Anorexia Nervosa can be a real killer.
Vermeulen fights anorexia and multiple dieting misconceptions. Protect yourself and your loved ones.
When we pop our clogs most of us would like to be remembered for something. But the truth is we will only be remembered for what we do while shuffling through this mortal coil. For those who put a lot of effort into dieting, the obvious question is; do you really want to be remembered for being the thinnest corpse in the morgue?
There are many absurdities that have become ‘normal’ in this so called ‘civilized’ world but there is little more preposterous than dieting. Just when the privileged have access to more food than ever before, millions of these people will be enthusiastically trying one regime after another to starve themselves. In a world where billions are genuinely famished, dieting to look anorexic must be one of the most self-obsessed acts on the planet.
Bulimia, the other side of this horrible condition.
Who made anorexia a desirable fashion statement anyway? The answer is simple: In the US alone, $40 billion is spent every year in the pursuit of the thin-ideal and although, at any time 50 million Americans are on diet, the evidence shows that they are just getting fatter. In South Africa R70 million is thrown at the billion-dollar brainwash annually and surprise, surprise … South Africans are getting fatter too.
The logic is obvious. If a product were to be launched that caused permanent weight-loss, the diet businesses’ profits would develop anorexia and the industry would die. So it’s no wonder that every product or regime will cause weight loss initially but only 2% of dieters keep the weight off. The remaining 98% just keep re-investing in the next fat-hope praying for the dieter’s holy-grail, permanent weight loss. Even though it’s well accepted that only a radically healthier lifestyle change will achieve this.
The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) actively fights diet rip-offs, putting the worst offenders out of business, and it offers some useful tips. If the product promises any of the following, it must be dealt with with a healthy dose of scepticism:
- you can eat your favourite high-calorie foods and still lose weight
- you can lose weight without diet or exercise
- to block the absorption of fat, carbohydrates or calories
- it can make you lose more than 1.5kgs per week
- it will cause you to lose weight permanently
- that any patch, cream, gel etc., can help you lose weight
- it will work for everyone
If people buy products from ads making such claims, then the FTC warns that the only thing you’re guaranteed to lose is your money.
But there’s more to this story than money. Indoctrination about thinness started at the same time as rudimentary forms of contraception hit the market. We know developing young girls put on weight and being buxom (or fat) is a statement about a woman’s potent sexuality. In the early 1900’s contraception allowed females to indulge their sexuality relatively risk-free but, as the shock waves rippled through Victorian society, a slim or under-developed body became a social metaphor for being a virginal ‘good girl’.
The next sweeping change came with the transition from the more voluptuous Marilyn Monroe to Twiggy; the first female icon to look like a skinny 12 year old boy. No coincidence that Twiggy hit the scene just one year after the Pill was launched and the more sexually free women have become, the greater the pressure to follow the thin-ideal.
Only 1% of women are pin-thin naturally, the rest have to resort to starvation. Every lo-cal regime obliterates libido, so dieting helps society come full circle by once again putting the kibosh on female sexual freedom.
Not only are dieters foolish about their health and their pockets but, when it comes to wellbeing, subscribing to the pin-thin brainwash is akin to handing over one’s mind to the Stepford Wife plant for reconditioning.
70% of our weight is genetic and only dieting will change this – over time it makes you fatter and fatter. So instead of getting your ammo from dubious infomercials, take some free advice from your greengrocer. Unlike many diet products, tomatoes, cabbages and kohlrabi won’t kill you. Many thousands of people have died from slimming products but still, few seem to get it that the word ‘diet’ contains the word ‘die’. Mmmm … somewhat prophetic methinks.
The Federal Trade Commission, www.ftc.gov
About the Author : Stephanie Vermeulen runs seminars on Applied Emotional Intelligence and Women's Issues in business and public forums as well as being an inspiring speaker, writer and personal coach. Her books, 'Kill the Princess: Why Women Still Aren’t Free from the Quest for a Fairytale Life'(USA) / ‘Stitched-up: Who Fashions Women’s Lives?’ (South Africa) & ‘EQ: Emotional Intelligence for Everyone’ are available from leading bookstores and online from Amazon.com and Kalahari.net. She can be contacted via her website http://www.eqsa.co.za.
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Avoid diet scams and fads.