I Feel Like A Fraud In The Body Positivity Movement Because I Still Really Want To Be Skinny

I’m a messy person and rarely plan anything. I’m not regimented. I’m not someone who follows anything strictly. I’ve had my ‘maintenance required’ light on my car for at least a month. I’ll get to it, eventually.

So I guess it’s a little shocking that the one thing I do every day, the one thing I fit into my schedule no matter what, is hit the gym. Sorry for saying Please sedate me if I ever utter the phrase, “rise and grind.” Actually, just murder me. I fear at that point it would be too late. I’d probably have a poster hiding somewhere in my room. There’s no rehabilitating someoneat that stage.

I don’t work out particularly hard. I don’t like running, never have. In school, I would walk the mile whenever my gym teacher looked away. I don’t contain a single athletic bone, and I never wanted to. Sports seemed like a waste. Exerting energy seemed…exhausting. It still does.

I go to the gym and spike the incline on the treadmill. I set a fast paced walk, a light jog, even. My phone sits delicately in front of me and an episode of or plays for 45 minutes. If I’m angry or thinking about my ex, I might up the speed and run for a minute or two. Still, it’s not like I’m kicking my own ass. I’m just there, walking.

I go home and peel off my slightly sweaty clothes (remember, I dont work out hard enough to justify a lot of sweat). I hop in the shower. I grab skin folds and see how hard I have to suck in to make my stomach concave. I ache for my collarbones. I hate Teenage Me and how thin she was. Photos of her make me mad. Photos of her make me touch my belly in a way that breaks my heart a little. Of course, Teenage Me hated herself too.

Its never good enough, is it?

Someone on Instagram comments, “I hope I love my body the way you love yours one day!” and I feel like crying a little bit. I showcase my flaws online as if they do not bother me. I put on pants that were loose three years ago and go back to the gym when they’re too tight. Okay, I’m bothered. I’m bothered often.

I love myself, but some days it is more of a negotiating process.

Some days, I am telling everyone else they are beautiful but berate my own reflection. I contract the muscles in my ass and watch flecks of cellulite appear and disappear. I smack myself, and count how long everything jiggles. Before bed, I Google firming creams.

Am I allowed to be a body positivity advocate if I still wish I was skinny?

Am I allowed to preach self-love if I’ve somehow convinced myself my ex doesn’t want to get back together because he saw the extra 15 lbs I carry around with me?

I am uncomfortable writing this because someone is going to say I am too small to be upset. Someone is going to say I’m insulting the movement. Someone is going to think I’m complaining for no real reason.

Imagine, a world where we don’t worry about expressing our deepest insecurities. Imagine, a world where I’m not quieting parts of myself because I don’t think they will be accepted.

Imagine, a world where I accept my body but still hate it aloud sometimes.

I go the gym and work out with the expectation my body will bounce back to the way it was. Before alcohol. Before heartbreak. Before college. I’m thinking if I just go enough times, I’ll erase everything that came before.

There’s something about all of this I hate. This acknowledgment of things I’ve acted okay with. This disgust I shouldn’t aim at myself. This fear of what people will say.

It’s a lot.

I wish I could conclude this with something inspirational. Like, I went to a yoga retreat and learned the power of the human body. Or maybe I deactivated Instagram and no longer care about hip to waist ratio. Wouldn’t that be wonderful? I could end this with a powerful statement, with something I learned.

Instead, I’m still trying.

Instead, I’m still going to the gym. I’m still hungry for something to change.

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