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Why Are Women Always On A Diet

Jun 2, 2008
How many women do you know that are truly happy with the way they look? How many stand in front of a mirror everyday turning this way and that and pointing out all their faults until they leave the house feeling fat and ugly when in reality they look just fine? How many women have 'fat' days and how many men understand these days? Their women look no different to them but to us, well, we may as well be carrying an extra ten stone for the way we feel that day.

There are many reasons for this phenomenon - not least the one where society has railroaded us into thinking we should look a certain way - usually the way of stick thin, un-healthy celebrities. And before all you men start shouting that you like us to look 'normal' and don't want stick insects, I will be the first to hold my hands up and admit it is other women that mostly make us feel that way. We constantly compare ourselves to others to find people that are thinner or prettier than ourselves, thus assuming they have more successful lives and beating ourselves up over it.

There you go, I admit it. We're a crazy, unbalanced lot which could explain why we spend, in total, a whole decade of our lives on a diet. That's a decade spent watching what we eat, feeling like a failure should we eat some 'sinful' food and stressing that the scales don't have a smaller number on them. That three pounds may not show to you men but can make the difference between a 'fat' day or a happy, successful day for us.

The idea of a decade on a diet comes from a survey that was recently carried out into women's habits that showed, on average, we will diet twice a year (probably just after Christmas and again coming up to summer). Each diet lasts approximately five weeks and this equates to a total of ten years constant dieting throughout of lives.

I have to say, I am also on the sad list of women that have committed this unbelievable waste of time. For all the days I've thought I was hideous and fat, for all the days I've starved myself into near-on fainting, for all the new diets I've tried, for all the diet magazines I've spent good money on, for all the treats I've turned down in the name of a diet and for all the time I've tortured myself after gorging on four pounds of chocolate on an off day, I still fit into clothes I bought two years ago so what was it all for?

I believe it's time to put a stop to it before I end up in the worse group of women, the one in ten women who actually spend twenty five years or more dieting (this will be my mum). Each diet sees off approximately six pounds and doing this twice a year should make us almost a stone lighter every year but the diet clubs are still flourishing and people are still getting bigger so something is not working.

Cutting down on calories and exercising more does work if you are sensible. However, there is more at stake and so much more to take into consideration than losing a few pounds. Women put so much emphasis on their worth, judged on the way they look, that it becomes an obsession. We are so hard on ourselves that we attempt to stick to unrealistic diets and aim for unachievable goals.

For the single women out there, how many of you think you could get a boyfriend if you could just lose a few pounds? I think it's more likely you could get a boyfriend if you weren't so hung up on your diet and the way you look. Taking pride in your appearance is always a good thing but this does not mean starving yourself until you're miserable. Most men would rather their girl have a few extra pounds and a smile on her face than her ideal weight on the scales and a sour expression because she's hungry and malnourished.

So, I urge all women out there to embrace their womanly curves, ditch the diet and splash on a smile and a bright colour and enjoy your life with a sensible eating plan that includes treats and exercise. Freedom can be yours!
About the Author
Nutritional expert Catherine Harvey looks at the way women spend a whole decade of their lives on one diet or another.
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