Monday, 22 December 2014

'I thank you God for this most amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, and for the blue dream of sky and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes.' 

e.e. cummings

Monday, 8 December 2014

interesting Jonathan Franzen interview on the Paris Review website -

"...Not everything in the world needs to be laughed angrily at, you realize. There turn out to be more emotions available to a working writer than I might have guessed earlier on. And one of them might be love—love and gratitude."

"...I like attention, I do! But it’s counterbalanced by a need and craving to be alone most of the time. This is one reason I’ve found being a writer a very suitable profession. You have the possibility of great bursts of satisfying attention, and then you’re left alone."

http://www.theparisreview.org/interviews/6054/the-art-of-fiction-no-207-jonathan-franzen

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Sweetness
 
Just when it has seemed I couldn’t bear   
   one more friend   
waking with a tumor, one more maniac   


with a perfect reason, often a sweetness   
   has come   
and changed nothing in the world   


except the way I stumbled through it,   
   for a while lost   
in the ignorance of loving   


someone or something, the world shrunk   
   to mouth-size,   
hand-size, and never seeming small.   


I acknowledge there is no sweetness   
   that doesn’t leave a stain,   
no sweetness that’s ever sufficiently sweet ....   


Tonight a friend called to say his lover   
   was killed in a car   
he was driving. His voice was low   


and guttural, he repeated what he needed   
   to repeat, and I repeated   
the one or two words we have for such grief   


until we were speaking only in tones.   
   Often a sweetness comes   
as if on loan, stays just long enough   


to make sense of what it means to be alive,   
   then returns to its dark   
source. As for me, I don’t care   


where it’s been, or what bitter road   
   it’s traveled   
to come so far, to taste so good.
 
(Sweetness, by Stephen Dunn)

Thursday, 30 October 2014

More exciting cultural forays this week for Radio 4's Saturday Review


Here's what we're reviewing:
  • Tis Pity She's a Whore - playwright John Ford, 1633, Sam Wannamaker Playhouse, The Globe
  • Nightcrawler - Jake Gyllenhaal movie, directed by Dan Gilroy
  • Let Me Be Frank With You - collection of 4 novellas by Richard Ford
  • The Passing Bells - BBC1 World War One TV drama
  • Information Age Gallery at the Science Museum
I can't divulge my views on them yet - tune in Radio 4, Sat 1st November, 7.15pm.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04mb160
 

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

On Dylan Thomas' 100th birthday, a beautiful poem...

Fern Hill

Now as I was young and easy under the apple boughs
About the lilting house and happy as the grass was green,
The night above the dingle starry,
Time let me hail and climb
Golden in the heydays of his eyes,
And honoured among wagons I was prince of the apple towns
And once below a time I lordly had the trees and leaves
Trail with daisies and barley
Down the rivers of the windfall light.

And as I was green and carefree, famous among the barns
About the happy yard and singing as the farm was home,
In the sun that is young once only,
Time let me play and be
Golden in the mercy of his means,
And green and golden I was huntsman and herdsman, the calves
Sang to my horn, the foxes on the hills barked clear and cold,
And the sabbath rang slowly
In the pebbles of the holy streams.

All the sun long it was running, it was lovely, the hay
Fields high as the house, the tunes from the chimneys, it was air
And playing, lovely and watery
And fire green as grass.
And nightly under the simple stars
As I rode to sleep the owls were bearing the farm away,
All the moon long I heard, blessed among stables, the nightjars
Flying with the ricks, and the horses
Flashing into the dark.

And then to awake, and the farm, like a wanderer white
With the dew, come back, the cock on his shoulder: it was all
Shining, it was Adam and maiden,
The sky gathered again
And the sun grew round that very day.
So it must have been after the birth of the simple light
In the first, spinning place, the spellbound horses walking warm
Out of the whinnying green stable
On to the fields of praise.

