Skinny is Not a Ticket to Happiness


I’m so happy to have Sam @ Better With Sprinkles guesting posting on the blog today!  Sam’s blog has become a regular read of mine.  Her posts are always so inspirational, honest and relatable.  Oh and she shares lots of yummy food too – never a bad thing! ;-) Today’s post is something many people struggle with – body image and acceptance.  It definitely struck a chord with me and I hope you’ll be able to take something positive out of it too.  Its all yours Sam! 


Hi, Eat Great BE Great readers – so happy to be filling in for Holly today! My name is Sam, and I blog over at Better With Sprinkles, where I focus on living the best life possible with my boyfriend and my pug after recovering from an eating disorder.

Sam and AttiHow can you not love that face?

So today, I wanted to talk to you about the expectation that people are taught to strive for: being ‘skinny’ or ‘in shape’. Unfortunately, the society we live in is extremely focused on the shape and size of women’s bodies. When you turn on the TV, how many ads do you see for gyms, diet foods, diet programs? And then you have your ads for run-of-the-mill products being displayed to you by a size-zero, ‘perfectly’ proportioned models.

And nowadays, we have things like Tumblr, Pinterest and Instagram, filling our heads with images and mindsets like this:

fitspoStaring at those images all day, it’s no wonder that so many of us suffer from self-esteem and body image issues. It’s also no surprise that we seem to think that we need to ‘fix’ our bodies in order to be happy.

Through the media, society has managed to implant a nonsensical idea in the minds of most of its viewers. That skinny = happy. That life won’t start until we lose those last ten pounds. Do you want the man/woman, the job, the cute outfits, the happiness? You don’t deserve it until you look like those models you see on the runway, or you have the super-cut, six-pack abs seen in fitspo pictures online.

the-definition-of-beautifulWell, I want to remind everyone that this is NOT the case. One of the images I stumbled across recently shows an incredibly fit woman with the words “Be happy. Be proud. Be confident. Be YOU” running across it. I agree that these are all things that we should strive for in our lives. But why do our bodies come into it? You can be happy, proud, confident, and yourself, regardless of what your body looks like. We need to learn to be proud and confident in our own bodies NOW, rather than waiting until we reach unattainable goals – no one can look like a photo-shopped model.

So, live your life the way you want to. I think most people can agree that confidence is an incredibly attractive, desirable trait in someone. Sure, we all need to learn how to love our bodies. So instead of putting all of our mind-power into thinking about our physical traits, what should we be focusing on?

Our minds. Our personalities. Our humor. That, ultimately, is what people will notice, and what will draw people and opportunities to you. Not our bodies, so that shouldn’t be at the forefront of our minds, and we shouldn’t be waiting until we have the ‘perfect’ body to chase our dreams. Go for them now, because a life spent waiting to achieve some unattainable goal of physical perfection or improvements is not one worthy of you. Learn to appreciate the body you have while you aim for more important goals. You are your personality, not your body – learn to love the body you have, while focusing on the more important things.

be kindI’d love to hear your thoughts on body acceptance, body shaming in the media, and the societal ‘life-starts-after-I-lose-ten-pounds’ syndrome! And of course, I’d love it if you swung by my blog to say hi ;-)

Have a good one!

19 thoughts on “Skinny is Not a Ticket to Happiness

  1. This is such a beautiful post. I always get such pleasure in reading posts like this. It always inspires me and makes me realize why I’m pushing so hard in recovery. I know what REALLY matters are the things you mention; being a good person, having a brain that can function healthily and normally, being a great friend and family member. I have seen just how debilitating the intense focus and obsession on weight and body image can be. Although my body is not where I’d ideally like to see it, I know that what I want is unattainable if I want to really LIVE my life. I’d choose being able to actually live and experience a rich and full life over being the skinny, sick girl that I was. Great post.

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  3. i LOVE this! this line is perfect: “You are your personality, not your body – learn to love the body you have, while focusing on the more important things.” its so true, if you wait for the perfect body to get your life started, your life will never get started. simple as that. um, did i mention i love this? because i LOVE this :)

  4. Great post! I used to have a very unhealthy view on what it meant to be fit and healthy….I always equated that to being skinny. I don’t think there is anything wrong with wanting to lose some weight, be healthy, and feel better about the way that we look; however, comparing ourselves to what the media portrays as beautiful can be very problematic for our bodies, minds, and souls. There used to be a television show on, it was British but I can’t remember the name- anyways, each episode had an overweight person and an underweight person live together and trade diets in an effort to change the way they think about food and eating. What was interesting was that in a lot of cases it was the underweight people who were in serious danger with their health. Frankly, some of the people looked just like the models and actresses people look to as beautiful today- it was definitely an eye opener. Thanks again!

  5. <3 this post! I definitely agree that society tends to put too much focus on health/happiness on the way that our bodies look. You are absolutely right- happiness and confidence isn't a direct result of our bodies and we need to learn to be confident without always referencing out bodies to it.

  6. I absolutely love everything about this post! Self love is something that I’m super passionate about. It’s SO important to realize that we’re good enough RIGHT NOW. Achieving a certain number isn’t going to make a difference if we’re already unhappy with ourselves internally. Great post :-)

  7. So true! Lotta’ wisdom here lady. Thanks for sharing!

  8. LOVE this! Awesome post! My philosophy on beauty is completely in line with yours!

  9. This is perfect, Sam! I have been finding myself falling into that awful “if I only lost 5-10 pounds” syndrome and it is awful! Yes, it is important to be healthy but unless you are a fitness model, you don’t need to push your body to its breaking point at the gym every single day!

  10. Love this lady, and LOVE this post! The idea that we have to look a certain way to be happy and confident is just ridiculous… especially because I’m pretty sure that the way we look is pretty low on the list of what people like about us. My friends don’t like me because I weigh a certain amount, can lift a certain weight, or can fit into a certain size… they like me because of how I act, how I feel, and how I think. I really wish we spent more time trying to accept ourselves instead of trying to mold ourselves into some version of “ideal.” The world would be a better place if we did…

  11. Great person to guest post, Holly! and also, another well written piece from Sam. The media is both a good and bad thing, but at times, some of their underlying messages are abit too far- and questions ones self esteem. Accepting yourself and looking behind superficial qualities is what our society needs drummed in our heads.

  12. Love this! So honest, we shouldn’t be judged by our beauty, and we definitely shouldn’t look for happiness. We can only find happiness from within, losing weight or changing our features won’t make you wake up a happier person.

  13. Agreed!!! People should not compare themselves to what they see online or on TV. Loving one self is very important and I think nothing is more beautiful than that!

  14. Excellent post, Sam! I totally used to get myself caught up in the comparison trap time and time again. I thought, “Oh, if I lost 10 lbs or looked just like HER, then I’d be so happy”. Now I’m past that, have accepted myself and my body, and am ten million times happier than I ever was before. It’s definitely about acceptance and loving yourself!

  15. This is such a great post! I believe that beauty comes within and we need to love and be confident with ourselves. Good self-esteem goes a long way! I find it so frustrating how much our society measures good looks and whether someone is skinny or fat as an indicator of social status. Everyone is unique and has their own story. We need to appreciate each and everyone of us for who we are, not how we look.

  16. Be YOU. Such a great reminder. I’m tired of all of the supposed “healthy” pinspiration pictures that just end up making you feel worse about yourself. Social media is just destroying our body images.

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