Irish Diet Page 9
This page contains GIRL TALK – Anne’s comments on a number of women’s issues, including Slimming, The Beauty Parlour, Sex and Beauty.

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I’ve spent more than 20 years listening carefully to women of all ages, sizes and shapes. Here are some of my thoughts. You won’t agree with everything I say, but it might give you something to think about.

It’s how you feel that counts
Never mind what the slimming industry says, it’s how YOU feel that counts.
If you feel fabulous being 13 stone, that’s fine.
If you feel like dieting at 9 stone, that’s fine too.
Don’t be pushed around. Be yourself! And ignore anyone who tells you otherwise.

Beauty comes from within us
We’re always more beautiful when we’re happy. Why?
Because the most beautiful thing in the world is a smile.
So instead of getting obsessed about your shape – start smiling!
You’ll find it makes a huge difference.

Smiling is easier when we feel good about ourselves
It’s not easy to smile when we feel bad about ourselves.
This is why it’s so important to maintain and develop our self respect.
For example, if we get trapped in a shitty job or a shitty relationship we end up feeling miserable.
Result? We stop smiling and after a while we look terrible – which makes everything worse!
The moral? If you find yourself in this sort of situation, get out fast!

The better our figure, the better we get treated by other people
They listen to us.
They take us more seriously.
They even pay us more money.

The better our figure, the better we feel in ourselves
We have more energy.
We cope better.
We feel more confident.

Do you find it difficult to stick to a diet? If so, let me give you a tip. Stay calm! Why? Because it makes dieting much easier. You see, most dieters get too emotional. They get hysterical and depressed when they don’t lose weight and they get far too excited when they do.
For example, let me tell you about Olga. She is 35 years old, 5 feet 3 inches in height and weighs 180 pounds which makes her about 40 pounds overweight. Despite five years of dieting she is slowly getting fatter. Why? Because Olga is too emotional. Each time she starts a new diet the same thing happens. For the first week, she follows it exactly. Result? She loses 4 pounds and feels great! She can’t believe it. She thinks it’s wonderful. She thinks that this time she’ll lose weight for good! During the second week she is equally careful but this time she loses only 2 pounds, which really upsets her. Why? Because she thinks she’s failed. She thinks that losing 2 pounds is a waste of time. Why? Because it means that it’s going to take her over three months to lose 30 pounds. And Olga does not have three months to spare. Life is too short. She has better things to do! She wants her fat to disappear overnight! The third week of Olga’s diet is always a disaster. She is so depressed about losing only 2 pounds the week before that she gets careless. She doesn’t follow the diet properly and at the end of the week she finds that she has lost nothing. Result? She is so depressed that she wants to cry. It’s almost the end of the world. But she doesn’t give up. Instead, she decides to give it one final week. And to make sure she succeeds she decides to starve herself slim. Does she succeed? Of course not. Half-way through the week she is so hungry that she eats 3 bars of candy. Result? She gives up dieting and feels a complete failure. Poor old Olga! She wants to lose weight so much, but unless she changes her approach to dieting she will never succeed. In fact, she could diet for a thousand years and still not lose weight. Why not? Because she takes things too seriously. When things go well she’s up in the air and when things go wrong she hits the floor. It’s perfectly natural behaviour but it’s not a recipe for successful dieting. You see, dieting takes time and in order to succeed, you need to relax and take things steady. So when you start dieting you need to keep your feet on the ground and not get too carried away. And when you have a bad week, don’t panic – just shrug it off and go back on your diet. The truth is, dieting is a slow process with lots of ups and downs. Very often it means having three good weeks, one bad week and two ordinary weeks. So don’t panic every time you have a problem. Just relax, have a cup of coffee and say to yourself: ‘Tomorrow, I’m going to go back to my diet and carry on from where I left off.’ This is how you slim down to the figure of your dreams.

Why? Because it’s easier to give them what they’re looking for. For example, here are four common qualities which men look for.

