Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Skinny

There's this thing that people say and they think it's a compliment.  "You're so skinny!"  Often, it's not said in a tone like when you say to someone, "your hair looks awesome!"  I have found the skinny comment often comes with a snide tone and some judgement.   On the opposite side of that, it's not at all socially acceptable to say to someone, "you're so fat!"  Here's a thought on this; maybe we stop making it our business what other people look like.  The body's natural state is balance, so obviously an obese person or someone who is super skinny is probably not in a healthy, balanced place whether that is from physical illness, genetics, diet, emotional trauma or the result of trauma of any kind.  How do you know if the super skinny person isn't going through chemo?  Or maybe has experienced a bad break up or the death of a loved one or some other life stress that has caused them to lose their appetite?  How do you know if the obese person isn't sick, or hurt him/herself and can't exercise, or  is literally eating to heal their soul?

My weight has fluctuated a lot since college.  I'm 5'3" and in college weighed 145 lbs.  I thought I was fat.  Looking back I was just a college athlete who was in super great shape because I played field hockey and lacrosse and ran a lot.  I weighed more then because I was basically solid muscle and beer.  After college I lost about ten pounds and struggled for years to lose another ten, always thinking I was fat.  I started an acting career, moved to Los Angeles and lost another ten pounds.  I still thought I was fat.  I exercised often, pushing myself and pushing myself.  Along came adrenal fatigue, lyme disease and breast cancer.  Now I was losing weight at an alarming rate.  At my thinnest I was about to drop below 100 lbs and felt like I was literally wasting away.  I also felt the worst I had ever felt in my life.  Talk about a wake up call!  So I have been on both sides of the equation; looking at super skinny women and thinking, "look at that skinny chick, she's probably anorexic," (judgement on my part) and being told "look at you, ooh, you're so skinny, you need to eat something" (judgement on their part).

I'm proposing that if you need to say something to someone about their appearance, don't speak unless you can genuinely say, "You look so healthy.  You must take great care of yourself!"  Because that is really what it should be all about.   

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