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I Know The Secret To Skinny.

July 30, 2014

A few weeks ago I found myself doing a much needed clean-out of my closet. Naturally, I came across pieces that I hadn’t worn in a very long time, which usually means that it’s time to throw them in the donation pile. But instead I found myself holding onto them, debating what I should do.

In that moment I realized something particularly profound. That giving away these clothes meant letting go of something that I no longer am, skinny.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not delusional. I am well aware that I am what society would consider “thin”. This is my natural build and one that I suspect some people torture themselves to have. The skinny that I am referring to is the frail, rail-like skinny that I used to be. The bone-popping, thigh-gap skinny that I wore proudly. The skinny that was hungry and overworked.

A long time ago I heard my idol Oprah Winfrey say something that ended up sticking with me for years. It was something along the lines of “never buy bigger jeans, keep working to fit into your old ones”. While I respect Oprah in many domains, weight-loss and body image isn’t one of them. If I knew then what I know now, I never would have listened. But of course hindsight is 20/20.

Nevertheless, I listened and I did everything in my power to fit into those jeans. In the process I discovered the secret to skinny. Spoiler alert: it’s not worth it.

This secret would end up taking over my life for more years than I wish to tell. Being skinny was my first priority. I masked my attempts in the face of “health” but inside I knew what I was doing. And here’s exactly what I did:

I ate a lot of salads. 

I worked out every single day. On most days it was a mix of cardio and weights and on “rest days” I walked/ran on a steep incline on the treadmill.

Diet coke was my best friend.

Calories were meant to be counted.

If I was drinking, I either ate less or worked out more and these “drinks” usually consisted of shots…lots of shots.

I looked at my body in the mirror, a lot.

Binge days would happen that usually started with a hangover, followed by a jumbo-sized bag of PB m&ms with a side order of guilt.

And here’s how I felt:

exhausted-hungryExhausted. My body was literally crying out for rest. By-products of this negligence still remain to this day i.e. chronic leg and back pain.

Hungry. Food was on my mind all.the.time

Guilty. I actually felt ashamed if I skipped a workout or binged.

Frustrated. I felt like no matter what I did I could never look how I wanted to look. 

I had discovered the secret to skinny, but I lost all the joy in my life. 

My habits today are far removed from that girl who ran endless miles and ate rabbit food for sustenance. They changed because I wanted them to. Because once I figured out the secret to skinny, I realized it wasn’t worth it. I valued living my life over planning it.

How I came to these conclusions is a post for another day and quite honestly is still an ongoing process. For the most part I now eat when and what I want and move my body when and how it wants to but not surprisingly some of my clothes no longer fit. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have a moment where I thought of dear old Oprah’s saying and considered doing what I had to to get back in those jeans.

I knew I had what it took to look skinny in my skinny jeans. I’d done it once, I could do it again. But while I definitely looked skinny, it was the furthest thing from how I felt.

I may have paused for a second to think about my decision but ultimately I knew those clothes belonged in the donation pile. I wasn’t turning back. Instead, I made the choice to accept myself, exactly as I am. Someone who is smart, driven, successful and beautiful. Someone who loves to walk and hike and fuel my body with veggies and wine. Sometimes more wine than veggies, and sometimes those veggies are french fries. Most of the time they’re not.

Giving away those clothes was the final straw in letting go of all of the negative habits that had previously taken over my life. It meant choosing to live each day as my happiest self instead of my skinniest self. Discovering that these two concepts are not intertwined is the greatest gift I ever could have received.

I now know the secret to happy and trust me folks, it looks nothing like skinny.

IMG_7836No questions, just your thoughts.

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  • Reply
    Arman @ thebigmansworld
    July 30, 2014 at 5:23 am

    Damn, a post where I can’t be rude, witty or downright random.

    This is why your blog is appealing, YOU are appealing and you are an inspiration on many platforms. I think many know the ‘secret’ to being skinny- the success that comes from that is keeping it as that- a secret- one which hopefully remains as such and you embrace the secret to happy- which no longer is secret. BOOM.
    Arman @ thebigmansworld recently posted…Moving Meals

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      July 31, 2014 at 2:11 pm

      I feel like I just read a riddle. I think I got it though! I think my brain has gotten bigger too 😉

  • Reply
    meredith @ The Cookie ChRUNicles
    July 30, 2014 at 6:12 am

    I love Oprah. Always have and always will. However, her views on diet/weight loss/desire to be skinny applies to “most” of society. Not all of us. Not you and me. There is such a thing as too thin and not everyone out there will ever come close to experiencing it. But we have and we know the difference and what we need to do to be healthy and happy. I recall unloading the clothes from when I had amenorrhea years ago and the funniest part is, I am pretty sure those pants would fit just fine now, if a little big yet I eat more than ever, have a regular cycle and run 40 miles a week. I guess we all need to find that happy place for our mind and body, which can take years to discover.
    meredith @ The Cookie ChRUNicles recently posted…What’s On Your Organic Food Priority List?

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      July 31, 2014 at 2:13 pm

      I sort of wish I had found that happy place sooner, but what can you do?! I came out better on the other side thankfully! You keep fuelling those 40 miles of running a week with Red Mango and Linda’s Fudge Cake and you should be just fine 😉

  • Reply
    Jen
    July 30, 2014 at 6:27 am

    Love this!!!
    Jen recently posted…Your turn.

