As someone for whom willpower has always existed as a hazy concept like the stock market or what the Kardashians actually do, I’m living a nightmare. Everywhere I look, every corner I turn and every Instagram picture I scroll past, indulgence is there, smacking me right in the mouth. I’m beset by temptations: I’m like a modern St Anthony. We all are.
There used to be a time when a good old- fashioned Sunday roast was the epitome of like-worthy foodstuffs. You and your mates sat around the pub table, glass of red in one hand, Yorkshire pudding in the other, a little food baby peeking over the top of your jeans from the seven different types of vegetable you’d just consumed on top of a pound of meat and half a plate of stuffing. That used to be enough.
But not now. Not in 2016. Now, like the culinary equivalent of the lineage of ‘Big Brother’ contestants – Madder! Weirder! More extreme! – we’re subjected to an increasingly insane parade of food fads to satisfy our appetite.
It was fine when it was just burgers and sourdough pizzas. But trends do what they always do, they escalate, and now we have the seven-desserts-in-one calorie mountain that is the freak shake. Things like that don’t just legitimise the naughty end of our culinary predispositions but push them along the plank, cheerleading us all into obesity. Somebody think of the children!
Previously, a thin veil of social decorum prevented my urge to order nothing but five portions of deep-fried cheese of an evening. No one wants to be that guy. But now, everyone literally queues for hours to get into the pop-up deep-fried cheese place. Deep-fried cheese is this month’s dish. Deep-fried cheese is The Thing. As a result, nobody thinks there’s anything wrong with ordering nothing but deep-fried cheese any more, and that’s insane.
For some people, this won’t be an issue. They’ll have a little nibble of something unhealthy and couple it with a large side salad, just like they’d have a small glass of wine and leave the pub at a reasonable hour. But for those of us who naturally tend towards the Withnail end of the spectrum, we can’t kid ourselves. Given half a chance, we will be knee-deep in stilton, hallucinating our tits off.
Enough is enough. Before we start lining up in Soho to get into a new joint specialising in lard sandwiches (the lard replaces the bread, before you ask. There’s avocado in the middle: we’re not monsters), we need to return to reasonable eating. Instagram that nice bread roll. Take a pic of your morning cereal: mmm... beige. Stick a filter on your mum’s Thursday night shepherd’s pie.
Stop this incessant treat-based one-upmanship, because while there are restaurants that will pile the equivalent of three Big Macs on our plates and call it critically acclaimed, socially acceptable eating, we can’t be blamed for our actions or our waistlines. After all, we are only human. Now, hurry up with those damn cronuts.
By Lisa Wright, who feels like she is literally being stalked by a freak shake, and that’s a hard thing to convince the Met of.
Want more ranting and raving? Read Jamie Milton's column on why Londoners should be more like parakeets.