Aug 15, 2023

Being Thinner Didn't Make Me Any Happier Or More Confident

By Bella Davis

“I’ll wear a bikini once I’m thinner”.

“I’ll start dating again after I lose weight”.

“I’ll book that holiday when I’m slimmer”.

“I’ll be intimate with my partner when I’m smaller”.

“I’ll start enjoying my life once I’m thin enough”.

Far too often, I’ve heard someone say the above statements, and truthfully, I have as well. I would shed a tear seeing friends consume meals together as I cancelled yet another dinner date with my friend as I didn’t want to slip up my diet. I would often pretend I was too tired to be sexually intimate with my partner when in reality, I was waiting until I was thinner. I avoided beach trips with loved ones and pulled out of tropical holiday as I was conditioned to believe I needed to be smaller to wear a bikini.

I was constantly waiting, waiting to start enjoying my life. As I was conditioned to believe that weight loss was my only key to love, intimacy, success, and confidence so much so that it saddens me to admit that when I was 18, I blew out my birthday candles and wished to be thinner. I hoped I would get the stomach flu because I knew that meant I would lose weight. When I spotted a shooting star, I closed my eyes and prayed for thinness. I wore a waist trainer to bed because I was told it would make me slimmer.

I believed the lies being sold by the media that being thinner was the only way to feel true happiness. But after years of choosing thinness over my relationships, mental health and welling, I learnt that losing weight doesn’t make you any more worthy of being loved. Being thinner won’t make you successful and dropping kilos doesn’t automatically equal happiness.

It completely transformed how I see myself.

By Fatima Njoya

But you know what does? Believing you are worthy of these things exactly as you are. You cannot hate your body into a version you love. Trust me, I tried. You don’t owe anyone thinness. Especially not yourself. But you do owe yourself a life without restriction. You deserve to let go of the thin ideal so you can accept and embrace the body you live in right now.

I thought gaining weight and living in a soft body was the worst thing that could ever happen to me. But it’s not. Pausing your life, restricting your body’s wants and needs, idolising thinness and sacrificing your mental health is.

By Laura Hampson

By Elle Turner

By Emma Howarth

Too many years have gone by where we have let the size of our clothes, the number on the scales and the inches on a measuring tape dictate how we would feel about ourselves that day and determine our worth and happiness. For far too long, we have criticised our bodies for not being thin or thin enough. We have put off the date, holiday, event and rejected intimacy because we thought that we needed to be thinner in order to enjoy ourselves. But little did we know that thinness doesn’t automatically grant us happiness because we are worthy of all of these things right now not when we are thinner.

It’s time we stop romanticising thinness and instead start romanticising the bodies we live in right now. Take a moment to acknowledge all your body allows you to do and experience. Your body has taken you on numerous adventures, allowed you to release sadness and welcome joy, supported you through heartbreak, provided you with hundreds of orgasms and made you laugh till you cry.

She also described the limitations of being a woman in the music industry.

By Charley Ross

Don’t allow your happiness to be determined by the size of your clothes. Instead, choose to start living your life right now and stop waiting till you are ‘thin enough’. Buy the dress, go on the date, wear the bikini, book the holiday, schedule the tattoo, enjoy intimacy, go to the event, take up space at the gym, eat the second piece of cake and stop waiting to start enjoying your life!

I know it isn’t easy to unlearn all the lies you’ve been feed throughout the decades such as thinness equals happiness, beauty, and love. But we must try if we genuinely want to start living our lives and not let our body insecurities control our happiness. Your life is already short enough as it is and that life is not supposed to be spent belittling, judging, and comparing our bodies. Our sole purpose on this earth isn’t to lose weight or be the thinnest version of ourselves, it is to live, so it’s time you let yourself live.