Monday, November 9, 2009

Walk the Walk

one morning last week, while on a business trip, i watched Live with Regis and Kelly (if you don't know, it's a typical morning chat show). Country music star Reba McIntyre was the first guest. I've met Reba McIntyre, and she's pretty tiny. But she was at least twice the size of the morning show's host, Kelly Ripa. In the last few years, Kelly (hope she doesn't mind the familiarity) has gotten thinner and thinner. She's full of energy and good cheer, so i assume she's healthy, but she looks really, really thin.

there i sat in my hotel room, wishing i were Kelly's size.

what is that about?

if Russian peasant stock me were Kelly Ripa's size, i'd seriously need hospitalization, as i wouldn't have been eating for months. She's a very pretty woman, but whenever my fiance sees her on TV, he says it's painful to look at her -- she's "scarey" skinny. (sorry kelly. this isn't about you.)

to summarize - for me to be her size, i'd have to be very, very sick AND my own fiance would think i looked scarey. (currently, he tells me i'm beautiful the minute i wake up. okay, so he must like smeared mascara and alfafa hair, but he's entitled to his opinion.)

after all the work i've done getting my mind and body healthy, why would i want to be painfully thin?

my teeny, weeny type A sister just got a colonoscopy. after the laxative part of the pre-op prep, she complained that she lost a few pounds she really didn't need to lose.

as i commiserated with her over her sad little weight loss, my little green ED monster bit it's tongue.

i've gained a few pounds, after a weekend of fun with family. it's fine. i know i'll go back to my usual eating and weigh whatever i usually weigh. i'm healthy at this weight. i have energy, i'm not weak or dizzy from hunger. i'm not stuffed from stuffing down feelings with food. when i go to the store, there's a nice assortment of clothes that fit well. no one tells me i look too thin; no one suggests i could stand to lose a few.

but in the secret dark recesses of my devilish brain, if i could, i'd switch for Kelly Ripa's body.

there. i've said it, but i won't accept that this is my final destination thinking. i'm trying to get my 14 year old niece to accept her thighs. i pray her friend will stop purging the little she eats (in search of kelly ripa's body?) i take my 20 year-old niece shopping at Lane Bryant and help her enjoy all the cute clothes in her size. we had such happy days finding a new wardrobe. each time she repeatedly dissed her body -- i told her she looked beautiful, and she did.

i believe i'm forgetting someone. me. how can i be my own aunt?


  1. I have noticed Ripa (along with other countless other celebs) getting thinner. I too have looked at her petite frame with envy. We have to accept our body size and type for what it is but that is SO hard sometimes.

  2. I think it's good to recognize when we have these kinds of thoughts. Keeping them in, beating ourselves up for having them, doesn't do anything but empower the insanity. I still notice women's bodies and I do comparison games from time to time. I have no idea if Kelly Ripa is healthy or not. My guess is that she's way too busy and doesn't eat well enough, but I have no clue. My husband thinks she looks like a 12-year-old. No matter what, we just have to love what we have. If that's what she has and it's healthy (hell, even if it's not healthy), that's her deal. I'm, like, 6 feet tall. I'm never going to be "tiny" in that "cute" way.

  3. Do the same to yourself, and try to make yourself listen? Much easier said than done. I'm never going to be skinny, nor do I want to. Big bones, big boobs, muscley, etc. Plus, I don't like the way it looks, don't like to hug people that skinny (and sex is uncomfortable). I think it's important to derail those critical voices, either with logic or reason, or just recognition and repetition. I catch myself thinking it, I make myself stop, and think about how irrational those thoughts are. Repeat repeat repeat.

  4. I was watching a home video from 2006 when I was very, very thin (about 53kg on a 175cm frame). There was a wide gap at the top of my thighs, spine and ribs showing and sinewy arms. Thin face.

    Everyone was saying "OMG remember how sick you were then and how awful you looked". I nodded in agreement but secretly I wish I was still like that.

    There is something in my brain that gets out of sorts if I am that thin. It wants to be thinner and thinner. I would never confess to family how much I liked being that way. I have really only recently admitted it to myself.

    I don't want to go back to that place. My mind does not need to be in control to that degree anymore. Maybe I just worked things out enough. But the thoughts of body size are always there. I just live with it.

  5. Oh my, I just looked Kelly up - she looks awful awful awful.

    Damn that ED, you are beautiful, don't get like her!

  6. I think a lot of people play the "body compare and despair" game. Just keep reminding yourself that you don't want to feel the way you'd have to feel (weak, unpresent, obsessed, hungry) in order to be Ripa thin. Being your own aunt is an awesome thing to strive for. Maybe it'll help to say, "What would I tell my neice if she said what I just thought?"

    Hope you have a great day!

  7. I really struggle with comparing myself to people who are thinner than me. It helps to remind myself that even when I was thin, I wasn't happy and felt fat all the time anyway.
    i really liked this post. I love hearing how you support the different women in your life. They are lucky to have you!

  8. I'm ashamed to say that I also am envious of Kelly Ripa. Not just her body, but her youth, her face, her hair, her husband, her career. She is painfully thin. I don't know why I would want to be painfully thin. I want people to say I'm too thin. It's sick.

  9. Yes, Kelly's face, hair, husband, body...but the price is probably being hungry all the time and living on caffeine.

    Here in the Land of Topiary we would argue she was overly-trimmed by an inefficient and inexperienced Topiary Trimmer who left her too small to successfully compete to see over other hedges.

  10. one time in my head i made a story about if the venus of willendorf came back and walked through america and started chiseling parts of her off after she saw all of us worshipping the Skinny Sick. Then she hacks and hacks and wittles away at herself. Then eventually she goes back to her time and her people see her and they begin weeping.

    I am the same as ya'll I see it and I condemn it and i still WANT it.... but i hate it..i dont want to WANT to be scary skinny.
    but i do. When i see scary skinny women i envy them AND feel sorry for them. When i see healthy or curvey women i usually mistakenly assume they are fine with themselves. i don't know how i can not want other people to have to starve, but know that i kinda want to.

    Asking yourself what you would say to your niece is a GREAT idea. I think of self care in terms of taking care of someone else and it helps. I would never starve or cut or insult my sister or my daughter (if i had one). So why should i do it to myself, or allow that nasty part of me to have such a loud voice.

    as usual - Great post!

  11. i must be missing something here ... ripa ... the walking-breathing human stick figure ... her face is caved as if sucked in by an industrial hoover ... and her frame - weak and fragile ... ... my mother would never allow her to leave the kitchen table - ms ripa - have another meatball, pleeeeeeease