Family meals are some of the most stressful occasions of my year.
My parents, my sister and her boyfriend, and my Aunt, Uncle and cousin all sat round a table with serving dishes. How much should I take?
1 potato (Is that all you’re having, love? Take 2… Here, this one is only small.)
Large scoops of the boiled carrots and broccoli, but only one slice of squash because the goose fat is glistening on it. (I only did squash because you like it…)
Pace myself, eat slowly, don’t have second helpings.
Then pudding. I want cake and I want trifle, can’t ask for both, greedy. Luckily my cousin wants both too, its acceptable now. I ask Mum quietly if I can serve myself. (If you must.) Slither of cake, scoop of trifle. (Have you actually got any cake in there? Are you ok? You haven’t eaten much…)
Then they start on Alfie. I gave him a slice of carrot and they all start asking if he can have a potato, stuffing, gravy, cake, custard… Nonononono. Try to escape to change his nappy, M whisks him out of my hands (You sit there and eat your cake darling, try and relax.) The cake is sat in front of me, I could have a second helping, everyone saw how small my slice was… But I ate 150g of easter egg for breakfast and I’ve been given a 250g bunny to take home and I am fat. But the cake is there… Take a piece. Wish I was dead. Spend an hour making awkward small talk while feeling the fat expanding on my chin, hips, thighs. Alfie cries, excuse to go home. Leave abruptly, let them speculate whether I’m “eating right” or not. Come home, sleep, cry, eat the bunny, slice, slice, slice my fat thighs, cry again, want this day to end.