January 12, 2020
Why would anyone think taking advice on weight loss from obese people is a good idea?
It’s like asking a nigger how to get a job.
Kay Featherstone and Kate Allinson were at a Spice Girls concert last spring, just two figures in a sea of people. As they gazed around the stadium, Kay broke down in tears. Not because of anything the Spice Girls were singing, but because the two chefs were consumed by the thought of their own followers; they have more than 900,000 on Facebook. “When we go to a gig, it’s like: ‘We could fill this space so many times!’ It becomes very, very scary,” Featherstone says.
They got the same feeling at Fleetwood Mac. Featherstone has sweaty palms just thinking about it. She and Allinson, who are business as well as life partners, try to “forget the noughts” and imagine a community of 900, but it’s still a long way from the days when they had their own restaurant with customers who came in every Sunday and even brought the pair presents if they went on a cruise.
Yeah, being followed on Facebook and actually getting people to physically go someplace are not the same thing.
No wonder Allinson, 48, and Featherstone, 34, sound bewildered, if not downright terrified. Their success as the chef duo Pinch of Nom has been sudden. Last spring, their first book of simple slimming recipes sold 500,000 copies in just five weeks (and recently passed the 1m mark). Last month’s follow-up, Everyday Light, sold nearly 130,000 in its first week, knocking David Walliams from the top of the bestseller list.
Do either of these books have pictures of the authors on them?
Because I’m guessing they’d sell far fewer copies if they did.
“It has been a little bit crazy,” Featherstone whispers, as if danger lurks nearby. They have had offers for TV shows – “offers for everything” – but have declined them all because they are “really shy”, says Featherstone, although she is “the gobbier half because Kate doesn’t usually like to talk”. (“That’s fair,” says Allinson, whose T-shirt is emblazoned with the slogan: “Introverts unite – separately in your own homes”.) When I ask if they might choose to meet their followers – I’m thinking of events – they say that they did bump into some once, and you can’t say it won’t happen again. “But it has never been about us,” Featherstone says, and Allinson, a sort of quiet chorus, echoes her words. “It’s never been about us.”
This is something of a mantra for Featherstone and Allinson, and I’m intrigued by their wish to deny they are protagonists in their own enterprise. After all, many of their recipes are autobiographical. “Tin of praters”, a bacon, potato and onion bake, is lifted straight from Featherstone’s childhood, while the entire Pinch of Nom adventure took off when the two went along to their local Slimming World in Wirral four years ago, then began to post their own recipes to a growing Facebook community.
Their personal story is at the heart of their business – but so is their disavowal of it. “We don’t spout about ourselves. We’re not that sort,” Featherstone says. They don’t take selfies; even on their first date, the only picture they took was of a gull. Photographs of them are rare.
So they’re very well aware that if people knew their “autobiographical” recipes are clearly not working on them they wouldn’t sell shit.
And they pass this off as being shy LOL.
Neither of them has ever followed a specific diet; not Atkins, 5:2, keto nor intermittent fasting. In many ways, they are unlikely authors of a diet book. And this, I suspect, is at the heart of the pressure they feel – a double bind in which the story of their efforts to lose weight speaks to their community, but also creates an expectation for a narrative of progress. “I sometimes worry what people will think of us. Like, why the hell are you pushing a diet book when you’re not a skinny minny?” Featherstone says. “Because it’s the accepted norm that people lose weight, [then] they do a book. But we’re still in that process.”
In newspaper articles, Allinson and Featherstone are often described as “two fat chefs”. They laugh uproariously when I point this out. “Do you know we have a little list of the things we have been described as?” Featherstone says. “Fat. Middle-aged. Jolly.” Allinson chuckles. “We found it really funny,” Featherstone says. Then the tone abruptly shifts.
“Sadly, it is the way that some people talk about people of our size. ‘Fat’ is a word that people will use willy-nilly to describe people of size. And I personally hate it,” Featherstone says. “It makes me angry deep inside …”
Never forget – people who let themselves degrade like this are usually even uglier on the inside than on the outside.
“People of size” LOL you hecking retard.
In March, the pair revealed they were aiming to lose 190kg (30 stone) between them. Featherstone had so far lost 44kg and Allinson 31kg. I’m curious as to how they divvied up the target. Featherstone says: “We came up with that between us.” They didn’t figure out how much each wanted to lose? “We’ve never really had a target,” Allinson says. “Because I think that can put a lot of pressure on.”
“And we don’t do pressure,” Featherstone adds. But surely two books in the space of a year put pressure on them? “We don’t intentionally put pressure on ourselves,” Allinson says. “Is a better way of putting it,” Featherstone nods.
I’m curious to know if they have lost more weight since the first book, but Featherstone says that the numbers are still what they were.
The body of any diet author will always be taken as a measure of success. Is that on their mind? “It can’t not be,” Featherstone says. “We think about things a lot. It’s why we’re both so anxious all the time … We still struggle. Even now. We kind of fluctuate. We have a steady loss.” And while fluctuation and steadiness may seem at odds with each other, no doubt those who are sharing their weight loss “journey” will relate to the apparent contradiction.
For you primitives in America – 190kg is 418 pounds, more than the weight of 4 normal women.
And that’s how much they want to lose between them.
I imagine they probably weigh well over 300kg between them.
The article continues with a story of how they met on a dyke website, how they had a restaurant and blah blah blah – typical dykery.
I looked through the recipes they claim can make people other than themselves lose weight, and I’m not really impressed.
Mostly a bunch of carbs, no real nutritional value, nothing I’d recommend to anyone who wants to lose weight.
But if they work or not isn’t the point – the point is that there are literally millions of people out there who are willing to take advice from someone so obviously unqualified to give it.
And those same people who look at these whales for slimming recipes are considered, for whatever reason, qualified to decide who should be president, prime minister, senator…
It really is depressing, isn’t it?