Besides, both my occupations are heavily female-dominated. This means I've worked with a lot of women over the years, and let me tell you. A significant fraction of them started a new diet just about every other Monday and were throwing in the towel by Thursday. Since most of them were in relationships and not out at the club every weekend fucking random people, the two-to-one statistic still seems bogus to me, even if we're assuming I am less promiscuous and more crazy about my food and body than the average chick. (For the record, I'm not sure I am. On either count.)
So, the question becomes, why do women diet so much? They're not ALL trying to win supplement company transformation contests. Maybe it has something to do with advertisements like this.
How much of this has to seep into your subconscious at a young age before you just "know" that, as a woman, you're supposed to always be making the number on the scale go down? How much has to seep into your subconscious before you think eating disgusting 90 calorie snacks of "diet food" is perfectly normal and acceptable? How much before you start feeling guilty or full of self-loathing when you do eat the real piece of cheesecake or the actual sugar cookie?
For the record, even though I myself am dieting at the moment and was so hungry after the gym today I could have chewed off my own arm, I would no sooner eat a Fiber One brownie than I would eat dirt. What I did eat while waiting for a decent enough interval to pass that I could make and eat dinner was raw baby carrots*** and ginger tea. When I posted that online, one of my friends who's also doing the challenge said that she'd staved off pre-dinner hunger with ginger tea, raw carrots, and raw broccoli. (I am *so* gonna win this thing. Her broccoli probably added an extra 5 calories, ahahaha.) But seriously. I know it probably sounds elitist or even ridiculous from someone who admits to thinking pb&j quest bars are delicious, but I cannot conceive of eating a vaguely brownie-like substance just because it's only 90 calories. For 90 calories you could have an actual cookie. That tastes good.
This whole 90-calorie food business pisses me off almost as much as the time several years ago that I read an article where some self-satisfied little snot of a nutritionist sniffed that *half* a baked potato is a serving. I'm sure I was just overly sensitive because ever since I was a young child, I've been eating a whole damn potato by myself. God. What a gluttonous pig. I've mercifully blocked out whatever else was in that article, but I'm pretty sure it was one of those that told women they should be eating 1500 calories a day. When not, y'know, dieting.
So, anyway, yeah. Back to my thesis. I don't believe that the average woman has only been on 16 diets in her lifetime. Unless she's under the age of 25. It's just too pervasive in our culture.
***two things about baby carrots, if you'll indulge me. Firstly, I was deeply disappointed (and I am not even kidding you) when I learned that baby carrots are not actually baby carrots, they're just regular carrots cut into smaller pieces. Next you'll be telling me those baby corns you get in Chinese food aren't really babies. Or corn. Or something. Secondly, my friend and I, through rigorous scientific experiments conducted at Cranes Beach, Ipswich MA for the past six summers, have ascertained that the only food seagulls will not eat (and therefore will not steal from out of your beach bag when you leave it unattended to go in the ocean) are baby carrots. To control for the fact that perhaps they are averse to the color orange, we tested them with Doritos. No. Seagulls are down with Doritos.