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Dear Dish-It: I'm Not Cardboard!

Jul 10, 2009

Dear Dish-It,

I went to the doctor and she said I gained 20 POUNDS since last year! She said it's normal for someone my age, but I feel like I'm bigger than everybody when I'm at school. All of my friends are complete stick figures. They are completely flat and look like pieces of cardboard (seriously, they're tiny)! How can I make myself feel like I'm thin? I know I'm not fat but sometimes I still feel that way.

Not cardboard

Dear NC,

First thing’s first – if your doctor says your weight gain is completely normal, than you have to listen to her and believe what she says. After all, she’s the expert – not you and not your friends or the kids at school. And if she believes you are completely healthy and normal, I say congratulations! You must be doing a great job taking care of yourself, your health and your body, and this means you’ll likely lead a very long and healthy life.

The problem seems, then, not to be about your weight (which is fine and healthy), but rather about the way you feel about yourself inside. Comparing yourself to others in any way is very dangerous and can lead to unhealthy habits. Whether you compare your possessions, your grades, your clothes or the way you look physically, you’re only setting yourself up for problems. Remember, everyone is different and unique – there is no need and no reason in the world to compare yourself in any way to anyone else.

So, it sounds like your doctor thinks you are a very healthy girl physically – the thing you need to work on is getting healthy mentally or in terms of your mind and the way you think about yourself and your life. Trust me when I say this – the absolute most important thing you can do for yourself and your life, to ensure you are always happy and as healthy as you can possible be, is to love yourself, inside and out, unconditionally. No matter what the people around you are doing, saying or look like, as long as you love yourself from the top of your head to the tips of your toes nothing can touch you or hurt you.

So start loving yourself and stop comparing yourself to others! Now!

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