Ten years of my life were robbed by the need to be thin, but over the last two years specifically, I learned exactly why being thin won’t make you happy and finally learned what real happiness feels like. I started finding thin appealing when boys in middle school started noticing body properties of girls, and later in high school when super thin female celebrities or thin, pretty girls in school were the ideal for all guys I knew. As I listened to them talk about these women and how much they adored them, I found myself not feeling good enough. Though I was often seen as popular, pretty and someone who had a good body, I saw myself very differently. I suffered from rocky relationships with most men in my life and boys were no different. I was always trying to please everyone with my looks, my grades, my attitude, while inside being so insecure about myself. I learned many things about being thin, and gaining happiness was never one of them. Find out why being thin won’t make you necessarily make you happy, and how instead, the desire to be thin can rob you of the real thing. I’m not saying that those of you who are naturally thin can’t be happy, so please don’t misconstrue my words. What I’m talking about here is the obsession to be thin, and how that robs you of your happiness. Women can be thin and healthy, or thin and unhealthy. Thin doesn’t mean you’re unhappy or unhealthy, but not being thin doesn’t mean that either.
1. It Won’t Give You Security
Being thin does not mean being secure or safe, and one reason why being thin won’t make you happy is because it always gives you a false sense of security, yet never delivers. For me, I thought if I was thin enough, I would feel secure in my image and I would be thought of as “right” by keeping control over an area of my life like food and body weight. Being obsessed with being in control of your weight does not make you secure or safe. It only drives you mad, steals your joy and takes away your self esteem.
2. It is a Constant Battle
Being thin doesn’t automatically make you a better person, help you make more money, deliver eternal salvation or give you an armor against pain. It only gives you a low number on a scale that you have to constantly work to keep up with or maintain. This constant battle becomes a mental nightmare, and a constant worry that if you don’t stay thin, people will think you let yourself go. That’s nonsense!
3. It Takes the Focus off Health
Some people can eat healthy and remain thin. For others, no matter how healthy they eat, medical issues and genetics interfere. We shouldn’t equate thin to healthy, or thin to sick. Thin is simply a description of a body, just like sexy, curvy, healthy, etc. When you equate thin to happiness, it takes the focus off health and more onto physical obsessions. Eat for your health by eating nourishing, clean foods to fuel your body. This is what health is about, not what number you see on the scale each day.
4. It Won't Give You Friends
Just because you’re thin doesn’t mean more people will like you or you’ll have more friends. In fact, when I was the thinnest I have ever been in my life, I had less friends. This was because my life revolved around being thin and I literally made no time for friends. Don’t assume that once you lower your jean size, you’ll have more friends. The obsession to do so might just make you lose the ones you have.
5. It Won’t Make You Beautiful
Being thin won’t make you beautiful, and beautiful should have nothing to do with a weight anyway. Many of us perceive thin as beautiful, but instead, we should be seeing fit, healthy and happy as beautiful. Real happiness comes from our attitude towards life, a healthy body that gives to others, and taking care of ourselves because we love ourselves, not just because we’re trying to fit into an image. Most men found me less attractive when I weighed my lowest and found me more attractive at my highest weight. Though I never believed this, it was true. Don’t let your body weight revolve around what a man thinks of you. Take care of it for yourself and no one else.
6. It Creates an Illusion
Being thin creates an illusion for most of us, that the less of us, the better. Why is that? I had one thin friend in high school who was actually insecure about being so thin, so why did I automatically assume that being thin would make me happy? See, the answer here is in the word illusion. We have this illusion that the less of us the better, or if you’re naturally thin, you may believe that gaining weight will make you happy. I’m here to tell you neither one does and I’ve done both many times in my life. The illusion behind weighing a certain amount and being happy is nothing more than an illusion. Don’t be blinded by this deception, girls! You’re so much smarter than that!
7. It Doesn’t Give You Intimacy
You want to know what really makes us happy? Genuine intimacy with others, or having quality relationships with others. The happiest I’ve ever been in my life has been the times I’ve felt closest to those around me whom I love. That is real happiness. Happiness can also come with an intimacy with yourself, where you accept yourself for who you are and enjoy just being you. You can’t create happiness or intimacy by becoming thin and if anyone in your life convinces you that you need to be in order to feel loved or be happy, consider who you’re spending your time with.
Happiness is a choice, not a number on a scale, and being thin will not automatically grant you the capability to find happiness. Choosing happiness is about accepting yourself, with flaws and all and being a giving, honest person who lives life to the fullest. Taking care of yourself is very important too, and I'm all about being healthy. I just don't equate being healthy or thin to being the only way I find happiness anymore. I promise you, real happiness is a better feeling than obsessing over seeing my waistline decrease ever thought about being. Have you ever let body image obsession steal your happiness?