I know that as a country, we tend to run on the obese side… but don’t let our widening waist lines blind us to the opposite end of the spectrum. Anorexia plagues our nation as well, though maybe more insidiously for it’s media popularity. I recall from my own childhood feeling depressed for quite a while, and as a result, didn’t want to eat much or often. My depression came and went over the years, as did my weight. By my mid teens, I had almost reached my full height of 5′ 5″ but also the greatest degree of my depression of my life, up to that point, and weighed only about 100 pounds. I consider myself fortunate that I didn’t have any personal image hangups and that I had enough maturity that my eating habits and weight caused me rightful concern.
At this point I went on a vacation visiting family and seeing some old stomping grounds, looking to shake off my funk. One weekend during my visit, at a large community gathering, many people I hadn’t seen in years commented on how great I looked, praised my appearance, and warned me that it got harder to stay fit as one aged. I took as much as I could stomach and exited the throngs of people shaking my head, bewildered. “How can they say I look good? I scare me, how can I not scare them?” then it dawned on me, “No wonder people end up anorexic and bulemic, with this kind of reinforcement, it’s hard to turn away from that attention and approval.” I know it’s not good to equate food with love, but at that moment I really needed a hug and a cupcake! And wouldn’t you know it… just then my childhood friend approached me with furrowed brow, asked if everything was ok, and told me that I looked too thin. “THANK YOU!” Said I! I felt relieved knowing someone really did care, even if they didn’t come bearing small confections.
She remains a friend to this day, for obviously good cause. And I happily report that while I could get fitter I have no worries about fatter! I’ve got some healthy reserves, and I’m all woman, not a pre-pubecent stick. So my wish for everyone out there of all sizes to love themselves the way they are, and only if while loving yourself you find that your weight (either too much or too little) worries you, do something about it because you know you’re worth it! Never shape yourself because you fear you aren’t good enough!