Back at the start of the summer we promised you our Cellulite Diaries. Yeah. Well. I am sorry to have to report this, but: we suck. We completely and utterly suck. Our diets are full of salted caramel, and our thighs are full of, well. Here’s a glimpse of where we got to before the summer kicked our asses, then later we’ll fill you in on the full FAIL.
After a poor start, during which I left the vital Birch Cellulite Oil in my dad’s bathroom for a week, I have finally kicked my ass into cellulite fighting form. Discussing the challenge with my great friend Mrs Trefusis, she tells me:
“I once managed to eliminate my cellulite”
“I completely gave up drinking and ran five miles every day without fail”.
“Oh”. I am terribly disappointed.
“It was totally unsustainable”.
I am not willing to go to such extreme lengths. I barely run for a bus if I can help it and the idea of a dry August terrifies me worse than an arable farmers convention. I like to view my holidays through a benevolent haze of rosé. I will do my best, however.
Four days trying to finish my book in a strange town with no broadband. I place my body brush on the desk behind me, and every time I speculatively search the ether for unsecured wifi networks, I also pick up my body brush and give my legs a good scrub. It makes me feel purposeful.
I relocate the oil and apply it twice daily. I am not entirely sure about the oil. It’s very oily. I spill it on sheets, towels, and the carpet of the rented flat. It doesn’t make my skin tingle like, say Shiseido Body Creator. I persist anyway. If The Leg Room approves, I believe. The Leg Room is my gospel.
I eat loads of vegetables. Well, some vegetables. Well, when I have cake I make sure it’s carrot cake. I also take Conjugated Linoleic Acid capsules. Back in the day when I was thin and mental I used to swear by these for their infinitely tiny alleged fat burning and slight appetite suppressant effect. Now? Well. They aren’t suppressing my appetite but they make me feel like I’m doing something.
I manage not to drink alcohol for 4 days. My liver thanks me, even if my skin seems indifferent.
On my return to Belgium I also look out the weapon of torture in my cupboard that I have been ignoring. The Jeanne Piaubert spiky massaging tool of death. I apply the oily oil and rub away at my thighs with it two rubbery hedgehogs. It’s hilarious, but not painful enough to suggest it’s working. My thighs go slightly red.
And is any of it working? Well. If you’d asked me even two days ago I would have laughed darkly in your face whilst searching your pockets for chocolate. Pah. Not the slightest shifting in my dimples, no improved skin tone, naaaathing. But now, and this might be pure delusion, I feel like there’s a tiny improvement in the way the skin on my thighs is looking. Really tiny, blink and you’d miss it tiny. But just enough to keep me brushing and oiling, for now.
It’s summer, when people wear floral playsuits with no sense of irony and when Facegoop’s fancy turns to .. ice cream. And where there’s ice cream, there are wobbly thighs. So for the next few weeks we’ll be bringing you an epic follow up to the Water Diaries, the Cellulite Diaries. Be afraid, be very afraid.
Cellulite. I haz it. I have had it ever since I stopped doing 5 hours of ballet a week and started to eat Nachos for breakfast. I am plagued by terrible circulation, a strong desire for tasty salted pork parts, and a deep rooted hatred of exercise. I have recently instituted a daily ice cream break in my studio for the summer months. This has led me to:
The Vital Statistics:
Thigh circumference: 25. 5 inches.
Calf circumference : 17.5 inches.
Number of ridiculous lotions tried: too many to recall.
Number of ridiculous lotions that were unpleasantly sticky: all of them.
Number of giant bruises from cycling: 7
Amount of cellulite dislodged: non-existent.
Low. Looking at the statistics above, I realize just one of my thighs is the same size as other people’s WAISTS. Not even freaky people’s waists. Just, people.
I know my legs will not be replaced by ones worthy of an antelope overnight, or, indeed, ever. In fact a doctor recently told me I was bow-legged, which left a nice happy song in my heart. Thanks, doc.
I’d just like to be able to wear an above-the-knee skirt in the sweltering heat of Paris this summer. DO YOU HEAR ME, CELLULITE GODS??? IS THAT TOO MUCH TO ASK?
Body brushing: E has talked me into this. She says it works if you do it obsessively, so I have, like an obedient, distraught puppy, started brushing myself every morning before my shower. It makes me feel rather like a pony being given his daily cleanse, minus the strong pony odour. Oddly comforting. And what do you know? It works. My skin is much softer, and possibly even stronger. Win.
Weleda Birch Cellulite Oil. It’s delightfully warming and the legologist says it works. It is backed up by some impressive and wonderfully germanic statistics. After 28 days, visible improvement of skin structure in 85% of cases, 20-25% increase in microcirculation, and a measurable thigh loss of 3.95 cms. This is getting slathered onto the drumsticks every evening, and my legs feel light, refreshed and hydrated afterwards. The boyfriend says I smell of ginger. Whatevs. The Oil is here to stay.
