Diets, Widdy and Me: The reality of trying to keep up with the slim

I’m always intrigued by diet programmes, they fuel my crazy love/hate relationship with food and when I saw the ITV programme Ann Widdecombe versus the diet industry I felt drawn to it. This was especially because ‘widdy’ as she referred to herself within the programme is not thin.

The notion is simple:

  • Diets make us fatter than we really are,
  • Celebrity magazines lower our self esteem,
  • In America, Uk size 8 is considered large,
  • Plastic surgery is considered socially acceptable and
  • Eating disorders are on the rise.

But, what is the reality of this? Just another moral panic because lets be honest if we’re not criticising people for being too thin we’re criticising them for being too fat. If you read this site regularly you’ll know I’m in huge opposition to the pressure on the world’s need to be size zero and the need for a particular type of beauty in every part of our culture (one such model the bratz dolls).

But whilst I believe all this my life doesn’t quite follow suit and perhaps I’m a hypocrite for this or maybe I’m just a product of my time. My average day involves trying to avoid food I live on diet coke and occasionally some sweets (in fact Wednesday my food intake was a 2lt bottle of diet lemonade, 3 drumstick lollies and 2 cans of slim line tonic!) When I get home sometimes I’m so hungry I can’t avoid food but this makes me feel so guilty and I purge. Yes unfortunately I suffer with bulimia and borderline anorexia and have done so since I was seven years old!

It’s hard for me to admit this because secret behaviour is a big part of eating disorders but I’m hoping that by being honest with you, we can see that you don’t have to be size 00 to be suffering; I myself am a size 8 on the bottom and 6-8 on top. So, what causes it? Well, to be honest I don’t know but I know what plays a part…. I religiously read the celeb gossip magazines; but only when they’re advertising a new quick fit diet, when I’m working in the gym I like to watch the music channels or programmes with thin women like friends to inspire me to run a little bit longer or cycle a little bit quicker! Hey, when I was growing up I adored Barbie and secretly despise the fact that Mattel have given her smaller breasts and wider hips!

I’ve sampled the slimming pills, I abuse laxatives, and I limit calories: I am the product of our weight loss world! Is it the media? I would never blame it! No it doesn’t help and it certainly makes recovery harder but before people start criticising it ala Widdy I want them to get their facts right such as blaming the world of high fashion… and Widdy for the record London Fashion council were the ones that wanted the healthy model scheme instigated, it was the other fashion capitals that declined it!

So, what’s to come for the young women of today? Let’s hope that we can find a real beauty but for now my body role models are Miss Beckham, Keira Knightley, Angelina Jolie and Kate Moss along with many, many other women out there!