Written By: Fiona Stockard
“I am not eccentric! It’s just that I am more alive than most people. I am an unpopular electric eel, set in a pond of Goldfish!” – Damn Edith Sitwell
I spent a lot of my youth trying desperately to fit in. Big surprise, right?
People would ask me what kind of music I listened to and I’d say Dave Matthews Band, Dispatch, or some other easy answer. Really, I liked show tunes. Total dork, huh? But that was me!
Why lie about who I was (or who I am)? I think it came from a sort of gut level need to fit in, to be normal, to be accepted. As my parents will gladly tell you, I was never normal!
We’re All Like Special Snowflakes
Okay, that’s kind of corny, but it’s totally true! What makes us, as human beings, special? It’s our uniqueness and differences. Often, this uniqueness gets pushed aside so we can fit in. That’s one way that eating disorders can pop up.
As women, we’re pressured towards what we should look like. The perfect body. The perfect girl. Let’s face it, not everyone’s body is supposed to be a size two! In fact, most people aren’t supposed to be a size two. Guess what? That’s okay! We should celebrate our bodies, whatever size they may take. We should celebrate what makes us different and unique!
We, as women, are beautiful in all shapes and sizes. Why not try to accept our beautiful colors, textures, shapes, and sizes? Why not stop trying to squeeze into something we’re not?
Like a lot of women, I’ve spent a lot of time hating my thighs. I think they’re too big, even though, rationally, I know they’re not. I spent years doing everything I could to achieve that ever elusive thigh gap! It wasn’t until I met a woman who’d recovered from her eating disorder that I started to think differently.
This woman, who really was more like a saint, asked me one simple question. “What if you didn’t have legs? Wouldn’t you do anything to get back your so-called fat legs,” she asked. That really switched my perspective around.
A Drastic Change in Thinking
Eventually, I went to treatment at an all women’s eating disorder treatment program, then followed it up with aftercare and twelve-step involvement. It was only then that I was able to “put down the bat” and stop hating myself.
Through what I learned, I was able to embrace my uniqueness. Well, I was able to begin to embrace my uniqueness. After all, this recovery gig is a lifelong process.
I began to realize I don’t have fat thighs at all! It’s funny how our thinking can become so distorted. I began to accept and understand that fat isn’t a feeling and that normal is only a setting on dryers!
So remember, real women have thighs. Real women are pear-shaped. Real women have cellulite. Real women eat dark chocolate. Real women enjoy life! If we were all the same, then we’d all be boring!