The Bicycle. My two wheeled love. I cycle every day but usually only for relatively short trips. I am going to make the most of the long, light, balmy (cough cough) Scottish summer and increase the number of 30 minute trips. Oh yes I am. Yes I am yes I am yes I AM.
Phew, that was tiring. Pass me an ice cream, E?
M and I bonded early on over our love of cellulite snake oil, pants with outlandish shrinking claims, spiked rollers to squish our thighs into submission. I love all that stuff. I’ve had hatchet faced Breton women pummel my thighs with a power hose, been wrapped in all manner of gloop, spent ages wobbling on a Power Plate.
No more. Now I have cellulite AND I’m poor. I don’t know if I’ll have to wear a swimming costume in the Isle of Wight in August, but I fear there’s a strong possibility, and my thighs are‚ well. They’ve seen better days. I try not to look. I’m typing this eating salted caramel chocolate which tells you everything you need to know about my diet. My only exercise is walking the dog, and when I say ‘walking’, I mean ‘sitting on a bench while the dog unearths old kebabs and condoms in the park’.
The vital statistics
Thigh circumference: 22 inches
(I’m not measuring my calves because I know there’s no way in hell I’ll be putting cellulite potions on them. They’re fine. They’re, you know, calf sized) .
Number of potions tried: Infinity plus
Number of bruises from drunken incidents: loads. Not sure. At least 5 big ones.
Amount of cellulite dislodged: At the moment I’m operating at a net gain of cellulite of 12 cm3 per annum.
The rot must stop.
Since I won’t be exercising or eating less, I don’t really have any expectations, but if I can get my thighs a little smoother and less, uh, GROSS, that would be great. If I can replace my body and face with those of Christy Turlington, so much the better.
Trusty cheapo body brush - it’s easy, it feels like it’s doing something, and skin definitely feels softer after use.
Weleda Birch Cellulite Oil – M was impressed so I bought some. And what’s good enough for the Legologist is definitely good enough for me. I worship that woman. I have only used a couple of times. It’s, well, oily, but there’s a sort of tightening sensation that seems promising.
For the rest, well. I’ll try and drink some water and eat some vegetables. Can’t say fairer than that.
So here goes nothing: Cellulite Plan 2010 is go. It can’t be as bad as The Water Diaries, right?
M Yes. I had war paint on. And by war paint, I mean I combed my hair.
E: Because just occasionally I like to pretend I am in charge at Facegoop towers.
M: Oy! You are in charge! ish.
E: Of course i am. If by “in charge” you mean “your terrified subordinate”, then yes, I am in charge. Anyway. I sent you on a mission and you have, I believe, returned triumphant.
E: Tell me all.
M: I braved the squawking army of pink cheeked mac girls to retrieve this:
E: Ooooooooh my makeup bag! Come to momma.
M: Although why you would pay £24 for a bit of a print and a zipper, I’m not sure.
E: It has birds on, OK?
M: OK. BIRDS. Whatever. I did paw the scarf too though. It was nice. Thin and soft. Of course I blame you entirely for what happened next.
E: Oh dear. What did happen next?
M: I was drawn to the Chanel counter by invisible threads, like in a creepy puppet film.
E: Ouh la la. C’est pas bon, ça. Were they diffusing the scent of giant macarons to lure you in?
M: They had essence of Vanessa Paradis wafting. Not Joe le taxi Vanessa Paradis. Chanel Vanessa Paradis. Two very different BIRDS.
E: A taxi is a bird? I did not know this. I bet she’s a patchouli girl in real life though. Dirty barefoot hippie, living in the country with that bearded waster.
M: Yes. Do you think he just speaks in pirate speak?
M: Arrrr. That be a fine cupcake, Vanessa.
E: Arrrrrrrrr. First mate Paradis, plait me beard or I’ll make you walk the plank.
M: The end of the story is that I bought the fecking Mademoiselle lipstick, because I was brain washed by how pretty and wearable it is.
E: Oh man. And what colour is Mademoiselle?
M: It’s VANESSA PARADIS COLOURED. It’s the colour of Pretty. It is Joli.
E: Bon. Clearly I will get no sense out of you. You’ll just have to post a photo.
M: What, like this?
M: Not sure Vanessa would approve of my application “skillz”. Speaking of her, you must watch this:
E: Ils sont cons, ces français.
M: They are comparing her to Titi, the irritating yellow cartoon bird.
E: Nice tail. Céline on the Armani counter at Printemps Beauté would be jealous.
M: “On est dans une logique cartésienne”, they say. I am getting flashbacks to first year lectures at the Sorbonne.
E: C’est archi archi français, ça.
M: Oui. 100% français.
E: Hang on, we’ve got distracted again. What were we saying? You bought lipstick.
M: I blame you. The end.
E: I have also been beauty shopping, M. I have Chosen.
M: Chosen What?