And honoured among foxes and pheasants by the gay house
Under the new made clouds and happy as the heart was long,
In the sun born over and over,
I ran my heedless ways,
My wishes raced through the house high hay
And nothing I cared, at my sky blue trades, that time allows
In all his tuneful turning so few and such morning songs
Before the children green and golden
Follow him out of grace,

Nothing I cared, in the lamb white days, that time would take me
Up to the swallow thronged loft by the shadow of my hand,
In the moon that is always rising,
Nor that riding to sleep
I should hear him fly with the high fields
And wake to the farm forever fled from the childless land.
Oh as I was young and easy in the mercy of his means,
Time held me green and dying
Though I sang in my chains like the sea.
honoured to share October 27th birthday with Dylan Thomas and Sylvia Plath! beautiful sunshine in London all day & special birthday flowers

 

Friday, 17 October 2014

Mysticism for Beginners (Adam Zagajewski)
 
The day was mild, the light was generous.
The German on the café terrace
held a small book on his lap.
I caught sight of the title:
Mysticism for Beginners.
Suddenly I understood that the swallows
patrolling the streets of Montepulciano
with their shrill whistles,
and the hushed talk of timid travellers
from Eastern, so-called Central Europe,
and the white herons standing -yesterday? the day before? -
like nuns in fields of rice,
and the dusk, slow and systematic,
erasing the outlines of medieval houses,
and olive trees on little hills,
abandoned to the wind and heat,
and the head of the Unknown Princess
that I saw and admired in the Louvre,
and stained-glass windows like butterfly wings
sprinkled with pollen,
and the little nightingale practicing
its speech beside the highway,
and any journey, any kind of trip,
are only mysticism for beginners,
the elementary course, prelude
to a test that’s been 
postponed. 

Monday, 13 October 2014

more John Osborne inspiration...

“How I long for a little ordinary human enthusiasm. Just enthusiasm - that's all. I want to hear a warm, thrilling voice cry out hallelujah! Hallelujah! I'm alive! I've an idea. Why don't we have a little game? Let's pretend that we're human beings, and that we're actually alive. Just for a while. What do you say? Let's pretend we're human.”
 
Look Back in Anger 
getting inspired by John Osborne this weekend...

“It’s no good trying to fool yourself about love. You can’t fall into it like a soft job, without dirtying your hands. It takes muscle and guts. And if you can’t bear the thought of messing up your nice, clean soul, you’d better give up the whole idea of life and become a saint because you’ll never make it as a human being. It’s either this world or the next.”

Look Back in Anger 

Monday, 6 October 2014

"There isn't going to be any turning point. ... There isn't going to be any next-month-it'll-be-better, next fucking year, next fucking life. You don't have any time to wait for. You just got to look around you and say, "So this is it. This is really all there is to it. This little thing." Everybody needing such little things and they can't get them. Everybody needing just a little confidence from somebody else and they can't get it. Everybody, everybody fighting to protect their little feelings. Everybody, you know, like reaching out tentatively but drawing back. It's so shallow and seems so ... fucking ... it seems like such a shame. It's so close to being like really right and good and open and amorphous and giving and everything. But it's not. And it ain't gonna be."

September 1969, Janis Joplin

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Monday, 11 August 2014

Radio 4 Saturday Review: August 9th 2014 
listen here http://t.co/t2NZSv94SD

On Saturday Review this weekend we discussed...
  • film 'Wakolda' (creepy)
  • book 'My Prefect Cousin (funny)
  • play 'My Night with Reg' (fantastic)
  • radio series 'Home Front' (rubbish)
  • exhibition 'The Art & Science of Exploration 1768-80' (brilliant).
 

Friday, 1 August 2014

My novel 'Ways of Escape' is out today!

emma-woolf-ways-of-escape

you can buy it on Amazon here

http://t.co/fdw2ztFEF7

http://piqwiq.co.uk/piqwiq-emma-woolf-ways-of-escape.html
Happy Birthday baby! Prince George turns one... (latest column for The Daily Beast)

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/07/21/happy-birthday-prince-george-will-the-wee-royal-be-the-first-king-of-the-22nd-century.html

'I’ll never forget hearing about the arrival of Prince George: I was cycling toward Hyde Park, a few streets from the hospital. Temperatures had been in the mid-80s for days. At the traffic lights a taxi driver stuck his head out of the window and shouted, “It’s a boy!” Buses, vans, and cars sounded their horns, gun salutes rang out, the bells of Westminster Abbey pealed, and everyone cheered. It was a rare moment of collective London joy...'

