The devil eats carbs… the diet secrets of the glossy magazine girls

The devil eats carbs… the diet secrets of the glossy magazine girls

I’d never eaten a biscuit hiding behind a curtain before. Pregnant and ravenous after a long day at the glossy magazine where I worked, I’d called in at a colleague’s home on my way to an evening do.

Unnerved by the prospect of her two young daughters witnessing the corrupting consumption of the biscuit, she politely requested I step behind her kitchen curtain. Funnily enough, at the time, her request didn’t seem that bonkers.

But I’d been initiated into eating the glossy mag way in my first job when I made the faux pas of eating a panini.

The Devil Wears Prada starring Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway: Not all glossy mags are as cut throat as portrayed in the film

The Devil Wears Prada starring Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway: Not all glossy mags are as cut throat as portrayed in the film

One astonished staffer gasped: ‘Are you actually going to eat that’ I soon realised scoffing huge amounts of carbs was ‘just not done’.

Occupational hazard: Polly Williams felt under pressure to eat less carbs when she worked at a glossy

Occupational hazard: Polly Williams felt under pressure to eat less carbs when she worked at a glossy

But just as it’s rubbish that everyone who works in magazines are the creatures mythologised in The Devil Wears Prada, it’s wrong to assume that the fashion crowd all have eating disorders. They don’t.

What they do have is self-discipline, amazing clothes and insider knowledge. It’s almost impossible to work in an industry where beauty, youth and slimness are idolised, and totally shun its belief system.

As therapist Nikki Schuster says: ‘The concept of just being happy with what you have and who you are wouldn’t sell many ads.’

After finishing my first novel, The Rise And Fall Of A Yummy Mummy, I left magazines to write fiction full-time.

Now I work home alone, it’s me, a Mac and a biscuit tin. There are many things I miss about my magazine days, but not the eating habits.

I enjoy food in a way I didn’t allow myself to back then. I’ve gone up a dress size. But I’ve also discovered how much I love to cook and, yes, eat. Just not behind a curtain.

Polly Williams novel, It Happened One Summer, is published by Headline