E: The Chosen One. Every year, I choose a cellulite cream in which to place my ridiculous faith. I went to the pharmacy this week and It was on the counter.
M: Oh dear. This is not in the spirit of Easter.
E: The “presentoir” in which the boxes were placed was black and shiny, like it really meant business.
M: Cellulite business.
E: It was Vichy, my favourite of all of last year’s stupid snake oil creams. New Improved Vichy Nonsense.
E: Because the world has moved on since Lipo Dissolve, or whatever the last one was. Cellulite technology lies move fast. Now we have ….
E: Yes. It is a made up word they hope sounds scientific and slimming.
M: That’s like one of those bad overstock stores in Etienne Marcel. Kookai stock from 3 years ago. LA GRANDE BRADERIE de la CELLULITE!
E: PRIX HALLUCINANTS SUR LES CAPITONS!!!!! Je suis d’accord. However! Peer closer into the Vichy tube.
M: Must I?
E: Yes. The contents are pale green, the exact colour of Chanel Jade nail polish. And it contains something called a “lypolytic activator” How can it fail? It has a “lypolytic activator”, which is basically Mr Motivator for my fat. It pokes your fat until it wakes up and goes away.
M: Ugh. I am tired just thinking about it.
E: It is, you will be delighted to hear, “tested in vitro on lipocidine”. As opposed to tested on, say, LEGS.
M: Of course. Why wouldn’t it be? Legs are not hygienic, E. Everyone knows that. You think those lab-coated scientists have ever been NEAR a leg? Have they balls.
E: My favourite bit is the German for “diet resistant problem zones”, which is “Hartknäckigen Problemenzonen”
M: Knäcki. That’s a sausage, isn’t it? Well, my thighs DO look like sausages. I am sold. SOLD!
E: Well. It’s been a tremendous weekend for beauty purchasing. We have done well. Hohe funf, M?
E: Who is Jergens? Should I be aware of his work? He sounds like a Danish exchange student. I bet he’s probably a mate of the freakishly youthful looking Ole Henriksen. Or do I mean Henrik Olesen? Who knows. They are probably raising money to go interrailing by selling beauty products.
M: Finnish, perhaps. In any case, he probably eats a lot of herring.
E: I should imagine so. His essential fatty acids would be through the roof. And they’re cheap when you’re saving to go to Amsterdam. Tell me more.
M: Well, you know how moisturising and I do not really see eye to eye?
E: I am aware of this. Moisturising isn’t a close friend of mine either.
More one of those people who you have to do a fake smile at across a busy bar, then ignore and pray they don’t come over.
M: Moisturising, in a nutshell, is a bastard.
E: Yeah. Boring too. A boring bastard.
M: So, you will imagine my surprise when I bought my third bottle of this.
E: Bloody hell. What is it, exactly?
M: “Jergens Naturals Skin firming body moisturiser with pomegranate extract”. I realized the other day that I have been using it every day. And do you want to know why?
E: Of course I do. Tell me!
M: It claims to “visibly firm cellulite prone skin”.
E: Yeah, and allow you to fly to work on a gilded unicorn. How many times have you heard that one?
M: Well, let me tell you, my friend, it is TRUE.
E: True? Truly truly true?
M: TRUE. TRULY TRUE. I mean, I’m no leaping gazelle. I am very very far from being a leaping gazelle. All smooth, furry lithe limbs, delicate face and golden eyes.
E: Mmmmmmm so pretty.
M: To give us some background here, I had foie gras and bakewell tart tonight. For dinner. Again.
E: Good dinner. I applaud your choices. Not unsalted plaice fillet en papillote with some steamed spinach?
M: No. My thighs. They are dimpled. And this, THIS! This makes them less dimpled.
E: I am quite amazed. Totally amazed actually. I mean, you know how much I want to believe.
M: Actually, they are not really less dimpled. The fat is still there. But it strengthens the skin and firms it and, what, thickens it? So that the fat is less visible.
E: Smoothes it perhaps.
M: Yes. VISIBLY. The bottle says in 2 uses but that is a lie. I noticed the difference half way through the second bottle. Coincidentally, during water week.
E: Ssssssh we will not speak of that.
M: Do you want to know how much this costs?
E: Of course I do. £100 for 30ml? Rodial stylee?
M: No. It is cruelty free. And Paraben free. And Made in the UK for low carbon miles whatever the fuck that means. And it’s… £4.99.
E: Ha! Less than FIVE of your British pounds! A cheap, non planet flaying cellulite remedy.
M: This, my fellow cellulite miracle searcher, is a HG. I mean, it’s obviously made of embryos or something (“96% natural ingredients”). Stolen embryos bought on the Chinese black market.
E: Too dear. Probably pigeon embryos.
M: I have used many cellulite creams. MANY.
E: Ha. I think we can agree we both have.
M: Tell me about some of the crap you have used.
