I Know I’m Thin. Why Can’t I Say It?

I’m preoccupied with staying thin. I’ll do anything to avoid saying I’m thin.

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“I am thin” are three small but very difficult words for me to type. Looking at them, my impulse is to erase and forget the sentiment even crossed my mind. They are nearly impossible for me to say aloud. I didn’t protest when an ex-boyfriend touched my midsection and casually called me thin, but the silence was thick. I hoped the awkwardness would justify never having to confirm being thin, even though I am thin enough for it to be a mostly unremarkable statement.

The difficulty of saying I am thin is one of few external discomforts of being thin. At my current height and weight, I can take for granted that I will find my size in the latest fashions and my body type reflected positively in every type of media. (This is doubly true because my skin is white, a trait magazines induce with Photoshop as habitually as they shave inches off thighs.) I can count on most romantic prospects to find my body desirable — especially in public, where a woman’s size sometimes seems inversely proportional to the power of the man she stands with. Until my mid-twenties, I knew only the discomforts of an average body and they were excruciating, compared to the drawbacks of being thin. When overweight and even average bodies are subject to relentless vitriol, complaining about being asked to take the middle seat feels like taking a mean-spirited victory lap.

Although I reap the benefits of being thin, it is rare that I feel thin. I change clothes multiple times each morning in search of more flattering outfits that never materialize. I wince and recoil during sex when my partner grabs at any available flesh, no matter how insignificant. I look at empty seats on the subway and fear that I will barely fit, only to sit down and see my reflection in the window opposite with ample room on either side of me. The only time I feel thin is in the fleeting moments after someone tells me so unprompted. But external validation expires quickly, the truth of it trickling out of my heart as time passes without a similar remark.

In a world where size descriptions are shorthand for personal integrity, to be thin and call oneself thin is to brag twice. And bragging women are known to inspire backlash. On a woman, positive self-evaluation reads like self-aggrandizement. We may graciously accept praise from others, but it is outrageous to agree with it, let alone arrive at these conclusions ourselves. So when online dating profiles have a body type option, I don’t select one. Instead, I use full-body photos with recent dates in the captions so that the men perusing can decide for me. Clicking “thin” myself would feel like saying I am adequate. I am good. I am enough.

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But being thin does not make me feel adequate. On the contrary, it is the persistent feeling of inadequacy that got me here and keeps me here. Those feelings just happened to manifest as the “right” kind of eating disorder. I rarely admitted to disordered eating when I was slightly larger out of fear I’d be judged a liar or, worse, insufficiently committed to my disease. But around age 26, I traded my bulimia-based regimen for a more anorexia-based one, though I’ve never had severe enough symptoms for a medical diagnosis. I used to occasionally throw up whole meals, now I just eat far fewer meals that could be described as “whole.” It began as an honest effort to work out and eat more vegetables. But the same impulse that recognized my first purge at 17 as a tool of control recognized exhaustive exercise and punitive meal portions with the same potential.

I admit to disordered eating occasionally because I am tired of hearing, “It must be so great to eat whatever you want!” True, I don’t have a list of restricted foods. But I do have a mind so conditioned to find small portions and low-calorie foods desirable that I can no longer discern what I actually want. Do I truly prefer the taste of a Fiber One bar to actual candy bars? Is the feeling in my gut satiety or guilt? Do I run for hours to increase my endurance or to test the pain threshold of my knees? “It’s funny, ‘cause I can’t even distinguish between what I want, what I need, and what I simply crave anymore! My consumption patterns are governed entirely by pathology rather than instinct now! Isn’t that bananas?” I often want to say, but rarely have said.

The response to these outbursts — when I admit what I must do to be thin — is generally silence. Other times it is dismissal; I must be exaggerating. Occasionally someone asks if I’ve considered seeking help. It comes from a good place. But the reason I have not sought help is in the subtext of the observation that precedes it. Beneath every variation of “It must be great to eat whatever you want!” is a silent “It must be great to be thin.” And it is great to be thin. An eating disorder that keeps its host at an attractively low weight is the most socially profitable kind of mental illness. It didn’t pay out in a sudden parade of affection with confetti and balloons. The dividends are subtle: an uptick in men holding subway doors for me, compliments from dressing room attendants, a sense that people listen to my thoughts and opinions as if they have more value. I know that I am supposed to say, “I struggle with an eating disorder,” or, “I battle food issues,” but the truth is that I do neither. When the result is being thin in a world that rewards it, the pathology is logical.

