I’ve been talking a lot about how despite all of the work I’ve done around my relationship with food and my body, I still have times when I wish I was thinner. I don’t like that I have that desire, and I’ve accepted it, though I’m not acting on it.
On one particularly rough body image day recently, I went on Facebook at night and looked at all of my pictures–from high school all the way to today. And I wasn’t doing this to reminisce–I looked at my pictures to see how my body has changed over the years. With every click, I scrutinized my body, compared it to how my body looks today, and even said to myself, “Ug if only I was that thin now.”
I stayed up until 1am doing cyberstalking myself and scrutinizing my body in every picture. And since I was up so late, I didn’t wake up on time for work the next morning. For the rest of the day, I felt tired and unmotivated, which overrode my plans to work out and smash my work goals–all because I wanted to be thin.
If I had just felt my feelings that night and spent some quality, present time with myself, instead of stalking myself on Facebook and going deeper into body image chaos, I most likely would have gone to bed at a decent time, woken up more refreshed, and had the energy to work out and perform at a high level at work.
Do you see how a desire to be thin, which we’re told will make our lives better, actually leads us to take actions that make our lives worse?
A desire to be thin depletes us of the time, money, and energy that we could be using to make other areas in our lives more fulfilling, like our relationships, work performance, sense of peace and contentment, etc. A desire to be thin leads us to make less healthful decisions, like sacrificing sleep (and then work and exercise the next day) to scrutinize our body.
Check yourself right now. What actions has your desire to be thin led you to? Have they lead you to an increased sense of well-being and happiness, or have they led you to anxiety and dissatisfaction?