07/30/2009 05:12 am ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

The Anti-Diet: Healthy Eating Needn't Mean Self Denial

I have dieted all my life. Not only do I love food, but I hate exercise (though I have managed to make myself endure it, on the grounds of health). I have always wanted to be slim, but I struggle with a voluptuously pear-shaped body. Had I lived in the time of Rubens I would have been lauded for my beauty, but in the age of Kate Moss I am left feeling inadequate.

For long periods I have put a desire to be thin above a love of eating. I am a natural size 14 but I managed to stay a size eight (and 7st) throughout my twenties. I wasn't alone. Drinks with girlfriends who knew the calorie count of six Maltesers revolved around a packet of Marlboro Lights, a glass of dry white and copious amounts of mineral water. It was unsustainable. A love of myself and a love of life won out, and I gradually became the natural size I am supposed to be. But once you angst about your shape and the effect your consumption has on that shape, you have given yourself a life-long problem.

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