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It feels like a lie in my mouth but I know, on an intellectual level, that I am thin. And that the shape of a body ought to be a neutral thing. In a perfect world, a thin person saying she felt fat would be as demonstrably ludicrous as a blonde saying that they she felt brunette. But here and now, “fat” and “thin” never simply mean “fat” and “thin.” A woman on a blog chronicling her anorexia might call her frail body “fat” because she ate more than her allotted calories for the day. An overweight woman might post a picture in a dress that people said makes her “look skinny.” These words are less quantitative than they are moral, measures of a person’s physical sacrifice for the sake of pleasing others. “Fat” indicates a failure of will, the sin of succumbing to one’s basic needs or desires. Body positive activists work hard to reclaim “fat” for neutral objectivity, but we have a long way to go. When a woman calls herself fat, her friends still trip over themselves to deny it.

My moral compass did not improve when I became thin, and my weight is not a reflection of my virtuous willpower. Disordered eating, whether it renders one emaciated or substantially overweight, is a conspiracy of genetics, trauma, media, and accidents of longitude and latitude. They sentence all of us to similarly obsessive thoughts and behaviors, but their outcome arbitrarily rewards some and damns others. The few who hit the genetic jackpot and are naturally thin are prone to equate thin-shaming and fat-shaming. I want to tell them what it feels like to sit atop the fence between fat and thin. I saw how much greener the grass was on the thin side but until I got there, I had no idea how much kinder the world could be.

Will Varner/BuzzFeed

But kinder is not kind, and I am still not ready to shake the feelings of inadequacy that make me preoccupied with thinness. I do, however, want to live in a world where the words we use to describe bodies are no longer weapons and trophies. So I’m trying to acknowledge being thin. First, because I don’t want to subject others to my own dysmorphia. More important, I am forcing myself to say “I’m thin” because I want to neutralize the word. Tiny words take on enormous meaning when we leave them in the hands of others, wait to receive them, absorb them in our pores as judgment. I want to be able to be to say I’m thin myself — with a nonchalance with which I could never say I am good, I am enough, I am adequate — because my size does not, in fact, define my character. People say if you tell a lie for long enough it becomes the truth. I want to tell the truth long enough it stops feeling like a lie.

RESOURCES:
If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, here are some organizations that have trained support staff available by phone:

National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders Helpline: 1-630-577-1330

Binge Eating Disorder Association Helpline: 1-855-855-BEDA

National Eating Disorder Association Helpline: 1-800-931-2237

Read more: http://www.buzzfeed.com/alanamassey/im-waiting-for-permission-to-describe-my-body

These 6 Lifestyle Choices Aren’t As Bad For You As You Once Thought

If you search the internet looking for the truth about healthy dos and don’ts, you’ll find some rather conflicting reports.

The news is always flooded with the latest university study announcing the next healthy habit to pursue or avoid.

As science develops, we have come to discover that many of the habits we once thought were horrible for our health, can actually be quite beneficial. From me to you, here’s a sampling of six lifestyle habits that aren’t so bad for you after all.

1. Exercising while tired

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After a long day at the office, the last thing on your mind is changing into your favorite workout clothes and hitting the gym. However, according to a study published by Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, a simple 30-minute workout while feeling fatigued can actually have the reverse effect. It can quickly reduce your tiredness, improve mood, and reduce stress and anxiety.

2. Late-night eating

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I’ve been known to work some odd hours of the day, and inevitably, I may not eat dinner until closer to 9 or 10 p.m. I always think that I shouldn’t eat so late…but thanks to two researchers, I can finally ignore those silly thoughts. Apparently, ignoring late-night cravings can actually cause restless sleep. Eating at odd hours of the night won’t actually cause you to gain weight, as long as you stay within your allotted calorie range for the day.