1. Strength
Men find strong girls irresistible. What do I mean by ‘strong girls’? Girls who aren’t fazed by life. Girls who aren’t too dependent on others for their happiness. Girls who are positive, with a rough idea of what they want and how to get it. Girls who have a basic confidence in themselves.
Isn’t it easier to be strong when you feel good about yourself?

2. Fun
Men like being with girls who are fun: i.e. girls who are open to doing new things and meeting new people; girls who look on the bright side of life; girls who laugh; girls who are warm.
Isn’t it easier to be fun when you feel good about yourself?

3. Love & attention
Men adore girls who give them love and attention.
Isn’t it easier to be generous when you feel good about yourself?

4. A reasonably good figure
Men don’t like stick-insects, but they’re not mad about overweight girls, either. The truth is, they prefer girls with size 12-14 (i.e. ‘reasonable’) figures.
But isn’t it easier to get into shape when you feel good about yourself?

It’s easier to attract nice men when we feel good about ourselves. Because the better we feel about ourselves, the easier it is to develop our mind and body.

Mary is 28, 5’2″ tall and weighs 12½ stone. She has been invited to a July 21st Birthday party. However, in order to look her best, she needs to lose three stone. ‘No problem!’ says Mary, ‘I’ll use the next three months to lose it, even if it means starving myself.’ Alas, her brain doesn’t know about the Birthday party so when Mary starts her very-low-calorie diet, her brain thinks there’s a famine and takes immediate steps to conserve energy. Result? Although Mary manages to lose five pounds in the first week (mainly liquid), she fails to lose more than two pounds in any of the next four weeks. Pretty soon it becomes obvious that she’s not going to lose anything like three stone, so she gives up and goes on an enormous binge. Result? Within a fortnight, her weight is back to where it was at the start. After another month of similar eating, she discovers she is now four stone overweight! In other words, despite all her good intentions, the only thing Mary does is confuse her body and put on weight.
So what does Mary do wrong? Answer: she forgets that her body has it’s own rhythm and tries to make it lose too much weight, too fast. You see, for anyone under 13 stone, it is now accepted that 2 lbs is the maximum a normal body can lose, without panicking. So, if you try to make it lose more, by eating tiny amounts of food, it simply thinks there’s a famine and does everything it can to avoid shedding weight. The moral? Don’t try to lose weight too fast. Aim to lose no more than the optimum amount for your size (see previous page). Doing this not only makes you slim, it also helps you to develop the sort of good eating habits which will keep you slim for life.

The Beauty Salon – a wonderful refuge

It’s not easy being a girl!
We have a career to worry about.
Parents to satisfy.
A partner to please.
A flat or house to look after.
A sex-life to manage.
Hair to control.
A body to look after and a figure to keep slim.

That’s why, every so often, it’s important to relax and escape from it all
And there’s no better refuge than your local beauty salon!

Don’t see it as an indulgence – see it as an investment in your peace of mind
Enjoy a massage, a facial, a manicure, a pedicure or any one of a dozen different treatments.
I never leave the beauty salon without a big smile on my face, so already I look better!

Cigarettes make us smell. They also damage our skin, teeth and hair. If you smoke a packet of cigarettes a day, you double your risk of a heart-attack. You are also five times as likely to suffer a stroke. If you smoke two packets a day, your risk of a heart-attack is five times higher. Cigarette smoke contains 800+ chemical components that cause serious damage to the human body. For example, it damages blood vessels, increases fat-levels, encourages blood-clotting and damages the walls of our arteries. It also causes cancer in our lungs.
Why pay a fortune to suffer like this?

Sex – a great way to relax and feel good about ourselves
If you can’t afford a visit to the beauty salon, have sex!
Sex is one of the cheapest, easiest and most enjoyable ways to relax with someone we love.
Have it in bed, on the floor, in the shower, in the bath, up a tree – anywhere you like.
It’s great fun, great therapy and it stops us from taking life too seriously.
There aren’t any firm rules about sex – it’s entirely up to you – but here are 10 things to think about.

If possible, do it regularly
Like any form of physical exercise, sex is easier and therefore more enjoyable if you keep in practice. The saying ‘the more you have, the more you want’ definitely applies to sex.