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      July 30, 2014 at 8:18 pm

      Jen it was so nice to see your face pop up here! Thank you sooooo much! Now I’m off to check out your blog. Hopefully you’ll be at the YJ reunion cause I’d love to see ya! xo

  • Reply
    erin @ The Almond Eater
    July 30, 2014 at 6:33 am

    Very well written and well said. Being skinny does not always mean that you will be happy, despite what the media portrays. You know I’m an advocate of (mostly ) eating what you want when you want and balance, so I love reading these kinds of posts–they make me smile 🙂 Great post Davs!
    erin @ The Almond Eater recently posted…How to Headstand [beginner & advanced]

  • Reply
    Cassie
    July 30, 2014 at 6:48 am

    This is why I love you, Davs. You have it so together. You’re speaking both to me two years ago who didn’t think 97 pounds was skinny enough and me now who is beating herself up over being over 107 most days lately. It’s frustrating to hate your body because you end up hating yourself… Which I’m feeling today and the day has barely started. I needed this kick in the butt today to love myself, enjoy that glass of wine & be okay with not fitting into 00 shorts from two summers ago (jk, already threw those guys out). I would like to hold onto all current clothes though, jeans get expensive. LOVE YOU XOXO
    Cassie recently posted…Moroccan Quinoa Salad

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      July 31, 2014 at 2:19 pm

      correction, I ALMOST have it together 😉 Oh wow I’m so witty. On another note, I partially pains me to hear you not being content with yourself but I also totally get it, cause I’ve been there. I don’t believe that anyone can make you feel more beautiful by telling you so, nor do I think that standing in front of the mirror and telling yourself how beautiful you are will make you believe it either. I just kind of stopped thinking about it. Stopped thinking what other people thought about the way I looked and stopped putting any measure of my value on that number either. I just started kicking ass in other areas and simultaneously discovered I love myself exactly as I am. But that’s a post for another day! You know I love you and I’m confident you will start kicking ass and taking numbers (not counting them) too. GET READY WORLD!

  • Reply
    Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets
    July 30, 2014 at 6:52 am

    I love this post and you by extension. Also at the end of the day, skinny does not equal healthy. In fact, many times it’s the opposite. I think you look wonderful and HAPPY and that’s what’s important.

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      July 31, 2014 at 2:10 pm

      I just want to flaunt that bikini with a drink in hand. So basically, you’re my idol. Arman spilled the means, I love you.

  • Reply
    Kelly @ Kelly Runs for Food
    July 30, 2014 at 6:53 am

    Great post! I used to be super skinny as a teenager and I had moments in my early 20’s that made me feel like I should be trying to hang on to that body. We naturally change as we get older and it’s not worth making myself miserable to fit into a certain size. Loved this!
    Kelly @ Kelly Runs for Food recently posted…The story of “Chicken on a plate”

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      July 31, 2014 at 2:09 pm

      It’s crazy how hard we can try to hold onto a body that we just aren’t supposed to have anymore. I’m thankful I no longer look like I’m 12 (seriously, those were awkward years!) so why should I continue to try looking like I’m 18. I’m 25 and it’s about damn time I look it! Thank you Kel!

  • Reply
    Liz @ I Heart Vegetables
    July 30, 2014 at 7:07 am

    Great post, Davida, and a great reminder that “skinny” doesn’t necessarily equal happy!

  • Reply
    Laurie
    July 30, 2014 at 7:15 am

    You are wise beyond your years, my friend. I struggle with the issues you discuss. Over the past 6 months, I’ve started doing more strength training in addition to cardio. My body is changing. Even though it’s stronger, it’s not skinny. A friend posted the other day that strong is the new skinny. So true. I’m generally petite. Just under 5’1″ currently about 110. Last year at this time, I was 97 lbs (not quite as skinny as it may sound), but didn’t have any muscle definition. I’m having a hard time finding the sweet spot for eating. I do still county calorie, but strive to once again to be the intuitive eater I used to be (ironic, eh?). Thanks for a wonderful post that will have a huge impact on your readers. Trust me. Stellar.

  • Reply
    Ann
    July 30, 2014 at 7:43 am

    It is nice to read something so personal about you beside all the recipe posts. Thank you for sharing! You can be very proud of yourself to have overcome that skinny “lifestyle”. I hope many girls will read this and take you as an example. You are very inspiring! And you look great btw. Fit slim healthy beautiful 🙂
    Much love from Germany!

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      July 31, 2014 at 2:06 pm

      Thank you Ann! I suddenly felt an urge to share and perhaps I’ve opened up pandora’s box and more of these posts will come! I have no idea if sharing my story will contribute at all to changing the dialogue in this community, but I certainly hope so. We shall see! p.s. Berlin is my favourite city I have ever visited. Germany holds a special place in my heart!

  • Reply
    Allison
    July 30, 2014 at 8:04 am

    Love this! The truths in this post are so important for everyone to remember (skinny or overweight) because honestly weight doesn’t equal happiness and achieving a “goal” weight isn’t always the best solution. Thank you for sharing one of my favorite THM posts yet!
    Allison recently posted…Italian Stuffed Eggplant Parmesan

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      July 31, 2014 at 2:03 pm

      Aw thank you, lady! Means a lot. The day I stopped equating my happiness with my weight is the day I started living. I’ve never looked back!

  • Reply
    Tina Muir
    July 30, 2014 at 8:39 am

    This is wonderful Davida, and so very important. You are so right in how those obsessive thoughts control your mind, life, and soul when you are trying to reach a certain weight. i see so many of the bloggers nowadays, and when they put up their pictures, it makes me sad….they are either eating foods that are so lacking in any kind of calories that I have NO idea how they could enjoy them, or the selfies are so beyond a healthy weight that it makes me feel sick to my stomach that none is trying to help them. This is refreshing, and exactly what i was trying to show in my post today, be YOU! It is better to be strong and happy, than weak, brittle, and still miserable 🙂
    Tina Muir recently posted…Elite Athlete Eats: First and only WIAW

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      July 31, 2014 at 2:02 pm

      Couldn’t agree more Tina! I feel that same sadness too and while I wish I could shake them and tell them to snap out of it, I know it is their journey to follow. I can only hope that sharing my own experiences can help inspire them to make a change of course. Thank you for your lovely comment, lady!