3. Not showering regularly

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According to New York-based Dermatologist, Dr. Joshua Zeichner, many Americans bathe every day because it has become the societal norm. We’re actually a lot cleaner than we think!

But by showering less frequently, you’ll allow the “good” bacteria time to grow. This bacteria helps fight off infection and dangerous chemicals that would otherwise soak directly through our skin into our blood streams. Over-showering can also dry out your skin and leave your hair feeling flat and dull.

4. Drinking tequila

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Who knew that tequila could actually aid in weight loss? That’s right, according to the British Journal of Nutritiona regulated amount of tequila can help stimulate your metabolism. The secret is the agavins (or sugars) found in tequila. With their simpler molecular structure, these sugars go almost undetected in the bloodstream.

Taking a shot of tequila right after a meal can also aid in food digestion. It is also considered to be both a prebiotic and probiotic, can fight off osteoporosis, prevent Type 2 diabetes, and lower your chances of developing dementia.

5. Not brushing your teeth after eating

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Howard R. Gamble, former president of the Academy of General Dentistry has said that in addition to brushing daily, it’s important to brush your teeth at the right times. Brushing immediately after eating can actually cause the acid from certain foods to speed up the damage done to your enamel. Instead, try waiting 30 minutes to an hour before brushing those pearly whites.

6. Drinking non-diet soda

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Diet Pepsi has the word ‘diet’ in the name, so it must be healthy, right? Wrong!

Research conducted at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health revealed that adults who drank diet soda consumed more food calories throughout the day than those who drank regular soda.

In addition, most diet soft drinks offer up promises of being “low-cal” or “no-sugar added.” The problem with these promises is that in order to take something out, something else has to be added. In this case, sugar is replaced with artificial sweeteners. Artificial sweeteners have been linked to weight gain, Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and metabolic syndrome.

Now if you need me, I’ll just be over here improving my metabolism!

Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/lifestyle-rehaul/

11 Reasons Why Running Is Not As Good For You As You Might Think

Running is an incredibly simplistic form of exercise. All you need is some jogging clothes and a pair of shoes and you’re off. It’s a go-to for a lot of people who are trying to lose weight and work up a sweat.

But running may not be as good for you as you think. There are a lot of dangers associated with running that you might not even know about. Here are just a few of the reasons why you should probably pump the breaks on jogging.

1. Running is a high-impact exercise that can do a number on your joints and ligaments. Once you wear that cartilage away, you can’t get it back.

2. If you run on sidewalks and roads, you are putting yourself at risk for joint damage because of the hard landing your body has to endure with every step.

3. Other forms of exercise are far more effective than running in terms of burning calories and boosting your heart rate, and they don’t kill your joints. Swimming, rowing, and even weightlifting can burn more calories than jogging.

4. You can burn more calories in a shorter amount of time with those other forms of exercise. Plus, they’ll help you build muscle.

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5. If you are running for cardiovascular exercise, you could be doing more harm than good. People who are hardcore runners have been known to suffer from arterial plaque buildup and inflammation of the heart.

6. Because of all the stress you put on your body while running, it really wears you out. If you do this every day, your muscles won’t heal properly.

7. If you run outdoors, it can get pretty hot. It might make you want to take your shirt off. Well, running for long periods of time in the hot sun increases your risk of getting skin cancer, so be sure to put some sunblock on when you’re out there.

8. Taking a brisk walk can be just as effective when it comes to burning calories and losing fat.

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9. Your vertebrae get jammed together with every running step you take, and that can cause a lot of discomfort down the line.

10. One study found that people who run every day for many miles have the same life expectancy as those who don’t jog at all. This is because the heart is compromised by the large amount of stress that running puts on the body.

11. Take a look at long distance runners’ bodies and then take a look at the bodies of gymnasts. If you’re more into the sculpted look, try gymnastics, yoga, weightlifting, CrossFit, MMA, and exercises like that. Running alone will not get you there.

There you have it, folks! There are obviously many benefits when it comes to running, but the activity comes with its fair share of risks. How will you broaden your fitness horizons?

Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/jogging/

These Stunning Japanese Cakes Are Designed With Trust Issues In Mind (Just Wait)

There are certain things in life that you just don’t mess with, and cake is one of them.

