Well, it is taking me a little more time to come up with steps for body acceptance, because I don’t want to end up repeating myself here. I have a couple of steps that I’ve been thinking about, but I can’t really remember them at the moment, so I’m going to go with one that really struck me today as I was watching someone’s video on youtube where they were talking about being skinny.
I’m writing these steps in the hopes that you (and I) will keep them in mind while living or starting to live a life free of eating disordered problems. So, I don’t really think I can convince you to try any of this stuff if you aren’t at least a little willing to take this information in anyway. What I want to discuss in this post is the concept of being “skinny.” The truth is, no matter what your size is you will never be skinny enough if you are eating disordered. I don’t care if you are 68 pounds and in the hospital dying from anorexia. You can ask any anorexic and they will tell you that they are not skinny enough. Every dieter in the world thinks they are not skinny enough. Every bulimic and every bulima-rexic: not skinny enough, because it is never enough. You feel like you just need to lose one more pound, then two then 20 then 100. For people with eating disorders, it is never enough.
So, you have to give up the idea that you need to be skinnier and skinnier. I don’t care what you weigh right now, you just need to stop. You can’t stop next week or after 10 pounds or when you get down to 110 or 135 or whatever. You need to stop now. Focus on letting all of that energy that you spend honed in on wanting, craving and needing to be thinner on something else.
What if you started loving your body for the weight it is right this very second? Seriously, what if you could honestly say that you at least *like* your body? What if you decided to go out and buy clothes as if you had just lost 30 pounds? Only the clothes fit now! I’m seriously telling you that you need to change the idea that there will be some point in the future when you will be— happier, be healthier, be more loved, fit into clothes better, look better, get a better job, get a promotion, have more friends, be respected more, etc. etc.—IF YOU ONLY GOT THINNER!
Being happy is a state of mind and being happy with your body doesn’t come with a size attached to it. In fact, I would say that most people who are anorexic are not happy. Most people who struggle every day with eating disorders are probably not all that happy. If you are hiding in the bathroom throwing up every day I just doubt that you can be all that happy, but that happiness is not going to come if you are a size 16 or a size 2! Granted, when you reach your “goal weight” you might be happy for about five minutes, but then you will worry about gaining back weight and/or you will not be satisfied and you will want to lose more weight. You’ll say: just 5 more pounds. 5 becomes 15 becomes 20. Before you know it, your hair is falling out in clumps or you are passed out in the hospital for some weird reason.
Maybe “normal” people can want to be skinny and then not worry about it so much. I don’t really know, because I’ve never really been normal. There are some days when I wish I was skinnier and if someone said they could wave a magic wand and make me skinny, I’m not sure if I wouldn’t say yes. I *might* say no though, believe it or not. I mean, I can’t even believe that I’m saying this. There were times when all I wanted was to be skinnier and that is what I lived for every moment of the day. Just one less pound, please…I would say. But there are no magic wands, so I don’t have to decide now. And seriously, I am very fat and I am saying this. You might wonder how I can possibly say that I wouldn’t want to be thin given the chance. I just can’t say for sure. There are things I would enjoy if I was thinner, but I can pretty much enjoy what I want right now. I don’t know how to explain this to you.
I think the light clicked on for me when I was having a conversation with a guy I was dating. The guy happens to really dig fat girls by the way. Anyway, we were talking and I said something like “well, if I could wave a magic wand and be skinny of course I’d want to be.” It was such like a non-question for me. OF COURSE I would want to be skinny if I could! Then he said, “really? Because I don’t know if I could be with a girl who wants to be skinny when she’s not.” I mean, he’s a guy what does he know about being fat, right? But it really did strike me when he said that, and it changed me. He was right. Why should I want my whole life to be something that I am not? And what does it say about me that I cannot accept myself unless I am thin enough? No one had ever challenged my assumptions like that before. You mean I don’t have to want to be skinnier than I am??? WHAT?!? This seriously changed my entire perspective.
Well, it took a while for it to sink in. At first I was like: that’s odd. Why would he say that? Then I let it sink in more and more. Really, why should I spend my life hoping to be a size 2? Because, guess what? It is true: you CAN love your body at any size. You don’t HAVE TO hate yourself because you are fat or have a tummy or are pudgy or have a big butt or thick thighs or floppy arms, etc. etc. Sure, the world may tell you that you are supposed to hate yourself if you aren’t a certain size, but the truth is: YOU DON’T HAVE TO HATE YOURSELF! You can love your body just like it is right this very second. In fact, the only way to go is to love your body right now. Don’t wait until you are thinner, because you will have to wait forever.