E: Well. I have used Vichy Lipometric, Caudalie Firming complex, Shiseido Body Creator, Sisley Celluli-Pro, the collected works of St Jeanne de Piaubert.
M: Did she burn your cellulite at the stake?
E: No, she made me wear ill-fitting cycling shorts. And her pump dispensers kept breaking. The only one that did anything was the Vichy. And it just gave your skin a metallic sheen. I liked the metallic sheen. I felt a little bit robotic.
M: I had a rather expensive Karin Herzog duo that was made of oxygen and old grannies. That’s what it smelled like, at least. Various sticky ones. I hate those sticky ones. Those stupid tubes with the tiny tiny plastic massage heads attached to them. And the serums, that you have to keep in the fridge.
E: I had those big patches you stuck on your bum cheeks, like nicotine replacement therapy.
M: And, of course, there was the infamous Philips Celesse of DOOM.
E: Ah, yes. The Philips Celesse is probably a post in itself. And do you remember when I wrote to a cellulite pants doctor to try and get him to send us some? He never replied, bastard.
M: We would have tested them faithfully.
E: You realise we could be richer than oligarchs if we had never embarked upon cellulite treatment madness.
M: Yes. Especially considering that most of my cellulite treatment madness took place in my late teens and early twenties, when I had perfectly acceptable thighs.
E: It’s probably best not to think of it. We’ll cry. Where do you get Jergens from? Your local youth hostel? Hanging out with Ole Henriksen and Dr Brandt? Did you take off his backpack and coax him out with the promise of a can of cider and a tiny joint?
M: Yes. You will find him filling up on the free Danish pastries in the tawdry canteen. Boots, dude. Boots. Always freaking Boots.
E: Wow. Boots. 4.99 and. IT. WORKS. I need a lie down.
M: One last thing.
M: I think I’ve found the magic ingredient on the back label.
M: It says it has: “Helianthus Annuus seed oil”.
E: Ahahahahhahahaahaa. Anus seed oil????? You can see why it’s cheap.
M: Yup. Whatever, my thighs are smooth.
E: I’d keep that hidden in your backpack under your crumpled miracle towel, Jergens.
E: We need to talk about water. But I am warning you, it is not good news.
M: Talking of hydration, when I was in the hippie stronghold earlier today, I saw a carton of that designer coconut water endorsed by Madonna, so I bought some. £4.49.
E: Please tell me it wasn’t for a tiny juice box?
M: No! A carton, like a normal juice carton.
E: Ok. Continue. Have you tried it?
M: Well, you know how fresh young coconut juice is basically like heaven liquified? Take a couple of clouds, a few angels, some divine sunbeams and squeeze them into a coconut husk, or shell, or whatever you call them. WHAT ARE THEY CALLED????
E: Shell! Shell is fine! Chill out.
M: Well, this isn’t like that, at all. It’s kiiiind of like that. But grey. And flat. And a bit acidic. It’s PANTS. But it’s rich in potassium. It’s Potassium-rich PANTS. I am ranting. Stupid dumb ass expensive coconut water DE MON CUL. Next time, I will wait until the real thing is at the chinese supermarket, and I will hack at it with my giant meat cleaver as I usually do. The neighbours will not be pleased. But my wallet and tastebuds will thank me.
E: I like the sound of the machete and the hacking. It’s been a long week. But the madonna juice sounds vile. Ok, my turn. I have comprehensively, totally, fallen off the water wagon today. I have had two glasses. That seems like plenty. I was losing the will to live. Action was needed. So my hydration needs today have been met by 3 cups of tea, an espresso, and a gin and tonic. Water can fuck the fuck off .
M: Hmph. I think the gin and tonic can count. The rest, no.
E: Well, I don’t even care. Fuckit.
M: It’s Friday. Fuck off Water Friday. I need to pee.
E: Water can kiss my non-Ryanair branded ass. Sorry about the experiment.
I am a failure.
M: It’s ok.
E: No, it’s not. Sorry, Facegoop. I have let you down. I have let myself down I have let water down. And I still don’t give a shit.
E: Our water diaries are boring, aren’t they? Almost as boring as drinking water.
M: Yes. No one wants to read the mind-boggingly dull details of our mundane existences.
E: So today, whiny water chat instead of diaries. I am not hating the drinking process quite so much, but I see absolutely NO benefits. Water is just pointless.
M: Actually, my skin is clearer this morning and I have not wanted any crap food for 3 days. No chocolate craving, no cheese craving, no ghee craving. I am also noticing a certain looseness round the lardy arse area, which may or may not be related. I may have to Weigh Myself tomorrow.
E: That is not my experience at all, and I think you are lying. I had to have a cup of tea and a Caramel in the bath last night. My body was aching for toxins. I’m just bitterly resentful that there’s no room for all the shit I would like to be eating due to the swilling gallons of water in my stomach.
M: I had steamed broccoli for lunch. STEAMED BROCCOLI.
E: I am appalled. I had a milkshake. This is working out better for you than me. No fair.
