The Weight of Pursuing Skinny
I stare at my reflection with a sinking feeling again. I didn’t do enough. If I could just throw up for a second time, I’d be satisfied. I taste bitter regret at my attempt at skinny. In my despair, I search my bedroom floor for “Seventeen”, the magazine I’ve pledged my allegiance to, and frantically flip to the page that started this journey.
In high school, it began as an itch that never went away. I hungered for skinny, and placed my hope in skin and bones. I tried to scratch away the thoughts that weight gain could be a good thing. The more I gave into them, the urge to fix my “problem” increased. It was an itch that never soothed. I didn't know how to solve my problem, but ironically I found "Seventeen" magazine on newsstands and I found an answer.
An Apple a Day… I was convinced my body wasn't picture perfect when reading the magazine. This was because my once fast metabolism slowed down. My seemingly slim figure developed into a curvy one, and I became sad. I didn’t want to stand out. I wanted to fit into what I believed was the norm. “Seventeen” offered me happy models with high cheekbones, protruding bones, and small appetites.
For buying into this unrealistic lifestyle, my mental and physical state began to falter. I had a routine perfected. My breakfast consisted of eating one apple. If I was truly hungry, I’d eat a small meal, but vomit immediately after. I never ate in the cafeteria, because I was convinced my heavier figure looked disgusting.
The obsession reached its lowest when my vomiting did not produce the results I strived for. I so desperately wanted to find fulfillment in my body again. I began researching how to become anorexic, and was surprised at how many websites I found to kick-start my anorexic lifestyle. But at that point, I knew I had to stop. I felt depressed, and ultimately discontent. The drive to be skinny wasn’t worthwhile, because of the threatening lifestyle it causes so I abandoned it because it .
Christianity helped me see how my body and eating disorder became my idol, my refuge. Sometimes, these thoughts still haunt me when I gain a bit of weight or when I overeat. I realize even as a Christian, sin’s effects can often carry over and plague my thoughts.
Ridding myself of this idol didn’t change everything in one day. It’s a slow process. At times, I get discontent with my body. “Seventeen” promised me fulfilment, but always left me unsatisfied and desiring more.
But Jesus says, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” I’m learning to continue to place my wavering hope in an unwavering and loving God -- not in worldly influences.