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Thinner

I read this article today and I just find it totally bizarre that 1) It was right next to a weight loss tip article 2) That the gentleman who she responded to assumed that he could judge her, that his opinion mattered and also assumed that she must be fat because she eats pizza 3) The comments were so vile! Before I get started I want to say that it is very dangerous to be obese and it is also very dangerous to be too thin – I think that rather than embrace either extreme, we need to embrace being healthy and identifying what is healthy for us. Health is not a one size fits all, it looks different on everyone and it can be so easy to assume that someone is doing something wrong because they don’t fit your idea of healthy.

My weight has always caused me a lot of anxiety, no thanks to my mother who tripled that anxiety. I’ve never been obese, I always played sports and ate pretty well but I have always been curvy and I hate it. The summer after I graduated from high school, I decided that I was going to be thin. I started working out 2 times a day and eating much less than I was used to. I was the smallest I had ever been, I was thin – what a delicious word thin. I loved the way I looked in clothes, I loved that other people loved the way that I looked in clothes. It was all I had ever wanted, then I got so thin that I stopped getting my period. Nothing is more terrifying than getting your period for the first time unless it’s not getting it for the first time. To be clear, I was never in danger of starvation or putting myself in real danger but I wasn’t at a healthy, sustainable weight for my body. I am at a healthy weight now, I am active, I eat right but I definitely don’t fit the ideal body type image. I strive to maintain the weight that I am now. Whenever I am tempted to break my diet I read depressing weight loss content on Reddit to shame myself into not eating poorly. I know, it is awful and I feel terrible and nobody knows this about me. Don’t get me wrong, I eat plenty – I don’t starve myself but I hate eating. I feel like for every 1 calorie that I intake, I gain 5 pounds – I’ve just always gained weight at a rapid pace. An email was circulating around work recently and it was about using shame as a behavior change tool, I panicked thinking that my secret was out. I hate to say that it does work for me though, keeping a food journal works because I don’t want to read the shitty stuff that I ate later on. Reading about people who have lost weight and now carry around 15 pounds of excess skin shames me into not eating the cookies in the break-room. For every second that I feel OK with my figure, there is a stretch mark or a dimple that makes me feel ashamed for letting it happen. Food is not a reward for me – it is simply sustenance. I can enjoy a fantastic meal but I have to ensure that I am fantastically hungry so that I don’t feel bad about it.  I don’t eat socially, luckily I am allergic to loads of food and I excuse it with not wanting to risk a dangerous exposure but honestly, this is a God send. I don’t like people watching me eat and judging me based on what I eat or drink. The emotional struggle of deciding whether or not to finish something is ever present at every meal. I won’t lie though, yes, shame does work for me. If I am standing in line for coffee my order can change to anything skim real quick if a male or thinner female is standing in close proximity. Hell – just give me a cup of piping hot water. Reason being is that I know that I am being judged on what I am eating or drinking – it is the society that we live in. I don’t want total strangers to think that I have no self-control, that I am lazy or that I am a slob because of the way that I look. Maybe if she just ate less, she would be thinner. She should work out. Not knowing how much effort goes into looking just the way that I look.

I don’t have a healthy relationship with food honestly – I hate food and I only eat when I am hungry, for sustenance and that works for me. Did I feel more attractive when I was thin? Absolutely. I hate the way that I look now, I hate trying on clothes and knowing that they would look better if I was thinner. Knowing that I can be that thin makes it all the more irritating. But it is more important to be healthy. Just be healthy. Healthy looks great on everyone 🙂

6 replies »

  1. I think most of us struggle with weight loss or weight gain at some point in their life. I have a love-hate relationship with food. I can eat 3 100g chocolate bars in 20 minutes but fortunately I haven’t done that in a while. I used to binge-eat chocolate at night. I would wake up, go straight to the food cupboard, eat kinder chocolate – and then I’d go back to bed. And I only remembered when I found 12 wrappers on the kitchen floor the next morning.

    Anyway, we all go through different phases in our lives. Food can be a comfort, but it can be your worst enemy. I agree, we should eat to sustain ourselves and our bodies, but we shouldn’t overeat (at least not all the time). Saying this, I’m happy for everyone who enjoys food – no matter what body shape they have.

    I’m all for body positivity (I know it’s not easy to be positive about one’s own body, especially if it’s changed and one perceives the change as a change for worse). But the most important thing is that one is healthy. There are many judgmental people out there – and they’re not perfect either. I think all you can do is hope that they learn some common decency and respect (fingers crossed!)

