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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 been working out and trying to be healthier all around.

Beating Bulimia

Mondays Love to Hate: Working Out

What I need to address is a few topics that have been swirling in my head lately.

I want to start with not being skinny by design means that I’m not naturally skinny. If I want to be thin and petite, I would have to work extremely hard to where it’d be almost impossible to obtain that body type in a healthy manner, whether it’s be mentally or physically. 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.

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.

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 and clean eating. I could also go back to being that size with purging, but I want to love my body as it is. I want to love it without punishing myself.

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, not everyone is meant to be skinny. Skinny and healthy mean two different things.

I workout 3-5 times a week, depending on my schedule, and I’m still considered overweight. I’m a size 10-12. I’m a curvy and mostly-fit women. I eat smart, but I still enjoy the occasional piece of cake. I don’t drink soda or put sugar in my coffee, but I still eat things I love.

For me, it’s about finding a balance with exercise and smarter food choices and portions. I still eat things I love, but I don’t eat an entire pizza in one sitting. I found balance and with that, I realized that life isn’t about the constant pursuit of being skinny.

I’m 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 the cycle of binge and purge. I had no idea I had an hourglass figure. I had no clue what my body type even was. Everyone in my family, except for my mom, is on the heavier side, so I refused to be heavy. I zeroed in on the skinny examples 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 healthy. It took some time, but I found it. I found my healthy.

I avoided Instagram for my blog for a long time, because I don’t like people assuming I “want my body back” after kids. My body is the healthiest it has ever been, and I’m bigger than I was before I had kids. 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. I don’t want weight loss supplements or to workout over FaceTime. I want control over my body, and that doesn’t mean being the target of those who assume I’m unhappy in the skin I’m in. If you love those groups and products, good for you, but stop assuming I want to be a different size.

All shaming is wrong.

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 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.

There’s a bit of truth seeded in jest.

My mom still makes jokes about my body. She thinks it’s lighthearted and all in good fun. She’s not the only one, but that doesn’t mean it’s right. This past week she 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 they 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 in health.

I hate that fad diets exist. I’ve tried them all, and I still hate them. 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.

When I work out, it’s for anywhere between 20 minutes to 45 minutes. I also add in some random, free app that has 30 day challenges that target different body parts to mix things up. I still try to do yoga or stretching on my rest days. Occasionally, my husband and I break out the weights, and focus on those. So, my workouts tend to vary.

Working out and improved eating aren’t the only ways I find my healthy balance though. On overwhelming days, I try to drink a hot cup of caffeine-free stress tea. I sit in a bubble bath or paint my toenails. I try to balance my body and mind. It’s not just one or the other.

I will never be defined by a before and after picture.

I’ve taken before and after pictures. I’ve even done posts that showed my progress as recently as a few months ago. I love the journey I’m on with being healthier, but sometimes, I look at before and after pictures of myself and get disappointed. When I had weight loss goals before, it felt like any weight lost wasn’t enough. Now, I just want to see pictures that aren’t side by side. I don’t want to compare different versions of myself. I want to love this version.

Some of my before and after pictures show growth in my strength as well as beauty. However, I chased the wrong kind of after picture for too long. Not all after shots need to be skinnier. They should be happier and healthier.

These are the types of pictures I like to be apart of. I am happy and strong. I feel beautiful with my stretch marks and curves. There’s no comparison. Instead, there is growth and progress.

I don’t want my constant goal in life to be chasing some ideal after picture. My journey is 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.

-Jenni

19 Comments »

  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!

  4. Pingback: Results and Breaks
      • 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

      • 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!

      • 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 💗💗💗

      • 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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