  • Reply
    Amy @ Long Drive Journey
    July 30, 2014 at 8:41 am

    It’s funny you should write this post, because I was thinking similar things a few weeks ago when I was struggling to zip one of my favorite dresses from college. I know it’s because I gained weight (and mostly muscle) when I started running and working out. Those changes are good, but for a minute I thought, “Hmm, maybe I should take it easy because I don’t want to gain TOO much weight.” Which is absurd, because I pretty much AM skinny and would have to fight tooth and nail to be anything else. It just goes to show that we ALL have these thoughts, even when they are completely unwarranted! Great post!
    Amy @ Long Drive Journey recently posted…Apartment Inspiration

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      July 31, 2014 at 2:00 pm

      Our brains play crazy tricks on us, eh? You are SO beautiful inside and out. I hope you never EVER doubt that!

  • Reply
    Lucie@FitSwissChick
    July 30, 2014 at 8:52 am

    Goosebumps, lady. What a wonderfully written post. I ADORE you, seriously – and I am SO happy we will one day drink wine and eat M&M’s together without one single serving of guilt.
    You look gorgeous!
    Lucie@FitSwissChick recently posted…WIAW#71 with a Giveaway

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      July 31, 2014 at 1:59 pm

      and I adore you!!!! Can’t wait for the m&ms and wine! Hopefully somewhere along the water with the mountains behind is so I’m guessing I’ll be visiting you in Switzerland 😉

  • Reply
    Alisha @ Alisha's appetite
    July 30, 2014 at 8:54 am

    My love, I think you’ve discovered the secret to living with balance, being comfortable in your own skin, how to feel good all around, and live life without restrictions. To me, that is the secret to living a healthy life. I am so happy for you that you’ve embraced this. It’s a wonderful way to live! Xoxo
    Alisha @ Alisha’s appetite recently posted…Are you Unbreakable? (Reebok Spartan Race Giveaway and Discount Code)

  • Reply
    Kristen
    July 30, 2014 at 8:54 am

    I recently found your blog and have never commented before. This post is exactly what I needed to hear (erm, read?). I have been very much in the same pattern you describe for a long, long time. With recent knee surgery (damn ACL!) I’ve been forced to slow down with working out and I have noticed that because of that I have become much more lax with my eating habits. Reading this is just the perspective I needed

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      July 31, 2014 at 1:58 pm

      Kristen! Thank you for taking the time to comment. I’m glad the post resonated with you. In fact much of my own journey to change was from injuring my leg and back from overdoing it with the running. While I would never wish the pain on anyone, I am grateful for the wake-up call because it honestly changed my life for the better. Hang in there, lady!

  • Reply
    Janna
    July 30, 2014 at 9:04 am

    Thanks for sharing a little of your story. It was a powerful message and like others have said, you will definitely speak to some of your followers. I cab attest to all you said as I was treated for anorexia over 7 years ago… like hospital stay for a few weeks. Now I’ve been healthy and continue to learn from my body for over 6 years. It’s a tough journey for women who suffer from poor body image and self worth, but I promise all of you out there to keep working toward your happiness and health. You can’t accomplish anything without health. Health is not how skinny you are or the number on the scale- it’s your body’s nourishment, how you feel, and the life you can enjoy because of it. Throw away your scale- that’s huge. I actually have never owned one and when I was recovering and living with my parents, my mom got rid of their scale as well. Once I became nourished and my brain and body were functioning properly, I was able to start to feel again and listen to my body. I continue to go by how I feel. Yes, I weigh myself here and there, but it’s a check in to make sure I know where my body is at and to see how my intuition and feeling of my body’s needs match up. Try and break your cycle and be a better you each and every day. Reward yourself for accomplishments. Take risks and embrace them. Enjoy life. Enjoy good food, too! That’s how we grow- with all of life’s trials and tribulations, support systems, faith, good food, and wine! I hope you all have a fabulous hump day and continue to strive for your OWN health, not anyone elses. Thanks again for sharing, Davida!

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      July 31, 2014 at 2:25 pm

      Hi Janna! Thank you for sharing your story with me. I hope people take the time to read the comments and can learn from your experience as well. Your message is extremely powerful. It was a long journey for me as I suspect it was for you to start loving yourself as you are rather than how you wish you could be. It takes time but I totally agree that it’s important to focus your mind and your attention on how you feel and start rewarding yourself for other accomplishments in your life. The day I stopped focusing so much attention on how I looked was the day I started living. I learned to value myself in other ways, for who I am and what I have to contribute rather than what size jeans I fit into. It was a complete 180 from my previous mentality but I can honestly say I’ve never tried to turn back. Sure I may have looked back, but never longingly, and never with any intention of living that way again. Each day I am less and less inclined to be there. Thank you for your thoughtful comment. I’ll toast my glass of wine tonight in your honour!

  • Reply
    Amanda @ Diary of a Semi-Health Nut
    July 30, 2014 at 9:07 am

    Oh man this post is beautiful and so well-written! You are definitely one of those bloggers that’s not only great at taking amazing foodie photos…you can write!!

    I’ve never gone through something this extreme, but I am currently dealing with my body wanting to change and not fit into my jeans..it’s hard! Especially since I love those jeans! And it’s hard to go from being the skinniest girl (like you, just my natural build) to a more “normal” size. I thought I would naturally get rid of some of the weight after the long and brutal winter, but I’m finding out that I just need to be okay with it…and freaking buy some new jeans/shorts so I’m not living in gym clothes!

