I over heard this comment in an exchange between two friends. And without the mindfulness that I was sitting there, they laughed at the joke and continued on. The comment jolted me and I immediately took offense. Why would you say that in front of someone who was so sick and lost so much weight? I thought it was insensitive and it hurt my feelings. But I put it to the back of my mind and continued on with the evening.
Once I was home I processed the comment a bit further. It was not meant as offensive and had no direction towards me what so ever. So why was I so upset? Instead of offense and anger my emotions turned to sadness. And I thought about the magnitude of that process of loosing so much weight in such an unhealthy way. I remembered how it felt to be so thin from being so sick and people tell me how GREAT I looked.
I lost close to 30 pounds from being so sick. And I think I was so upset because not once during that time did I feel beautiful or confident in my body. That kind of skinny is not the skinny I would wish on anyone.
Sick skinny looks frail. Sick skinny looks tired. Sick skinny looks pale. Sick skinny has bags under her eyes and sunken in cheekbones. Sick skinny looks badly dressed. Sick skinny has thin hair. Sick skinny looks weak.
I was not thin because I ate healthy and exercised. I was thin because I could not keep food in. I was thin because a hospital bed eats away at muscle. I was so thin that I bought an entire new summer wardrobe. I was so thin and my legs were so weak that I fell down a flight of stairs, making my next hospital visit excruciating because of a bruised bum.
Sick skinny feels frail. Sick skinny feels tired. Sick skinny feels self-conscious. Sick skinny feels out of breath. Sick skinny feels shaky. Sick skinny feels cold. Sick skinny feels nauseous. Sick skinny feels like everyone is staring. Sick skinny feels embarrassing.
So before I dealt with this comment I woke up and went to the gym. I will never be able to change the way other people feel about their own body or how other people judge my body. But I can take these hard moments in strides and change my perspective on how to handle them. I no longer strive for skinny, but I strive for healthy and hopefully one day strong. And my one friend reminded me that this blog is personal and about the raw emotion so use that fire to fuel the inspiration. And to WRITE.
So to my dearest friends: I hope you never feel sick skinny. I hope you never wish for sick skinny. I hope you love your healthy bodies, every pound gained or lost. I hope you love your bodies so much that you don’t care what the hell people think of them. Because everyBODY has extra baggage. ❤