from BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’s – said by Holly Golightly
In the year after my separation in 2000 I lost weight, went shopping and became Holly Golightly; least in my mind. The grief diet is not a diet plan I would recommend, but I lost almost 50lbs – in those unhappy last years of my marriage I had gained so much weight that on my petite frame I ached everyday from head to foot. So I ate yogurt and turkey sandwiches on rye bread for lunch every day and I walked 90 minutes to work and back for close to two years. I ate dark leafy green salads with almonds, and never ate candy, no chocolate bars, no snacking and drank wine like it was the fountain of youth.
But was I happy? I pretended I was. Pretending I was happy made the pain not so biting. I identified with Hepburn’s character Golightly, her sense of disconnection from attachment rang true in my life.
I kept that weight off for a decade; than ever so slowly some of it crept back, and so did the pervasive unhappiness of somehow not being whoever it was I was supposed to be. I had no clue who I was- at 38 how could this be?
Weight-loss has become such a HUGE topic in our junk food crazed society. Just last night my sister and I were discussing it in relation to her two girls who don’t fit that waif-thin body type. They’re active in Hockey, they dance and play active games, but they don’t fit what society says they should look like and so it’s an issue. They are by no means big girls, but they are not the skinny little waif’s society says they should be.
Everyone talks about being skinny, or NOT being “obese”, and compare themselves to characters they see on TV and magazine. Unreal, fake people who have their whole life scripted for them are our young girls role models in our new fake world. Lots of those same TV and magazine artificial people give us all kinds of unhelpful advice on how to be like them.
Why on earth would I want to be like a fake person? What benefit is there in that? Yet girls today compare themselves to these artifices of happiness and then wonder why they don’t measure up. They try fad diets and fail, they drink shakes that taste like dirty feet for breakfast and spend money they probably don’t have on crap that some advertisement on TV promised would miraculously make them skinny; and then it sits in a closet taking up space. They lose (insert whatever unrealistic number you want) in 5 weeks and then proclaim themselves on the road to happiness; only to a year later gain it all back with a few more poundage. They cry themselves to sleep at the unhappiness of not being a fake person; of failing at something they where never meant to be.
Do I have all the answers? Heck no. But I can tell you one thing, there ain’t no big secret. There is no magic shake, there is no fad fabulous diet plan up my sleeve. My only advice is teach yourself to like yourself. If you want to pretend to be anyone, pretend to be YOU – pretend to be a happy version of yourself. Go out and buy a nice outfit that fits YOU. Get your hair done that suits YOU, go for goddamn walk once in a while maybe too – enjoy stuff, be curious, be brave, be funny, be YOU. Enjoy the sunshine, go out and take a look at the stars on a clear night. Happiness is the joy we all desire, but the road there is not by-way of being someone you are not.
Believe me when your drawing your last breath your thoughts will not be on HOW you looked, but whether you enjoyed what God gave you. The rest will come. All anyone really wants is to be happy, isn’t it? The whole skinny thing is about happiness, after all. Being skinny doesn’t make you happy. Don’t base your happiness on someone elses expectations, base your happiness on what gives you joy. Seek out joy, not the next stupid diet plan.
Enjoy what you got cause this fabric our souls are enclosed in is temporary.