Less of Paige

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The Skinny Folk

Since growing up and losing some of my naivete in life, I have had a philosophy that carries me far in terms of compassion.

It is this: Everyone has things they struggle with or that are hard for them in life. To me, it may seem huge or petty. To them, it is important and something they struggle with. It is not a competition, each person's struggle is their own.

I'm not sure I said that right. What I mean is, that I tend to feel like my weight loss issues are huge. And when I see someone who looks skinnier than me, initially I have very little compassion when they whine about weight. I always think, "yeah, well, try being me." When I think about it some more, I let myself think, "Hey Paige. Try being them." There's no knowing what people's self-image is. There's no knowing why unless you talk to them and get to know them.

Lisa left a comment the other day that struck home with this. About the skinny girls at college eating toilet paper then drinking water so their tummies would feel full. That about broke my heart. Because while I have in the past had a crappy self-esteem, and still struggle with my body image... I have never had to go to such lengths to look good. Somewhere I have had enough sense of self that I know that even if I weigh 221 I am still a good person. I still am pretty in my own way and who I am hasn't really changed. When you get to the point that you have to eat toilet paper to look pretty, I feel tha something there is so damaged. And it's just heartbreaking. Heart wrenching.

When I see a thin person, my first feeling is resentment. Next is jealousy. These feelings are just intensified when I see a thin person eating fattening food, seemingly at ease. When I start thinking about it though, I remember: I don't know what's actually going on with them. Maybe they are just think with a naturally high metabolism. But maybe they have other things going on that I don't have to deal with.

I have my major issue, and to date it's my weight. For me, my issues with weight and food can be at best minorly annoying and at worst, hearbreaking and overwhelming. But I could have more difficult problems. I could have less difficult. Each person has their own, this is mine. I don't want to keep judging people who don't seem to have my problem, because chances are I don't want theirs.

I guess this is my way of reminding myself to both keep some perspective (eating toilet paper) and having some compassion (every... problems.. what is going on for someone that they feel the need to eat toilet paper??)

Thanks for the reminder Lisa.


At 7:04 PM, Blogger Lisa said...


Even though we've never met and I have no idea what you look like, I can safely say that you're not just "pretty in your own way," you are downright gorgeous.

I am so thrilled that you are part of Jules and Kristina's blog (and I feel closer to you since we both joined at the same time) and I can tell you that having everyone from over there in your corner may be the best thing you can do as far as getting in shape. There isn't a single person who isn't pulling for you.


P.S. - You only have one major issue? Honey, you are welcome to some of mine! :)

At 5:20 AM, Blogger melissa said...


Where to begin? First of all, Lisa is right. You are gorgeous. And I know what you looke like :-). The love you have for your family and the strength and self worth you carry are amazing. You say try being you...and I know that I would and wouldn't want to. I would because I'd like to know what having that strength feels like. I wouldn't because I know that I couldn't handle it. I would have given up long ago. Even with the motivation of having a child, I don't know if I could handle it.

You're also right in saying that we all face our own challenges, that our own perspectives are just that, our own. It's hard to see things through someone else's eyes. Your writings have helped me understand a challenge and a viewpoint that I wouldn't otherwise have "access" to. I thank you for your candidness and openess (are those words??)

We all have our battles. Some are there for all to see, like weight or smoking or drinking. Others are hidden. My battles are hidden. Hidden under carefully chosen clothing and makeup. It took me years to even admit that I had a battle to fight, and I still can't talk about the details because I am too embarrassed, too disgusted with myself.

I'm still not sure which is worse.... having a problem that is easily hidden from others, but allows you to indulge your weakness because no one can see, or fighting your battle out in the open and receiving both the negative pressure from society and the support of those who understand and relate at the same time

at any rate, i've rambled on. Just keep on plugging away. You're doing an amazing thing.


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