Monday, 7 July 2014

This week's column for The Daily Beast: England's summer of sporting failure!

 
While the U.S. went out in a blaze of World Cup glory, England’s pampered players slouched home in disgrace—and don’t even get us started on Wimbledon. Here in England we’ve long scoffed at American notions of soccer, the fact that you (allegedly) don’t understand injury time and the off-side rule— but their battle against Belgium proved that finally, proper football has come to America. Your team may have been beaten, but at least you fought until the final second. And you know what? We admire you.
The flair, spirit and technical brilliance we’ve seen from the U.S. and other nations in the past few weeks only compounds the humiliation of our English ‘football’ team. I use the term ‘football’ loosely here...
 

Thursday, 26 June 2014

My 5 top tips for ending the battle with your body/weight, for Australian website The New Daily

http://thenewdaily.com.au/life/2014/06/25/women-eating-weight-loss-worst-enemies/

‘The Ministry of Thin’ is a metaphor for the inner policeman that undermines us, and tells us that thinner is better, prettier, happier, sexier…'

 

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

This week's column for The Daily Beast
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/06/23/does-california-s-college-rape-bill-go-too-far-in-regulating-sex.html
With new US proposals to regulate the physical intimacy between adults, are we in danger of legislating all the joy out of sex?

A bill making its way through the California Assembly is attempting to address the problem of rape on college campuses by mandating “affirmative consent”—a verbal or written yes—before engaging in sexual activity.
 

Friday, 13 June 2014

Last night on BBC London

with Simon Lederman, aka Captain Lentil, and wealth fund manager Jonathan Davis

Monday, 9 June 2014

in France, in love... latest column for The Daily Beast, re-discovering the charms of La France Profonde

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/06/09/discovering-the-charms-of-la-france-profonde.html



 
"Back in Paris at Roland Garros for the French Open tennis tournament. Too soon it’s our final morning: We leave our hotel at dawn and walk along the Left Bank in sparkling sunshine to the Eiffel Tower. No matter how many touristy images, keyrings and cheesy postcards you may have seen, the reality of the Tour Eiffel is breath-taking..

Before we catch our train back to London, there’s one last place to visit. On the Pont des Arts we buy a padlock engraved with our initials, T and E. A few feet away from us, a newly married couple are smiling for photographs; nearby, two men kiss in the early-morning sunshine. (Interestingly, a campaign was last year launched by two American women living in Paris, to ban the spread of the padlocking craze.) Like many thousands of couples before us we attach our ‘love lock’ to the bridge, and throw the key in the Seine…"
 

Friday, 6 June 2014

“Sorrow prepares you for joy. It violently sweeps everything out of your house, so that new joy can find space to enter. It shakes the yellow leaves from the bough of your heart, so that fresh, green leaves can grow in their place. It pulls up the rotten roots, so that new roots hidden beneath have room to grow. Whatever sorrow shakes from your heart, far better things will take their place.”    
- Rumi

Monday, 2 June 2014

Catch up with my latest column for The Daily Beast: women, ageing and the Botox insanity...

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/05/25/nicole-kidman-botox-insanity-why-all-women-lose-out-when-we-obsess-over-stars-faces.html

...how do we learn to love our bodies for what they do, rather than how they look? How can we value ourselves more, not less, as we age? I don’t have the answer (but I’m pretty sure it’s not cosmetic surgery). We need to challenge the external messages and the internal voice which tells us we’re ugly, old or fat. In the words of Naomi Wolf: “She wins who calls herself beautiful and challenges the world to change to truly see her.”

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

This week's column for The Daily Beast!

Psychologists View Both Divorce and Marriage as Major Life Stresses At the top of psychology’s gold standard scale of stressful life events: falling in love…and falling out.
 
What have been the most traumatic events of your life—and how do you cope?

