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December 2008 - January 2009



by P. Venkataramana

Getting angry

One of the stages of loss, according to Annie, is anger. But anger, she says, is a really healthy emotion. As long as you do it the right way. "Have your anger, but do it appropriately," says Annie. "Keep an anger or feelings journal and let it all out. That's a great way of expressing yourself without bottling everything up."

And if you're angry that your once-firm, youthful body is changing beyond recognition – and are convinced nobody, least of all your partner, could possibly find you attractive, Annie suggests spicing things up in your sex life to re-engage your man's attention. Most men don't even notice the changes that are so obvious to women when it comes to their own bodies – so don't point them out.

"There's nothing more unattractive than a woman who complains all the time," she says. "Your man may not have noticed your saggy bum or your saggy breasts, but if you keep whingeing about them, you'll make sure that they do notice. In other words, the more attention you bring to your weaknesses, the more likely your man will see them."

Instead of seeing wrinkles and grey hairs when you see your reflection, Annie suggests making positive affirmations. "Treat your mind, spirit and soul, and affirm yourself whenever you look in the mirror," she says. "Say to yourself, 'I'm loveable', or 'I'm valuable'. That way you strengthen yourself. If you tell yourself often enough that you've got crow's feet, for example, eventually that's all you'll be able to see.

'"Try not to force yourself into being the person you once were. Now you simply have more to offer. So be bold – and proud of it."

Annie Bennett, author of The Love Trap (Hammersmith Press, £12.99), has been working in the field of psychotherapy and counselling since 1994, when she trained and worked for Cruse Bereavement Care in North Surrey. She later trained and worked for Surrey Alcohol and Drug Misuse, and went on to spend time as a visiting therapist at one of the world’s leading treatment centres for addition, The Meadows in Phoenix, Arizona. Annie also runs workshops that offer a crash-course in love addiction.




One in three British women are more worried about their looks than their health, according to new research.

The study revealed that women are more prepared to spend money on products which give the impression they are healthy - rather than healthy products.

It also emerged that almost 35 per cent admitted to crash-dieting and another ten per cent said they had resorted to laxatives to fit in to the latest fashions.

Eight per cent said they ended up suffering from an eating disorder to look their best for a night out.

Yesterday experts blamed the trend on women trying to emulate celebrities like Sarah Harding who still look great even as they fall out of bars at 3am or arrive at Heathrow after a trans-Atlantic flight with three small children in tow.

Dr Ian Campbell, leading obesity expert and Medical Director of charity Weight Concern said: ''This is very concerning, especially as there is increasing evidence that lifestyles with poor eating habits and little exercise can lead to high levels of 'hidden' fat around the organs - although the individual may appear slim.

''Scientists now recognize that it is the precise location of fat that has more of a bearing on health than simply being overweight.

''It is the fat around our organs, called visceral fat which can lead to strokes, diabetes and heart disease.''

The study was carried out by leading home health monitors brand Tanita, makers of Body Composition Monitors, which measure total body fat.

A spokesman for Tanita said: ''We worry if our hair and skin aren't perfect but these findings show we don't care about what's going on inside our bodies.

''Women can be slim and look good, but it doesn't necessarily mean they're healthy.

''Reassuringly, the survey did highlight that almost seven out of ten would like a machine that tells them how healthy they are at the touch of a button.

''Our monitors are as simple as stepping on a scale yet give in-depth personalized readings for body fat, muscle mass, hydration and now visceral fat.''

The poll of 3,000 women also revealed half automatically assume that someone who is overweight is unhealthy, while 16 per cent think slim women are the picture of health.

The survey also revealed that a staggering 72 per cent of women would prefer to live life to the full rather than worrying about the consequences it has on their health.

Despite this 64 per cent admit that it worries them that they can't see what is happening inside their bodies - and 12 per cent have had a serious health scare, despite looking completely healthy on the outside.

And more than one in ten try and live the celebrity life by going out all of the time and looking good.

But 45 per cent admit they just cover up the effects of late nights and alcohol with make-up.

Dr Ian Campbell concluded: ''As a practicing GP, it alarms me that nearly three-quarters of those surveyed automatically knew their partner's star sign but only one in ten had a clue about their loved-one's body weight.

''Although over 90 per cent of those surveyed had not heard of it, visceral fat is attracting more attention within the scientific community and rather like cholesterol a decade ago, is emerging as a significant indication of disease risk.

''The dangers of obesity-related illness really should be more important than horoscopes, especially when there are so many readily available ways to check our inner health."

The poll also discovered that 49 per cent haven't gone to the doctors for a general check-up for at least a year.

And more than one in five admitted they had never been for a health check up.

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