Is Empathy only present if you are well and well fed?

Starvation Diet. What is it?

Mmmmmm chocolate, Mmmmmm sandwich, Mmmmmm doughnuts, Mmmmmm beer. Spoilt for choice. Trying to resist. When I resist I put the money in a pot. When the pot is full I send it (the money, not the pot) to somebody who needs it to survive. The art comes about through the documentation of the process, here and in other places. There is no end to this project.

27 Feb 2010

Dirty Burger

Was stuck at the station for a while the other night. Ithought "I know, I've not had a meal from burger king for a while, I'll buy a burger." I had thought that I didn't eat them because of the moral cost, badly raised meat looked after by badly paid people but after eating the burger I realise it is something else. They are bloody horrid. The bun was dry, the burger was like a piece of cork board burger, big chunks of onion and cold tasteless chips. Nasty.

25 Feb 2010


£115.43 pounds just donated from about 3 months resisting. Seeing the amount on the just giving web page made me smile. Can you see why I don't do it often now. I look like a maniac.

Our "privaledge" might not just be about geography

I was thinking today after starting to read a book called "Blueprint For Survival" (I love my laugh a minute books me) how the privileges we have in terms of enough food on the table and choice in the shops may be a privilege of our time as well as where we are lucky enough to be born. It is widely acknowledged that this haze of resources we are currently swimming in can't last forever. Whatever you think about the other risks like global warming and societal cracks its common sense that in a closed system like earth there are only so many non renewable or slow renewable things on it. So many experts are now saying that we are living on future generations stuff,oil, natural gases, Iron, water, you name it it is anticipated that the way we are going stocks will be depleted in the very near future. But there is hope to be gleamed from humans nature and history. We don't have fast legs to run, venom to stun, big pointy teeth to tear. What we do have are big brains, skilful hands and the ability to adapt. Should we choose to adapt it could be that, as George Marshal states in his book "Carbon Detox" we come to a life, different, possibly more intensive but in lots of ways more rewarding. Try to remember the last time you took a walk. Before you set off you may have sat in front of the tele/computer/xbox etc etc etc, a bit cold even though the heating was on or you were encamped under a blanket thinking "I can't be bothered going for a walk". But then you did. And in your wonderfully low carbon, un-resource depleting activity maybe you found warmth, joy, fun, mud, sunshine, rain, adventure, reward etc etc etc. Or the last time you went to a party and in getting together only had one set of heating on or maybe just the body heat of other people and bad dancing to keep you warm. This idea that a low carbon, low resource future might not be about giving up explains why the Privilege in the title of this blog is in speech marks, because maybe its not privilege having too much food and a tele in every home, maybe there are also some things we have lost in our clamour to get more, consume more and take part in this process, which the system tells us will make "us" more.
If I consider the food I eat in this respect maybe there is more reward if I make sure that I try to work for it. This could be growing some myself, a real effort for me because I'm not a natural gardener, maybe making a journey on foot or bike to a further away shop. I will have to ponder on this one and any thoughts from you the reader would be gratefully received. Add a comment below.

23 Feb 2010


I have just totted up the money saved so far and it stands at £115.43p. Not sure where the 43p came from but I am sure that I need to get rid of it to a charity as soon as possible before either 1)I am too skint to afford to send it or 2)I begin to think about what I could spend the money on 3) My son goes on about our financial situation more and I get scared and squirrel it away.

21 Feb 2010

Taken from "Small is Beautiful" by EF Schumacher

"I sit on a mans back, choking him,and making him carry me, and yet assure myself that I am sorry for him and wish to ease his lot by any means possible, except getting off his back." Leo Tolstoy

11 Feb 2010

Methods to measure body fat

Over the next few days I will be wondering about some of these alternative ways to measure weight loss.
**Body fat percentage using a tape measure, "Rope and Choke"
**Calipers, Skin fold method
**Bioelectric Impedance Analysis (BIA)

Also wondering if there are historical methods of measuring fat. Maybe not.
Today I measured myself according to the Rope and Choke method. The name was given to it by members of the army who used it as a way of measuring people. Of course I documented it. I am fairly objective about my body, I don't hate it all but the one major spot I dislike is my belly. Its all very well for the man on Shirley Valentine to say that stretch marks are a sign of your life but I can't really grow to love them. But, I want to be as truthful as possible in this project. Including my vanities my petty insecurities, the moments when I am selfish and don't see a big belly as a sign of luck and choice. I have posted the pictures below un-doctored. I wanted to make them more arty, maybe black and white, do a bit of airbrushing. I feel that by showing myself in all my unflattering glory I can start to balance out my use of pictures of anonymous starving people a little. To Show my fat bits shows the other side of the grizzly coin.

