Not Skinny by Design

This post is a long time coming. I’ve written about my eating disorder history a handful of times already. I’ve also written a lot about how I’m on a journey of positivity and self-love. I’ve had more snafus with relapses this year than I’d like to admit. Bulimia and eating disorders can consume you like an addiction.

What I need to address are a few topics that have been swirling in my mind lately. I want to start with what “not being skinny by design” means. I’m not naturally skinny, and becoming thin takes a lot of effort and restriction for me. That’s what I mean by not skinny by design.

First, BMI is a load of crap. Second, for me to get to my BMI and sustain that small of a weight, I’d be jeopardizing my mental and physical health again. After treatment for my ED and seeing more doctors than I can count, I need to accept that I am not skinny by design. Some may think that is bullshit, but those people will also disagree with my next statement. I don’t believe that everyone is meant to be skinny.

Bigger Picture

It’s not just one instance that made me want to talk about how I am finally learning to love my curves- because it’s still an everyday battle. But there are a few recent experiences I want to share.

Between toxic, off-handed comments and the negative side effects of social media, my positivity is running low. It’s hard to love yourself with a million other people telling you not to. It’s especially hard when it’s shoved down your throat that everyone should and could be skinny. Thanks, diet-culture.

I can promise you that my body is not meant to be a size 2. I could get back to that point with hours of daily exercise, restriction, and “clean eating”. I could also go back to being that size with purging, but I want to love my body as it is. It’s time that I love my body without punishing it.

With my health history and hospital stays, I can promise you that I know my body will not be that small and still be healthy at the same time. I don’t care what BMI says or what basis diet-culture has, not everyone is meant to be skinny. Skinny and healthy mean two different things.

Not Trying to “Get My Body Back

I want to mention that for over a decade, I had no clue what my body looked like naturally and without purging or severe restriction. Honestly, I had no clue what my body type even was. Everyone in my family, except for my mom, is different. There’s curves in all shapes and sizes, but for years, I refused to allow my curves to live. I zeroed in on the skinny examples around me and strived to look like that.

I didn’t know what my body looked like without purging up until I decided I wanted to be healthy and have a family. Going from bulimia to a small window of recovery to being pregnant was one of the most difficult periods in my life. I also had kids only a year apart, so I struggled with what my body looked like without my ED and without pregnancy. It took some time, but I found it. I found my healthy.

Made for Curves

I avoided Instagram for my blog for a long time, because I don’t like people assuming I “want my body back” after kids. I’m still bombarded with people asking if I want to change the way my body looks as a mom. As moms, the pressure on our bodies is unbelievably ridiculous.

It’s okay to not want to push out babies and go back to abs. My abs were achieved wrong the first time around anyway. Yes, I’m insulted that 27 new Instagram bloggers send me messages everyday about being in their damn boot camps.

I don’t want to drink or sell any shake. Also, I don’t want weight loss supplements or to workout over FaceTime in an accountability group. What I do want is to love my body, and that doesn’t mean being the target of those who assume I’m unhappy with the skin I’m in. If you love those groups and products, good for you, but stop assuming others want to be a different size. Happiness isn’t and shouldn’t be correlated to weight.

No Body Shame

I don’t think those skinny women plastered on social media should go eat cheeseburger.” I think all shaming, skinny or fat, is wrong. I think all bodies are beautiful, but it’s hard to feel as beautiful when people constantly mix up skinny and healthy.

I understand that some people think that being plus-size isn’t healthy, but then again, I don’t care what those people think. I’ve seen doctors. I’ve seen nutritionists. I know what is good for my body and whether or not I’m healthy. I know curvy women who are more fit and workout and eat better than some skinny women.

Size just does not always equate to health. Coming from a family that has many overweight people, I understand there are always exceptions, so I’m not here to argue. I’m here to say that health can be at any size, because healthy looks different for every body.

There’s a bit of truth seeded in jest.

