waking up skinny

possible trigger re weight loss talk

Remember when you were younger and would go to bed and think, “what if I woke up skinny? Like, what if magic actually exists and I wake up tomorrow morning looking exactly how I wanted to look??” Anyone? No? Was that just me? I remember thinking just how amazing that would be. Well, that question has started to pop back into my head lately and my answer increasingly is, “holy shit that would be amazing.”

As in, sometimes I wish I could magically wake up tomorrow and look like a different person. It just seems like things would be easier.

I’ll just let that sink in for a bit.

What I wouldn’t give to not think that. I feel such shame for thinking that. I HATE that I think that. I don’t even like typing it here. It makes me feel ashamed, feel like a failure, feel like I’ll never get to where I want to be regarding my body image. And shouldn’t I be much further along in this journey, as I started writing publicly about it over two years ago? I know, I know. I answered my own question…this is a journey and some days are better than others.

I have no deep thoughts here, only a renewed promise to post here more often, and that means posting some dark shit sometimes. Folks who know me would likely agree with me when I say that I don’t like it to appear as though I don’t have my life together. I’m much better at being a public mess than I used to be (yay public messes!), but my default is certainly to clam up and be all “lalala, no no, everything is delightful! puppies and rainbows!”

So yes, I’m owning it. Owning the fact that I want to live in a magical world where you could just shut your eyes, open them, and see a thinner person staring back at you. Intellectually I get where this is coming from. I do. I think that if I was skinnier, I would have loads of dates, I would have awesomer clothes, I would I would I would. And clearly there is no use wishing for THAT world, when I live in, you know, the ACTUAL world. But if there’s one thing I learned through this process of fat acceptance (I’m actually starting to not use that phrase as much anymore, but that’s for another post), it’s that trying to suppress the thoughts you wish you weren’t having doesn’t do any good. In fact, it often does more harm than good, so go on, let that shit out! *aaand scene

Update: fabulous reminder from commenter G about the amazing “Fantasy of Being Thin” by Kate Harding. It was one of the first FA blog posts I read, back in 2007. I’m gonna go read it again right now.

6 responses to “waking up skinny

  1. I don’t think there’s anything wrong, or unusual about wanting not to be socially stigmatized. Here’s how I think about it: If I could wake up tomorrow thin, OR I could wake up tomorrow in a non fat-hating world, which would I choose?

    No contest. The non fat-hating world.

    It’s not being fat, per se, that’s hard, at least for most people, it’s how being fat in THIS particular culture feels.

    I used to have the fantasy of waking up thin all the time, especially as a young teen. I remember wanting it so passionately that it made me cry.

    No one told me I could want bigger things, better things. No one told me I could dream of the world changing instead of me.

    I’ve come to the conclusion that it is not physically possible for me to be thin, not if I choose the “sane,” moderate path, not even if choose the most radical, unhealthy, spiritually deadening path. It’s not going to happen for me. And I honestly believe that to be true for most fat people, though I would never presume to tell any particular individual about his or her own body.

    I still believe it’s possible to change the world, though. Even if I don’t live to see it fully transform, I want to be able to say, “I was part of it. I fought for my right to be in this world.”

    But that said: no shame. There is no shame in getting tired of being stigmatized. It’s tiring.

  2. I’m what I’ve heard described as a small fat, at a pretty good place with my body, but… I’d be lying if I didn’t have the gnarly, buff, skinny fantasy. I weigh myself most days because because of non-weight-loss medical issues — if my weight starts destabilizing I need to know. As much as I think I’ve made peace with my body, it’s hard not to feel discouraged when it’s one tick up or smug when it’s one tick down. So, I hear ya. I know I need to focus on my health more than my weight, but it still lurks there sometimes, and the temptation to do less-than-healthy things is there. (Of course, I also have the fabulously wealthy with no facial wrinkles fantasy, and we know how realistic that one is.)

  3. I know how that is. I was that ugly duckling who, instead of growing up to be a beautiful swan, grew up to be a big, fat, ugly duck. It took me until I was 22 to accept that changing from one person with one set of problems into a new person with new problems wasn’t going to fix the problems I already had. It doesn’t change the fact that there are days when I wish I would wake up a thinner person, even though I know that it won’t make all my problems go away. Even if it did, I’d get a whole host of new ones anyway.

  4. When I was a kid, I used to try to make deals with God, some saints, my guardian angel, whatever magic folks were in my busy, crowded Catholic girl pantheon. I would promise that if I woke up 30# lighter, I would do XYZ (some saintly behavior short of becoming a nun).

    Then I would not be able to sleep because of those “mysterious ways”, afraid that I would wake up missing a leg and still fat. God getting the last laugh and teaching me some awful lesson about pride or some equally dickish deity shenanigans. See, I didn’t trust Him. His son, His Mom, Saint Francis…them I trusted. But God the Father, not so much, and He was really the whole package, had total veto power.

    Here I am, decades later, a healthy, fat atheist with both legs. Over years the deities morphed and softened and then just wafted away (a very typical evolution from childhood theism to young mysticism to default agnostic atheism, BTW).

    But that magical thinking about fat disappearing? Or the daydream that science will come up with a way for it to happen? Strong, common fantasies I had for many years. Still have moments when I think “they’d take me seriously , believe me, etc, if I weren’t so damn fat” More often, I think, “Everyone has their own package of dramas and assumptions and I cannot know or change others’ ” and sometimes, I confess, I just think “fuck ‘em”, a short, if misanthropic, techniques to maintain my sanity in a crazygenic society.

  5. Oh, I had those thoughts when I was younger too. I used to cry and pray for it. Good ol’ Fantasy of Being Thin. But it turns out that many of the things I thought I would have being thin, I can work towards without needing to change my body. So I get to make my own magic now, rather than hoping for someone else to do it for me :)

  6. i like your puppies and rainbows, but also your dark days and your public messes. :) it’s just a reminder of what a lovely, deep person you are.

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