You grew up seeing skin and bone in the spotlight. Girls plastered on every page of every magazine you skim through in the grocery store: tight faces, delicate fingers, visible clavicles, and protruding hips. You see it on every channel on the television, in music videos, in the movies, everywhere. This is what made you realize that this is what beautiful looked like to the rest of the world.
This is what made you try to starve yourself, count your calories, binge and purge, cry in front of the mirror. This is what made you pick at the extra skin on your face and waist and arms and legs. This is what made you overly aware of the shape of your girl friends’ bodies, your mother’s body, your sister’s body, and, of course, your own. This is what “thinspired” you.
At least, that’s what you thought.
You were made to believe that beauty was in the number on the scale, in the number of your clothing tags, in the number of people who exclaim, “You look so good! Have you lost weight?”
But here’s a little reality check for you: if you feel miserable, none of those numbers matter. It is one thing to want to work towards being healthy, but it is a whole other thing to work towards gaps and holes in your body that should not be there.
Craving a thigh gap is not okay. Wanting visible hip bones, a deep clavicle, or a protruding spine is not healthy. Wanting strong legs and less arm fat is healthy, but feeling a need to just be thin is not.
Don’t overdo it at the gym. Break a sweat, make yourself do things you normally wouldn’t, but don’t kill yourself over “not doing enough”. Your body will eventually get used to the routine, then that’s when you should push harder, move faster, do more reps. The only way to grow is to push past your comfort zone, but know your limits. Know what’s too much for you.
Work towards a happy medium. Have the grilled chicken salad tonight, but let yourself have pizza tomorrow. You’re not a failure if you break or cheat on a diet. The reality is that everybody does it at some point; doing it once or twice, or even twenty times, shouldn’t make you feel like everything you’ve done was for nothing. Just get back on the wagon as soon as you can. Remind yourself this is all for you; try not to beat yourself up over these obstacles.
Do what makes you happy. Go to the gym for an hour or two after work, but make time to catch up on your favorite shows. Make yourself available for family and friends and hobbies. Don’t put the rest of your world on hold for this one thing, no matter how much you may want to. You get what you give, and if you don’t give the people you love your time and affection, you will lose that. Know your priorities.
Maybe being around certain people bring out the lazy in you…and as crazy as this piece of advice is going to sound, let yourself be lazy sometimes. Constantly working or being on the run is both physically and mentally draining; let yourself relax every once in a while.
Don’t focus on the destination; allow yourself to feel every part of the journey—even the lows. This is your life we are talking about here; you only get one. So don’t be afraid to fall in love with working hard, but don’t forget about doing the things you enjoyed beforehand. Don’t be afraid to find a healthier, happier you. Push yourself in the best ways possible.
Don’t kill yourself over trying to just be thin. Be more than that.
Prompt: Write a post about being or wanting to be thin. Tell us your point of view.
This prompt was inspired by The Daily Post.