WOMEN
12/23/2013 09:22 am ET

Does Wanting To Be Thin Make You A Slave To The Man?

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Unlike certain B-list celebs, who take to the covers of tabloids to trumpet their diet success stories, I’m hoping no one will comment on the fact that I’ve lost more than 60 pounds in the past eight months. Dieting is my biggest secret. I wish I could say it’s a thrilling one, like dating your college TA, but it’s more like waxing my lip—I don’t ever want to talk about it, and I’d rather people thought I never had to worry about it in the first place.

As the pounds started coming off, physically I felt lighter. I slept well. I was in a better mood. But I also felt strangely furtive and isolated. I’ve told exactly one friend about my weight loss. (It’s probably no coincidence that she’s a fellow chronic dieter and lives across the country from me.) Trading secrets late one night outside a bar, a particularly willowy friend recently admitted to me that she’d struggled with her weight in college. And yet even then, I—who can speak freely about anything: abortions, boys, Rihanna—could not confess that I’ve been tallying calories for months. “It’s a bargain I make with myself,” agrees Wendy McClure, a friend and the author of the weight-loss memoir I’m Not the New Me. “It’s okay as long as I’m off doing this by myself.”

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