My Obsession With Being Skinny

Body Dysmorphia Disorder becomes more prevalent in this day in age because of social media and the constant comparison one has with other peoples bodies.

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“I’m so fat,” a common phrase every girl has said at least once venting to their friends. Yes, even the skinniest ones, while grabbing their excess skin they call fat, complaining it isn’t toned enough.

“I need to go to the gym” they’d say with sad eyes obsessing over a scale.

Or the “oh no I can’t eat that,” over everything that isn’t a plant.

I remember having a conversation with a guy who told me “every girl thinks they’re fat,” with a bewildered and confused face. That’s when even I admitted that I even felt fat or unhappy with my body.

With all the constant pressure from social media to look a certain way it’s no wonder most young women feel this way. We all see the small waist, the bigger than life ass, and the flat-toned stomach every time we scroll down our feed. Everyone is always comparing themselves to unrealistic ideals of beauty.

The women and men that suffer from depression or anxiety are more susceptible to Body Dysmorphia Disorder. According to the Mayo Clinic, Body Dysmorphia Disorder (BDD), is a mental disorder in which the person can not stop obsessing over one or more perceived flaws in themselves.

This flaw may be minor or not observable to others. People that suffer from BDD may even feel so anxious or self conscious about the way they look, they will even avoid going to social outings. BDD affects 1 out of 50 people and the common symptoms are comparing their body to others appearances, seeking surgery, and avoiding mirrors according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. They may be that friend in the mirror obsessing over how fat they are when they have regular curves.

Now it’s wintertime, the prime time to get your swim suit body ready for summer.  Girls and even guys are obsessing on how to look their best. There’s the new Keto diet which is a low-carb diet, all these apps to help exercise the specific areas people are most insecure about.

There is no problem in losing weight or getting in shape, the healthy way. However, for someone with BDD, it does not matter how much weight they lose it will never be enough. They will find another flaw or discredit any progress they may have made.

Doing these life-style changes are hard enough.

Going to the gym everyday wondering when you will see results and giving up the foods you love takes discipline and can be an extremely frustrating process. Now imagine going through all of that and still seeing yourself as fat no matter what you do.

Add to the mix all these influencers with fake bodies created by surgery flooding our timelines. It is a recipe for self destruction.

It is easy to say “love your body no matter what,” but I know firsthand, it’s not that simple. I’m the person that truly thinks everybody is beautiful and that we should all love what God gave us but even I have to admit when I gained ten pounds from being on birth control I literally hated my body. No one could tell me any different.

I would wear big sweatshirts and emotionally eat which just made me gain more weight. Even after I lost most of the weight, I still look in the mirror and I don’t always like what I see.
What I have learned is that it takes time. Try going to the gym with a friend, it always makes the experience less tortuous. Set reasonable and realistic goals for yourself. Even goals as little as doing more time on a machine or cutting soda from your diet deserves praise because you are taking steps to your goal.

If you binge on a day or break your diet, forgive yourself and start again the next day. It is okay, not everyone is not perfect. Even people that seem most confident have their own insecurities and not everything is the way it seems on Instagram.

If you have four limps and are healthy, you should be grateful. Surround yourself with people that love and appreciate you and will remind you of it. No matter the shape or size showing your body gratitude and loving who you are will make it ten times easier for you to get to the body you are working towards. Obsessing over your flaws and imperfections will only lead you to spiral into unnecessary self hate.

Keep going no matter what phase you are in and remember you are enough.

Love, Val