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

I enjoyed giving the keynote speech at Newcastle University's Mind the Gap Mental Health Conference this weekend. a few photographic snippets...

 



 
Ahead of the US publication of The Ministry of Thin we just received this beautiful review from the prestigious Booklist/American Library Association...

The Ministry of Thin: How the Pursuit of Perfection Got Out of Control.
Woolf, Emma (Author)
Jun 2014. 304 p. Soft Skull, paperback,  $15.95
 


Woolf (An Apple a Day: A Memoir of Love and Recovery from Anorexia, 2013), a British newspaper columnist and the great-niece of Virginia Woolf,  continues her chronicle of anorexia, moving from the personal to the societal. Her chapter headings here include “The Ministry of Fashion and Beauty” (“fabric hangs well on frames which are straight up-and-down”), “The Ministry of Detox” (“surely irrigation is for fields, not human beings!”), “The Ministry of Sex” (one survey found that 51-percent of women would give up sex for a year if it meant they could be skinny), and “The Ministry of Surgery” (worldwide, more than 17-million cosmetic surgery procedures take place every year). Much of the information she shares is disheartening. One study reported that one in six women would choose to be blind rather than obese. Yet Woolf uses her distinctively conversational voice and nimble sense of humor to keep her arresting insights into our obsession with thinness as well as modern-day feminism and fertility from getting too downbeat. Candid, revealing, and invaluable. 
— Karen Springen

THE MINISTRY OF THIN by Emma Woolf
This Summer, Get Thee To London For The RSC’s Henry IV... a double-dose of culture this week, via Matisse and Shakespeare and Radio 4's Saturday Review. My latest column for The Daily Beast.



http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/04/28/this-summer-get-thee-to-london-for-the-rsc-s-henry-iv.html

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

THE MINISTRY OF THIN: US EDITION

THE MINISTRY OF THIN by Emma Woolf

KIRKUS REVIEW

 A thorough analysis of our weight-obsessed culture.

“Disliking one’s body and wanting to be thinner is the new normal,” writes British newspaper columnist and BBC TV presenter Woolf (An Apple A Day: A Memoir of Love and Recovery from Anorexia, 2013) in her colloquial scrutiny of contemporary society’s fixation on weight, appearance and the desire for outward perfection. She knows this slippery terrain well: Her bracing memoir chronicling a decadelong physical and psychological preoccupation with food is well-referenced here in chapters tackling the many facets of mild to major body dysmorphia.

As her great niece, the author quotes Virginia Woolf casually throughout well-researched sections (“ministries”) exploring the social connotations and demonizations of food, tedious diets (“the triumph of hope over experience”), fitness, sex and the concept of aging gracefully without the trendiest plastic surgeries. Along the way, she shares her personal indulgences (baked beans and frozen yogurt) and a marked disenchantment with increasing societal (and media) pressures placed on women to look, act, eat and feel a way that is often at odds with their goal of happiness and healthfulness. Less appealing are mildly catty approaches to celebrities like Victoria Beckham, Kate Middleton, Liz Hurley and others; Woolf’s angle may prove nettlesome to readers eager for less judgment and more confidence boosting.

Of particular interest is the author’s presentation of a ground-breaking 1940s food deprivation study, the findings of which offered dramatic insights as to how starvation alters the body and the mind simultaneously. Vividly rendered and creatively explored, Woolf’s text encourages nonconformity and individuality on many fronts, even as her burning query remains, “if being thin is the answer, what’s the question?”

Relevant, engrossing and sure to help liberate those in the throes of a weight battle or lifestyle crisis.

https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/emma-woolf/the-ministry-of-thin/

Monday, 31 March 2014

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/03/31/emma-woolf-on-losing-her-girls-virginity.html

Latest column for the Daily Beast Emma Woolf On Losing Her 'Girls' Virginity
 
What happens when a British writer finally gives into the hype and watches her very first episode of Lena Dunham’s hipster extravaganza? An experience about as uncomfortable and unforgettable as Adam and Hannah’s Season 1 sex scene.
 
They say good news travels fast. Perhaps this explains why it’s taken me two years to get around to watching Girls. I’d never seen a single episode of the hit HBO series until last week. And frankly, I’m still recovering...

