A lot of women believe that being thinner will radically improve their lives.
They will feel happier, more confident, more comfortable flirting and dating and kicking ass at work and getting things done and asking for a raise.
Their parents and friends and boyfriends and girlfriends will like them better.
Their enemies will be more jealous.
Plus, they'll feel more attractive and wear prettier clothes.
It's worthwhile questioning whether all of these associations with thinness are actually true, but for many people, at least some of them are. Part of this is due to how society treats people of different weights (aka "thin privilege"), but also to how we view ourselves at different body sizes.
But here's the thing, even if it is true that pressing the "skinny button" will improve your life, is it the only button that you know how to press?
When you feel uncomfortable at a party,
or annoyed with your work,
or frustrated with your dating life,
or nervous about going on a vacation,
do you think to yourself, "man, if only I was thinner!"
Do you have that same jones-ing for thinness whenever you feel nervous or anxious or annoyed or like you wish your life was different?
Do you, in other words, wish you could be thinner whenever you face many problems in your life?
Here's the thing. Maybe being thinner will make your life better. I have some objections to that idea, but maybe. Sure.
But here's what I know for sure, without a doubt: there are many, many, many ways to make your life better.
And if you are only pressing the "skinny button" whenever you are faced with any problem or frustrated dream or ambition in life, you are missing out on a heckuva lot of other buttons.
So I'm not saying that the skinny button isn't useful. But so are the 102,654 other buttons that you can press; by changing how you interpret the world, how you communicate, how you relate to others, how you understand yourself, what clothes you wear, how you move your body, and much, much more.
If you are only pressing the "skinny button," your tunnel vision causing you to miss out.
So what's a girl to do? What do we do when we realize that we've spent our entire lives making "thinness" the antidote to every moment of awkwardness or self-doubt or fear?
It might be time to learn to press some other buttons, my dear friend.
Then I'd love to hear from you: when do you tend to "press the skinny button?" What other buttons could you press in those moments?
Katie spent years "planning" her eating and being frustrated with herself when she ruined her plans by eating too much. She eventually discovered how to trust herself around food -- read more about her story here, or get her free ebook.
If you're struggling with an eating disorder, call the National Eating Disorder Association hotline at 1-800-931-2237.