Labels are a curious thing aren’t they? This particular blog post will deal with two kinds of them. The first being personal labels. I think for some people, the need to categorize others around them (or even themselves) is a necessary thing. Helps them sort out people. “That’s Dan, he’s a vegan.” “There’s Marie, she’s divorced.” “Steve’s a doctor.” Whether we like it or not, “identifiers” do exist in other people’s minds when they think about us. Descriptive words if you will. They by no means sum up all that we are. And in the case of my husband, I know he is absolutely joking when he says that cuddling me now is like cuddling Skeletor.
While certain words won’t bother everyone equally, I don’t like being called“skinny”. Mostly because I would never label myself as that! In my mind I will never be skinny. I don’t want to be skinny. That word is almost derogatory in my mind. When I think of the definition of “skinny”, I get the image of someone who is severely underweight, possibly anorexic. And I honestly wouldn’t use it as a descriptor for people who did carry those characteristics. My brain tells me to use the word thin. Or maybe REALLY thin to describe those individuals.
You might be thinking, there’s no way people have referred to me as skinny. I thought I was hallucinating when I heard it for the first time too. I’ve heard it a few times now and it’s just not sitting right with me. The not so strange thing I have found that when being called skinny – after my attempt to shrug it off by replying “Oh, I don’t know about that…” They reply “ No no, you ARE!! “ And they mean it to be a compliment towards me. I know that word is their attempt to make me feel good but I really don’t want anyone thinking that I traveled down the weight loss road to get “skinny”. That was NEVER my goal. I only ever wanted to be healthier than 300 lbs….shocker…
If that meant only being able to lose 50 lbs because I couldn’t control all my cravings or the motivation stopped there….fine. I just always knew I could do better than what I was doing. Even I didn’t anticipate how far I could really go. Which is in truth one of the larger motivators for me to keep going. No matter my size I will never refer to myself as skinny. I prefer to say I am “thinner than I once was”. Plus, being skinny shouldn’t be the goal of everyone who is losing weight. But given the society that we live in, that doesn’t surprise me.
The second type of label that has my nose out of joint is the kind that you find on “health foods”. You know the ones. We constantly come face to face with them down every single aisle in the grocery store. Companies use the usual trigger words to make us think we are buying something healthy and “diet” friendly….”Skinnycow Ice Cream Sandwiches”, “Thinsations Cookies”. These huge corporations will also use well known celebrities to endorse and sell their products. I know most adults realize that there is no way these stars actually eat/drink/ or use that specific product they are telling us that we need, but some of us buy into the crap anyway. I get it. It would be great to keep eating the way we always have been and just buy a product that says “low calorie” and think we have done something so fantastic for our health and well being. We want the easy way to get to where we want to be. That’s not the way it goes for us – or the celebrities. Deep down we know that. But for once I would love to see Sofia Vergara selling a fresh carrot and telling me all about the benefits of that vs. Diet Pepsi. You know what I mean?