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Weight Loss for Women is Always Big Trouble

Posted Sep 20 2009 10:35pm

by Maria' s Last Diet

Why do women have so much trouble with food and weight?

Many writers in the field of women' s issues have considered this question, and we can never think about it too much. It can be a dark and difficult part of a woman' s existence.

Problems with eating and weight are caused by a combination of factors, some unique and individual, some environmental and cultural. In our contemporary society, overwhelming importance is placed on physical appearance for women. This starts in childhood and persists through adolescence and young adulthood, through middle age and beyond. At the same time women are pursuing new opportunities for jobs, careers, professions, they may also feel the need to meet certain very narrow beauty standards, which include being as thin as possible. As body image concerns become paramount, it is understandable that women tend to use the body as a focal point for their anxieties and conflicts about self-worth and self-acceptance.

Traditionally, women have had to deny such things as neediness, anger, aggression, ambition, and power. Although a lot has changed over the past two generations, there still is the lingering "good girl" image, the abiding idea that women are not really supposed to be as bold as men. When women feel the need to deny their true desires, they may try to make up for this with food.

Also, women more than men feel the responsibility of taking care of the people around them. Even though there is much crossing over of what have been stereotypical male-female roles, women are still considered nurturers, caregivers, and feeders. To give care and nourishment to others takes a good deal of energy that cannot be replenished properly if a woman is in constant conflict about her body size and losing weight.

During the course of her role changes—from girl to preteen to young adult to middle age, through career pursuits, marriage, mothering, empty nest, caring for aging parents, loss of parents—preoccupation with food and body size can become something for a woman to lean on, something to help get her through.

If this sounds like you, you may want to explore how concentrating on these things might feel like a stabilizing force in the midst of the turmoil, pressures and demands of your life. Once you recognize that you use food and weight issues like this, you can look for alternative ways to cope that would be much better for you.

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