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The Thin Fantasy

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I have pretty much always been fat. When I was a child, I was both fat and tall – a nightmare for a shy girl who just wanted to blend in. I came to accept my fat self and am much happier for it, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t sometimes have those fleeting “What if?” thoughts.

Kate Harding at Shapely Prose calls it the “the fantasy of being thin” . You promise yourself when you get “skinny” you’ll wear that dress, you’ll show your legs, you’ll go swimming, you’ll start asking out people you’re attracted to.

While it is very rare for me nowadays to have those thoughts, they crop up from time to time. Sometimes, the situation I find myself in has nothing to do with it and other times, it has everything to do with it. If I’m with a set of (lovely) friends, who are all much smaller than I am. At the beach. Sitting on a seat on a crowded train or bus.

They creep in. I usually can push them right the hell out and challenge them – “What’s to stop you from going to the beach?” “What’s to stop you from asking out that person?” “Nothing”. “So do it”.

Sometimes, my depression and anxiety gang up on me and I can’t block these thoughts out, even with the challenges I put to myself. When that happens, I try and ride through it. I mostly try and remind myself of all the good things, but sometimes I’ll let myself wallow.

She is so right:

“the Fantasy of Being Thin is not just about becoming small enough to be perceived as more acceptable. It is about becoming an entirely different person – one with far more courage, confidence, and luck than the fat you has.”

Like somehow, this magical, confident outspoken thin person will burst forth from this shy, reclusive introverted fat person. I will always be the way that I am. I’m not going to become a person who is comfortable in jeans, who can walk in stilettos, who is good at public speaking. I wouldn’t be them at a size 6 and I’m definitely not them at a 16. Accepting myself as MYSELF and living the only life I’ve been given to live, not making up excuses and not thinking “Well, what’s the point?” is something that is damned hard. But you know what? It’s worth it. I’m happier now than I was then. It’s my life and I want to live it.

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5 thoughts on “The Thin Fantasy

  1. Sonya – I have been a size 14 and now I am a size 6-8. The Fantasy of Being Thin still plagues me on my uncertain days. It is an evil construct generated by our mind (most often when we are pre-menstrual). The only thing that helps me to banish it is to remind myself that my body works and that it works well. This is something that only occurred to me once I had children. I remember hanging down in some yoga pose and looking at the fat bits on my inner thighs. Then I laughed and remembered how my fat thighs held me up in a birthing squat position even after an epidural. After that, I determined, to be a little less gentle with myself.

  2. I think that is such a good philosophy, being kinder to ourselves and reminding ourselves of what our bodies can do and achieve!

  3. Some years ago I lost a lot of weight and went from a size 26 to a size 16/18. I wasn’t “thin” but there was a whole lot less of me than there had been before. Life didn’t get better. I didn’t get healthier, or happier. I didn’t meet Mr Right. In fact, I was far less healthy, miserable and dated a complete douchebag.

    I am now back up to that size 26. Life is good. I am happy and healthy. The right kind of guy gets my attention. And I don’t have to punish myself to get here.

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