    Thanks for writing this! <3 You may have inspired me to talk about my own story on the blog! 🙂
    Amanda @ Diary of a Semi-Health Nut recently posted…Blogging 101: 3 Ways to Optimize Your Blog Today

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      July 31, 2014 at 1:56 pm

      Aw thanks, love! Never considered myself much of a writer but I certainly appreciate the compliment 😉

  • Reply
    kaitlin @4loveofcarrots
    July 30, 2014 at 9:08 am

    great, great post!!
    kaitlin @4loveofcarrots recently posted…My bachelorette weekend

  • Reply
    Katie
    July 30, 2014 at 9:26 am

    I was so skeptical of the title for this post when I saw it on feedly, but I felt that I had to read, and I am so glad I did! Beautifully written.
    Katie recently posted…Beginner Triathlon Gear

  • Reply
    Jaclyn @ BumpSweat
    July 30, 2014 at 10:09 am

    I’m so glad you’ve overcome the time in your life where the number on the scale, being skinny, working out all the time ruled your life. I used to be in that same boat, and that time in my life was so dark, so unfulfilling. I’m so grateful for the freedom that comes in realizing the pursuit of skinny’s so not worth my time. I love being able to enjoy life again, to savor food regardless of how many calories it contains (and not obsessively feel the need to exercise to ‘burn it off’).
    Jaclyn @ BumpSweat recently posted…Pregnancy {Fitness} Myth-Busting: Eating for Two

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      July 31, 2014 at 1:53 pm

      Striving for some completely unrealistic goal is not living at all! I agree that those times feel full of darkness and sadness. Luckily we both came out better on the other side 🙂 Thanks for your comment Jaclyn!

  • Reply
    Marisa @ Uproot from Oregon
    July 30, 2014 at 10:25 am

    It is so hard to hear about these stories – I think any ideas of weight loss and focus on getting “skinny” have to be thought of in very holistic ways. I am starting to draft some posts about my journey (and I am so proud that you opened up like this, it gives me courage!), but my journey started from the other side of the spectrum and needing to lose weight to be physically healthy. While I now love being active and eating well, I can see how easy it would be spiral down towards restriction and overexercise and I am very consciously finding balance in my life so I can stay HAPPY, FULL, and WELL RESTED 🙂 Stop making me love you so much, you healthy living maven!
    Marisa @ Uproot from Oregon recently posted…Breakfast Waffle Sundaes with Plain Yogurt, Fresh Fruit & Cocoa Maple Syrup

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      July 31, 2014 at 1:50 pm

      If you ever want to chat or work out your own thoughts, I am here! It’s scary to open up but also freeing in many ways. I’m hoping that with more posts like this we can start changing the dialogue in this community 🙂

  • Reply
    taylor @ taylormade
    July 30, 2014 at 10:27 am

    I’m in love with this post, Davida. I’ve gone through a similar process and have come to a very similar conclusion! for me, having just a little extra meat on the bones is a sign of joy and vitality, which I’ve come to realize is SO more important than being skinny. it’s all about having a happy, healthy and balanced life, thigh gap or not!
    taylor @ taylormade recently posted…baked honey lime ginger chicken

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      July 31, 2014 at 1:49 pm

      Could not agree more! I cannot believe I ever thought a thigh gap would bring me happiness! My thighs touching is proof that I live my life and enjoy every minute of it.

  • Reply
    Sam @ Better With Sprinkles
    July 30, 2014 at 10:29 am

    I love this post!! You know I 100% relate to what you’re saying here. I know I can be skinny – I know how and I was damn good at it, to the point of having an eating disorder. But is it worth it? Not in the slightest – I’m so much happier letting my body be healthy and do what it needs to do, rather than trying to starve it into a certain pant size. So much respect and love for you, and I’m proud of you for choosing happiness.
    Sam @ Better With Sprinkles recently posted…WIAW: Road Food.

  • Reply
    Melissa @ Mango About Town
    July 30, 2014 at 10:32 am

    Beautiful post – brought some inspiration to my Tuesday!
    Melissa @ Mango About Town recently posted…WIAW: First Timer!

    • Reply
      Melissa @ Mango About Town
      July 30, 2014 at 10:39 am

      WOW Wednesday ! Apparently I need more coffee this morning.
      Melissa @ Mango About Town recently posted…WIAW: First Timer!

      • Reply
        Davida Kugelmass
        July 31, 2014 at 1:38 pm

        Don’t worry, I only know what day of the week it is based on what my blogger’s post titles are. Monday is indicated by MIMM, Wednesday by WIAW and Thursday by Thinking out Loud. The other days I’m totally screwed LOL

  • Reply
    Alexis @ Hummusapien
    July 30, 2014 at 10:47 am

    Wonderful post, my love! Thanks for opening up today–that’s not always easy. You’ve come so far and it’s so clear what a fabulous relationship you have with food now. You live in the present, you’re not afraid to indulge, and you’re GLOWING. Calories are most definitely not meant to be counted, and that’s coming from some one in the calorie counting biz! Love you, lady!
    Alexis @ Hummusapien recently posted…What I Ate Wednesday

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      July 31, 2014 at 1:37 pm

      I know you’re about to turn that biz on it’s head. They have no idea what’s coming 😉

  • Reply
    Alison @ Daily Moves and Grooves
    July 30, 2014 at 10:48 am

    Yep. Yes. Holla. Amen.
    I am incredibly happy and relieved to hear this perspective from you or any healthy living blogger. I’ve been there and done that too. Counting calories, working out beyond exhaustion, constantly looking in the mirror, comparing, feeling frustration and guilt. Oof, my heart hurts just thinking about those times. I’ve grown out of several of my clothes, and I realized a few weeks ago that I’m just not a “small” size in some things anymore. But that’s alright, because hey, at least I don’t look like a 12-year-old anymore. Most importantly, I AM happier than ever.
    You rock, Davida!
    Alison @ Daily Moves and Grooves recently posted…WIAW: Vacation Day in the Life

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      July 31, 2014 at 1:35 pm

      You are actually amazing and to think you were ever anything less hurts my soul. For real, I just know incredible things are coming for you. Keep on being you!