Friday, 21 March 2014

ah, such a lovely wedding yesterday! with Jacqui & Dash getting married, their daughter Ellovie & talented poet Michael Lee Rattigan, clowning around outside Chelsea Town Hall & enjoying bubbly...

 
 
 
 

 

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Monday, 17 March 2014

a lovely write-up of one of my recent talks from a student journalist at Exeter University

http://www.hercampus.com/school/exeter/emma-woolf-national-eating-disorders-awareness-week

Is it a nightclub? Is it a spa? No, it's London hottest new fitness craze: Psycle. And I'm just a little bit hooked. This week's column for The Daily Beast http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/03/17/psycle-is-london-s-hardcore-answer-to-soulcycle.html

As someone who cycles around 50 miles a week, I thought Psycle would be easy. How wrong I was. You’re in constant movement: cycling standing up, bodies angled forward, then leaning right over, Tour de France style, then seated while using hand weights, then executing multiple push-ups on the handlebars, clapping, stretching, always pedalling in time to the beat. Try cycling standing up, without allowing your upper body to bounce up and down: this is what it means to ‘engage your core’.

With the lights low and the music high, and everyone cycling in unison, white shoes flashing in disco light, there’s an incredible group energy (and I’m really not into group exercise).It induces a kind of physical and mental euphoria I haven’t experienced since my clubbing days after all-nighters on the dance-floor. We vary the bike’s resistance constantly—turning it way up high to Michael Jackson’s Beat It, for example, while simultaneously punching the air. Psycle works your upper body too, with even the men working those ballet arms.

Halfway through the class there’s a single musical track to give you time ‘to do your own thing’. You can cycle fast or slow, as long as you keep time to the beat. I find it a beautiful, meditative few minutes in the darkness, a spiritual sanctuary which really clears my head...

Saturday, 15 March 2014


"But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires: To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night. To know the pain of too much tenderness. To be wounded by your own understanding of love; And to bleed willingly and joyfully.”  
 
The Prophet, Kahlil Gibran

Monday, 3 March 2014

Sheffield-bound tomorrow for International Women's Week!

http://www.shef.ac.uk/union/going-out/flash/?event=20456

Here's my latest column for The Daily Beast

Straight-A Anorexics: Are Britain’s Private Schools Breeding Grounds For Anorexia?A new report claims that the perfectionistic, highly competitive environment of the UK’s top academies are making students prone to teen eating disorders...

This wasn’t news to me. From the ages of 11-18, I attended London’s top private girls’ school, along with both my sisters. Although I didn’t develop anorexia until the year after I left, I’m conscious that I conform to the anorexic stereotype: perfectionist, insecure, driven. The latest media reports outline precisely those same characteristics: academic and highly competitive. Individuals develop eating disorders for a range of complex reasons, of course—but of the hundreds of woman and men I have met with anorexia, every one conforms to this profile.

Why should the compulsion to excel—which propels these privileged students to Oxford. Cambridge, Harvard and Yale, among other top universities—also make them acutely vulnerable to eating disorders? To me it makes perfect, dangerous sense that intelligent, driven girls are prone to anorexia. They excel not just at English and Math, Drama and Science and Music, but also at exercise and weight-loss. They strive to be beautiful, popular, self-disciplined, and yes, thin.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Very excited to announce that my first novel is publishing soon! It's coming out exclusively on Kindle, so that's Amazon-only :-)

WAYS OF ESCAPE by Emma Woolf


http://www.piqwiq.co.uk/piqwiq-emma-woolf-ways-of-escape.html

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Thursday, 13 February 2014

She lay for a considerable time looking blankly at the wall opposite, her hands clasped above her heart, and her light burning by her side. All articulate thought had long ago deserted her; her heart seemed to have grown to the size of a sun, and to illuminate her entire body, shedding like the sun a steady tide of warmth.

"I'm happy, I'm happy, I'm happy," she repeated. "I love every one. I'm happy."
The Voyage Out, Virginia Woolf

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

My Transformational Retreat: how neurofeedback, yoga & mindfulness changed my life!

