The atmosphere of the story suggests they are all women, but you have to dissect it, study it, to prove it -- no man or "he" is mentioned in the story, which runs 500 words. Before I cut 330 words from it, the story seemed "surreal" or Old Norse -- Scandinavian (dark nights) or Old English: it read like boulders and weeds. Cutting 330 words made it deeper, active, and more resonant. The extra wordage was needed to show that the women were in boring yet complicated terms on the diet. Literature and writing are not boring as rebalancing diets for a group of women to enter on together.
I was in the second year of a rebalancing diet eight years ago -- in my unconscious, that is where the number "eight" is coming from. I went on the diet alone, using books and going to the health food store. I was in a group of “recovery” women who ate together once a month. It was not boring, but fun. The group kept certain recovery women out due to their "diagnoses" (this was not the fiction, but the real tale), and now those women suffer alone, eight years later, and had to move from their houses to different towns. I stayed with the main group for a while then left because they had kept the others out to suffer. In the fiction story about the diet, two women stay away, and the eight others wonder about them. The other way of being on the "outside" is to reject the group.