skinny, vanity, weight loss,

Why Worrying About Being Skinny is Stupid

by Deborah Cruz

Have you ever looked at a scale and worried if you were skinny enough? Some days people disappoint me in ways that leave me flabbergasted. Insulting someone to their face while extolling the virtues of how great they themselves are. Wouldn’t time be better spent helping others rather than telling others how they could be better if they were more.like.you?

News alert: People know their shortcomings. You never have to tell them. Keep it to yourself. Telling an ugly person they’re ugly doesn’t help them not be ugly, it only makes them feel bad about not being attractive which they were already completely aware of…same goes for being rich, popular, thin and successful. Be who you are, enjoy your win and stop rubbing the loser’s nose in it. It’s petty, shady and just about the ugliest thing I’ve ever seen.

This is not a story about superficial looks. It’s the example I’m using because I used to be vain and shallow. The subject matter is known well to me.

I used to care, more than I should have if I was skinny enough.

Wasting time worrying about getting the perfect body,  was my sole purpose in my teens and 20’s to the exclusion of all else. I had a certain idea in mind of what happiness would look like and it all started with being 5’8” and a size zero. My happiness hinged on how skinny I looked; the size of my pants. I knew that if I could “achieve this” hard to reach goal, I could do anything and I would definitely be happy.  It was mathematically impossible not to be.

skinny, vanity, weight loss, are eating disorders genetic? , raising girls, tweens, eating disorder, bulimarexia, eating disorders, anorexia, weight

Skinny+tall= beautiful = happiness.

I knew I was smart. I was popular enough. All I needed was the “perfect” body and I would have it all. So, I went after it with all I had, like I did everything in those days. When I get an idea in my head, I get obsessed and so began my obsession. Restriction. Exercise. Expulsion. More restriction. Even more exercise. I was never growing passed my 5’7.5” (God’s way of keeping me humble) but I was going to get that perfect body if it killed me and it almost did.

READ ALSO: A Day in the life of a Girl with Eating Disorders

For 13 years on and off, for 8 years hardcore, I chased the unattainable because it was a moving target. Happiness is not a pant size. I know this because each time I reached my “ideal” weight, I realized I needed to be smaller. Just 5 more pounds, over and over again. I was never happy and always unsatisfied. To be honest, I was miserable because the goals never lived up to the expectations.

skinny, vanity, weight loss,

Then there is now. I’m a grown woman. I’ve finally realized that the most important thing is to be healthy, feel good in your own skin and not give a damn about what other’s think (much easier said than done ).

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve had some health issues, unexpected bumps in the road and I realized how stupid I was to be killing myself to be a certain weight. I am now at a point where, all I want is to be fully functioning, walking upright and to be healthy. That’s when it hit me that wanting to be “skinny”, obsessing over every workout and every piece of food I put into my mouth and trying to impress others with the way I look….that’s stupid. That is a luxury for vain people with nothing substantial to concern themselves with. I am happy for those people. I wish them continued health.

READ ALSO: Finally, I don’t Hate my Body

People starving in third world countries don’t obsess over thigh gaps. They are happy to have food in their bellies. People concerned with diabetes and high blood pressure worry about their diet for health reasons, to achieve maximum health not so that their asses look great in a pair of Lululemon. I think to each their own.

None of us know what others are going through. I’ve not lived your life and you’ve not lived mine. We come from different backgrounds, socioeconomic statuses and cultures and what is right for you might not be what is right for me.

I’d never tell you how to live your life, what to wear or not to wear or how to behave because I don’t know your perspective. Only you have lived your life, survived your circumstances or struggles. Your heartbreak, loss and what on the outside looks like negativity, not good enough or “wrong” could be so much better than the day before and could be the very best you have to offer at this time.

In the grand scheme of my life, worrying about being skinny or over weight is stupid unless it affects your health.

I try to consider this as I’ve spent time on both sides. The thing is I want to live my best life. Do my best and be my best me and that has nothing to do with you. Just as how you choose to live your best life has nothing to do with me. Still, I wish us all happiness and success, whatever that might look like to each and every one of us.

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