Friday, March 14, 2008

Why continue to diet?

The majority of dieters are not fat, they see themselves as being fat. The majority of dieters do not lose weight, they spend their lives thinking about losing weight. Sometimes they may eat less, but will then compensate by eating more. Sometimes they may lose weight, but will quickly regain it.

All very upsetting.

As a result....

It could be assumed that the average dieter who never lost weight would stop dieting.

It could be assumed that all the negative side effects of dieting would deter women from launching into their next attempt to lose weight.

It could be assumed that the time and energy required constantly to think about what/when/where you eat would make dieting an unacceptable occupation.

Diet Start

It could be assumed that most dieters would soon become disillusioned and that the dieting industry would go bankrupt.

These are all plausible assumptions but are not the reality. Year in year out women pursue their desire to be thinner. As one diet fails the next is started. Leaving a slimming club means rejoining a few months later. Feeling a failure; being fed-up, becoming preoccupied with food and weight are no deterrent to the perpetual dieter. The drive to be thin outweighs any of the undesirable effects of dieting.

But is it just the power of thinness?

Women start to diet because they want to be thinner and because thinness is associated with a multitude of other desirable qualities. Being thin means success, it means control and it means attractiveness. However thin they may be to start with, being thinner is still the goal.

Yet, whether or not they achieve this goal, dieters continue to diet. Dieting takes on a life of its own.

Dieting as a Way of Life

For a large number of women dieting becomes a habit. It becomes a pastime and a way of life. Women discuss what food they have eaten today, what they ate yesterday and what they will eat tomorrow. Dieting provides a focus. 'Have you seen the latest copy of . . . . "did you read that slimmer of the year's story in.. . '. Women diet together, friends can compare notes and exchange ideas. They can go to slimming clubs together, and they can even vomit together.

Slimming clubs often take on the role of social clubs or sports clubs. They provide a place for people to get together, to chat and to make friends. All the members of a slimming club have a common interest and a common goal. The clubs also provide a place to get away from the pressures of family life.

In the western world, families are shrinking and the extended family is no longer so extended. It is easy to become isolated, especially for women at home with children. A slimming club provides the place to get away from the strains of home-life, make new friends and find support. Most members of clubs are women and maybe this reflects not only women's desire for weight loss but also their need for support and friendship from other women.

Women diet because they want to lose weight but they continue to diet because it becomes a way of life, a social activity and a habit.

... andjoyohoxing