Down the rabbit hole

This morning was strange. Where do I start? …Let’s roll back a couple days. I recently got some leggings in the mail (Blackmilk!!) that I had ordered. I was very excited about them, and posted this picture to my Instagram:


My husband and I were talking about how they looked, he complimented my legs and after thanking him I relayed a strange story about my childhood. When I was in middle school we had career days where professionals of various types would come and talk to the students about their jobs. One particularly messed up one was a model talent scout. I remember one thing from her talk to us 12 and 13 year old girls: she was the first person to ever tell me that you are worthless without a thigh gap (which I disagree with, for the record). She said she would immediately disqualify any hopeful model who didn’t have the “perfect triangle” in the upper part of her thighs. Needless to say, this messed me up for awhile and gave me weird body issues. What a fucked up thing to dump on prepubescent little girls! Regardless, when looking at this photo with him I pointed out that it was kind of neat that I had one and done so with exercise and eating healthy.

That brings me to this morning. I should start by saying sometimes I am kind of oblivious. I don’t like thinking about how there are thousands of people who struggle with eating disorders. I feel so removed from that kind of thinking that I just don’t think about it much. I guess that’s a good thing? Or just ignorance, and for that I feel bad. I tried to put the hashtag “#thighgap” into Instagram to see what other (in my head) success stories and fit folks I might find who have one. Woops.

First of all, Instagram tells me that there are no tags that match ‘thighgap.’  Weird, I think to myself. So I search for #thigh. Suddenly, I see #thighgaps, #thighgapp, #thighgab and so on. Confused, I click on #thighgaps. And here is where my morning spiraled downward. First, I get a warning that I may see graphic pictures, and Instagram tells me to click on a link to learn more about eating disorders… uh oh. I prepare myself and click to show posts. All I find is picture upon picture of girls that are skin and bones. Pictures with words on them; saying for each like they will fast for 2 hours, or ‘skip dinner get thinner.’ Pictures of girls who have their feet together and yet NO part of their legs are touching, like dainty little twigs. It broke my heart. I didn’t even realize I had started to cry until I felt my cheeks were getting wet with tears. I am not interested in any form of body shaming so I will not post any example pictures here.

Please please please understand that while I am a control freak and keep close watch on what I eat, how many calories I consume, and how much I exercise, it’s ALL within totally healthy boundaries for a woman of my age/height/etc. If you happened upon this blog and you are eating less than 1200 calories a day, or you fast/skip meals, or simply identify as anorexic or bulimic… honey there are other options. They hurt much less. I know nothing I write here will fix anyone who is going through it, but I just feel like I have to put this out there. Healthy doesn’t hurt. Thin shouldn’t be torture. Love your body and treat it well, it’s the only one you get.