“I’ve got two daughters who will have to make their way in this skinny-obsessed world, and it worries me, because I don’t want them to be empty-headed, self-obsessed, emaciated clones; I’d rather they were independent, interesting, idealistic, kind, opinionated, original, funny – a thousand things, before ‘thin’. And frankly, I’d rather they didn’t give a gust of stinking chihuahua flatulence whether the woman standing next to them has fleshier knees than they do. Let my girls be Hermiones, rather than Pansy Parkinsons. Let them never be Stupid Girls.” ― J.K. Rowling
“By choosing healthy over skinny you are choosing self-love over self-judgment. You are beautiful!” ― Steve Maraboli
“Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.” ― Kate Moss
Let me start off by saying that Kate Moss is a fucking idiot. I’ve been there. I’ve worn her size 2. I’ve been skinny. I’ve also tasted many different things & I’m here to tell you that she’s flat-out WRONG. Tasting things feels good. Tasting things is good for you. Sometimes, you taste bad things & it might not feel so good, but it’s still good for you. You’ve done something adventurous. You’ve learned something about yourself. You now know you do not like that thing. Tasting things with people you like to be around can be a lot of fun. Tasting things with the right person can be sexy fun.
Being skinny isn’t as much fun. Skinny isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Too much skinny doesn’t feel good. It doesn’t look good. There’s several goals to work toward that will be more rewarding than skinny.
I’m going to be honest with you about all this: I’m 5’7″ tall. If you speak metric, I’m 170cm. Not too tall. Not too short. Just sitting on the line of average height. I like the view from here, so it suits me fine. As of right now, I’m hovering somewhere around 140lbs. (64 kilos). Right now, I’m 36-28-39. Sometimes I’m a size 8. Other times, I’m a size 10 or maybe even a 12, depending on where I’m shopping.
I don’t feel like a large woman. Because I’m not a large woman. In the U.S., I’m average. Here in France, I’m a goddamn Amazon warrior & need to look at plus sizes if I want to find clothes that will actually allow me to inhale. Plus. Sizes.
I wasn’t always like this. I smoked a pack & a half a day. More on drunk days. I didn’t eat a lot & absorbed most of my nutrients from Guinness & fistfuls of Cheez-Its. I weighed 115 lbs. (52 kilos). My cholesterol wasn’t extremely high, but it was higher than it should have been. I felt cold when it was nice outside. I had no boobs, no ass. I had crappy skin on a bony face & brittle hair. My bones were visible. I didn’t have a lot of energy. I wasn’t a sickly waif, but I wasn’t as healthy as I could’ve been. I was damn skinny.
I’d always been skinny. I knew I was underweight, but I didn’t know how to be anything but skinny. People kept telling me, “you are SO skinny” as though it was something I hadn’t noticed. They told me this my whole life in the same way one person informs another that they have a bit of parsley on their tooth. Of course, not everyone was so kind & informative. Some made colorful comments about me spending time in Auschwitz. They asked if I had a tapeworm. If I had anorexia or bulimia. A few of the single-digit I.Q. crowd would inquire, “do you eat?” as though I were somehow staying alive without the traditional means of pushing food into my mouth.
This was my life. From as far back as I can remember, until I stopped smoking over 5 years ago.
The weight gain has been gradual, but over the past 5 & 1/2 years, I’ve gained 25 lbs. I went from size 3 jeans to a size 10. I started getting my cholesterol checked once a year. It’s nice & low like it should be. Just like my blood pressure. I don’t get cold on nice days. My face & body filled out. I got some curves. My skin changed. My hair got thicker, stopped breaking & grew long. I started working out. Cardio. Strength training. Yoga. I was looking for anyone who made a tacky Auschwitz joke so that I could crack their fucking eye socket. I looked better. I felt stronger. I morphed like a character in a superhero origin story.
I was healthier.
To be sure, part of this was due to the fact that I’d ditched my nasty cigarette habit. But that wasn’t all. I learned to eat, too. I’ve mentioned before that my appreciation for food really started after moving to France, but I’ve also made a great effort over the past few years to educate myself on nutrition. It’s been paying off, so far.
Growing up, I didn’t know how to eat well. A salad was a bowl of iceberg lettuce, drowning in Thousand Island dressing, topped with Bacos & croutons. I hated spinach & green beans. They were nasty, stinking, horribly colored slimy shits that tasted like vomit in a can. I had no clue their fresh & frozen counterparts were delicious. The first time I had salmon, I was an adult. I thought that Velveeta was real cheese. Fried or fast food were just fine.
Meal times were not a ritual of pleasant conversation, family bonding & coming together. Dinner time was a dreaded event, full of screaming & tears. It was me sitting in front of things I didn’t want to eat, protesting as a bowl of cauliflower swimming in Velveeta was thrust at me. “Just fucking eat it! IT’S GOOD FOR YOU!”
Food was mostly a necessity. Sometimes very delicious, but mostly just fuel to keep on living. I didn’t value its importance, or the value of enjoying it.
Now that I do appreciate & enjoy it more, now that I am more educated about what I’m putting into my body, am I a health freak? Absolutely not. Pizza? Bring it. Cheese, chocolate & döner kebab? Yes, please. I eat what I want, just not all at once. Then I exercise. I’m not about to deny myself the pleasure of tasting good food & of sharing that with other people who enjoy tasting good food.
Being skinny just isn’t worth missing out on that. So many things taste better than skinny feels.
Being healthy & looking like a woman feel better than skinny ever did.
Maybe being skinny works for you. It could be that you’re thin as a rail & are in perfect health. Good on you. If you’re healthy & you feel good, then stick with it. My opinion shouldn’t matter. For me & for many women, skinny does not equal healthy. If you want to drop a few pounds, drop the doughnut & go for a walk. Do it. But, do it for a better quality of life. Do it to feel good, not to look like someone else. Women should have jiggly bits. Jiggle with pride. It’s the sexiest thing you can do.