  • Reply
    Em @ Love A Latte
    July 30, 2014 at 10:55 am

    Fantastic post! I couldn’t agree more with everything you said. The skinny girl you described was me in college. It’s so nice to be able to look back on that time of my life now and have learned from it, but be on the outside looking in!
    Em @ Love A Latte recently posted…Pregnancy Journey – 38 Weeks

  • Reply
    Amanda @ .running with spoons.
    July 30, 2014 at 10:56 am

    I remember thinking that being skinny was the secret to being happy… not ever realizing that I -was- already really skinny in my early twenties, and that taking it further only shot me into ‘scary skinny’ territory. And the real kicker was that the skinnier I became, the unhappier I became as well. Womp, womp. My body has changed a lot over the past little while, especially now that I’m getting close to my 30’s. I won’t lie and say that I was perfectly fine with it at first (no one likes not being able to fit into a favourite pair of jeans), but the more time that passes, the more I realize that I’m actually a lot happier living this way than I was when I was a handful of lbs. less. I used to be able to justify the time and effort I put into fitting into a smaller pair of pants, but definitely not anymore. Been there, done that, wasn’t impressed.

    Great post, love.
    Amanda @ .running with spoons. recently posted…. epic food survey pt2 .

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      July 31, 2014 at 1:36 pm

      Thank you, my dear! Means a lot. I know you totally get it.

  • Reply
    Jen @ Chase the Red Grape
    July 30, 2014 at 11:08 am

    Great post! I too was bone popping skinny but was so unhappy (and ill…). Everyone thinks if ‘they could just be a size zero’ life would be a dream – alas that is not the case.

    You look fab, fit and healthy and promote a fantastic eating ethos! Big smiles from me! 🙂
    Jen @ Chase the Red Grape recently posted…What I Ate – Birthday Treats!

  • Reply
    Lee
    July 30, 2014 at 11:13 am

    You have a nice ass.

  • Reply
    Nora (A Clean Bake)
    July 30, 2014 at 11:22 am

    You look fit, healthy, strong and joyful – those are the things that, to me, define beauty! I love this post. Thank you for your honesty, because posts like these are what counteract the BS “keep your skinny jeans to motivate you” messages, which can sometimes be unrealistic and other times unhealthy. I am in the same boat as you: I’ve been skinnier than I am now, but it was because I was sick, miserable, exhausted, and unable to enjoy my life. Now I am stronger, more fit, and more energetic than I have been in a long time, and, yeah, also weigh a few more pounds. I’m ok with that. I think that every time someone like you writes a post like this, it’s a gentle reminder to women to focus on being healthy, fueling their body, and enjoying their lives and the rest will follow. We don’t get nearly as many messages as we should like this one, so I’m sending you one hell of a high-five for sharing this!
    Nora (A Clean Bake) recently posted…Pistachio Orange Rice Pudding

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      July 31, 2014 at 1:31 pm

      And to think I used to actually like those Fitspo messages! They say that “nothing tastes as good as skinny” ummmm yeah I’d have to beg to differ. I’m hoping that the dialogue might shift in this community, but only time will tell! Thanks for your thoughtful message, my dear!

  • Reply
    Nikki
    July 30, 2014 at 11:25 am

    Thank you so much for writing this post and for putting what so many of us go through into words! I, too, recently went through my closet and took a few long pauses at some of the clothes I hadn’t worn since my overexercising/undereating/drinking way too much/consequently getting late night nachos days in college. A little part of me still longed to fit into these tiny shorts or skirts or tank tops, but the part of me who has grown and learned so much about being good to my body and fueling it properly said to toss those bad boys into the donation bag. It is such a freeing feeling to let go of the days of calorie counting and considering a Special K protein bar as an acceptable choice as both my breakfast and lunch (seriously what the eff was i thinking?) Thank you again for reminding me that there are others out there who can relate! : )

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      July 31, 2014 at 1:29 pm

      Replace those nachos with french fries and special k cereal for breakfast it sounds like we would have made great friends in college. I’m grateful those days are long gone now and have actually found I’m much better at embracing this “post-grad-young-adult-I’m-not-going-to-torture-my-body-to-look-like-a-VS-model” lifestyle. They say that life doesn’t get any better than your college days, but I’m gonna have to disagree with that one!

      • Reply
        Nikki
        July 31, 2014 at 2:02 pm

        I couldn’t agree with you more, there are so many things I have discovered in the past 2ish years since undergrad that make adult life 50x better than college life. I have learned to appreciate a lot of life’s little joys, like sitting outside with friends and a great bottle of white wine or choosing to give my body a rest from the gym and going for a walk with my mom instead. I thank myself on the reg for giving up lean cuisines for dinner and processed diet “foods” because full fat peanut butter and a larger jeans size is so much better : )

        (unrelated- just have to say I stumbled upon your blog a few months ago and always look forward to reading it! There are so many things you have written about that I can so easily relate to, and that is very comforting. Also as a fellow member of the tribe, it’s great to read a blog that will from time to time throw in some Jewish culture and lingo : ) L’chaim!)