10 Feb 2010

Gone all High Brow

It had to happen at some point. Here comes the theory.

Am reading "Small is Beautiful-Economics as if people mattered" by Eric Shumacher. He was talking about Divergent and Convergent problems. Convergent being easy to come to solutions about, write down and sell to others and divergent "Which have to be lived and are solved by death" and allow contradicting thoughts to exist in the same place. Divergent thoughts keep life going forcing us to strain ourselves to a level above ourselves whilst convergant thinking leads us away from life. I was thinking about the Starvation Diet Project in relation to this and it seems to smack of the Divergent. The two clauses I hold in my head are the "Want to Loose weight, want to look better, want to care for myself." the second is the "Want to redress the balance between having too much and having too little in the world, want to make the place a bit fairer, better, stronger" . They are not mutually exclusive but often they have seemed that way. When I focus on how I have or have not lost weight I become introspective and this leads me to take actions to swing back the other way, looking for pictures of starvation reality, seeking out the right charity etc. the challenge is to hold both thoughts in my head at the same time. That is the core of the project, two ideas which constantly bounce off each other, move apart, cross paths. The other element which I thought was true to divergent thinking is the way that the project has to be lived through and may only be resolved in death, (when I would no doubt loose a lot of weight pretty rapidly). I guess I could falsify information or just plane make it up but what would be the point of that?

9 Feb 2010

The photos

I feel a bit funny about posting these. They are people whose privacy should perhaps be preserved. But the photos are readily available on the internet, being used to forward positive causes and let people know things. So I have included links to these causes and brief descriptions with the images so that they don't get disembodied from the causes.

A 3 month old baby in Iraq suffering from dysentery due to toxic water.

I can not verify the motives of this site and some of the images are disturbing.

Taken from a site which helps investors to asses the risks and problems of investing in South East Asia. I've not included the link to this one as I don't know if this image should sit in a site about investing.

This one is from a sight which aims to look at a world different from capitalism. The actual child has become just another anonymous image.

Really Really Really Really Hungry

Felt a tiny rumbling in my belly last night after tea. "I'm really, really, really, hungry" I thought. "I need a cake, a nice salad, I'm that hungry I'd even eat an apple. " I thought. We are in fact probably never really hungry. Its probably my brain which make me feel hungry lots of the time. What proof is there of this? For a start I don't feel as hungry when my brain is otherwise engaged and secondly I always feel hungrier when they get to the pudding bit in "Come Dine With Me". The food being used to fuel me can't suddenly be used up in the act of licking my lips over bad cookery programmes, can it? No. So it must be my brain. With this in mind I have gone to find a way to get my brain back on track when it is performing its tricks. I've gone to look up some pictures of what real hunger looks like. This should give my brain some food for proper thought and keep it out of mischief.

2 Feb 2010

Bigger Boobs

Now I truly have lost the point of the exercise. I'm feeling aggrieved by the scales. I found myself today thinking how unfair those charts which tell you if you are overweight must be.

I would say that I have a bigger than average bust (although after my obsessive research into it I find that M and S now say that a quarter of their bra sales are a d cup or over). I have had this bigger bust since before the days my Grandmother used to knit me too tight school jumpers and I had to run the gauntlet of the boys comments. So I got to thinking. How much does a double d cup weigh. The answer according to some comment on a questions site is 8Lb the pair. So if I had a naturally smaller bust (and I know it gets a bit smaller with weight loss but ignore that for a moment) I'd be an ideal weight. What complex arguments one produces just so that one can have a bit of cake.

1 Feb 2010

Still So vain

I went to boots today to weigh myself. The machine does some mad jiggery pockery and checks your height and your weight then it says "Your Ticket is printed below". I pulled out a ticket and was agog that it read 10st 12lb, a loss of nearly 2 stones. Then just as I was picking up my bag to leave I saw another label stuck in the slot. This was my real print out. Still a loss but not as dramatic and unbelievable as the first. I felt a little disappointed and for a while as I walked around town I forgot the primary focus of the project, not to worry about losing weight but to contribute money to the pot of monies to go to those with less food choices. I still haven't quite readjusted my thoughts and am thinking, if I weighed that little I could feel ok on the beach, if I weighed that little I could wear a cat suit or something. I need to get my mind back on the point soon.