Why I Don’t Want A Thigh Gap

2 Feb

So now my blog will once again get a little personal: brace yourself.

As I previously stated, living in Europe for six months has certainly changed me.

1) I am more independent. Previously living in a world where Mama G was only a phone call away to deal with scary things like banks, student loans & doctors–I am now able to navigate all 3 by myself.

2) I am more relaxed. Deadlines? Stressful. Driving? Panic attack. No food, no money & literally living month to month? Somehow not that scary anymore. Since moving to Prague my problems have seemed to multiple, but the way I handle them has drastically changed. I am now a firm believer in: everything will work itself out eventually, there’s no need to worry.

3) I am more self confident. Yes, it’s true. And it took me just up until recently to realize it. Since living in Europe, a land where I am surrounded by skinny people I have never been more secure with my body. 

But let me tell you, for the past 23 years it has never been this way. For as long as I can remember, I have been plagued with crippling body image. It probably began around Kindergarten (sidenote: isn’t that awfulNow that I am around children this age all the time who are epitome of beauty, youth & innocence, I think it would break my heart if one of them thought they were fat at age 5!) But I did. & It only got worse. Years of diets, playing on sport’s teams & comparing myself to literally everyone around me followed. 

Little voices inside my head said the most viscous things to me. & Worst of all was I thought I was actually a pretty alright person. I tried hard in school, had a lot of friends, & lived a good life. So where did these voices come from?! But then I remembered (& can still hear them right now at age 23) what others said to me.

“Jess, put that down, do your thighs really need that?” 

“This is why you don’t have a boyfriend.”

“You look huge in this picture.”

“Looks like you have to go up a size again.”

& my ultimate favorite: “You’re too pretty to be this big.” 

I would like to point out that the definition of obesity is 50lbs over the average weight. I have never been obese. I have been overweight, yes. But I have never been immobile or unathletic in any way. Yet all these things were still said to me. Why?! Out of ‘love’, out of ‘care’, out of cruelty? Regardless the point of these phrases they all achieved some goals: they achieved years of missed pool parties, every shopping trip avoiding dressing rooms, month after month of crying myself to sleep, hundreds of meals sneaked away from the disapproval of others, exercising myself sick for appreciation & a poisonous self loathing that will probably follow me for the rest of my life. 

But lately, that voice really hasn’t been saying much. Instead my inner dialogue has had a more logical approach. “Sure, girl, eat this chocolate but you BETTER do that extra half an hour tomorrow in your workout!” or “You’re not hungry right now, Jess, you’re bored, drink water & go to sleep it’s 11pm.” or the best of all “Whoa! You look great! You feel great! You’re dedicated & healthy!” I have just been so much more positive. Laurie, my personal trainer, still makes me weigh myself weekly which is good. I am happy to say that since living here I have lost weight. & It was all because of the good old fashioned healthy way.

But I have to ask who do we even lose weight forOurselves? Why yes, your heart will certainly thank you for that extra cardio session & slipping on a smaller pant size certainly does give a sense of accomplishment. Our family? Nothing like hearing your uncle who barely speaks say how good you look at Christmas time. Our friends? Gotta love the dynamic shift when you are suddenly a threat & no longer ‘the fat friend’. The opposite sex? It’s amazing who appears out of the woodwork after you shed a few pounds. Our society? You’re skinny now so you must be pretty, right? And desirable? And worthy? Personally, I think it’s a little bit of all these things.

But it shouldn’t have to be. The reason you want to/try to lose weight should only be for one person: yourself. It is your body. The body you will have for the rest of your life. You can try & alter it any way you want–but you can never escape it. Trying to polish, primp, tweeze & stitch it up so it’s pretty enough for the rest of the world means absolutely nothing if you still hate yourself deep down.

Image(Above: Summer ’13 after months of a strict diet & strength training/cardio sessions with my personal trainer. I think I look healthy & I know I was happy. This is my goal & it doesn’t include thigh gap) 

Dear readers, one of the hardest things you will learn in life is to love yourself completely, inside & out. 

& This is why I do not want the coveted thigh gap. Because my body WAS NOT MEANT to have one! I am destined to be curvy, no matter what weight I am. I have wide hips, a booty, but also some pretty solid muscle. It’s genetics. Exercise will not give me a thigh gap & sure, surgery may, but then I just feel like I would look so unnatural. Now, I have nothing against thigh gaps! Some girls have them & because they’re meant to. It’s how their body is built & you can’t hate them for that. Everyone is different.

& Then there some girls who are just taking selfies of themselves leaning forward with their legs apart making you feel bad about yourself. 

Know the difference & be realistic. Then the road to self love will be much shorter than you think. 🙂 

-JG 

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3 Responses to “Why I Don’t Want A Thigh Gap”

  1. Maureen Graves February 4, 2014 at 1:11 am #

    Well You certainly do write with honesty…..you look wonderful

    Love Mom

  2. Ron Stacy February 4, 2014 at 1:57 am #

    OMG you look great. Than again you always looked great to me. I guess sometimes love hurts.

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