The Thigh Gap

thigh gap

How two inches of fat can ruin your life; and not in the way you think!

I hate to admit it, but the question of the thigh gap is trending.  Honestly, it’s a little bit pathetic to me.  But for the purpose of putting the issue to rest, I will tell you how two inches of fat can ruin your life, or save it.

If you aren’t already familiar with the thigh gap, it is basically the area closest to a women’s pelvis between the legs, and particularly on those of you who are petite, it is a gap between each leg, even when your knees are touching.  Let’s be honest: most of us are not that petite, nor that skinny.

Disclaimer: I am not bashing on women who are petite and skinny.  People are blessed with bodies of all shapes and sizes, and girls who have a thigh gap need no shame.  But what about those of us who don’t have the thigh gap?  Can two inches of fat, or lack of it, really make us happy?

The answer: it cannot, and most definitely should not.  If two inches of fat on each inner thigh can make you miserable, you have bigger problems than you think my friend.  As you can see from my own photos, I don’t have a thigh gap, and I don’t have a problem with that fact.

I will admit, sometimes a thigh gap would be nice.  On a hot summer day, during one of my typical three mile runs, I wish for nothing more than a little relief from my sweaty thighs rubbing against one another.  (The mental image of that may be somewhat disturbing, especially if you saw how sweaty I can get.)  Somehow, Lulu Lemon and Nike haven’t been able to make a pair of shorts that keep from riding up on my legs (or at least I haven’t found them yet).  But every other moment of my life, I don’t mind those two inches.

Is there a benefit to fat on the inner thigh?  Google that question and all you will find on page one is ways to get rid of it.  Video after video, article after article, of advice, tricks and techniques to rid our bodies of this burden.  But is it really a burden?  I think not.  Yes, work out.  Yes, focus your exercise on areas you’d like improved.  But under no circumstance should you bash yourself, or others, for not having “perfect” thighs.

My ten-month old niece has some rolls around her thighs.  Everyone that meets her comments on how adorable they are.  Really, they are what will give her the ability to walk, and eventually run.  But on me, are they adorable and sexy?  I’d say without hesitations, yes.  And other people are starting to think so too!  Women’s magazine highlights an article on anti-thigh gap jeans.  Singer Demi Lovato shares her selfie with Ryan Seacrest, where she says, “My body doesn’t naturally have that”.  Props to her, cause mine doesn’t either.

Obsessing over two inches of fat on your thighs is unhealthy.  Society may tell us that we should be unhappy with our bodies, which can be an infectious message in our minds.  I have struggled with body image my whole life.  But over time, I have realized that I can’t listen to what people think my body should look like.  We all have areas of our bodies that aren’t perfect.  The real goal is to be happy with your body, accept it, imperfections and all.  After all, healthy girls are hot girls.  And happy girls are hot girls.  Let’s be hot.

Inspiration

San Diego Beach

How a Series of Unfortunate Events Led to a Dream Come True

I’ll start off by saying that I have an inspiration to write, and so I am.  Writing a blog will be an adventure, as with most things in life.  I can promise only two things.  One: I will be honest.  I will tell the truth about my life, experiences, thoughts and beliefs.  Two: I will be positive.  Each article will include controversy, difficulty and possibly failure, but I am an optimist and so you will find that each time I share, I will focus on the positives.  After all, life for me is about honesty and optimism.

I have dreams; goals and ambitions for my life that until recently seemed clear and attainable.  One of the goals is to be a writer.  And as I sit at my table, sipping coffee on this cloudy Monday morning, it seems surreal to actually be writing.  It was not an easy road that led me to take steps towards this dream.  But I’m glad to be here, difficulty and all.  I like how Daniel Handler used the phrase ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events’.  For me, it truly was.  But first, some history…

In December of 2012, I was diagnosed with Bipolar Type I disorder.  Honestly, this came as a shock to me.  I pride myself on ‘knowing’ myself.  I can recognize that I have highs and lows, bad days and good, but I never thought of my experiences as being a disorder.  I was quickly placed on a regimen of medication and found it much easier to maintain balance, especially in my thinking.

I had been cautioned by many people, including my expert doctor, against quitting my medications.  My doctor explained that I had a 98% chance of hitting a manic or depressive episode if I were to quit taking my meds.  And yet, he explained, it is the nature of many bipolar patients to want to quit their meds.  Why would I want to take medications for the rest of my life, when I was feeling fine?  Why deal with a host of side affects, which for me included weight gain and mild tremors in my hand, when I did not think I was struggling?  Fast forward two and a half years: I decided to quit my medications.  That was unfortunate event number one.

When I was originally diagnosed, I was living in San Diego, CA.  I had a wonderful job, and although I lived far from my family, I was enjoying the freedom and fun of sunny San Diego.  After four years in California, I made the drastic decision to move to Portland to help my sister.  She is a single mom with two kids, and needed the help to finish culinary school.  I found myself working 60 plus hours a week, between watching my sisters kids during the day to working a low-paying administrative position in the evenings.  I was burnt out and ready to make a change.  I was applying, and finally landed what at the time was my ‘dream job’.  I was chosen as the office manager for a local primary care practice.  That was unfortunate event number two.

After three stressful months of long days, half of which I was not medicated, I was fired from my dream position.  They told me ‘it was not a good fit’.  I had hit a manic episode a few days before the news (not sleeping, anxiety ridden, racing thoughts), and plummeted into a depressive episode quickly after.  I wasn’t sure my life was worth living anymore.  That was unfortunate event number three.

Slowly but surely, I began to recover.  I had started back on medications, this time with a doctor who was able to give me a plan of action that felt closer to what I  wanted.  I applied for unemployment and was able to begin my job hunt.  When my unemployment check finally came through, it was accompanied by a letter.  The letter said that if I wanted to start a business, in lieu of looking for work, that I will still be eligible for my unemployment insurance.  As long as I was working 40 hours per week on my business, I could quit looking for work.  This sparked something in me.  It created the option for a new future, a hopefulness in me that had been lacking.

Now, there is no way in high heaven that I want to start a business.  I’ve seen it done, and it seems like way too much work.  Long hours, financial stress, little to no predictability, all of which are not my cup of tea.  But the letter was like a calling.  What did I really want to do with my life?  What was I good at?  What was my dream?  Finally, I was able to see how my unfortunate events were leading me somewhere.  I’m not sure where that is, but this blog is the start.

At age 26, I cannot claim to know it all about life.  Nor do I think it is attainable to ‘have it all’.  But two things truly tickle me: happiness and health.  I love to dabble in what makes us happy, how our journey can be blessed with long periods of joy and contentment.  I also enjoy focusing on health.  What makes us healthy, how can we pursue health, and what does it mean to be ‘hot’?  Women in their 20’s and 30’s face a lot of challenges, particularly surrounding how to be happy and hot.  Inspired by my own journey, I will explore what it means for women to be happy and healthy.  After all, happy girls are hot girls, and healthy girls are hot girls, and you can be both.

I hope you enjoy my journey and my dream.