty irritated lately that for weeks I haven't had the time to do even a smidge of exercise, and to top it off I've been eating loads (Working makes me hungry and I can't work if I'm peckish... my mum laughs at my intermittent emergence in order to wander through the kitchen).
It takes a lot of effort, but I have to keep reminding myself to stop caring so much about such shallow things like putting on a few kilos.
Although increasingly we see dozens of articles proclaiming self-love, balanced lifestyles or distancing oneself from the skinny obsession, we see just as many, if not more, still driving us to jump rope for half an hour, to eat kale pancakes for breakfast, to eat quinoa at 2 am for a better metabolism, or whatever the latest craze may be.
Don't get me wrong, I am a health freak. I love quinoa. Fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole weird-looking grains, you name it and I eat it, and as much as possible, I don't eat processed or junk food.
But what I'm contesting is our obsession with perfect exteriors. I was driving the other day and I saw a dove and a pigeon and I started a discussion with my mum. To the common non-ornithologist, pigeons and doves look the exact same.
The one difference is their colour- one being patchy and uneven, the other being flawless.Society considers one as vermin, rats with wings and ugly pests, and the other represents purity, beauty and peace.
Doesn't that show our innate superficiality?
We know it, we hear it, but we rarely accept it: different people have different physiques. When I am not loaded with work, I'm proud to lead an active life and to eat well. But I'm not skinny. I'm just not.
On the other hand my sister eats junk food galore and doesn't exercise much, yet she has always maintained a small waistline.
I can't keep striving for something I'm not, because as clichéd as it sounds, it's the inside that counts. At the moment the exterior of my body may not be at its prime, but the interior strength and intelligence have helped push me through the past few weeks of work. I know that even though I don't look flawless, I have a healthy, well-looked-after body that I respect and love.
This cake came out a cosmetic mess. I won't describe all our various attempts to fix it, but we got it in the end. I ended up covering the whole thing in a thick layer of powdered sugar to disguise the uneven top... and I ruined it.
My family and I found the cake itself absolutely delicious... crumbly, lightly sweet, almondy and refreshing.
And to top it off, the cake is sneakily insanely healthy: almonds, orange juice and carrots make up the base. No butter. No flour. (Don't run away! I promise it doesn't taste weird ;) )
But my topping just made it... weird. Sugary. Crunchy. My friends agreed that the sugar was just too much.
My point is, that in an endeavour to make the outside of my cake look better, I messed up its natural beauty. I felt hypocritical, judging my cake on how it looks, rather than its true values, and not embracing the mistakes and the fun we had getting it together.
I loved it, it was healthy on its own, it didn't break completely, and it didn't need to look like a gateau on the cover of Food & Wine.
As long as I'm filled with good stuff, as long as I love my flaws, but do my best not to fall apart, I don't need to look like someone on the cover of Vogue.
And personally, I think pigeons are quite beautiful.