Saturday, May 19, 2012

the skinny on skinny, or MOASB #9--by Sierra

if you're just tuning in, head here for an explanation!

Skinny is a fickle friend. There is an extremely delicate line between being skinny, and “Oh my gosh, Adrienne, is your daughter anorexic?” 

But to be honest, I think it would be a little unfair to people that struggle with their weight to piss and moan completely about being skinny. As with any body type, it has its advantages, and it has the “OMG, I hate my body” moments too. I’ve lovehated my body since fifth grade when I got boobs before anyone else, and boys accused me of stuffing my bra (which, in fifth grade, stings about as bad as someone snapping your bra, if you’re curious). I’ve lovehated my body when, in high school, Kellen Fray, Mr. Cool, told me that “my friends and I voted— we think you’re an anorexic.” I’ve lovehated my body every time an aunt or uncle squeezed my hips and said, “Oh Sierra, where did you go?” The answer was, I was never there. I’ve always been skinny, I’ve always been short. I’ve always been a twig. That’s who I am. I’m small.

I’ve learned from living my life as a “skinny bitch” is that sometimes, being skinny can be a bitch. It is a highly cursed blessing. You love your body, you hate your body. That’s not about being skinny—that’s called being “a woman.”

In first grade, everyone carried me around in their arms because I was the only person light enough to lift. My mom says I never walked a step in that classroom, and that really pissed her off. I think I probably wanted to use my own two feet, too.

My junior year of high school, I lied to all my friends and teachers. I said, “I finally hit 100 pounds!” We had a party in my seventh hour class and people mock toasted to my fabricated weight gain. I just wanted people off my back.

When I got married, I went to the OBGYN and they tested my body mass index. Before asking my name, my doctor screwed her face into something that she obviously thought appeared “sympathetic.” She patted my hand and told me the results of my BMI. I had no idea what they meant. “It means, you’re anorexic,” she informed me, as though she had some earth-shattering insight into my own personal life. For an unrelenting half-hour stream, she told me about how to gain weight (all tactics I’d tried before), and how she “gained 10 pounds, and thought it was going to be awful, but you can barely tell, see?” I began sobbing and told her, “It’s not about vanity, I can’t gain a pound, ok?”

I’m not sure she believed me. She ended the exam telling me I was too skinny to have kids. Of course I sobbed the whole way home.

I was relieved to see in these blogs that someone else suffered from anxiety the way I do—that they get so anxious that they lose their appetite, and sometimes forcing food causes them to throw up. I was/am the same way. I sought therapy for my problem and learned that it a very typical way for anxiety to manifest itself, but I can’t tell you how many mornings I would cry over my oatmeal, praying intently to my Heavenly Father that he could just help me eat. I knew what I looked like—I was skinny, but I was not pretty. I knew I didn’t have a pound to lose. I knew the comments would come and continue to come. And this only exacerbated my anxiety.

It is only now, at this juncture in my life, that I am settling into a healthier weight because therapy did help me learn to master my anxiety (mostly). I’ve gained 10 pounds since my wedding 9 months ago… and I feel fat.

I am not fat.

I am still skinny.

Yet, my family has all voiced delight in my new “curves.” Secretly I wonder if there are people tracking my weight gain on facebook and cackling behind my back, happy that “that skinny bitch finally put on a pound or two.” But it’s all paranoia, because for too long, people have been talking about one another’s bodies, indelible comments that remain even when weight is gained or lost.

Instead of negative comments about the body of others, let us focus on speaking positively about our own bodies.

 I will start:

Today I weigh enough to eventually support a baby in my belly. Take that, you presumptuous OBGYN.


  1. Thank you for posting this! I enjoyed reading this so much!!!!

  2. Thank you for posting this! I enjoyed reading this so much!!!!

  3. Sierra, you are simply wonderful! You are an amazing writer, and you've always been beautiful! Congrats on reaching a weight that will allow you to have babies. You'll be a great mother when the time comes!

    ps. this is kendal, from the ward in park place :)

  4. I agree with Lana and Kendal--lovely. You are a wonderful writer, Sierra. For whatever reason, I wish I had known this when we were in classes together. You will be a strong mama--teach your daughters to love their bodies through your glorious example!