The last time I was skinny by North American standards, I was a child. Possibly a very young teenager, but regardless of that, it was a long time ago.
Tonight I was not very happy with myself. I lost twenty something pounds in the first two months of the year, went on vacation, gained some back and have now been stuck ever since.
But is it my weight that makes me unhappy with myself? Not exactly. It has far more to do with what I feed myself. I feel that I have a slight issue with gluttony. When things taste good it’s very hard to just say, “Hey, that was good, maybe someday I’ll have it again.” Instead I long for more NOW, even if I’m no longer hungry. I thought I had a handle on this early this year but it’s possible that it wasn’t a done deal. I was counting calories, using an app on my phone to keep track of every little thing I ate. That’s not a realistic way to live long term. It’s not so hard for a few months but it was very time consuming. Mike wasn’t too crazy about it, either, so when we got back from holidays I decided to let it go for awhile and just learn to eat better without it.
That didn’t go so well.
But I come back to the question asked in the first place: what does skinny feel like?
Is it better than where I am now?
Forced to buy the high end of normal women’s clothing or the low end of plus size.
Standing out in pictures taken with my family or friends.
Having two or three outfits that I feel great in and a whole bunch of clothes that just seem to emphasize what I don’t like.
I watched my very dear friend move through the room tonight at a birthday party for our shared nephew. She is very thin. Petite. Makes me feel a bit like a giant when I hug her. But I don’t see her that way unless I focus in on it. For whatever reason, I felt frumpy today and so it stood out. On any other day, she is just my best friend. Today she was my skinny best friend.
Somehow over the years I have assigned a way of thinking and feeling to skinny people. I imagine they must feel wonderful. Free, peaceful, happy, energetic. I often feel those things as well but I imagine that skinny people must feel that way all the time.
I imagine it until I realize that it just can’t possibly be true. Skinny people are just people who weigh less than me. Their bodies may be more acceptable in our society but are they happier? Do they have more peace? I doubt it.
There was a time when I assumed that once I got out of high school, life would change for the better and I would be different. Then when that didn’t happen, I assumed it would be marriage that would make me a different sort of person. Fulfilled, perhaps? Yes, marriage was good, but it didn’t change me. Then it was motherhood. The final change that just had to make everything different. It certainly changed my life and priorities in many ways. But I’m still me.
So what on earth makes me think that being skinny would change who I am? The hurt I hold onto will still be there. The voice of the little girl in Spokane who called me fat when I was seventeen will still be there. The memories of clothes I’ve tried on for so many years that look amazing on the hanger and awful on me will still be there. The advertising that seems to be everywhere telling us that large is wrong will still be there.
But I still come back to this thought: If I could just lose thirty pounds, things would be better. People wouldn’t stare or think bad things about me or my weight.
But do people stare? Really?