Today I was at the gym doing my regular morning routine before two friends of mine showed up next to me to do a treadmill workout together. They pulled out their phones, clicked on an app, and went back and forth deciding which particular program they were going to choose. Out of curiosity, I asked what app they were using, and, at the same time, they offered the name. Intrigued, again, I basically invited myself to join them. After an intense and exhausting run, we were cooling down, chatting, and one thing led to another–the conversation shifted to the topic of: WEIGHT AND BODY.
The amount of times I hear someone say, “I would be so much prettier if I was skinnier,” is exorbitant. One of them today made this same statement. Immediately, I gazed at her– with the most apprehensive look on my face. I stared with a blank face. Instantly, I felt sad. Why do we believe thinness equates to happiness? I did. I always felt that if I could squeeze into a size twenty-five jean, then my life would be amazing. Or, if I could wear a swimsuit and not have my inner thighs touch, how lucky I would be. I get it. Trust me.
I went for it. I aspired to reach that goal. I believed I would feel so much better about myself, and obviously more fit if I was lighter. How could this not make me “happy?” Well, let me explain.
When I set out to achieve thinness, and I noticed slight changes in my body AND others started noticing and telling me how good I looked… I was happy. Actually elated. But, temporarily. The more compliments I received, the more motivated I became to lose more weight. Slowly, but surely, I shrunk to an extremely petite size. I got there. But, the more weight I lost, the more my happiness dissipated. I weakened, became fatigued, and was left with little energy. The truth is, being thin did not equate to happiness. In fact, I developed depression as a result, and my once boisterous personality was depleted.
As I faced this friend today, who has the most vivacious, seemingly happy, and unbelievably magnetizing and enchanting personality, I couldn’t help but delve into the fact that “the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.” She looked at me like I was crazy, as if I had three heads, and she chuckled: “Come on, Erin. If I was skinny, I promise you I would be happier.” I, then, attempted to share with her my transformation — thick and strong to feeble and thin, happy and bubbly to depressed and distant. If only I could convince these girls and women out there that our happiest may not be when we are our thinnest– I would feel accomplished, and be HAPPY.
I think the world of this friend of mine. She is amazing, has so much to offer, is generous, inviting, welcoming, and vibrant. Isn’t that beautiful? Shouldn’t that make one happy? It’s not her fault. It’s the way we all think. The way we all envision ourselves if we could just be “skinny.” But, I am proof that thinness does not equate to happiness. And, it is not worth it. I promise.