There was only one point in my life where I actually felt like a skinny girl.
It was 2008 to 2009, into part of 2010. I had made it through my freshman year of college and came back home with 30 lbs that weren’t invited. Life is hard when Ben & Jerry’s is too readily available and you and your friends like to eat your feelings.
I decided to turn this around, joined Weight Watchers and started working with a trainer. Come field hockey pre-season, I had lost 10 lbs in a healthy way. At the end of pre-season, I was down another 5. By Christmas, I had lost all 30 that I gained and then some.
I thought I looked good, people told me I looked good, guys talked to me suddenly, I was basically on top of the world. And then doctors told me I had to gain weight due to some health complications (sup female athlete triad?)…and I felt like everything I worked so hard for was being torn away from me.
Three years later and wiser, I can confirm that I definitely had an eating disorder. When you work out everyday and only eat half your allotted Weight Watchers points, you have a problem.
It took a long time to get over not being the skinny girl anymore and looking (and fitting) into anything I wanted. It felt like I was out of control because I couldn’t have the same amount of control over my eating and exercising schedules. In fact, it’s taken all of these three years to get over it. My friends all have normal bodies, my sisters are both skinny, I live in New York City….working in the music industry…
Yeah, there have been a few times since having to gain weight back that I could’ve spared to lose a few pounds (especially after meeting my boyfriend who bonded with me over our love of food), but I’ve come to realize that you just have to accept your body at some point. I can guarantee it will add a lot of happiness to your life.
Something that helps? Surrounding yourself with people who love you despite your looks. My boyfriend is basically the reason that I ever started to even like my body. He’s told me I’m perfect even after I’ve devoured a plate of wings and fries and downed a few beers and have developed a food baby. And then there’s my family who has always told me my thunder thighs are a sign of strength, gained from years of field hockey, volleyball and Irish dancing. These people have always told me I don’t need to change, and I’ve started to believe them a little bit.
Another thing that helps? Realizing that most of the celebrities whose bodies you want are Photoshopped, starved, airbrushed or vegan. Sorry Carrie Underwood, but I love bacon too much to ever have your body.
What else? Accepting that everyone has a different body shape and type. Of course I’m never going to look like my sisters. We’re all built totally different. They have actual waists, and the bottom of my ribs are a mere inch from the top of my hip bones.
You might think that I’ve had this awesome self image for a while now. Hellllll no. I’ve fought my hips and thighs and height my entire life. We didn’t work so well together in high school when I wanted to be a punk little skater or when my friends came over to swim. I battled them in college during field hockey when everyone else’s spandex skirts looked great on them and mine looked like a casing on a sausage. And I most certainly didn’t get along with them during last year’s awards season when I tried to look like a celebrity in my sparkly dresses…and just looked like me.
But on Tuesday when I wore a sweater dress with leggings and high-heel boots for my birthday, I looked in the mirror and thought, “damn!” Yeah, I’m never going to be seen as some fragile little girl that can rock any pair of skinny jeans, but at least I look like a woman. When I was at my skinniest, some adults actually told me that I looked like a child, and I don’t really know how my boyfriend would feel about dating one. At 24, I’ve decided to embrace these curves, and seriously, they could be much worse.
If it weren’t for these thighs and this butt, I couldn’t power my way up the hills during my long runs. I couldn’t run up the stairs of the subway to jolt my day. And these calves look killer in heels.
I can preach this all day, but every girl needs to have their epiphany moment to really get it. Hell, I heard it for 24 years and it was falling on deaf ears. I know I’ll never be a supermodel or get mistaken for Giada DeLaurentiis. I’ve accepted that my body is the type they would shove in some booty shorts and be told to “shake it” in a rap video, and though I have no intention of ever doing that, I’m ok with it.
In short, ladies, stop pulling a Plastics and picking out all your imperfections. Do as Seventeen magazine has always encouraged you to do and embrace it! Work it! BE AWESOME.
Also, get it right, get it tight.