M: Also, I cleaned out my cosmetic drawer. It is tidy. Ish.
E: And you believe this to be water’s doing? Madness.
M: All I know is that I had four glasses of water before 11, and I was a flurry of activity this morning. I even sorted through my receipts, which I normally only do if someone threatens to lower me into a pit full of oversized rat-spider hybrids.
E: You are falling into the dangerous clutches of the water cult. I am sending in the cult deprogrammer with a family-sized bag of crisps. What I hate most about the Water Challenge is the way it keeps me from drinking as much tea as I would like to.
M: Well, that is because you are British, and foreign, and weird. And your blood is 87% tea. Strong tea.
E: I need pints of it to survive. PINTS. If my tea levels get any lower, I will end up in super rapid detox like a crackbaby in ER. In order to avoid that I had 2 pints this morning so there is no room for water. I have not had any. There is simply no space.
M: I could dip you in a cup of hot water if I wanted a nice comforting beverage.
E: In a normal week you absolutely could. I am dry and full of tea. I could be a new concept from Tetleys.
M: Water week is messing with my time perception. On Tuesday, I thought it was Saturday. Today, I’m convinced it’s Wednesday. WTF, WATER?
E: WTF indeed. I wake up thirsty. what the fuck is that about?
M: I always wake up thirsty. That’s just central heating, you weirdo.
E: Yeah, well I don’t. Never. And the heating is OFF. Spring has arrived in Belgeland, possibly for as long as 24 whole hours.
Basically my assessment of the Water Challenge so far is that it is a complete fucking drag. I can’t see any health or appearance benefits that would make me want to continue. However we are only halfway through.
M: Yes. You may have a last minute turnaround yet. Like a Ryan Air plane that you think is going to take off, but it doesn’t. Except in reverse. And with less advertising. And you don’t have to fear for your life.
E: That image really isn’t working, is it? I mean really? No. Apart from all the things you mention, I do not have a yellow harp painted on my arse.
M: No? You should check. Maybe you do.
E: Oh, I don’t think so. There is no way I am looking at my arse. I have been eating so much shit during water week that it has doubled in size
M: You might find it dewy, and plump, in a good way, from all the water.
E: Eewww. I don’t want to find it at all. I don’t want to look at my arse, I don’t want to drink water. What I actually want to do is sit in the sun with a very small very strong espressso. And DRY OUT.
Day 3, still spotty. Stomach feels marginally less distended, which I attribute to the gin and tonic last night.
Conference call from home. Have glass #1 while preparing and glass #2 during. About half way through the call I am desperate, but DESPERATE to pee. I sneak into the loo with the cordless phone, hand over the mouthpiece. A girl’s gotta do, innit. The peeing is actually less disruptive to the call than the moment some time later when I get bored and click on Heatworld, leading to ear bleedingly loud pop music being unleashed on our legal discussions.
Call ends and I force down #3 and pee again before leaving the house. Charleroi – an industrial wasteland where I am heading for some species of ironic guided tour – doesn’t seem like the kind of place likely to have welcoming public conveniences on every street corner. I am seriously hampered in my mad dash to catch the train by the swilling, gurgling weight of my stomach. I am so out of breath when I reach the train I succumb to a mad coughing fit that just won’t stop. I have no water with me. Oh, cruel irony. An old lady hands me a Smint, disapprovingly.
Get a weeny bottle of water from a vending machine in Charleroi station. 1euro20! I could get a chocolate coated waffle and a packet of TUC biscuits from the same machine for less. What with that, and the 40 centimes for the ladies loo attendant, hydration is an expensive business in this country.
The urban safari through Charleroi is in fact exceptionally hard core cardiovascular trespassing, with slagheap climbing, jumping through fences and squatter dodging. I crack open my tiny bottle in the transit van, but Nicolas, the guide, makes sad eyes at me and says his mouth is “pateuse” from talking all day. I give him half.
We stop for a milkshake at Charleroi’s premier (only) mall. Nicolas, my guide, pronounces the word ‘mole’. We ask for a glass of tap water with our milkshakes which practically causes World War Three among the serving staff. A tiny half full glass appears. It has probably been spat in by Charleroi’s finest. I drink it. Between this and the half bottle, I reckon I have managed #4.
Finally home. I would actually quite like a drink, but one with a FLAVOUR, and possibly alcohol. I settle for eating all the cheese off the top of the children’s pizza and a glass of H2Blah. #5
What, more? Really? Fuuuuuuuuuck. I get stuck halfway through. Filled with nourishment ennui, I neither wish to eat, nor drink. I have prawny, vegetabley, dullness for dinner. I feel about 5 months pregnant. I limp through #6. I probably really need it after inhaling the toxic soup that is Charleroi air, but my body tells me what it actually needs is cocktail. Pints and pints of cocktail.
I think really really hard about disused factories full of rotting chemicals and decomposed pigeons and taxidermy rat kings to force myself through #8. It works.