If possible, set aside time and energy for it
Good sex requires energy and concentration. So don’t wait until you’re in bed and exhausted to have it. Set aside some time for it earlier in the day or evening.

If possible, make it a priority
When you’re 100 years old, sex won’t matter. In the meantime, make it a priority in your life. So let the problems you brought home wait. Let the washing up wait. Switch off the TV or record your favourite program and watch it later. Put sex first – it’s a great happiness-booster!

Sex is all in the mind
Your mind is a very powerful sexual organ. So don’t just think about it when you’re ‘on the job’ so to speak. Think about it during the day – talk about it with your partner over the phone – read about it! Enjoy the thought as well as the deed. In other words, loosen up! It makes a big difference.

Be selfish!
Take as much as you can from your partner. Why? Because when you enjoy yourself, he enjoys himself. Besides, the better it is for you, the more you can give in return. So let him know exactly what you want and don’t be rushed. Be selfish!

Men need mental stimulation, too
One of the biggest myths about sex, is that men are satisfied with the basics: i.e. they just want to ‘do it’. But this is nonsense. Men need mental stimulation just as much as women. So for example, tell him your fantasies and drive him wild!

Learn how to say No
If you don’t feel like having sex, say so! Don’t just turn over and hope he’ll fall asleep! Tell him you love having sex with him but not tonight – tonight you want to sleep. If you’re straight with him, he’ll be mad about you; but if you just turn over and say nothing, he’ll feel rejected and sulk!

Don’t assume that your sex-life is bound to deteriorate
As youngsters, we’re taught not to expect too much from sex. We’re told that ‘the passion wears off’ etc. This is nonsense. It’s perfectly possible to maintain a great sex life for decades. But not unless you continue to make it a priority.

Talk about your problems – but not in bed
If you have problems (and we all do from time to time) then don’t keep them to yourself. Talk them over with your lover. But don’t do it in bed: it only complicates things. Talk about it over a nice dinner.

Stay physical!
If you haven’t touched each other during the day (or maybe even during the week!) it’s difficult to suddenly feel intimate in the bedroom. So, get into the habit of being physical with each other whenever you can. Hold hands, hug, kiss – do anything but make sure you stay in touch!

Beauty foods
There is no one ‘beauty’ vitamin. Why not? Because there are 45 nutrients in food and all work together to keep us healthy and beautiful.

For example, Calcium is an important mineral for healthy bones and teeth. However, we can’t absorb it properly unless our diet includes enough MagnesiumVitamin A and Vitamin D. Even if we absorb enough, we can’t retain it unless we eat enough Vitamin B6 and Vitamin K. Lastly, without enough Vitamin C, we can’t produce enough collagen, which is also important for bones and posture. See what I mean?

With the above proviso, here’s my personal Top Ten list of Beauty Foods

1. Fresh fruit
2. Vegetables
3. Wheatgerm
4. Oats
5. Low-fat milk
6. Water
7. Low-fat live yogurt
8. Almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds
9. Oily Fish
0. Lean red meat.

Three great habits to make you beautiful

  • Every morning, squeeze three oranges and drink! It’s a great way to start the day.
  • Every day, take a 20 minute walk in the fresh air. If it’s raining, stay in, put on some music and dance!
  • If you’re in the pub, mix non-alcoholic drinks with the hard stuff. Try an ice-packed long glass of orange juice and diet tonic water, or drink 2-3 diet mixers with every short. It’ll make a big difference.

Three centuries ago, whenever the fashionable ladies of Moscow wanted to lose weight, they would take to their beds with a large jar of vodka and several hot water bottles. And why not? If your life expectancy was 40, you’d probably do the same. Today, however, things are different. Today we can lose weight and increase our life expectancy at the same time. How? By eating lots of fruit and vegetables. For example, the head of cancer epidemiology at the Dutch Institute of Public Health recently stated that 1 in 4 of all cancers could be prevented by eating less fat and more fruit and vegetables.