Why is everyone so afraid of being fat? Is fat really the worst thing one can be? Our society has given us the impression, from both an appearance perspective and a health perspective, that being overweight is one of the worst things in the world. But is this really true? There are certainly worse things one could be, besides fat right?
Like Personal Growth on Facebook
A study conducted in 1991 found that 81% of ten year olds were afraid of being fat! And that was 25 years ago. Today there are so many more sources of pressure for girls and women to look a certain way, I can imagine, probably every single women, at one time or another, has felt the pressure to be thin, or was afraid of gaining weight.
When I was 12 I was diagnosed with anorexia nervosa so I know firsthand how it feels to need to be skinny. I was afraid of being fat so intensely that I basically made it my life’s purpose to stay thin in whatever way possible. I ate only tiny morsels of food a day, exercised for hours, and never sat down in fear I wouldn’t burn enough calories.
Anorexia is an extreme way to lose weight, but most people have some sort of disordered eating without even realizing it. Women in particular might exercise for longer on cardio machines in order to burn a certain number of calories, they might unconsciously fear of eating at a restaurant because they’re not sure what the nutrition facts are, and they might skip meals, telling themselves they’re not hungry or they don’t deserve to eat because they didn’t workout today.
Below are three ways why trying desperately to be thinner might not be the best option in order to be happy.
1. Being Thin Will Not Fit For Everyone
Everyone naturally falls into a specific body type that works for them. Have you ever seen someone after they’ve lost a lot of weight and thought they looked better when they were heavier? I know I have. Sometimes people just look better the way they were supposed to be, and they also feel happier and more alive just living in the body they have, without feeling like they need to change to fit into a certain mold.
2. You’ll Be Happier When You Eat
Eating is a natural instinct for everyone so no wonder diets never seem to work, especially ones that starve your body of essential nutrients. When we don’t provide our bodies with what it needs, we just don’t feel good. Our energy is low which in turn makes our happiness low. When we are enjoying our food and at peace with eating, happiness will follow.
3. Being Okay With How We Look Is Healthy
When we hate our bodies and wish they were different, it brings on a lot of unnecessary stress. I know when I am obsessing over my thighs being too big or my arms jiggling, my stress levels are off the charts and I deplete any energy I had, along with my happiness. Accepting our bodies can release much of our stress, because there are a lot of other more important things to be worries about.
If we’re not skinny, lean, or thin, then we somehow feel we’ve failed and are not good enough. Everywhere we look the message is loud and clear. If we don’t look like this model or that one, then how will we ever make it? No one will like us.
But have you ever met someone and completely been unaware of what they looked like or what they weighed, because they were so nice or funny or made you happy? I know I have. I know plenty of women and men who are overweight by the media standards and are so amazing and talented. They have the greatest personalities and you don’t even care what they look like because you are so captivated by who they are, not what they are.
This is more on the lines of what we should be striving to become. Wouldn’t you want to be known for more than what you look like? Be known for more than your thigh gap or for how thin you look from the side. Be known for how many miles you can run or how you can make amazing meals for your family, or for being a great friend.
There are still some days, even though I call myself recovered, I feel the need to be super thin again, but I stop and question it now. Why am I feeling this way? How will being skinny bring me happiness? Because I know it won’t. Being thin won’t solve any problems, and happiness is more about what’s on the inside anyways.
So I focus my energy on making beautiful artwork and writing. I now make goals based on what I can do with my body, rather than what my body looks like. It’s a lot more peaceful this way.