Total: 8 (told you I was a single-minded, try hard, competitive bitch) Verdict: Why am I doing this again?
Go to hell, water lover.
Whose stupid idea was this? And why am I waking up at 6:40? Can’t be bothered with the stale water. Thankfully someone knocks me out with a soft mallet and when I come to, I am wrapped in a blanket at my desk, typing.
My mint tea makes me hack up phlegm. This is the only fluid that will pass my lips until lunchtime.
I’ve given up on doing anything productive today. I’m fairly certain sticking a hot poker into my right eye would be more fun than drinking anything, but I gulp down a glass of the transparent stuff anyway. It tastes disappointingly like water.
13:30 My Barefaced Beauty (stupid name) minerals have arrived, hallelujah! Praise be the Dark Lords of the sorting office. I spend much time sifting tiny amounts of powder out of tiny containers. Water… I have heard of it, but I’ve never seen it. Why is the powder clumping around these dry bumpy bits on my skin?
We’ll gloss over the afternoon. Shhhh.
I employ trickery by filling my glass before I’ve emptied it. In this cunning way, I go through 5 glasses in 4 hours. Bwahahahahhaha.
Total: Fuck, still 7. HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE. And shut up about the mint tea not being water. Verdict: I see a trend emerging. Tomorrow, I tackle my problem head on by DRINKING IN THE MORNING.
This is day 2 of our attempt to drink eight glasses of water a day, for one whole week. Day 1
Wake up still feeling bloated, which is of course all water and nothing to do with the mountain of crap consumed yesterday. I have tea and crêpes. No water. And shout at the children. Wobble to work, feeling heavy. Is this how a hydrated, natural human is supposed to feel? I don’t believe it. You couldn’t run away from predators like this.
Work. First Glass. Blah, whatever. I don’t hate you, you’re just pointless. Look in mirror of truth – I have a spot just above my lip. It’s either water, or Crème de la Mer gel (a present! from someone who got it as a freebie! I can’t afford Crème ). I know who I’m blaming.
Feeling oppressed by the water burden ahead of me, I drink #2 standing by the coffee machine and bring #3 back to my desk. Coffee is awful. Water is awful. There is no milk in the building to make tea, only small containers of Belgian coffee creamer. Waaaa! I sneak down to a meeting I am not even attending and smuggle back 6 mini croissants, proper coffee and orange juice. This water regime is destroying me.
Drink #3 on conference call. Drink the orange juice too. Feel gross forcing more liquid into my groaning stomach, but I LIKE orange juice, dammit.
I am DYING to pee and conference call is still not finished. I bark staccato answers, dictated by my full bladder, to remaining questions. On the way back from the loo, I get #4 and ignore it. You’re not the boss of me, water.
Headache. I take a Nurofen with a miserly sip of #4.
Finish #4 and have consolation steak and chips in the canteen. No vegetables. I haven’t eaten this unhealthily for ages. This is all your doing, water.
Uninspired, I slump off to the water fountain and stand there, drinking #5. See, the secret thing about me is, I might be lazy and slatternly and half-arsed, but I really really like to WIN. I will not be beaten by this. I go into the ladies to pee, yet again. When I come out, I look in the mirror. My skin! It’s, it’s AWFUL. All the left side of my face is spotty. I have water-induced leprosy. I take #6 back to my desk, sulkily and try to mineral powder over the evidence.
#6 is almost bearable, but then, I am having a pretty shit day. Water is the least of my worries. I throw caution, and bladder control, to the winds and have #7 too. Oddly, #7 is possibly the easiest yet. I have no theories about this.
#8 is not easy. It is the thing I would least like right now. I would like something of a similar colour, but with ice, and approximately 40% proof.
Total: 8 glasses Verdict: Fuck you water, I won’t do what you tell me. Except pee. That I will do.
6:41 I wake up and take a gulp of stale water from last night’s untouched glass. I have given myself the day off but my rebellious, uncaring limbs carry me to the living room, where I sit, dehydrated, sinking deep into the dark clutches of the interweb.
I scrutinize my face in the mirror. My eyes are blood shot and my skin a ripple of grey with red patches. There’s an odd, dry area of skin developing all around my mouth. I feel betrayal mixed with resignation. I retreat.
I snap out of my browsing trance. I have managed one full glass all morning. I’m not sure how it got to me. I force down a second glass. At lunch, the leftover curry salt rush gives me the mother of all thirsts. The 3rd glass feels like a thimble. I have the strange swimming palpitations usually associated with eating a tub full of MSG.
I spend an hour making a blueberry tart in our hot, tiny kitchen. Afternoon tea is a blur of cups and saucers. There may have been a 4th glass of water involved. I lie down on the carpet. The feeble daylight pathetically pushing its way through the dirty windows makes my face hurt. I hear cruel laughter and the release of a camera shutter. I don’t care.
