My intestines had become slower than a snail. I couldn’t use the bathroom without pills. I was depressed, exhausted, and wanted to fade into oblivion.
I was having a hard time with life.
I remained the same “heavy” weight despite eating almost nothing everyday, because I was terrified of the constant side pain in my abdomen. I thought I was dying and I probably deserved it, given the years I’d yo-yoed in anorexia and bulimia with no severe consequence. Now it was time to pay.
For Members only
Listen to or download the podcast of this blog.
Hidden mp3 player
To become a member, click on REGISTER on the sidebar to the right!
When I’d left for my trip I was tiny, because I was on a strict schedule of working out and watching everything I ate. Months later, upon my return home,
I had gained a bunch a weight and thought I was dying.
Yet everyone who saw me smiled and commented on,
‘how good I looked now that I had gained some weight.’
I wanted to scream.
One afternoon I was at the mall with a friend. She was the first and only person to look past my body. She asked me a simple question that I’ll never forget.
“But how do you feel?” she said.
I started crying. Not one person had asked me that, and I felt awful. I was terrified daily that I had permanently destroyed by body, and that what I wanted most was, to not exist anymore.
It’s the same thing I’ve heard people say, many times before.
“Oh you look so good. Did you lose weight?”
“Oh you look amazing. Look at how thin you are.”
“You look great. You’ve lost weight.”
If someone has been trying to lose weight for heath reasons then yes, I applaud their shift to better health. What I am talking about, in the context of this post, is this-
Our culture assumes that every woman is trying to lose weight and be thinner. We have come to equate thinness as being higher on the scale of goodness. Thus we reward loosing weight and often compliment people on it as if it’s a measurement of their worth.
I know that everyone seeks to look and feel their best, which is great. I also know from experience, that even when we look like the best version of our thin culture, we can still feel ugly inside.
Perhaps it’s time, not to reinvent the wheel, but to steer it in a different direction. Perhaps the next time we’re out in the world, at a party or meeting friends, we could be a little more creative with our compliments.
Dare to ask someone a real question like, “How have you been feeling lately?”
Or maybe the next time we hear someone being rewarded for being thin, we could seek to provide the balance that is far overdue.
Dare to ask people how they’re feeling. It’s a wonderful, powerful question, and far more interesting.
Thanks for reading.
The audio version of this and future posts is available to subscribers.