I first feel the need to add a foreword that this post is meant in no way to be of a fat-bashing nature. It more importantly is NOT a “pro ana” or “thinspo” post either. I am here to tell a story of what it’s like to grow up being ME in MY body. Thank you for listening.
I am tall. I am skinny. I, in fact, have an ideal body that I quite like. So, why are people are trying to put me down about it?
On a weekly basis I get called either anorexic or bulemic at least 3-4 times. Usually by co-workers, and always by people who don’t really know me. This really hurts my feelings. One of my best friends struggles with an eating disorder. It terrifies me everytime she calls herself fat, goes on crash diets, and starves herself. She posts pictures of herself, hip bones and ribcage sticking out like a skeleton with skin stretched over it, asking the world why she can’t lose weight. It makes me so sad because I know there is nothing I can do or say to make her feel better about herself. Her body image is distorted, she doesn’t see what other people see. She is the most beautiful girl I know and she’s killing herself because she thinks it’s not enough.
This is not me. This is my worst nightmare.
I LOVE MY BODY. There, I said it.
That hasn’t always been the case. Everytime I get called anorexic my only defense is to recant what I refer to as “the awkward years”, aka Birth through age 16. The first half of my life I looked like a noodle with shoes on. I hit 5’8 by the time I was in the 8th grade, had huge feet(size 10! on a child!), and towered over every girl and boy in my class. I was not graceful. I moved like a baby deer, all limbs, tripping over myself, and not in a fuzzy, adorable, Bambi sort of way. All my clothes were too big and too short. It was a horribly awkward way to spend my developmental years. I was teased and tormented. “Don’t your parents feed you?” Yes, they did. They fed me healthy foods. In fact, growing up I live in a junk-food free home. There were no potato chips, cookies, or candies in my cupboards. If I wanted a snack I went in the backyard and picked something off of one of our fruit trees. It enraged me as a child that my lunch box never had a pack of Doritos and a Fruit-Roll up. I was actually made fun of for bringing a healthy lunch. Kids are really cruel, they’ll make fun of you for anything. I wish I’d known then that I’d get the last laugh.
It wasn’t until about my junior year of highschool that I really “Filled Out”. In my case this meant gaining some muscle tone on my legs and arms so I looked less like a stick figure and my body transformed into that of a supermodel(minus the boobs, 10 years later I’m still waiting for those to grow…aaaany day now I’m sure). All of the sudden people (men) took notice. Unfortunately after years of torure for being Sally Speghetti, it was unwelcome attention. Had I had more self confidence at that point in my life I would have loved to persue a career in modeling. 5’9 and a size 0, and I didn’t even have to try…I coulda been great 😉
To tell you the truth, I’m not sure when I started to love my body or why. I suspect it began when everybody else started hating theirs. The girls who had the big boobs in high school started to sag after graduation. My A-cups are still as perky as ever, though Victoria’s Secret doesn’t even carry a size for me. I am very lucky though, because I don’t even care that I have small boobs. No matter their size, I think they are PERFECT. My tummy is flat and I keep it that way. No crash diets, or crazy workouts. I eat a high-fiber diet. I eat when I’m hungry and I stop when I’m full. A concept I’ve found is baffling to most.
Everybody’s quick to say that if I’m not starving myself(they add that with skepticism) then I must be blessed with an incredibly high metabolism. WRONG. I have an underactive thyroid. I metabolize much slower than you. My roommate says I’m like a shark(they have slow metabolisms to store food to use for energy later when they food supplies are low(in case you’re not a shark week fan)) “Carrie fed last week, she’s fine for a couple more”. He makes me laugh. I can’t take my thyroid pills because they terrorize a pre-existing anxiety and insomnia disorder, so I have to concentrate on doing what’s right for my body. Hence the high fiber diet. Easy to digest, and foods with fiber are also some of the healthier choices out there. When I feel sluggish, or like I’ve been overindulging in unhealty things(sugar is my vice, I eat more candy in a month then most families do in a year) I EXERCISE. And no hardcore work here either. I hate to sweat. I walk. When I want to “work out” I go for a walk. I’m a lucky girl and I live 1 mile from the pacific ocean so I always have a beautiful stroll. Not only good for the body but good for the soul. When I feel healthy, I feel happy.
I ask you all, next time you see a thin person, don’t automatically assume that they have a disorder. In fact you should probably sympathize with them because, like me, they spent the better part of their life looking like an awkward skeleton. EveryBODY has it’s own unique story. And instead of hating on thin people and calling them names, why not compliment their dedication to a healthy lifestyle. If you’re unhappy with your body, ask them their secret! I’m happy to share mine.
I leave you with my love, in all her glory. I’m going to enjoy it as long as I can!