Against my better judgment, I head into town for a small shopping trip. I wander aimlessly round BHS, snapping pictures of paper bins, the weight of a 500 ml water of bottle in my bag making me slump in the manner of a sulky teenager. I’ve lost the will to live. I find myself sitting in the makeover chair at the Bare Minerals counter. I am laughing nervously. I need to pee.
I’m in the toilet of a drab, dismal shopping centre. This is where all hope comes to die. I drink half of the bottle in retribution.
Lemon tea with ginger at a friend’s house. I’m pretty sure it counts as water. Special water with magical properties. I end up second in a Mario Kart race, my best score ever. Lemon tea with ginger is the nectar of the Gods. My head is pounding.
Back home, the last of the bottle helps me to swallow 2 ibuprofen tablets. I inflict water torture on a handful of unsuspecting gyoza. There’s kimchi and soy sauce involved. Another glass seems inevitable.
Total: 7, probably Verdict: I spent the whole of this Tuesday thinking it was Saturday. Water is messing with my mind, like a particularly slippery brain worm.
This is day 1 of our attempt to drink eight glasses of water a day, for one whole week.
The before photo. We are not happy.
I never EVER drink water. Quite literally. I drink:
Tea. Usually the unhealthy black with milk Yorkshire Tea kind, strong enough to trot a mouse on.
A couple of Diet Cokes a week.
And that is all. I don’t even take pills with water – tea works fine. I must have been functionally dehydrated for about 6 years now, since the last time I drank water in any quantity was whilst breastfeeding my second child. Very occasionally, perhaps about once every two months, I get seized by a deadly thirst, but when I slake it I have to add Sirop de Grenadine to the devil’s beverage, or it won’t go down. I am not looking forward to the Facegoop Water Challenge. I thought it was a horrible idea, but M is persuasive*.
I take a photo of my dessicated Monday morning pre-make up face in the bathroom of destiny at work. Gross. I fill a first cup of water and drink it, alternating with coffee to take the non-taste away. One down. I need to pee. Normally I can sit at my desk all day without moving a single muscle – this is stealth exercise. I hate it already.
I try glass 2 without coffee. It makes my fillings ache. I think about the futility of human endeavour and eat an apple. This is more or less normal for a Monday.
Headache. I raid the chocolate cupboard, which involves stealing the key from my colleague’s drawer while she is in the toilet and claim two cheap and nasty Guylian “caramel” seahorses. Decide to wash my Nurofen down with water #3.
As I am hunched over the water fountain a colleague comes up. “What ARE you doing?” (see? My drinking water excites comment). I explain. “You shouldn’t drink too much if your body isn’t used to it” she says “Like those people on Ecstasy who die from drinking too much”. Great. I look forward to my brain swelling up and exploding out of my ears. Maybe this headache is the first sign?
Mini-Twix. This is supposed to be about the water, so I reckon my usual diet of trans-fatty chocolate miniatures must be continued. Controlled testing. On the back of the Twix, I manage to force down the remains of glass #3. Did I take a Nurofen? I can’t remember, but my head still aches.
13:28 After a large lunch I decide I need a muffin. NOW. I eat it. I blame water, possibly water on my brain. The experiment will be cut short it I top 20 stone. I go and get glass #4. If I check my Twitter feed as I drink, I can kid myself it’s, well, not water.
I need another Nurofen, so I go and get glass #5 to wash it down. I crack and get a coffee too. I drink # 5 while I wait for the coffee and bring #6 back to my desk. I feel bloated and I am starting to get water reflux.¬†
I force down the remains of #6. Bleugh. There will be no more water for some time.
I eat a fistful of lardons whilst preparing dinner. Salty. A good moment to force down #7. After #7 I feel I am fully justified in eating 2 fairy cakes and having an honest to goodness mug of tea. Before my dinner. What the fuck is happening to me? The children gulp down glasses of the stuff and ask for more. Weirdoes.
I have to write this stupid diary so I have the last glass. It is leftover from dinner, sitting next to me, taunting me. It is the glass that bursts the camel’s hump, or something. I feel revolting. The thought of doing all this again tomorrow makes me want to hurl.
Total: 8 glasses Verdict: The thought of starting again tomorrow makes me want to bury myself alive. In the desert.
I like water. I really do. I just forget to drink it.
I hate having to remember about it. I hate having to go to the kitchen to rummage through the piles of dishes to find a clean glass. I hate having a bladder the size of a walnut and having to go to the toilet all the freaking time. Water. Go to hell.
I get up and spend a half hour messing around on the internet. I inevitably end up having to leave the house in a mad rush, limbs flailing and laptop falling out of my bag. I manage to guzzle a half glass of last night’s stale water before rushing off, while muttering dark curses under my breath.
I buy a bottle of water at my workplace’s canteen. It’s 5 pence more expensive than a cup of tea. My body tries to trip me up in the stairs in retaliation. Twice.
