A recent survey of 2,000 readers by¬†More¬†magazine discovered that women spend an average of¬†¬£2,422 per year¬†on gym membership, exercise DVDs, diet foods and supplements¬†in the quest for the body beautiful. Since the average annual sustained weight loss of those surveyed was 3lb,¬†each pound in weight cost ¬£807 to lose.
That wasn't the only price to pay.¬†More than half of those questioned said that, to them, a diet meant eating less than 1,000 calories a day, while more than a fifth cited less than 800 calories. A third had taken slimming pills to lose weight, another third had made themselves sick, and nine out of ten had gone at least a day without eating. Eighty per cent of¬†More¬†readers dreamed of being a size 10 or smaller.
The cost of a lifetime spent pursuing the holy grail of the 'perfect' figure hits more than our pockets. While we're busy shrinking ourselves - often by the unholiest of methods - for more palatable public consumption, we have no time to attend to the hunger we're desperately denying we feel.¬†And that hunger is about much more than an empty stomach.¬†For many women, a diet serves to control more than just an appetite for food; it's a way of symbolically handling our¬†hopes¬†and our¬†fears, of¬†suppressing our¬†appetite for life. And, ignore the pangs as we might, like a growling tummy,¬†innermost needs eventually demand nourishment.
By Sophie Boss Psychotherapist
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