Thursday, March 14, 2013

skinny enough

at the beginning of the year i had every intention of losing weight in the typical fashion. a nasty stomach flu bug had other plans for me and i dropped 8 pounds in 3 days.

to some masochistic degree i was grateful for the flu-- not for the nausea and hours slipping into uncomfortable momentary sleep on the cold bathroom tile, but because i always wanted to be skinnier and suddenly i was.

i believe skinniness is a mental, not a physical, state. 
for me it has always been mental.

my older sister is beautiful and tiny. in my teenage zeal i tried on her old prom dresses, envisioning my cinderella-esque entrance the day i turned 16. my daydream stopped short when i found the silk and velvet wouldn't zip up.

that was the day i began to feel fat.

ironically my rib cage was to blame, not my weight. unfortunately i was young and hadn't yet learned about body types and healthy weight. i simply categorized my sister as tiny and myself as not. my distorted body image grew with me. i was never at my ideal weight. if i only lost 5 pounds... if i only lost 10 pounds...

after extensive research for college papers on the american media's affect on body image and the increase of eating disorders, i realized i suffered from similar mental effects. this recognition unfortunately did not bring a cure for my defeating thoughts and distorted perspective. although a normal and relatively healthy eater, i was never satisfied with myself.  my skewed perspective morphed others' observation of me and i couldn't take a compliment to save me.

i wish i could say that has changed with losing weight.
fortunately it has improved but i still don't fully know how to accept compliments. 

i have now lost 12 pounds since the first of the year.  people applaud me for my flat stomach and triumph over the scale, exclaiming "you look great!", "you're sooo skinny!".  somehow skinniness has become the ultimate victory in american society and i find myself confused by this notion because i disagree with it, yet i don't feel skinny enough and want to lose more weight.  the only real thing i have changed is trying not to eat after 7 pm but the past month comments have begun to have an undertone of concern: "you're tiny". "are you eating?". "you don't have any more pounds to lose".

and i probably don't. i stare at my naked self and see my rib cage and hip bones jut out. i find myself more confident in clothing and proud of my weight loss, but on some level it scares me. while waiting with trepidation on the scale, i hold my breath and for a moment i am satisfied but then the familiar thought creeps in: "if you just lost 5 more pounds...".

i wonder if american women will ever feel skinny enough.

1 comment:

McCall said...

Absolutely brilliant post!