An Open Letter to My Skinny 26-Year-Old Self

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Mary FischerDear Mary,

Damn, girl -- you look amazing. How much weight have you lost, exactly? You're, like, minuscule compared to how you looked in high school. If only that dude who wouldn't so much as pay attention to you at the senior prom could see you now, you skinny bitch.

Those are the types of compliments you hear on a daily basis right now, and no, I don't blame you for absolutely loving and craving them. You definitely deserve a pat on the back for whipping yourself into shape, and I know you never, ever dreamed you'd be walking around in a size 0 or 2 without having to suck your gut in.

Being skinny is awesome. It really is. And anyone who tells you it's not is either jealous or has never been thin before. But guess what? That little number staring back at you on the scale is not going to last forever.

And it's really not as important as you think. It doesn't make you any better than the woman you're going to be 10 years from now -- who (gasp!) isn't completely obsessed with her body anymore.

More from The Stir: Obsessing About Our 'Mom Bodies' Is a Massive Waste of Time

Yes, believe it or not, there will come a day when you finally break down and accept that you're never going to look as good as you do right now at 26 -- and that it's ok. You know how you swear up and down you'll never weigh more than 120 pounds ever again? Yeah ... don't kid yourself, honey. Your skinny days are numbered, and that's why you should enjoy every minute of them instead of obsessing over every single morsel you put into your mouth.

The next time there's a birthday celebration at the office -- have a sliver of cake, for crying out loud. It's not going to hurt you. I promise. And what you don't realize is that every time your skinny ass passes up a piece of cake -- all of your coworkers are rolling their eyes because you have absolutely no concept of just how tiny you are. And they can't understand why you won't indulge a little every now and then. They don't envy you -- they feel sorry for you.

And about those coworkers -- get off your high horse and stop looking at them and wondering why they don't have the same willpower as you to resist the cake when they're clearly not as thin as you are. (What the hell is wrong with you?) It's not that they can't control themselves. It's that they're happy and secure enough in their lives that they don't let their self-worth be determined by a piece of freakin' birthday cake.

Oh, and remember that time you went to San Francisco with your boyfriend and had a complete meltdown after he convinced you to eat at In N' Out Burger because you had ruined your diet and feared the scale would go up a pound or two? It didn't. You should've just enjoyed the damn burger and his company instead of letting it ruin your weekend. (He winds up marrying you, by the way, so don't worry -- your little tantrum didn't scare him off.)

I guess all I'm trying to tell you is to enjoy your bangin' bod and embrace being skinny -- but don't let it take over your life or let it define who you are. You're not going to believe me when I say this -- but you can be happy without being stick thin. I swear. Actually, you might find that your life improves drastically if you give yourself a little bit of wiggle room instead of depriving yourself of things you love for the sake of fitting into the smallest size in the store.

Cut yourself some slack now -- and then maybe 10 years down the road, you'll have an easier time accepting your 36-year-old body for what it is instead of wishing you could look as beautiful as you did on your wedding day.

Oh, and one last thing -- don't get rid of all your "fat" clothes just yet. In a couple of years, you're going to gain 50 pounds in span of nine months and you'll need them while you're trying to take the weight off. (But it's totally worth it, I promise.)

Now stop reading this and go eat a sandwich.


Your older, larger, but ultimately happier self

Did you obsess over your weight when you were younger?


Image via Mary Fischer

body, aging


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nonmember avatar SimpleIsBetter

Mid-life crisis anyone?

This article is completely slathered with self-loathe. Ok so you can't be 26 again. However you ca definitely be 120lbs again. You gained weight! If you hate it so much DO something. Being bitter and bitchy to other thin girls isn't burning any calories. Chop! chop!

linzemae linzemae

But every single other article mary writes sbe whines about how she isnt as skinny as she wants to be and is completely jealous of skinny celebs.

nonmember avatar Lane B

Very entertaining! Your blogs always make me laugh and smile. Keep them coming.

nonmember avatar Maggie

I never obsessed about my weight. Which is why I have been working my butt off to lose the 80 extra pounds I've gained since high school. Although I do recall thinking my thighs were big.

I get what you were trying to write here, and I have no idea where the first two commenters are going with it.

nonmember avatar MSJ

i'm confused by the first two comments...
did they even read the whole article?! the whole thing is about not obsessing over weight, being happy with you as you are and enjoying life

Cafe Amy Cafe Amy

Totally appreciate the honesty! I bet we would all be able to teach our younger selves a thing or two!

Katha... Katharine205

Yep, I get it.  The only thing I like about the 10 extra pounds (which really isn't that much but I hate it all the same) is that I'm a lot curvier than I used to be.  And no I don't mean I have curvy rolls on my stomache, I mean I have a little more of an hourglass figure than I used to.  I can't decide if I'm ok with my extra weight or I want to lose it...maybe in a few more years I'll have figured it out :)

Jessica Price

When I got pregnant with my second son I weighed 120 pounds, and after I had him I weighed 170, 7 months later, I am back down to 145. While I am not happy with how I look naked, Im kinda loving having the hour glass shape ive got now in my clothing. Still debating whether or not to drop the last 25 pounds. Im 5'5 with a large frame build, so 120 was a bit miniscule, and I am told (now that I am larger) that I looked like a bobble head at 120...Jeeze...I wish I could just eat meat and drink beer like most men and not care lol Alas...I cant...So Im gonna go juice some veggies and continue on my fasting lol


Paws84 Paws84

I'm 5'5". I was anorexic in high school and exercised like crazy to try to burn off the little bit of calories I did eat. I was cold and tired all the time. I didn't care though because I had all these popular cheerleaders coming up to me asking what I did to lose the weight and I looked 'so amazing now.' The lowest number on the scale I could get down to was 104 lbs. Looking back on those days, I realize how dumb I was. Sure, I enjoyed being skinny and getting compliments, but I wasn't enjoying life. Fun for me back then running another few laps on the high school track to burn calories. Anyways, I enjoyed the honesty in this article. I do not want my daughter growing up with family members who would enjoy picking at my arms or my stomach and say, 'i know you think you look good, but you could always lose 5 more lbs' like my aunt and mother did. That sentence still unfortunately sticks in my head. My aunt is 47 years old, still living in California, gets plastic surgery, and still obsessed with her weight and sleeps in makeup. I will do everything in my power to make sure my daughter doesn't grow up with screwed up thoughts about her body and what she 'needs' to look like to be 'considered pretty.' Getting away from my family and out of California was the best thing for me. I was 131 lbs before I got pregnant, gained 50 with her, and still have about 3 lbs to go. Ladies, appreciate your bodies because we're the hardest on ourselves most of the time. 

nonmember avatar janey

Paws, I still am anorexic 15 years later. I'm 5'6'' and weigh 85 pounds.

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