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  • Susie Bower

Skinny doesn't mean healthy



Time for a little myth busting.


There is one common thought I have come across working with women over the last 20 years. Many seem to think there is a magical number on the scale that once they get there, happiness will automatically come. We somehow believe that being skinny will bring us happiness. Unfortunately, there are two ways this can go....


This first scenario is the way I hope it always goes with my clients. We start working together and they understand how to stop chasing numbers. Numbers on the scale, numbers of their clothing size, number of calories they should eat, even the number of hours they need to sleep. It doesn't even have to be about health. We've attached feelings and worth to number of likes, views and followers. Earning a certain amount of income is an attachment to a number. Life isn't about chasing numbers. It begins with getting your mindset in a place where you are accepting of where you are in your journey without judging or shaming yourself, not comparing yourself to the old you or anyone else for that matter and you are ready to set realistic goals for the current body you live in and appropriate for the current season of life you are in. You'll soon see that chasing numbers has only lead you to places of disappointment. In order to learn and grow from your past experiences, you have to be willing to see that what you did before might not work this time. You are not in the same place you once were. Your body isn't the same as it used to be - and that's ok.


The second scenario is you stay focused on the numbers and you continue the cycle. Sure, you may get to the numbers you have in your head, but how did you get there? Were you miserable the entire time? Obsessing over every little detail and missing special moments in life because something wasn't "on your plan"? I know how it feels to chase numbers. I did it for way too many years of my life.


I have been skinny, several times actually. Skinny also brought me self doubt. I feared certain foods and didn't trust myself around them for fear I would binge on them. My skinny showed up with a very unhealthy relationship with food, that took years to heal. During my years with skinny, I also had an extremely distorted view of my body. No matter what I did, it was never good enough. There was always a list of flaws I could see when I looked in the mirror. I couldn't accept a compliment from anyone, it always was followed with "thanks, but.....". I would follow up with some way to tear myself down and basically stomp their compliment to the ground. Looking back, I don't think when I was skinny I was ever truly happy. I was unhappy with my body, I was full of pent up anger and rage, I turned to coping mechanisms to ignore my feelings, I surrounded myself with people who were encouraged my negative behavior and pushed away people who seemed to truly care for me, I lied about being happy because I didn't want to admit I didn't really know what happiness felt like.


I don't think it's the numbers that are bad. I don't even think using a number as a guideline or range is bad. It's when we attach a certain goal to a number and attach our worth or value to that number that I feel is the problem. When we think our happiness is attached to that number and if we can't or don't enjoy the journey of getting to that number, that's a problem. Life is to precious and short to not enjoy the journey. It's no secret, I love wearables and the data they collect, which is a lot of numbers! I'm not looking for certain numbers though, my goals aren't defined by reaching a specific number. I don't define my health, strength, worth or value by those numbers either. From my own personal experience and working with many different women from all walks of life - when we just enjoy the process and get to know ourselves better in our body, the numbers we wanted usually naturally occur. We don't have to chase them. Be present in your journey, feel the joys, feel the pain and learn from our experiences, and finding gratitude for those experiences and the lessons they bring, the numbers show up.


I will be happy when I am ________. If I was to ask you to fill in the blank, could you fill it in with words or would it be a number?

If you take anything away from this page, please know you are not alone. 

I am not a doctor and this is a page about my personal experience with battling depression for 24 years. There is also client testimonials shared on this page.  No information here is to be taken as or substitute for medical advise or counseling.

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©2021 Susie Bower