I am not skinny

 

Me enjoying food, and not looking skinny!
Me enjoying food, and not looking skinny

This is a confessional for anyone who hasn’t met me in person.

(If you have met me in person, you’ll already know for a fact that I am not skinny.)

But there are some folk out there who have the impression that I am skinny.

Seriously.

I know it’s hard to believe this if you’ve seen me in an exercise class, or at the beach or even just standing around, but there is a misconception among some of the people that have yet to meet me, that I am skinny.

Let me clear this up right now:

I am not skinny

I don’t know if it’s because I’m a nutritionist (and all nutritionists are skinny, right?) or if my face looks like the face of a skinny person (whatever that might be), but let me dash that rumour on the head right now and confirm that I am not skinny.

One of the reasons I feel I need to tell you this is:

I am terrified.

Petrified, almost.

I have this big fear that people will be unpleasantly surprised if they are expecting me to be a skinny nutritionist when they actually meet me.

I worry about disappointing the clients that I meet in person because I’m convinced that they are expecting a skinny-minny, and I worry that people will judge me if they see me doing a talk about healthy foods when I clearly like chocolate.

If you’ve only seen a photo of me on my website, you may well assume that I am a size 6 and look fair-to-middling in a bikini.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not ‘big boned’. I’m not seriously overweight.

I guess you could say I’m curvy.

Voluptuous, no.

Curvy, but without the huge knockers.

Me, doing the worst thing in surfing, which is holding my nose, and not looking skinny!
Me, doing the worst thing in surfing, which is holding my nose, and not looking skinny!

 

And I absolutely like my body.

It works just fine and dandy for me, and has been with me for a very long time, and thanks to some excellent foot-rehabilitation and overall fitness instruction (thanks to the late Wendy Oliver), I am stronger now than I have ever been in my entire life – as proven by the fact that I can now bop UP kerbs on my bike for the first time ever.

My concerns about my lack of skinny-ness is based purely on my fear that I am not good enough as a nutritionist because I don’t look like a nutritionist.
(and now that I’ve written it down, I realise just how STUPID that sounds!)

Hence this confessional: now you know.

I am not skinny, and I never will be and if you absolutely will only ever trust a nutritionist who is skinny, then I’m guessing that we are going to have to break up because, as far as I can tell, I am going to be a slightly rounder-than-not nutritionist for a good while longer.

Now that I’m on a roll, I want you to understand something else that is really really important.

Your body, and by that I mean your size, is just one aspect of you.

Spending all your time worrying about your weight is just a waste of time.

It’s like worrying about the length of your sternum and trying to figure out if there is some way of making it shorter or longer or somehow more attractive. Pointless.

Now, yes, I know that right now you are thinking that it is perfectly sensible to worry about your weight and that it is also perfectly possible to do something about it.

And I can see why you are saying that, but hear me out.

Worrying about anything is pointless.

It totally is, and you will never convince me that the actual physical act of worrying about something has any beneficial use whatsoever. You can have a concern, and decide to do something about that concern, but the worrying itself is just pointless.

Now, the reason I’m saying that doing something about your weight is pointless is this: do you actually have enough life to sort out ALL the things about yourself that you don’t like?

Yes? No?

Let’s use, erm, me as an example:

Let’s say I decide that to fit into my self-imposed daft idea that all nutritionists should be skinny.

So I go on a (obviously super healthy because I’m a nutritionist) diet and lose some weight.

Once I’m done, I’ll be admiring my gorgeous belly in the mirror, and I will then look up and realise that my teeth are just too wonky, so I’ll need to get them sorted.

A year or two later, with my flat abs and straight teeth, I’ll probably realise that my grey hairs are deflecting from my new found near-perfection, so I might get my hair dyed.

Then, with my shiny brown hair, straight teeth and perfectly flat belly, I’ll probably realise that I’ve developed varicose veins and even more wrinkles than I can bear.

After a lot more effort and time than I have, I’ll be perfectly skinny, with straight teeth, glossy hair, veinless legs and no wrinkles. And then I’ll look at my knees. Darn it. Too knobbly.

Blige.

Aside from the energy (and pain) involved in looking that perfect, I just don’t know how I’d fit all that perfectioning into my life. It’s a never ending cycle of finding something to hate.

Isn’t it just better to like myself (oooh, dare I even say it – maybe even love myself) enough to not worry about my physical imperfections?

I’m not saying that it’s wrong to get my teeth straightened if it’s something that I really want.

I’m not saying that life wouldn’t be more glamorous if I had fewer wrinkles.

And I’m not saying that getting fit and having fab-abs is a bad idea.

What I am saying is that it shouldn’t be your reason for not liking yourself right now.

Losing weight can be part of your life, if that’s your goal, but it shouldn’t be your whole life and it shouldn’t be a reason to mentally beat yourself up if you don’t succeed.  And it shouldn’t be a reason to delay the good stuff, just because you don’t feel worthy.

So I’m gonna quit worrying that I am not skinny enough to be a good nutritionist and hope that maybe you can like your bad bits just as much as you like the good stuff.

So,

Have I put you off?

Do you only want a nutritionist who is the perfect model of the weight you want to be?

Or does it make you feel better to know that, regardless of how darned fabulous I may seem, I am, in fact, a human being, just like you?

 

Either way, I’m guessing it doesn’t matter that much. I’m still me, and you are still you and I think we should try to like what we see in the mirror.

 

You can read more about my thoughts on losing weight and being happy here.

And if you are interested in finding out how to eat well enough to be healthy without worrying about dieting, sign up to my newsletter to hear about Start Right and Carry On.

8 thoughts on “I am not skinny

  1. Claire, I love your honesty and frankly isn’t a skinny little nutritionist a bit scary? I prefer to work with someone who knows how difficult it can be and everyone’s perfect/happy is not the same. Don’t be scared your fab! And I for one am sticking with you

  2. There are times we hide from ourselves and wonder how anyone could accept us, the real version not the illusion. The worry washes away when you accept what you fear most is really part of our beauty. Like an atomic bomb of strength… You rocked this. Woman you are awesome!

  3. Haha I love this blog Claire – thanks for sharing, but we like you the way you are, you just wouldn’t be you without a bit of a tummy. If you lost it, I’d have to think very hard if we could still be friends! I also think it’s a strength as a nutritionist having an element of ‘normal’.

    On the very occasional moment I’ve thought – yeah my thighs look great as they are (ahem a tad tight in my jeans), I’ve felt so happy and relaxed. Imagine what this world would be like if we could all chillax, eat chocolate and be happy with the way things are!

    • Yipeee, thanks Lucy! Being happy with what we’ve got is pretty much the best place to start from and feeling guilty about eating chocolate should NEVER happen to anyone!

  4. One of the best articles I have read in a very long time. I could not agree more with what you said.

    ‘worrying about anything is pointless’ and loving ourselves instead – those words need to be turned into a colorful happy poster! Love you Claire.

    • Thank you Haroulla – glad it makes sense (seeing as when I was writing, it felt a bit like a rant to start off with!)

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