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.

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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.

Love,

Your older, larger, but ultimately happier self

Did you obsess over your weight when you were younger?

 

Image via Mary Fischer

body, aging