I run around trying to fix things before the start of my lecture. I am hot, and a bit sweaty.The bottle sits on the table, staring at me malevolently. Can YOU fix this projector, water? No? Then STFU.
First half of lecture over. I have spent half the day talking. I’m pretty sure that’s -3.5 glasses, at least. I guzzle the water with my lunch of potato wedges and pasta sauce. Really, canteen, you are spoiling us.
I fill up my bottle in the girl’s toilet. The sign (above) says “drinking water”, but I have been reliably informed by the janitors that this may not strictly be true. Whatever. I have a challenge, janitors. A BEAUTY challenge. I take a picture in the tiny toilet mirror. Someone has scribbled “You are beautiful” on the wall next to it. I recoil in horror at the results.
Lecture finished. I have miraculously finished the second bottle of water to calm a coughing fit.
I sit here, typing up this diary, fighting off a vague headache. I’ve forced myself to drink another glass. It tasted faintly of lamb curry and banana muffin. I feel queasy. My boyfriend brings me another glass. He gets the evil eye.
Total: 5 glasses. Maybe 6 if you’re lucky. I’ll drink another glass during the night so let’s call it 7. Verdict: uuuugh
E: Because it’s a pen you draw on your face with. Usually I am wiping the pen OFF the faces. I want a turn. Also, it looks cute and it’s a stain and not a lipstick, what with my Condition (Pervasive Lip Colour Fear Syndrome). I want to branch out into something a bit fresher and pinkier and I thought I might be able to cope with this.
M: Ooooh! It’s lovely. They should sell them in multi-packs, like felt tip pens.
2. Serge Lutens – L’Eau
E: I think this is an emperor’s new clothes scenario. I like it because it’s Serge Lutens who is like a druid of perfume, and one of those demented genius types and also because there’s a whole concept and years of scent boffin thought gone into it. This, according to Magda in Selfridges, is your ‘day off’ fragrance. ”It’s an anti-perfume” says Mr Lutens, who seems to have been smoking the carpet again “A breath of pure mountain air”. I didn’t meet him in Selfridges, sadly. It’s not supposed to be a fragrance at all, or some such bollocks. It’s supposed to just smell clean. It does smell clean, that’s for sure. Cleaner than anything in my house, any of my clothes, cleaner than me. Cleaner than I have EVER BEEN. It smells of Persil and OCD. But for some reason I want it. Want want want. Maybe I just want to be clean for once? I tried it a couple of weeks ago, walked round thinking ‘eew, that smells like washing powder” all afternoon, then spent the evening and the next day obsessing about how I could get my hands on some more. So whatever he put in there definitely works. Catnip for humans.
Man, trying to find the price for this, I have had to read a shitload of florid bollocks. Fragrance writers and parfumiers are loons. The end.
M: I passed out after the word “perfume”. Zzzzzzzzzzzzz.
3. Serge Lutens – Sa Majesté La Rose
E: I tried this on at a friend’s house and now I want it. It’s not an intimidating, complex, bottom notes of foxes arse, scent. It just smells of roses, innit. Proper fat roses that you want to shove your whole face into.
M: Getting a headache just from reading this. Next.
E: I read about this recently and it sounds like the biz. It smells of roses and it’s a body exfoliant. Two excellent points in its favour if you are me. It’s made of ground up rose thorns, which just sounds ace, if painful.
M: The packaging makes me want to eat macarons. I’m not sure that’s really going to help with body smoothness.
E: £100, but there is a VIDEO. About a woman who lost 4 inches on her stomach with this stuff. That’s incendiary for me. I just have to have it. I spent a long time staring at it in Printemps Beauté at New Year, but I was with M and she wouldn’t let me buy it. Bitch.
M: I don’t remember that. But I do love the title of the product page in my browser: “Tummy Tuck, Boob Job, Slimming – Reduce Cellulite”. Classy, Rodial.
E: I just want to believe in this. Want, NEED to believe it works. I was the person who bought Stri-Vectin to use for its original, anti-stretchmark application. Nah, didn’t make a blind bit of difference, and I doubt this would either, but I love the Nip/Tuck style inflated claims, semi-hysterical testimonials, packaging and glossy Miami arses on the website.
E: I have wanted this stuff for a good year without ever managing to get it, and now I want it even more. I particularly like how it says on the website “OFFICIALLY CHOSEN TO BE FEATURED AT THE 2010 OSCARS CELEBRITY RED CARPET GIFT EVENT”, a phrase which seems to contain several words too many. Does this mean Jeff Bridges got some in his goodie bag? That pleases me no end. ALT is famous for its claim to make your cellulite disappear in NINE MINUTES. It’s the big daddy of nonsensical cellulite creams, and for that I love it. Also note the reassuring qualification “Not using human stem cells”. Er, good?
M: E would totally steal your stem cells if she could. Watch out.
What’s on your wish list? Gratuitous spring lamb photo by RATAEDL.