Monday, June 4, 2012

How Thin is "Thin Enough?"'s no secret by now that I have some issues with my own body image.  For me, it is not "okay" to be overweight.  When I have extra fat on my body, I am not beautiful... well... at least when looking through my own 'beer goggles' (as they say)... that's what I think.

Right now, I'll be honest, I weigh pretty close to what I weighed when I was in high school.  I've never been ultra thin.  Only a couple of times have I even fit into a traditional size 6 and had room to spare.  I remember looking at girls in high school and being so jealous at how thin they were.  To me, they were beautiful because of their size. 

I grew up in a large family and have nine sisters.  Yes, you heard it right... my parents had ten girls... NO BOYS!!! (Talk about an ABUNDANCE of 'horror'-mones!)  The majority of my sisters and my mother are what many would call overweight.  It's been that way since childhood, which is where I know issues with my own body image began.

I do have a couple of sisters that are much more petite than I am, and when they would step on the scale, they would be 115 or 125 pounds.  Me?  When I hit 131 pounds a couple years ago, I had several people ask if I was becoming anorexic.  But, confusingly enough (and yes... I just made up that word), the number is what I focused on.  Young me in high school heard girls complaining about being 125, and all I could think of is... I'm 142.  I must be FAT!

I think most women and yes... even men... have a number on how thin is "thin enough."  For me?  Now that I'm out of High School and I've had five children, my number is 135.  My ideal weight?  131.  That's the perfect number.  If I get to 131 pounds, then I don't have to worry about which pose to make for the camera, because nothing is exaggerated so much that I think I look 'fat.'
Talking with some friends this week, I've seen that we all seem to have our own 'beer goggles' or should I say 'body goggles', where we look at ourselves with a distorted vision and assume that we're never 'thin enough.'  At least... that's what the world thinks... right?  We fall out of touch with reality.  Essentially, it comes back to that magic number.  The perfect number... the perfect size that we are aiming for.  
You know what's really funny?  In the past, I've been larger than I am now (especially after having babies) and couldn't wait to get back to my current size (which is 145).  Before, 145 was definitely 'thin enough.'  But now that I'm here... it's not good enough.  I still need to get back to that perfect number.  Nothing above it will suffice... at least that's what my 'body goggles' tell me.

So, really... how thin is 'thin enough'???  Honestly?  The answer is simple.  It all comes back down to body image.  (Doesn't everything???  Ugh...)  Being thin will never be good enough if I can't accept the body I've been given and realize that I'm loved and beautiful regardless of my size.  Skinny doesn't equal pretty.  It's soooo easy to therapatize myself on this issue. (Yes... I LOVE this new made-up word ;)

In all seriousness... I actually love who I am.  (A first for me in many regards.)  Now I just need to focus on learning how to love the body I'm blessed with.  Then maybe I'll finally reach the point where numbers won't matter. 

They say that the 'furthest distance a man has to travel is the eighteen inches from his head to his heart.'  I get this, and am eager for the day when my heart will finally come to realize that I am beautiful because of it's size... not the number on the scale.


  1. Yeah, I am finally back to 130 and that seems to be the right weight for me too. Problem is I just can't help thinking "five more pounds..." every time I reach my goal weight. My other problem is I finally get to the point where I can reasonably lose weight only to find that when you're 50 you need to leave a couple pounds on, otherwise you start looking OLD, lol!

    1. 130 would be a DREAM! LOL I guess it's always good to have a little baby weight, eh? And last time I checked... you don't look old, Cathy... You're pretty timeless :)

  2. Great Blog, Michelle. I am struggling right now with feeling overwhelmed as a mom with all the extra weight I have from the kids. I think there is a natural tendency to give up and just be "content" but I know that the extra weight comes with a lack of confidence because I am not who I am called to be or want to be. Pray for me as I start weight watchers this week. I have done South Beach in the past, but having a nursing baby who has dairy allergies is too tough on South Beach. I am hoping that I am able to stick with it and encourage myself. =) Moms like yourself are so encouraging for me. I, too, look at my mom's side of the family and see how heavy they are. I know I need to get a regular diet/exercise regimen down before it becomes too hard. =)

    1. So sweet, Tammi! Thanks for your encouragement. Sometimes it's really hard to put myself out there like that... but it does help me to process. :)

      I hear you and know exactly how you feel. It wasn't until after my fourth that I finally figured out a diet that worked for me. Without following a diet, I would get too caught up in feeding everyone else that I wouldn't take special care of myself.

      You can do it, Tammi... when I started mine, I had a support system of my sisters so I could call them when I was tempted to eat something unhealthy or to cheat. It's really hard with an infant right now, but on a good day, I put diet and exercise above other priorities because when I'm happy and confident... everything just seems to get better! Prayers... and good luck :)

  3. Forget all the haters. You beautiful, baby!