On being a first rate of yourself

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Judy Garland once said: Be a first rate version of yourself, not a second rate version of someone else and I think by this she means, to accept yourself fully as you are and not what other people think or want you to be.

For the longest time, it seems my weight (or the lack thereof) appears to trouble other people more than it does to me. For the most part, this fascination on my weight amuses me, but at times it annoys me that people can go to the extent of feigning concern that it borders to being completely and utterly rude. I’ve had strangers, on being introduced immediately proceeds to hold my arms and say “You are SOO thin, you need to eat more!” or “Oh look at you, you’re so slim, I can NEVER fit into that dress!”.  Recently I got to know a colleague a little better (and by that I mean we started talking about things outside of work-related area) and after maybe 2 weeks of friendly conversations he took it upon himself to diagnose that I am ‘too thin’ therefore I should eat more. What do these people think I do? Look at the food and somehow magically feel full from it?

Telling someone to eat more and put on weight is akin to telling an overweight person that he/she is fat and geez, go lose some weight already. It’s absolutely heartless and rude.

Sometimes I wonder their intention of even saying these things out loud, and whether by doing so achieves to make them feel crap about themselves (which if it does, is single-handedly one of the most sadistic way of treating yourself).

This worldwide fascination on weight, on being slim and toned sometimes can be taken way too far, and way too seriously. Just yesterday I was catching up with a few friends. One of them talked about her recent 700 calories-a-day diet and this website which she apparently draws inspiration from. I get it. If one’s goal to shed a few pounds is to achieve a healthier lifestyle and a healthier self-image, then good for you. But losing a couple of pounds and being able to take more attractive photos in your bikinis will not instantly fix your life, your relationship, your finances, your family dramas and whatever else that may be troubling you.

Growing up I had always been on the lean side. Underweight, would be one word that I am no stranger to. Except for a short few months when I was adjusting to the food, weather and rhythm of living in Melbourne, I don’t think I had ever hit the normal BMI threshold. And that has never been a problem to me. For as long as I am healthy and I feel healthy and happy, to me those numbers that appear on the weighing scales are only just numbers.

I’ve been told that I cannot donate blood due to my weight. And that’s fine with me. (You don’t want my blood? Ok fine, I’ll just keep it where it belongs then..). I carry an organ donor card with me everywhere I go, and I doubt at the moment they need to decide which organs they want to harvest from my body, my weight will stand in between saving another life.

It seems that a lot of people conclude your physical body appearance to your eating habits. Voluptuous and curvy = he/she eats a lot and thin = ohdeargod I bet she skips her meals every day to be that thin. But what they forget to take into account are many other things like genetics, metabolism, and type of medications they may be currently taking that affects a person’s weight.

There are plenty other stressors that affect our daily lives, and I certainly don’t think food should be one of them. The rule is simple, nourish yourself with the best possible food you can afford, eat what makes you happy and always within moderation. Even when you think it’s healthy stuff – like how too much beta carotene from carrot juice can make your skin turn a sallow shade of orange, or consumption of raw spinach juice on a daily basis can lead to increased oxalic acid in your system.

So if you lean more towards the slim side, celebrate your metabolism. If you are voluptuous, just know that your bodies are revered by other women who wish they could have your curves. Don’t listen to what others think of you. Instead, truly listen to what your body is telling you. Most of the time I can bet you it’s pretty happy with the way it is sans the noises from outside telling to put on/lose weight. Take your mind off the numbers on the scales, the noises that those people are making, and shift your focus to sustaining your health in a holistic way. That, I believe is one of the ways to being a first rate of yourself.

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One response »

  1. I totally get it being on the slim side myself. I’m always told to eat and I do but I’m conscious of what I do meaning, when, how much, what. Just now I went to my normal Saturday Italian eatery and had the biggest plate of penne with vegetables you’ve ever seen. Some woman on her way back from the ladies room stopped and said, “I saw you come in. How do you stay so slim eating that way?”
    I eat sparingly all week long but on Saturday I eat without edit.

    People love to make inappropriate remarks. Would you ever say or ask the things others ask you? I know the answer already Nabilla. No, you’re too polite and respect privacy as a rule starting with your own. Great essay..
    Susanah

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