We were delighted to come across Amy Godfrey, author of the Biscuit Chronicles - a show she has written and is performing across the UK - about being "a bit fat" and the totally unhelpful approach of the NHS. Amy's show is funny and poignant and...very Beyond Chocolate. Read our exclusive interview to learn more about Amy and her show and how it ties in to Beyond Chocolate...
BC: Why did you write the Biscuit Chronicles? Amy: The Biscuit Chronicles came out of one too many consultations with a nurse in which she informed me I was clinically obese and then asked me had I thought about dieting? I have always been a little bit fat but I have also always been active and healthy and somehow sure that:
a) diets don't work
b) fat is not about morals or intelligence
c) if eating Magnums was as erotic and sexy as the adverts made out, wouldn't all the sexy girls be the ones who were super chubby from all the Magnums they'd eaten?
As an intelligent person with a large bottom, I always felt that I should be able to overcome this 'issue' by brain power alone. I did my own research and opened my eyes to all the fat/food/body image madness that's on a constant loop in every day life, took it all in and wrote down my favourite bits. It's just an expression of my own experience of being a fat girl in this day and age, the conflicts and contradictions, the frustrations and revelations (featuring a ukulele).
BC: How has it changed your relationship with food and your body?
Amy: It helped me hugely to set everything out and look at all the inherent contradictions and nonsense that we get bombarded with regarding dieting and being 'too fat' and it made me realise that my confused relationship with food wasn't my own mental derangement. It was also great to look at medical research and find that eating too much cheese is bad for you and doing no exercise is bad for you but, actually, being fat isn't and accept that I'm fine the size I am, not on the brink of an aneurysm. It helped me to feel less fat and ugly and more indignant and determined and to realise that where we struggle with a cycle of 'eat too much - feel guilty - eat more' it isn't the eating that's the problem but the feeling guilty. And diets don't deal with the eating too much (d'oh!). It was nice to remember that food is a gift and a joy, that it's social glue and cultural expression and not an evil substance that you have to avoid or dread. The Biscuit Chronicles was a great tool for trying to relearn how to nourish myself with good food and not try to annihilate myself with 'bad' food. Essentially, chocolate croissants are not evil and it's not the end of the world to eat one. Perhaps best of all, was having other people come up to me after the show and say that they have thought each and everything I say in the Biscuit Chronicles and that they're just made up that I'm out there saying it. It's been good to know that it's not just me struggling with food based madness.
Also, I realised that I shouldn't lose any weight otherwise my point in the show about being clinically obese wouldn't stand. Hand me the banoffee pie.
BC: How does the Biscuit Chronicles tie in with Beyond Chocolate?
Amy: The Biscuit Chronicles is an unpicking of my own relationship with food and so is almost a theatrical exploration of the underlying principles of Beyond Chocolate. It's as if The Biscuit Chronicles is the textbook-story-prequel to the putting-the-theory-into-practice Beyond Chocolate workshop conclusion-finale!
Watch Amy on YouTube and visit http://amygodfrey.com/ to find out more.