        • Reply
          Davida Kugelmass
          July 31, 2014 at 2:37 pm

          Best comment ever. I always wonder if people pick up on my “tribe” jokes! Glad to hear at least a few of you get them 😉 I managed to convince my family to give up the low-cal peanut butter and I swear it was life-changing for them. It was like the day I discovered what a rest-day should actually be i.e. binge-watching an entire season of Orange Is The New Black in one day. Now that’s what I call l’chaiming 😉 <--I might get kicked out just for saying that LOL

  • Reply
    Hillary | Nutrition Nut on the Run
    July 30, 2014 at 11:33 am

    beautiful post! this was so well-written… almost as if it was an essay. i was totally immersed.
    Hillary | Nutrition Nut on the Run recently posted…Tuesday Tidbits | July ’14

  • Reply
    Britt@MyOwnBalance
    July 30, 2014 at 12:06 pm

    LOVE this post! So true and so well articulated. I love your approach to health and wellness, which comes through not just in this post but in every single post you write. Great work Davida!!!
    Britt@MyOwnBalance recently posted…Favorite Prenatal Yoga Moves

  • Reply
    Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious
    July 30, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    I absolutely love how honest and raw you are in this post. Some people kill themselves over being a certain size or weight. It’s so important to keep it in perspective.
    Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious recently posted…WIAW…July Favorites & Eats When Life is Crazy

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      July 31, 2014 at 1:23 pm

      exactly! It’s easy to lose that perspective when you’re so determined to be something that in reality doesn’t exist! Coming to this realization was such a gift!

  • Reply
    Casey @ Casey the College Celiac
    July 30, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    I was smiling from ear to ear by the time I finished reading this post! It’s so sad how attached women in particular get to a certain size of clothing and and I’m so happy that you have escaped this societal trap. Congrats on the new mindset and thanks for sharing! 🙂

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      July 31, 2014 at 1:22 pm

      Thank you Casey! I’m so grateful those days are long gone.

  • Reply
    Kelly @ Inspired Edibles
    July 30, 2014 at 1:28 pm

    I’m so glad you chose to share your story Davida ~ the emotion underlying it is so prevalent yet not spoken about nearly enough. When I first saw the title of this post I had a moment’s hesitation until I understood the context. I have a very difficult time with the term “skinny” and its ubiquitous use as a marketing tool (including its use by health care professionals who should know better!) — it’s a term that has nothing to do with health and even less to do with happiness. You describe this paradox beautifully. Just to add to your thoughtful piece, I think it’s really important for young woman to understand that their bodies will continue to evolve as they age, as will their hormones. I work with women all the time in their 30s, 40s and 50s, who desperately want to return to the weight they once were in their late teens or twenties which is no longer physiologically possible, nor desirable. While there are many things we can do to maintain and improve our general state of health, a certain acceptance (as tough as it may be) is a part of aging with grace, peace and happiness. I just sometimes wish we could all be kinder to ourselves and to others. xx.
    Kelly @ Inspired Edibles recently posted…Spicy Peanut Chicken with Mango Slaw

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      July 31, 2014 at 2:30 pm

      Kelly! I suspect you were not the only one who was worried about the title. I too hate any associations with the word skinny. As if it is something to be valued! No thanks. I’m glad I was able to clear things up with the post. On another note, I cannot express to you how much your comment resonated with me. A huge part of learning to love myself NOW was an acceptance of where I am in my life. I’m no longer 18, don’t want to be 18 and certainly should not look 18, so why should I spend my time trying to fit into the jeans I wore when I WAS 18? Coming to that realization was huge for me. When I looked around I realized how much I love my life and I want my body to be a reflection of that. I want it to show that I can climb mountains, eat cupcakes, grow a business, be a good friend and love my family with all my heart 🙂 Thank you for your inspiring comment and for working with me to help change the game in this community. Much love!

  • Reply
    Brittany @ Barr & Table
    July 30, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    Thank you times a million for sharing this. I’m currently going through that same struggle with my pre-wedding clothes that I bought that are just a little too tight these days. That said, I lived on the elliptical and loved my weights, but am just not willing to put in the number of hours per week in cardio anymore. Justifiably so! So while it was fun while it lasted, it’s more fun living my life, eating what I love, and not living in the gym. Happy Wednesday, friend.
    Brittany @ Barr & Table recently posted…What I Ate Wednesday #96: #FuelYourBetter

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      July 31, 2014 at 1:12 pm

      I can’t even imagine the pressure you must feel pre-wedding! Or the guilt you can feel post-wedding! I prefer to live outside the gym thankyouverymuch 😉 I hope you can eventually learn to love who you are now, because I think you’re GORGEOUS!

  • Reply
    Heather (Where's the Beach)
    July 30, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    Fantastic, honest post. We need more of these. Skinny definitely doesn’t = happiness NOR health. And I agree with Tina, sometimes I see posts of what people ate or say they ate, instagram, facebook, blogs, etc., and I’m literally hungry for them. We are a very food driven society and on both extremes it seems. Thank you for a wonderful post.
    Heather (Where’s the Beach) recently posted…Enjoying the Run and Way to Go Wednesday

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      July 31, 2014 at 1:10 pm

      Thank you Heather!I’m hoping I can contribute even a tiny sliver to changing the dialogue in this community! I want to see more posts about how people are LIVING their lives instead of how they’re planning them aka food prep and workout schedules and everything they ate. Let’s all just eat, play and be merry 🙂

  • Reply
    Julianna @ Julianna Bananna
    July 30, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    what a beautiful post! thank you so much for sharing. i think a lot of us have been there and when you finally get to the point that you realize that what you’re doing to look a certain way is just draining happiness from your life…that’s when the change happens.

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      July 31, 2014 at 1:06 pm

      Exactly! Once you stop equating what you look like with how you should feel is so freeing. It’s when I finally started LIVING my life!

  • Reply
    Caitlin
    July 30, 2014 at 2:31 pm

    I can’t express how relevant this post (and many of your other posts for that matter) are to me right now. I find myself struggling like you once did to stay “skinny” all int he name of “good health”. I’m at the point now where I know rationally in my mind that skinny does not equal happy and the torture I put myself through to stay ultra-skinny is not worth it, but I have yet to break my habits. This post was inspiring – thanks for sharing!

