I hate her for being able to eat that and still be skinny. You know that girl. We all know THAT girl. You know, the one who so thoughtlessly devours the chips and spinach artichoke dip ordered to share. Then, without hesitation, delves into her hand battered chicken finger platter for her entree. Add the French fries to that, too. Scraped clean. Wait. It gets better. The waiter returns to clear the empty plates, and asks, “Would you like to see the dessert menu?” Before I could get the answer “No, thank you” out, she shouts, “Yes, please!”
Hang on a second. I sat there, thinking about every chip I grabbed, dipped, and then ate. I made a conscious effort to order an entree salad. Why in the hell do I look like this and she looks like THAT? Clearly, there is something wrong with this picture.
“I’ll have your New York Style Cheesecake,” she told our waiter when he returned. “Erin, do you want something?” she asked. Do I want something?! What the hell kind of question is that? Of course I want something. I would like the Ice Cream Pie, Warm Brownie Sundae, AND your Tiramisu. But I can’t. If I’m eating healthy and ordering salads, instead of chicken fingers, and I look like this–can you imagine what I would look like if I ate like my friend? The thought outright frightens me. “No, thank you. I’m good,” I replied.
I stared in awe at my friend. She was so wanted by every guy we knew. She had a figure I only died for–long, thin legs, the flattest stomach I had ever seen, dainty arms, and a big bust–none of which I had. And, she was able to eat what I only dreamed of AND look like that. It wasn’t fair. Why did I get the shitty end of the deal? I was short, my legs did not fit into any jean she was able to wear, and my stomach hung over my pants when I sat down in that restaurant’s booth. Hers… hers stayed flat. Bullshit, I thought. That bitch. I would be so much happier if I could eat whatever I desired, and be skinny.
But, I wasn’t. It didn’t matter what I ate or what I did, it was evident I would NEVER look like THAT girl. If I made any attempt to look like her, it was disastrous. Trust me. I tried. When I was twenty years old, I developed an eating disorder, and starved myself. And, I STILL didn’t look like THAT girl. It became clear very quickly that I wasn’t supposed to look like her. At an unhealthy, low weight, I had no energy. I lost my period. It made me way less fun. I became constipated. I was depressed. And, I wasn’t nearly as good of a soccer player.
I learned it wasn’t worth starving myself to sacrifice my health and happiness. I was born with this body. This body has allowed me to do incredible things. I have been able to walk, run, breathe, play soccer, bear three children, show strength, and be happy. For these reasons, I love my body. Whenever I question it, I remind myself of all it does for me.