Helen Gurley Brown, editor of American Cosmopolitan, first started dieting in 1959 in preparation for her wedding day…and never stopped. The woman who believed in ‘having it all’ didn’t believe in having much to eat. ‘The foods that make you sexy, exuberant, full of joie de vivre’, she wrote her bestseller Sex and the Single Girl ‘are also the ones that keep you slender…’
If we’re home for dinner – perhaps around 8pm – I cook for David, bring his simple little repast on a tray, don’t eat with him but have something satisfying before going to bed around midnight. Are we weird or something…separate dining times and separate menus? Lean Cuisine meatballs and spaghetti, chocolate milkshake made with Optifast for hubby…If my weight’s okay, dinner for me might be museli with chopped prunes, dried apricot, six unsalted almonds, dusting of Equal, and a cup of whole milk. Delicious! If weight-fighting, it’s back to tuna salad with one slice seven-grain toast and half a tablespoon of diet margarine. Dessert every night is that whole package of sugar-free diet Jell-O in one dish just for me – one envelope couldn’t possibly serve four as directions suggest – with a dollop of peach, lemon, strawberry or whatever Dannon light yogurt on top. Fifty cals – heaven!
What She Ate by Laura Shapiro, Fourth Estate £14.99 amazon.co.uk
I’m Wild Again: Snippets from My Life and a Few Brazen Thoughts by Helen Gurley Brown, St Martin’s Press amazon.co.uk