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      July 31, 2014 at 1:05 pm

      I remember that point so vividly. In fact I have a very clear memory from about 3 years ago when I had eaten some low-calorie cookie concoction which not surprisingly didn’t fill me up and all I wanted to do was eat all the food! I called my bf and told him that all I wanted was to be able to eat filling food and not care about what numerical value was associated with it. I’m not entirely sure when the shift happened but eventually I stopped caring about those numbers and started measuring my life in how I felt. And I knew I felt infinitely better without them. Stopped counting, stopped caring and never looked back! Thank you for your thoughtful comment Caitlin and I’m always here to chat if you need someone!

  • Reply
    Nicole @ Foodie Loves Fitness
    July 30, 2014 at 3:56 pm

    This post made me smile…. Love it!! I totally appreciate your honesty.

  • Reply
    Gina @ Health, Love, and Chocolate
    July 30, 2014 at 4:30 pm

    This is amazing. You are amazing. Society seems to push the mentality “When I look like/do/am this…I will be happy” which couldn’t be further from the truth. Being happy is something you should find in the present, not look for in the future. I have done the donating way too tiny clothes thing about four times now, and you know what, it feels damn good. And if I have to buy some bigger jeans (or yoga pants, who am I kidding, I despise jeans) to fit my quads, so be it. I so agree about Oprah…inspirational in many areas…body image is simply not one of them.
    Gina @ Health, Love, and Chocolate recently posted…Weekend Snapshots {7/28/14}

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      July 31, 2014 at 12:51 pm

      “Being happy is something you should find in the present, not look for in the future”. Couldn’t have said it better myself.

  • Reply
    Ange @ Cowgirl Runs
    July 30, 2014 at 5:38 pm

    Thank you for being so open and honest.

    I’ve had to buy a few new pairs of pants this year. Last year I lost nearly 20 pounds due to stress. Was I skinny? Oh heck yes. Was I happy? Not at all.

    I definitely had some moments in getting rid of my “skinny clothes” where I thought about working crazy ridiculously hard to fit into them, but it’s not worth it. I’d rather weight a little more and have the energy to run and be happy.

    A much better way to live.
    Ange @ Cowgirl Runs recently posted…Have you seen my inspiration?

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      July 31, 2014 at 12:47 pm

      That moment when you realize that it isn’t worth it, is life-changing. Could I do I? hell ya. Do I want to? Absolutely not.

  • Reply
    GiGi Eats
    July 30, 2014 at 6:15 pm

    Happiness is FARRRRR MORE IMPORTANT THAN BEING RAIL THIN!!!!! GIRLLLL trust me… Although, you’re obviously WELL AWARE!!!!! 🙂 I am so proud of you for accepting all of this. Lets rejoice over some delicious coconut flour cookies – dude, holy moly, I just ate 11 cake balls! LMFAO!!!!!!!!! Ah ha ha ah ah aha ha! Clearly I love me some food over being the supermodel that’s idolized. PAH LEEZE! Plus, I am the ripe height of…. 5’3″ (ok, shhhhhh 5’2.5″)… So yeah, me strutting it down runways, ain’t gunna happen, so I am going to strut it to the kitchen!

    OR back home TO JACKSON!!! You make me miss home dammit!
    GiGi Eats recently posted…Sharing The SamePlate

  • Reply
    Meg @ The Housewife in Training FIles
    July 30, 2014 at 6:37 pm

    I admire your honesty! This speaks to me and hits hard. I am currently overcoming an eating disorder and looking negatively at my body. Although I can’t say those days are behind me, but I am learning to be gentle with myself, cherish what it is able to do for me and listen to when I need rest. Your words say it so well and love for you making my day turn around!
    Meg @ The Housewife in Training FIles recently posted…Triple Chocolate Cocoa Puffs Krispy Treats

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      July 31, 2014 at 12:34 pm

      Hi Meg! Hang in there. It takes time. It took me a long time to accept who I am and let go of some unhealthy patterns I had developed. Definitely didn’t happen overnight. But when I assessed how I felt that day (not restricting or focusing so much on food and exercise) versus how I felt when I would, I realized how much happier I was. Choosing happiness over skinny each day eventually led me to intuitively choose happiness without even thinking about it. Now I just live how I live and damnnn it feels good 🙂 You’ll get there, and I’m always here to chat if you need an ear!

  • Reply
    Michele @ paleorunningmomma
    July 30, 2014 at 8:06 pm

    I believe every woman, and probably plenty of men, can relate to everything you said here. I think we’ve all fallen victim at some point to believing that having a “perfect” skinny body will lead to a feeling of satisfaction and happiness – and it seems to be the secret that no one talks about that it’s the exact opposite! I did a lot of what you describe in college and while I was super thin there was always a feeling of emptiness because I wasn’t taking care of myself. I am so happy to have left (most of) that in the past.
    Michele @ paleorunningmomma recently posted…Running, Nutrition, and Arguing About the Bachelorette: A Typical Start to the Week

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      July 31, 2014 at 12:31 pm

      Thank you for your thoughtful comment Michele! I could not agree more. Society misleads us by propagating images of happy, smiley, skinny girls. Learning that happy does not equal skinny was life-changing for me. I made a lot of mistakes but I can so whole-heartedly that I came out better on the other side. I’m so happy you did too 🙂

  • Reply
    Chelsea @ Chelsea's Healthy Kitchen
    July 30, 2014 at 8:11 pm

    This. post. is. awesome. And so are you!

    I can totally relate – I cleaned out my closet a few days ago and had to throw out way-too-small shorts too that I’d been holding onto for a bit too long (read: 3 years). I don’t even know why I was holding onto them because there’s no way I was ever planning on fitting into them again. Life these days is just way too awesome.

    Let’s get together and stuff our faces with good food soon, deal?
    Chelsea @ Chelsea’s Healthy Kitchen recently posted…10 tips for shopping at farmers markets

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      July 31, 2014 at 12:29 pm

      When you’re back from England we’re having a very overdue date! I tried on a pair of shorts from a few years ago when I was cleaning out my closet and I actually felt hungry just trying to squeeze them on. Then I went and ate a brownie and was like damnnnnn I feel good.

