Today, I’m picking up a comment that a dear old friend recently left on a previous post about health/dieting (Hello T, so lovely to hear from you and hope you’re well, big bises xxx)
Here’s the bit of his comment that I loved most:
When I am chubby and I see someone thin and lean and I think: I must get back to that shape, I want to look “just like that”!
Then, when I am thin, I keep meeting these chubby people that are so successful and charismatic and exude confidence, and I think: see, you no need to strain yourself to be thin, you can enjoy food and extra sleep (the sleep you must take from to go to the gym lah), be chubby and be totally cool and attractive.
And really, that’s exactly how it is, isn’t it? We see an attractive person, whatever their size, and we instantly think “Oh, I wish I could be like them!”
This means that if it’s someone thin, we think we must get down to that same thinness and attain that same toned, muscly mass to be just as “beautiful”. We have only steamed vegetables and tofu for our next meal.
If that someone is the same size as us or bigger, we suddenly think that we too could do with a few more pounds around our butt and waist; that if we could make ourselves just a little rounder – ahem, curvier – then we’d be just as desirable as them too. We make sure our next meal’s a calorie-rich one.
The stupid thing of course is that fatness or thinness doesn’t actually have anything to do with that person that we’ve just suddenly taken to be our new beauty idol. Look, there are also plenty of fat and thin people, probably exactly the same size and build as this new gorgeous person, that we have found hideous and revolting, who we wouldn’t want to look like in the slightest.
So it’s really got nothing to do with size, has it?
That fat or thin person’s caught our eye not because of what dress size they’re got on or whether they look good in Lycra, but because, just like that T said in his comment, they’re “successful and charismatic and exude confidence.” There’s that wonderful paradox again – they’re beautiful, simply because they’re not worrying about being beautiful. They’re successful, charismatic and confident about a whole lot of other things, and worrying about which belt notch they’re hooking certainly isn’t one of them.
If we keep doing this to ourselves, we’ll never look as good as we want – for just as we’ve reached our ideal size – whether it’s to fatten up or skinny down – we’re bound to find someone else who’s a different size. And that delightful battle of hating our bodies will start all over again.
So here’s an alternative for all the self-loathers out there like myself. A credo, as it were: Let’s start right where we are – fat, thin, just-right, all the in-betweens. And let’s remember those exact three words that T picked up on – successful, charismatic and confidence – none of which depend on size to be realised.
Let’s work on that and become exactly that thin/fat person that someone else will look at and think, “”Oh, I wish I could be like them!” not for what our clothes’ label says but for what we exude.
Thanks T, for the great words. I hope you know that to me, you have always been those three words. (And size? pah, I’d not noticed anything other than the fact that you’re taller than me, and only because I have to stand on tiptoe each time I give you a hug!)