Accidentally Skinny (and why I hate the bathroom scale)
Recently something completely unplanned has begun to happen to my body and it’s washed up a tangle of old, forgotten demons that I have worked pretty hard to cut out of my life. I’ve been losing weight. Before you roll your eyes at this and say, “Bitch, pleeeease, you’re fucking skinny and you have always been skinny and just shut up because no one wants to hear the pity party of a skinny chick.” I implore you to just hold off on your eye rolling for a couple of paragraphs and read what I have to say.
I hadn’t weighed myself in about a year, and then the other day I found myself in a room with a scale. Not weighing myself is a very conscious decision, because there is nothing that number will ever tell me that will benefit me, my happiness or my love for my body. Less than I expected? Ok, cool, maybe I shouldn’t eat that extra handful of M&M’s and try to keep it here. More than I expected? Err, maybe I shouldn’t eat that extra handful of M&M’s and try to drop it a little bit. Either way, when I see that number flash between my feet, nothing good comes of it. Whatever the result, I start second guessing that handful of M&M’s and let’s face it, that just sucks.
So when I stepped onto the scale and realized that somehow I’d lost a significant amount of weight between what my brain-number told me I was and what the bright red number at my feet yelled back at me, I was kind of in shock. I knew that my clothing had seemed a little loose, but I blamed that on the whole, “clothing stretches out and all of my shit is pretty old,” school of thought and ignored it when my jeans didn’t fit.
And then, shortly after the realization that I was no longer weighed “blank”, but rather “other blank”, I got stomach flu and could hardly eat for a week straight. That, coupled with some personal stress and hard shit at the moment left my pants not simply loose, but falling-off-my-now-nonexistent-ass loose. And at this point you may be thinking, “Um, ok, no offense but how does losing weight make you start hating your body?” Let me elaborate on that right about now.
There’s this thought that creeps into the back of my mind when I perceive myself as “skinny” that starts whispering things to me. It tells me that if I stay skinny, I’ll be prettier. If I stay skinny, I’ll be happier. If I even get a little bit skinnier, I’ll be so beautiful that everyone in the world will adore me. I can buy new clothes. I can be a new size with a smaller number and my pelvic bone will stick out from underneath my dress instead of my tummy being the bulge against the fabric. My fingers will look long and delicate and strangers will look at me as I pass by in the street and think, “That woman is so beautiful, so fragile, so lovely. That woman is perfection.”
And though I know those voices aren’t true, they make me look at my world differently. I begin to subconsciously do things like decide I don’t need breakfast that day, coffee is good enough. Or a few small spoonfuls of ice cream is a perfect lunch, because I’m fragile and thin and don’t need to eat a real meal anymore. These things in my brain, they twist and grow and wrap themselves around other thoughts until they become so intertwined with my self-image, I start looking at myself in the mirror and disliking the girl staring back at me.
And that, my friends, is total and complete bullshit. I was fucking gorgeous before I lost weight, and I’m fucking gorgeous right now. I have been beautiful, wonderful and perfect at any and every weight I’ve watched my body transition through. There wasn’t a thing in the world wrong with me before I lost weight, and stress, sickness and lack of self-care have somehow wrapped themselves up in my brain to try to convince me that they are good things, that their result is a better version of me. I don’t want a better version of me. I want my squishy tummy back.
I don’t want to second guess that handful of M&M’s, I don’t want my pelvis to jut out against my clothes, and I don’t want strangers to use the circumference of my waist as a metric on which to judge my importance, desirability or worth as a human being. I want to love the girl in the mirror and smile at the rolls on her tummy and fit happily into whatever clothing size fits that day regardless of the number that’s printed on the tag. I don’t want to let those voices tell me that anything in my life will be better because there is less of me. My life is awesome, and it has been for a long time. My size and my weight should have nothing in the world to do with who I am, what I do or how much I love myself.
So maybe I’ll gain it back. So what? Maybe I won’t. So what to that too! I am determined to love the hell out of myself regardless of that bright red number glaring up at me from a bathroom scale and treat my body with love, respect and adoration no matter what size or shape is takes on that month. I will not let those voices convince me that I am better right now than I was a year ago because of a superfluous thing like a bathroom scale. I will not let those thoughts ruin the confidence and stability I’ve built within myself throughout my life. I am determined to love that girl in the mirror no matter what she looks like that day and I’ll feed her breakfast if she’s hungry and buy her clothing she likes no matter what size it represents. I have made a promise to myself to love that girl, and no matter what my brain dredges up to use against me, I will not stop.
I love this - and it’s something I definitely need to do better at taking to heart.
England—Just four days old and 2.5 inches long, an abandoned hoglet—as baby hedgehogs are often called—snuggles up to a folded towel at a rescue center in Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent. Warmth and cleanliness are vital to keeping the tiny animals healthy.
Photo by Phil Yeomans, Bournemouth News and Picture Service
(Source: National Geographic)
"26 Scarlet Letters"
These are so so great.
Tired swimmer rescued in Finland
During the first weekend of November, a Finnish man was kayaking on a lake in a thick fog. He saw something floating in the water, and when he got closer he saw that it was a Northern Hawk-Owl. It was clearly exhausted and the man lifted it out of the freezing water onto the tip of his kayak. The owl then crawled to his lap for warmth and burrowed under his lifejacket.
Since his original destination was too far away, the man decided to head for a nearby art museum on the lake shore. Once there he was eagerly assisted by both visitors and a museum guide, who took the bird in to rest and dry up next to a warm stove. At the end of the day the owl had recovered and was released back into the wild.
How the owl ended up in the lake in the first place remains a mystery. It may have got lost in the fog, or have been driven out to the lake by Hooded Crows (if a flock spots a predatory bird they tend to chase it away quite aggressively).
(This is my summarized translation of the article which is only available in Finnish. No copyright infringement is intended, only sharing this to celebrate the brave little owl and all the people who helped him.)
Go, kayaker! And go, owl!
This makes me feel so happy!