People still makes jokes about my body. Some think it’s lighthearted and all in good fun. But that doesn’t mean it’s right. This past week my mom commented on how I had absolutely no butt in highschool but that I definitely had one now. Did it hurt, you’re damn right it did. Did I call her on it? Nope. I get told that I’m too sensitive, because when people are just teasing. Rather than speaking up and starting a fight, I’m learning to let these types of things roll off my curvy backside.

I use humor to hide, so I know that sometimes, there is truth in sarcasm and joking. As much as I try to laugh off body and weight comments, I have to try equally as hard to get them out of my head later on. It’s a difficult process- trying to push a positive self image of yourself even if you don’t always believe it.

Find Beauty Without Numbers

I hate that fad diets exist. Diet-Culture in general can be absurd and awful. It took years for me to find my healthy balance and what works for my body. What most people forget is that you have to have a healthy mind too. If I’m in a bad place mentally, my body is out of whack. Body and mind need to co-exist in a healthy bubble together.

Constantly, I need to remind myself that healthy isn’t always working out and restricting. Again, one of the biggest problems is that weight-loss is associated so closely with what healthy means. It’s hard to find what heathy means me to me individually, but I know it’s not interchanging words like healthy and skinny.

The separation of size and health is what’s going to help me learn to love and accept my curves. We should find our beauty without numbers. Some of us aren’t skinny by design, because we might be made for curves.

I don’t want my constant goal in life to be chasing some ideal after picture. My journey is going to be more than numbers of pounds lost. Everyone has a different journey, so why follow a design that is so one sided? I’m not skinny by design. I’m beautiful by design.

-With Love,

Jenni

19 thoughts on “Not Skinny by Design”

  1. Girl … You are STRONG & You are BEAUTIFUL 💕 you’re right! Not everyone is meant to be skinny and in all honesty, being skinny isn’t what makes you pretty. Losing weight only makes you lighter. It doesn’t make you kinder, smarter, more creative, more passionate, more determined or happier!
    Stay Strong and keep inspiring people! This was actually a very inspiring post !!
    https://jessierenea.com/7-healthy-benefits-of-using-a-planner/

  2. Great, heart-felt piece. You are right. Not everyone is meant to be a 2 or should be the same size. How boring would that be?

    Btw, I hate those boot camp bloggers too. I’m contacted daily. Nope. Not interested. Leave me alone. 🤣

  3. Yesssss! Oh my goodness I love this so much!!! I think it’s so important for people to understand that everyone has their own body type and that it may not be skinny. I’ve never been what you would consider skinny. I’m pretty tall and even when I ran cross country I still wasn’t as thin as I wanted to be. After having kids I’ve realized that I would MUCH rather be healthy and be comfortable in who I am than try to fit into a ridiculous mold that is just unrealistic. You are SO beautiful and relatable and I just love you!

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  5. As someone who struggles with an eating disorder, this was very comforting to read. You are very brave and BEAUTIFUL

    1. Thank you. Battling an eating disorder is so terribly difficult. Sending you all the love.

      1. It’s so refreshing to come across people who understand the severity of eating disorders. I was bullied in college and constantly told “just eat” by roommates and friends. It took a counselor explaining telling someone with an eating disorder to “just eat” is like telling someone who’s depressed “just be happy” or someone who’s anxious “stop worrying.” Eating disorders have one of it not the highest mortality rate of all mental disorders- so be proud and recognize how AMAZING and strong you are for overcoming it (and I know will continuously have to day by day). Much love xx

      2. Thank you so much. That means the world to me! My hospital stay in the psychiatric ward saved me. All the out patient therapy afterward kept me going. I may have overcome the most difficult part and was able to save my life, but those mental moments still happen. It’s not easy, so I wish you all the best with health and happiness. You’re beautiful inside and out!

      3. Thank you babe. I think a true hospital stay like you describe may be what I need to do. So great meeting you and wish you all the best 💗💗💗

      4. It was difficult, but I wanted to die. I didn’t have enough fight in me anymore, but they kept me going. It was the one decision I didn’t fight, and without it, I wouldn’t be here or where I’m at. Sending you all the love.

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