The International Writers Magazine
:Never Say Diet

The Curse of the Diet Monster
Michelle Attridge

he burger sat on the worktop looking menacingly at me. "Eat me! Eat me!" it silently pleaded. I tried to draw my eyes away from its greasy goodness repeating in my head NO bread (I’m on the Atkins diet), NO red meat (I’m a fashionable vegetarian), and lastly NO salad (I’m on the starvation diet).

In other words there was not one morsel of that processed food which could pass my drool drenched lips. Why do I insist on torturing myself? Actually why does half the female population do this to themselves? It’s simple…we want to be ‘Skinny Minnies’ where our hip bones protrude further than our jelly bellies, and have cheek bones to rival Johnny Depp’s. Thinness equals fashionable, chic and all those other words the glossies throw out. Take Sienna Miller, Kate Moss or Victoria Beckham for instance…Would they still be such amazing clothes horses and style icons if their bums sagged a little lower, they had three chins and their thighs rubbed at the top? I think not…we only have to look at Michelle McManus to see why her career sunk.

It’s alright for men. They’ve got a good deal. They don’t get cellulite as a result of eating all the (unwholesome) foods they crave, and however much their bellies overhang, their bums always remain pert and their legs skinny. Favouritism was definitely rife when the Big Man up there created us. It’s not fair when I have to watch my boyfriend guzzle down a three course meal, only to eat another three hours later without putting on so much as an inch, and not even worrying about the amount of calories he’s consumed. It’s not his fault though…he doesn’t know the pain he inflicts on me when he helps himself to a second bowl of yummy (but very calorific) ice-cream whilst I have to content myself with just a mouthful.

Men aren’t the bad guys in this diet world though. If anything it’s other women. They’re the worst culprits. For instance, you tell your supposedly ‘best mate’ you’re on a diet and the first thing they do is invite you to lunch. They then proceed to tempt you into ordering that carb packed pizza with extra fat (a.k.a cheese) by telling porkies such as "No of course your bum doesn’t look big" and "You have lost loads of weight already…treat yourself just this once." It’s only later when you’re tucking into the pizza, after promising you’ll be especially good tomorrow, that you discover you’ve been duped by supposedly best mate. Instead of choosing a hearty meal like you, she has opted for an unappetising salad and now sits across from you munching on the rabbit food. I’m guessing she just ‘accidentally’ forgot to mention that she too was a victim of the diet monster, not because she couldn’t bear for you to lose weight quicker than her.

It’s the same at the gym…us girls can’t help glancing around at the other girls in there to see if their boobs are saggier, legs fatter, or bums flabbier than ours. And on finding said flabbier bum person we will then stick to their side so 1: we look better and 2): we don’t look so bad if they give up before us and fall to the floor in a pink, sweaty mess. Nothing beats that feeling when you realize you’re actually not the fattest person in the world. Beware though because certain girls with tree trunk legs can be deceiving. How was I to know that those stumps were actually all muscle and she had been coming down the gym for years? I learnt soon enough when I collapsed heaving on the floor!

So as the future beckons, hopefully a new (and easier) way of losing weight will be found, so we can pack our lycra away, and gorge on all the wrong foods till our hearts’ are content. But until then I’ll have to keep slaving away for my size eight (six I wish) body, and looking longingly at the celeb photos in the press. Now what was that new diet again?
© Michelle Attridge
Michelle is a Creative Writing student at the University of Portsmouth

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