Dr Helen Cox has been working on an exciting new treatment for obesity patients, which would rely on the body’s own signalling pathways to induce weight loss.
Rejoice singletons! The dreaded holiday is nearly over. This year, the ill-fated Valentine’s Day fell on…a Sunday. A day where we are left to mope alone in crowds of happiness. Indeed not God’s brightest moment for those who have not found their Adam or Eve. I usually paid no heed to such a holiday, yet as I look back, I have had a few interesting experiences on this day that have kicked off a series of (un)fortunate events. So as I write this, something terrible or great may have happened to me. I should add however that I have never not been alone on this holiday. As a single child, it’s actually less depressing. The ability to be content alone – I think – is a great asset. It teaches you independence and manages expectations; it releases you from fear and even judgment. However, Valentine’s Day is an occasion that almost forces you to question your independence; it places a spotlight on you, and the darkness on the periphery is because you are alone. Alas! I thought de-mystifying Valentine’s Day and actually thinking about its history may prove of some worth.
Just a year ago on this very day, I was walking alone down the corridors of my university. I came across a sign up for a V-day bakesale where they would make you custom ‘slutty brownies’. Confused? I was too – an odd delicacy for a day that preaches loyalty and love. The joke truly does write itself. The slutty brownie is a cookie-based, oreo stuffed brownie and reading that description as you are right now, I knew I had to have it. Valentines then was on a Friday. I went to collect it after a long 6-hour class day where I happily avoided the ‘couples’. I grabbed my brownie and strutted home.
A sad…yet empowering moment came when I opened said brownie. A little tag hung from its encasing. Clearly marked, it read ‘From: Yana, To: Yana’. Yes, they were clearly taking the piss after I had told the baker I was buying it for myself. I ate my brownie, felt like shit, and then decided something was going to change. I couldn’t eat my feelings! That night I signed up for Barry’s Bootcamp, a rigorous workout class that claimed it could burn up to 700 calories an hour. To make it worse, I signed up for the 8am class on Saturday. It was the best decision I could have made. Instead of a date, I got myself a hobby.
This year, I have decided to go out to a country club where the geriatric throng will mind their own business and will be too busy playing bridge to pay any heed to me. Let’s see what happens.
But now for a small history lesson.
Interestingly the historical context of Valentine’s Day is as obscure as the relevance of the holiday in the modern age. Valentine’s day is believed to be a holiday that celebrates the Roman festival of Lupercalia. During the month of February, people were paired off in an alcohol-filled bash to honour and celebrate fertility, only later turning to honour the infamous St. Valentine.
St. Valentine is the main person the singletons owe their woe to. He was a priest who was against remaining single after Emperor Claudius decided that Roman soldiers who were unmarried made better fighters and thus forbade them from marriage. Valentine disagreed so heavily with the prospect of banning marriages that he defied the emperor and began holding marriage ceremonies in secret. Valentine later had to pay for his crimes with his own beheading.
A bitter end led to the birth of St. Valentine’s joyous afterlife.
Like I said though – the day is nearly over and this article is a sign for you to go get yourself that slutty brownie. Happy Valentine’s Day!
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