How do you stay thin?
The question asked a thousand times
I don't eat.
If you want to know the truth.
Women feel obligated to take up less space. This is one, among many, reasons I have felt, as I do. I remember the precise minute when I went from being a free-spirited young girl to that statement from a well-intended family friend saying, "don't eat at night, that is why you are getting so heavy". I wasn't “heavy" until that moment. Now I bear the weight of judgment.
It stuck with me.
Do you remember the first time you were made aware of your imperfect body? What was your story? A snide comment, a tv show, a passing exchange? When did you go from loving yourself to seeing your body as an enemy?
For those skeptics, yes, I can just eat. Yes, I should stop caring, but the thing is, I can't. As much as I want to, I can't.
My entire day is focused on how much I weigh. When I look in the mirror, I remind myself that if today I can just restrain myself and not eat, I will feel better and my confidence will be higher the next day.
On the days that I barely eat, I feel proud. on the days when my hungry body wakes me up in the middle of the night and I eat, I feel ashamed.
I feel that when things are out of control, the only thing I can control is what goes into my mouth. I know this is the completely wrong way to gain some semblance of control. I know that I could create something. I could paint, write a poem, organize my house but none of these things seem to work.
When I am thin, people notice. People comment on how great I look, on how nice my figure is. People open more doors; they offer free things. It is as if being this Is viewed as one of the most important things a person can be. This kind of attention is addictive but also makes me incredibly sad.
Women seem to fade into oblivion the older we get. The old value placed on us, in a patriarchal society, has never really changed in ways. It is just not talked about. You see it often, the women that have any positions of power tend to be thin. Thinness shows that you have control, that you are dependable that you are worthy of the position. No one wants an out-of-control woman in power! But uncontrollable men are viewed as men standing up for what they believe in and not backing down. I am sure you can instantly think of a few of this particular type.
How many ads, movies, and T.V shows have you seen that show a beautiful, thin, young woman with an overweight, balding man? Take a moment, I am sure you can think of many. So, I mean I come upon this view of my body honestly. I am not choosing to feel this way, and I bet neither are you.
How often do I think about my weight? How often do I think about food? Every damn day. Everyday! All this energy spent thinking about something that, in many ways, is irrelevant. And a bigger question yet, why can I not stop? There are moments when I look in the mirror and I see beauty. It is almost like I am seeing myself through someone else’s eyes. If I don’t focus on little things and look at myself, my whole self I mean. It’s an odd sensation to have a flicker of what you really look like.
No matter what size a person is, I have a feeling, many of us feel this way. Many of us see value in thinness. Many of us cringe when we get that ad for a weight scale that “measures your body fat” or tights that promise to make your ass look great.
So, when you ask me how I stay so thin... that is how.
I don’t eat.
If you want to know the truth.
We need to stop asking this question.