    By the way, if you wanna lose weight, try fitness videos on youtube. Get yourself a sports bra, get up 15 minutes earlier than usual, and start with a beginner video that’s ten minutes. If you can do more, then do the video twice, or three times. And when the workout is no longer challenging, look for more difficult ones. There are lots of instructors who do youtube videos and they’re great, I promise!

    You’ll need a few days to get going, so don’t overdo it the first week, but once morning exercise is a part of your routine, you’ll notice that your body will be more toned and shapely. And your clothes will fit the way they’re supposed to. Just make sure you eat protein (but don’t overdo it) because it will help you build up muscle which will kill the excess fat. 🙂

    I’m doing a 20 min workout at home every morning – and it’s so worth it! It was quite a drag in the beginning, and I kept saying “I’ll start tomorrow” for too long. But now that I’m doing it, I feel great and I know that I look better. So yeah, try to exercise, even 10 minutes every morning will make a difference, I promise!

    • Oh, absolutely- there are loads of resources and I enjoy working out. I think I’ll always envy those who can be really slim but still take pride in the fact that I’m healthy and able-bodied! I guess it’s a fine line for me. Thanks for reading and leaving feedback 😘

  2. Hi Stella, I completely relate to your struggle with food. I do the opposite…I absolutely love food, and I have very little self-control. So when I do end up going crazy, I used to hate myself afterwards, and get wildly depressed. I have been (and am currently) obese according to my BMI (I work out regularly, so I’m not sure how much trust I put in that number, but I am certainly overweight).
    Now I have a more comfortable relationship with food because I have started Weight Watchers and it helps me to control what I’m eating and how much of it I eat. Weight Watchers isn’t for everyone, but as someone that has struggled with eating disorders in the past, it has been the only thing that has helped me get in control. It encourages you to eat fruits and vegetables and lean protein, and the program has already helped me lose weight slowly, in a controlled manner.
    I hope that you can find comfort knowing that you’re not the only one out there struggling with food, and that you’re not alone!

    • Thank you! I really appreciate the feedback and it does feel good to know that there are others out there. Your thoughts on the BMI are correct, this is not the most ideal tool for measuring a healthy weight. I worked in the Health&Wellness industry for a long time and this is a very archaic way of telling if someone is of healthy weight or not. I wouldn’t put too much store in it, when I was at my scariest thin I was right in the middle and that felt great but it wasn’t healthy. I love that Weight Watchers is working for you! I think that it is all just being mindful and being dedicated to a healthier lifestyle and you can truly start anywhere. I have a lot of success with meal planning and having healthy food on hand keeps me from snacking on crap. Keep at it, thanks for reading ❤

  3. I can relate to your struggles here. Anytime I’m overly stressed, I stop eating. I can’t eat when I’m stressed. I also won’t eat to punish myself if someone gets upset with me. If dad gets mad because I got a C in school, I skipped dinner and breakfast. My senior year of high school, I barely had lunch. I can only remember a handful of times that I ate that year. It’s the one thing I could control through the abusive relationship that I was in between my mother and my fiance. I can finally say that now. That the father of my son was abusive and I took it because my mother made me believe that that was love. I hardly ever ate around him. I was always walking on egg shells. In the end, I was able to walk away from both relationships but not without support. My eating is directly related to my emotions. I eat better now, but I still frequently skip breakfast and lunch on the weekends. Now, it’s more about the extra baby weight that’s bugging me, but I finally have books that women have surgery for. I want to be trimmer but I don’t wanna lose that. Lol. Food has always been a struggle for me and I hardly eat dessert or junk food. I just don’t think I deserve it. I’ve never been thin. A size 6 is the lowest I’ve ever been. I’d just like to be my regular old 8 instead of 14. I might be a 12 now but I’m too scared to try the pants. I have to wear a belt with my 14 but what if I’m still too big for my 12. People who don’t struggle don’t understand. It’s a mind game as much as it is a weight or food thing.

    • It truly is, I don’t get people who use food to celebrate – I think it is really bizarre. Even on holidays my mom judged every bit of food that I ate, it wasn’t a big deal for my sisters who were built differently than I. I remember asking my basketball coach if I could run track at the same time as the b-ball season and he asked me why – I simply said, I am fat. He was appalled, I wasn’t fat but I couldn’t be convinced otherwise. It is weird to me that I can look in the mirror and see something totally different than what others see, people don’t get it. I try not to worry about it, it is important to just be healthy 🙂

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