The week­end binger

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Life - - CONTENTS - SARAH CADEN

That makes no sense,” Rachel’s mother says. “50/20 makes no sense. It doesn’t add up to 100. It’s sup­posed to be a per­cent­age. Like, 50/50 or 70/30. Did they teach you any maths at school?”

Rachel says that this is nit-pick­ing. She’s good with her eat­ing and her ex­er­cise five days a week, and then, for the two days of the week­end, she can do what she likes. “That’s 50/20, Mum,” Rachel says. “And it’s not about maths. It’s about what works for you. Jamie says it’s about find­ing your own food truth.”

Right now, the only food truth is that Rachel has eaten a full loaf of that lovely soft, white bread that she sneers at Mon­day to Fri­day. “You’d run it off go­ing to the shops to get me more,” Rachel’s mother says. “Or can you do that on your off days?”

Be­fore Rachel moved in with Jamie, she just yo-yo di­eted like any nor­mal per­son, her mother thinks. Now it’s all av­o­ca­dos, tiny por­tions of un­pro­nounce­able grains, squash, and green smooth­ies dur­ing the week. Not to men­tion that press-full of pow­ders wor­shipped by the In­cas, that Rachel will need a mort­gage to re­stock. To be fair to Jamie, Rachel looks very well.

Now, af­ter a week­end on the bread, Rachel has a fine preg­nant belly on her. But by Fri­day, five days off it, the belly is flat as a board.

Still, Rachel’s mother finds it weird how mad they go at the week­end. She reck­ons their food truth is the week­end — dough­nuts, white bread and chips; while the rest of the time they’re mis­er­able, and count­ing the days to Satur­day.

Not that it’s even Satur­day they start the splurg­ing. Once the first glass of post-work wine passes Rachel’s lips on a Fri­day, she’s off. She orders an In­dian on the way home from the pub and Jamie brings the spe­cial-of­fer five-pack of jam dough­nuts, as well as the buy one get one free’ tubs of lux­ury ice cream. “We’ve earned it,” Rachel says. “We’ve been so good all week.”

Once, Rachel ad­mit­ted that she has an aw­ful han­gover on Mon­days. “I don’t even drink, re­ally, on Sun­day nights,” she said. “I have a glass or two with the pizza, but it’s the fin­ish­ing off the junk be­fore be­ing good starts again. I’ve ac­tu­ally felt like puk­ing a few times.”

When she saw how shocked her mother was by this, that was a food truth Rachel shared only the once.

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