Full article here, Mail on Sunday, 9th February 2014 http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/you/article-2551707/I-learn-lose-control.html

Monday, 3 February 2014

latest column here http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/02/03/thai-curry-therapy-at-london-s-l-atelier-des-chefs.html


We learn how to dice an onion into perfect, tiny cubes (the secret is not to remove the root when you peel the skin). We learn how to de-vein prawns; how to blend ginger, lime, garlic, turmeric, Tamarind, cumin and cardamom for an awesome marinade; how to deseed a fiery-hot chili; how to make perfectly fluffy Jasmine rice; how to handle a blow-torch… these are indeed life skills.
At the end of the course, we sit down at a beautifully laid table, along with plenty of wine, to sample the fruits of our labours. The lemongrass and ginger crème brulee is divine...



 

Thursday, 30 January 2014

My mum just sent me this poem from Cape Town...

Kindness
 
Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.
 
Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness,
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.
 
Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing. 
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.
 
Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to mail letters and purchase bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
it is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you every where
like a shadow or a friend.
 
~ Naomi Shihab Nye ~

Monday, 27 January 2014


In my new book I’m writing a chapter on body language: how we feel and talk about our bodies. Here’s my question: What is your favourite body part? If you don’t have a single part – what do you love most about your body?

You may remember the Top Sante piece I mentioned recently - it can be hard, to find something to celebrate and admire in our own bodies!

I don't really approve of dividing our bodies into 'parts' - we should focus on the whole, and not fixate on flaws...  but in the end, I chose my legs: ‘Not because they’re long or in any way perfect, but because they allow me to run and cycle and have adventures. My legs are strong, they look good in jeans, and they carry me to the people I love.’
If you’re happy to include first name and age, that’s great - or choose a pseudonym. It’s anonymous because I won’t use any surnames obviously.

Please keep it short! And email to me: emma.woolf@gmail.com
Coconut & chilli prawns with sweet chilli dipping sauce which I made on a cookery course at L'Atelier des Chefs :-)
BE VERY IMPRESSED!
 

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Virginia Woolf's earliest childhood memory, falling asleep in St Ives, listening to the waves...


"...If life has a base that it stands upon, if it is a bowl that one fills and fills and fills - then my bowl without a doubt stands upon this memory. It is of hearing the waves breaking, one, two, one, two, and sending a splash of water over the beach; and then breaking, one, two, one, two, behind a yellow blind. It is of hearing the blind draw its little acorn across the floor as the wind blew the blind out. It is of lying and hearing this splash and seeing this light, and feeling, it is almost impossible that I should be here; of feeling the purest ecstasy I can conceive."

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Having a Mary Chapin Carpenter moment while working on my new book...

If you don't know The Essential album, it's fantastic. I love 'Shut Up and Kiss Me'.


And this truly beautiful song...

Late For Your Life
You've been saying for the longest time that the time has come
You've been talking like you're of a mind to get some changing done
Maybe move out of the city, find some quiet little town
Where you can sit out on your back porch step
And watch the sun go down
No one knows where they belong
The search just goes on and on and on
For every choice that ends up wrong
Another one's right
A change of scene would sure be great
The thought is nice to contemplate
But the question begs why would you wait
And be late for your life

Now you might never find that perfect town
But the sun still sets on a rooftop where the city
Sounds like a Gershwin clarinet
And you might still be searching every face for one you can't forget
Love is out there in a stranger's clothes
You just haven't met him yet
No one knows where they belong
The search just goes on and on and on
For every day that ends up wrong
Another one's right
Call it chance or call it fate
Either one is cause to celebrate
Still the question begs why would you wait
And be late for your life

Call it chance baby, call it fate
Either one is cause to celebrate
And the question now is why would you wait
Don't be late for your life

 

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

My latest column for The Daily Beast

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/01/20/britain-s-weighty-issue.html


I know this sounds harsh, and I’ll be slammed for saying it. But from my own experience, it’s empowering to take responsibility for one’s own health. I genuinely don’t believe in bullying, blaming or ‘fat-shaming’ anyone. I know the misery that disordered eating can cause. Many people are overweight, and happy, and healthy—and that’s absolutely fine. However, extremes of weight are dangerous at both ends of the spectrum. Under-eating or over-eating is hellish: food can become a source of guilt and shame, eating in public can become a terrible experience.

