Recently in Women Category

The Race to Size Zero

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I saw half of this documentary the other night. It featured two journalists, both women, attempting an experiment to see if they could reach size zero (this is the US size zero, which is approximately the same as UK size four). They were both fairly slim to start with. One of the women managed this without many problems (though her performance at work was reportedly terrible during the experiment). The other woman didn't cope so well and became borderline bulimic. Both of them lost a stone in weight over five weeks, and then put it back on when their eating returned to normal. The doctors interviewed throughout said that being that size is unhealthy, puts massive strain on your internal organs, and can even stop your periods if your body thinks it's not getting the nutrition it needs. One statistic that was claimed was that 84% of woman surveyed say they would be happier if they were lighter. I find this absolutely shocking. Although the country is reportedly in the midst of an obesity epidemic, I don't think anyone would think that anywhere near 84% of women were overweight. It's probably nearer the inverse (16%). If the vast majority of women predicate (part of) their happiness on being below a certain weight, then what kind of world do we live in? How has nearly half of the population of the country been brainwashed to think in this way? Let's put it another way. I weigh roughly fourteen stone, which is about two stone overweight for my height (but not obese by any means). I try to keep active and eat less, but generally am not too bothered about this. I'm healthy and live a reasonably happy life. Why is this so different for women?

My worst date ever

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I thought I'd try to entertain you all with a personal tale today, so here is the tale of the worst date I've ever been on (long before I met Katherine I might add). It was a Friday night in early February 2002. I was working for Rage Games in Sheffield at the time so was therefore having a few pints in the regular pub with a few of my colleagues. Our group gradually got smaller as people went to catch their trains home until I was left alone. I decided to stay for a bit, partly because I had drunk a few pints of Stella and fancied my luck on the pull, I lived alone and didn't have much to go back to at home, though mainly because I'd just bought a pint and wasn't going to waste it. On the adjacent table was a group of girls. In an unusual fit of self confidence, I sauntered over and got chatting with them. One in particular was rather nice in my view and we got on really well together. They all decided to move on to another pub and for some reason I said I was staying put. One of them came back pretending to have left her cigarettes and asked me if I fancied the girl I had been talking to. I replied in the affirmative and she passed me a piece of paper with a phone number and a name on it (which I won't reveal here). The following Monday I excitedly told my work friends about this and they eventually persuaded me to ring the number. I rang it and we arranged a date for the following night, meeting at the same pub. Fast forward to the night in question and I'm sat in the pub alone, feeling really nervous, necking a couple of pints to stop me shaking. The pub door opens and in walks... half of the people in my office. The evil bastards position themselves on the opposite side of the pub for a perfect view of us. Then my date arrives. It's not the woman I thought it was going to be. Not even close. It's their rather large friend with rock bottom self esteem who sat there saying nothing the previous Friday. I've been set up and my workmates are seeing everything. Still, I try to make the best of it, so I buy her a drink and try to start the "getting to know you" conversation. She's very hard work. The dialogue went something like:
Me: "So... What kind of music are you into?" Her: "I don't listen to much music." Me: "OK, what films do you like?" Her: "Erm... The last film I saw was Titanic" ...
I was finding it very difficult to find any common ground between us. It was made even harder by my workmates making whale impressions, winking at me, or generally making "you're in there matey" gestures whenever I saw them. Later, as we had a few more drinks, she relaxed a little and eventually started talking. However, her idea of a first date conversation was to drop the bombshell that she had a two year old son and to rant about the bloke who had got her pregnant and then left her. I was way out of my depth here and I really didn't have a clue what to say. After an eternity, she received a phone call. It was her mother to tell her that she was going to bed and that she should come home to look after her child. I bade her farewell and joined my friends at the back of the pub in an attempt to get most of the inevitable piss taking out of the way while I was still drunk. I went home, deleted her number from my mobile and burnt the piece of paper that had started it all. This took quite a while with an electric hob, but was quite satisfying to watch the paper slowly blacken and turn to ash. This would have been the end of it, but a few days later it was Valentine's day. At about lunchtime I recieved a text that went something like:
Roses are red Violets are blue I had a good time the other night And I think I like you
I ignored this, but more texts kept coming, getting increasingly desperate as the day wore on. Eventually I had to phone her and explain that I didn't think we were a good match. She was crying on the phone and sounded really upset about it - after ONE DATE! Eventually though, she seemed to accept it and I never heard from her again.

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