Imagine for a moment that you lived in a world where body size did not matter. What would a day be like in this new and fab world?
Let’s imagine in this new and fab world it is your lunch hour and you decided to have a scrumptious treat — you went to your favorite clothing shop to buy some new clothes. You stepped into a closet like structure and you used a computer screen to select the style of clothing you wanted, and then your body was scanned, a little bell, sounded off, and a hanger with the style clothing you wanted was lowered in front of you. You took your clothing selection off the hanger and it was a perfect fit for your body! There were no sizes, nothing that could label or identify you by a number. Each style fit just right because of the amazing technology of the body scan, and for once you did not have to deal with the fact that, even when you had accepted the size of your body in the past, every different brand of clothing actually sized their clothing differently, so there had never been consistency as to the size labels.
Feeling so satisfied with just how easy and fun buying a new outfit was, you went to buy yourself a cup of coffee at Starbucks and although you saw the menu listed calories for each food choice, you took this in as merely informative, as opposed to some test of wills between you and the devil, whom was tempting you with high-calorie goodies. Instead, as you glanced at the menu you asked yourself, “Am I hungry or do I just want coffee?” The answer to your question was “I just want coffee and I am not hungry.” However, you realize that although you allow your true physical hunger to guide you as when to eat, it is 1:00 p.m. and you were having so much fun clothing shopping that you forgot to eat something. You realize that your body does need food to function, and you do not want to starve yourself. Why would you? Starving is unheard of in this new and fab world!
You then ask yourself, “What should I eat to give my body energy?” You opt for a banana, because you are not hungry, have no real craving, but need to give your body some nourishment. You are comfortable with your choice of having only a banana because when you do get hungry later you know you are going to satisfy a craving at Salvatore’s Kitchen Sink Pizza Palace, where Sal will put anything you want on your pizza except for the kitchen sink, and you are going to have a salad and a slice. As your latte is being prepared you notice a chocolate chip cookie that looks yummy, and you ask the server to pack it in a bag for you, because that just might be desert later, if you are hungry and feel for it.
As your latte is still being made, because even in our new and fab world where body size does not matter it still feels like forever when you are waiting for your Starbucks order, you see someone who looks familiar. It is someone that you think you went to high school with, and then you realize it is, her, your nemesis, the one who always got the guy that you liked, who always scored at least one point or more higher than you on the test, and you think maybe if I look away she will not notice me noticing her.
No such luck, she’s smiling and walking right up to you. You know she is going to annoy the hell out of you, that is for sure, but in our new fab world where size does not matter, you are not worried you are going to look fat or fatter than the last time you saw her. You take in her general appearance, but you are not sizing up her body, because really the size of her body has nothing to do with you. She needs to be comfortable in her own skin and you need to be comfortable in your own skin. Neither of you, talk about weight or size. She is just as annoying as you remembered, but it has to do with the size of her personality not the size of her body. After she leaves, you feel no different about your own body one way or the other, because in our new fab world you would not even consider comparing body sizes. Body size comparisons are considered ludicrous!
After all, each of us has different genetics, life experiences, reactions to stress and different levels of stress eating — which is so much less in our new and fab world, because half of the emotional eating and starving we used to do had to do with trying to meet societal standards concerning body size, as well as our own unrealistic expectations as to what our body size should be — as well as different cultural beliefs and traditions about food.
Your Starbuck’s latte is finally ready and you sip it as you carry your shopping bags to a table and you sit down to think about your after-work plans. You and your guy are going swimming at the local YMCA tonight, because you love the way your body feels as you move through the water. You estimate you may be swimming for 45 minutes, but there are no hard-and-fast time requirements, because you let your body guide you as to how strong it feels today and how much you are going to push yourself. You laugh out loud, as you think to yourself how ironic it is, that now that you live in a world where body size does not matter, you just love exercise for the sake of moving your body releasing stress, and feeling physically strong, as well as the fact that your guy looks very sexy in his swim trunks.
During this day, you never overeat, because you know that food is always available to you, and you can eat according to your true physical hunger and stop when you are full. As a result of this there is none of the following: no “one-last-chance eating,” because you are always afraid you are going to miss out on your one last opportunity to eat a food you love; no “guilt eating,” where you gorge yourself on more food than you are hungry for, because you feel guilty about the yummy chocolate cookie you just ate — because you know that you can have just one or several and you have not blown any diet, because there are no new diets!
So you need not gorge yourself with a box of cookies because you feel guilty about the one or several you had. No “out-of-control cravings” driving you to binge, because now when you have a craving you satisfy it when reasonably possible, and it subsides, as opposed to when you used to eat “healthy” foods to hold off the craving, and end up gorging on fat-free, lite, no-sugar foods — until you gave in to your craving for a chocolate-chip cookie, and ended up eating a box of them. In the end, you realized that you ate 10 times as much as you would have eaten if you would have just satisfied your craving with one or several chocolate-chip cookies.
Doesn’t this world sound beautiful, to live in a zip code where matters of body size are not weighing us down? Dare we even dream of such a Nirvana? Yes, every one of us can choose this world for ourselves, every one of us can choose to make peace with the size of our bodies. We can choose to live our lives as I just described in the new fab world where size does not matter. Unfortunately, at first it is not as easy as described here, because although you, I and some others may be choosing to create a life where size does not matter, not everyone is. But if we so choose to move towards living a life where size does not matter (which does not mean we are going to sit around eating bon bons, in fact, it means we are going to make healthier choices for ourselves from a place of self-acceptance and self-love and through having a sane relationship with food) the rewards make the challenges so worth it!
Most importantly, as our focus on the size of our bodies decreases, the focus on the size of our lives will increase. Have a large-sized day and a large-sized life!