Like drugs, like smoking, it is our responsibility what we put into our bodies. Our food choices have consequences.

Awareness campaigns, government initiatives, levying fat taxes, blaming commercials, or the food industry, or ‘obesogenic environments’. Why all this nonsense? It’s really not that complicated. Calories in versus calories out. Walk to work. Stop snacking on biscuits. Cancel your online delivery and go grocery shopping. Quit sugary soft drinks and alcohol, or at least have a month off. Run around the block. Lay off the lattes. Get off the bus, get on your bike (regular cyclists have average fitness levels of someone 10 years younger). Don’t pretend it’s your ‘slow metabolism’ or your ‘big bones’.



 

Monday, 20 January 2014

filming Supersize in sparkly new Kings Cross today - chilly but smiling, with a fabulous team!

 

Sunday, 19 January 2014

coat by Gap, smile by me #SundaySelfie

 
After a While

After a while you learn
The subtle difference between
Holding a hand and chaining a soul
And you learn that love doesn't mean leaning
And company doesn't always mean security.

And you begin to learn
That kisses aren't contracts
And presents aren't promises
And you begin to accept your defeats
With your head up and your eyes ahead
With the grace of a woman
Not the grief of a child

And you learn
To build all your roads on today
Because tomorrow's ground is
Too uncertain for plans
And futures have a way
Of falling down in mid-flight

After a while you learn
That even sunshine burns if you get too much
So you plant your own garden
And decorate your own soul
Instead of waiting
For someone to bring you flowers

And you learn
That you really can endure
That you are really strong
And you really do have worth
And you learn and you learn
With every goodbye you learn.

Veronica A. Shoffstall

Thursday, 16 January 2014


“People ought to know that if they stuff themselves silly with high-calorie, rubbish foods they will get fat.” Discussing the great FAT debate on BBC Nolan radio show this morning!
To clarify: I genuinely don't believe in bullying, blaming or fat-shaming... but from my own experience I know it's empowering to take responsibility for your own health :-)
 
 
 

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Very excited about the new series of Supersize vs Superskinny which starts this evening at 8pm on Channel 4.

Interviewed some fascinating people over the past few months, ranging from MPs campaigning to ban pro-anorexia websites, to those fighting eating disorders with the added challenge of physical disability.

I also filmed with the world's thinnest woman (I kid you not) and a family who tragically lost their daughter to anorexia only a few months ago. On a happier note, I met an Olympic-medal winning triathlete, and the Strictly Wheelchair Dancing superstars.

Had so much filming with the dream team, and can't wait to see what Dr Christian has been up, and to hear what you think of Series 7.

A leopard-print selfie to celebrate!

 

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

TO HELLWITH SELF-IMPROVEMENT! Instead let's resolve to live and love more in 2014, to make every day count.


My latest column for The Daily Beast

http://www.thedailybeast.com/witw/articles/2014/01/06/emma-woolf-on-the-view-from-london-your-new-year-s-pledges-for-2014.html

Monday, 6 January 2014


Q. What's your favourite body part?
A. My legs. Not because they're long or in any way perfect (they're not!) but because they allow me to run, cycle, and have adventures. My legs are strong, they look good in jeans, and they carry me to the people I love.

Read more on this, and my article on the new, true confidence in latest issue of Top Sante magazine
...genuine confidence isn’t about being ‘perfect’. It grows from self-knowledge and self-belief, and an ability to cope with life’s ups and downs. We can’t control what happens - things go wrong for all of us at times - but confident women have the resilience to keep going. Confidence gives us a backbone, but flexibility: like a tree in the wind, it’s far stronger to be flexible and bend, than to be rigid and snap.
Most of all, the new confidence is about authenticity. There is something liberating about not hiding: what could be more successful than being who you really are?