Unless you’re Vegedeco Salad Cafe in Japan, that is. What they’re creating flies in the face of everything we know and love about the undisputed champion of dessert. Instead of allowing patrons to eat their feelings with a side of buttercream frosting, they do the unthinkable by making deceptively beautiful cakes out of vegetables.

Trust no one.

A food stylist by the name of Mitsuki Moriyasu came up with the idea, presumably after giving up on life.

This princess-party-worthy confection, for example, rests on a bed of lies (and beets).

That being said, Moriyasu paved the road away from happiness with good intentions.

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Instead of dropping salads (otherwise known as edible sadness) in front of customers, she adds some visual appeal to the situation.

These counterfeit creations were such a hit back in 2015 that Moriyasu and a few restaurateurs decided to open a joint called Vegedeco Salad Cafe that’s dedicated to the distribution of this culinary crime against humanity.

Healthiness aside, I have to admit that they’re beautiful. Blast you, Mitsuki Moriyasu!

Nothing is sacred anymore, friends. To learn more about this cafe and the food designer behind its signature dish, check out Vegedeco Salad Cafe’s website and follow them on Instagram.

Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/salad-cakes/

Here Are 16 Foods So Bad For You They’re BANNED In Some Countries. But Not America.

There are foods that you eat, possibly every day, that are so toxic that they are banned from being used in countries. The European Union, China and other superpowers have backed off from using some heavily processed foods and chemicals that have been proven to cause health issues when consumed. But not the United States. You have probably consumed at least one of these food items in the past day, if not more. Each and every one of them have been banned in other countries.

1.) The burgers you eat every day.

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2.) Eat chicken nuggets? Or other fast food chicken?

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3.) Pssst, there is poison in your chicken.

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4.) Mmm, asthma pork chops.

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5.) Energy drinks are worse than you thought.

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6.) How does TAR make its way in?

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7.) Chicken washed in chems… yum.

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8.) The bread you’re eating is awful.

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9.) Bleached flour can’t possibly be tasty.

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10.) I think I would prefer the rotten meat.

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11.) Mmm. Antibiotics.

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12.) This is how mutants are created.

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13.) They create tumors… but we totally eat them.

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14.) It’s what’s in your baby formula.

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15.) How to sterilize the masses.

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16.) That’s right. Anal leakage.

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(H/T Piximus) It’s been proven that countless processed foods and additives are terrible for the population’s health, yet the United States has yet to ban them. This is just another reason to start growing your own fruits and vegetables in your back yard… you won’t get anal leakage. More people should know just what they are eating. Share this information with others by clicking on the button below.

Read more: http://viralnova.com/us-foods-banned/

Guess What — Most Of The Stuff We Eat For Breakfast Is Terrible For Empty Stomachs

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but for many people, it’s also the most difficult. Finding time to chow down on something nutritious is almost impossible when you have to get ready for work and get the little ones off to school.

At this point, most of us feel like eating anything at all is an accomplishment. As it turns out, however, some foods that we think are healthy breakfast stapes are actually terrible to eat on an empty stomach.

Even those of us with the sturdiest stomachs can see long-term negative effects on our health by eating the following 10 foods first thing in the morning. But don’t fret! We also have 10 foods that are okay to eat right after getting out of bed. While you might have to trade in a breakfast favorite or two, there are plenty of delicious alternatives.

1. Yogurt and other fermented milk products form hydrochloric acid in an empty stomach. Over time, this can disrupt your gut’s natural bacteria system.

Read More: Here’s Why We All Have To Stop Eating Nutella Because Life Is Full Of Suffering

2. Pastries and donuts are high in yeast, which can irritate the stomach and cause gas. Not to mention they contain a ton of sugar, which brings us to our next point.

Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/breakfast-food/

Supreme Court sends plea for National Court of Appeals to Constitution Bench

The Centre had also said it was “neither feasible, nor desirable” and if it is set up, it will be a “self-defeating exercise as after 10 years, more number of cases will clog the system and the docket

Read more: http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/supreme-court-sends-plea-for-national-court-of-appeals-to-constitution-bench/article8844143.ece?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=RSS_Syndication