  • Reply
    Megan (The Lyons' Share)
    July 30, 2014 at 8:14 pm

    Great post, friend! I am all about balance and I love that you found it here. You are an inspiration to many and I’m so glad you’re sharing your story here. I just have to stand up for salads… Salads are not inherently bad! They are delicious and healthy, as long as they’re loaded with lots of satiating goodies including fats and protein :). Of course, I get the point that eating JUST salads is no bueno!
    Megan (The Lyons’ Share) recently posted…Loving What You Do (+ VIDEO of What I Do!)

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      July 31, 2014 at 12:27 pm

      Thank you, my dear! You know I love me a good salad. Then again, the salads I used to eat would not qualify as a salad for me nowadays. And for ALL the meals. Should have clarified, but I think you catch my drift 😉 Hope all is well xox

  • Reply
    Tara
    July 30, 2014 at 8:29 pm

    So inspirational. I am struggling so hard with this, I have a pile of clothes I no longer wear, including jeans, but refuse to buy bigger sizes. As such, I’m confined mostly to yoga pants. I’m also not what society would deem as “big”, but of course when you obsess over the mirror and all the photos of what you aren’t, you are bound to have a sense of unhappiness because you are always comparing yourself to others. Kudos to you for having the mind to know you are beautiful!

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      July 31, 2014 at 12:26 pm

      It’s scary how much our minds can play tricks on us! I look back now and realize I was completely delusional on how I looked in the mirror. One day I just got so fed up that I stopped looking and started focusing on how I feel. That’s when my life turned around! I thought taking up less space would make me happier, turns out it was quite the opposite!

  • Reply
    Suzanne @ hello, veggy!
    July 30, 2014 at 8:48 pm

    Honestly Davs, when I first saw that vacation pic of you I thought ‘daaaaaamn she healthy’!

    I’m happy to say that I am getting to the state of mind where you currently are. After finally reaching a healthy weight, and fuelling my body properly I’ve never been happier 🙂
    Suzanne @ hello, veggy! recently posted…Vegan in British Columbia: Memorable Eats

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      July 31, 2014 at 12:23 pm

      That actually warms my heart to hear. You are so deserving of living a happy and fulfilled life! And thank youuuu. I felt might fine in that pic after tackling a mountain. My itty bitty skinny self would never have been able to do that!

  • Reply
    Nikki @ will run for pizza
    July 30, 2014 at 9:50 pm

    I’m totally sharing this. I still sometimes struggle with stepping on the scale and being disappointed, but then I look at where I’ve come from, and how strong I am now, and healthier, and I’m then I’m ok with that. Our bodies change as we get older, and even though I can’t blame my “baby belly fat” on being pregnant and having kids, I’m still in the best shape of my life. Not the skinniest, but the strongest, tonest (if that isn’t a word, it is now! haha), and am SO much more mentally balanced than I have ever been. Now, I don’t feel guilty missing a workout unless it’s been a few days. And then, it’s not even so much the guilt as it is just not having those “happy endorphin’s” running through my veins. You nailed it on this one and EVERY woman and girl out there NEEDS desperately to come to this same realization!
    Nikki @ will run for pizza recently posted…Glass 1/2 full or 1/2 empty? More oldies. And…

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      July 31, 2014 at 12:22 pm

      I’m so happy you’re learning that your worth is not defined by a number! It’s a struggle to reach that point but the second I started to value my happiness over the way I looked is when I actually started to FEEL better. It’s funny that I always thought if I looked better I would feel better but in fact it was quite the opposite!

  • Reply
    Selena @ thenutritiouskitchen.com
    July 30, 2014 at 10:13 pm

    Davida! This post nearly brought me to tears you don’t even know…okay well maybe not tears but it definitley hit home with me. I 100% understand how you feel and felt when you were “skinny” and how you feel now. Overcoming that constant need and secret obsession with being super fit, skinny and “healthy” is a battle I think most of us women struggle with. I honestly was the exact same way as all the things you listed except I would even work out on my hangover days…seriously crazy. I have since then found a balance and reading stories like yours is SO inspiring and makes me and I am sure so many other people out there feel less alone! It’s amazing how much more happier you become once you just let go, and truley find peace with youself and food. LOVED reading this and I always love reading up on your healthy journey 🙂
    Selena @ thenutritiouskitchen.com recently posted…Lightened Up Caesar Salad with Crispy Cornbread Croutons

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      July 31, 2014 at 12:20 pm

      Aw hi love! Thank you so much for your amazing comment but I’m thankful I didn’t bring you to tears! Who knew that letting go could mean getting more from life?! It’s nice to hear I’m not alone in this and that people get it and might relate. As for hangover workouts, damn gurrrrrl! I could/still can barely get off the couch on one of those days. Luckily they happen less and less now 😉

  • Reply
    Julie
    July 31, 2014 at 2:07 am

    Well written. It took me a long time to give away my clothes. I held onto them thinking that I would one day fit into them again. When I gave them away, I decided that was a delusion because I too was never happy wearing a junior size 3-5.
    Julie recently posted…A Place I Live: Center Street Anaheim

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      July 31, 2014 at 12:18 pm

      Totally get that! I remember the first time I started shopping in the “non-juniors” section and I was like what the whaaaat? Then I realized I’m not 12 and thankfully don’t look like a 12 year old anymore!

  • Reply
    July 2014: In A Nutshell |
    July 31, 2014 at 3:03 am

    […] I know the secret to being skinny. — The Healthy Maven […]

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    The Zen Kat
    July 31, 2014 at 9:33 am

    This post just made my morning. Your honesty is amazing. I never really thought how keeping your “skinny jeans” could be a negative trigger. Being happy is more important than any number on a scale. Rock it girl!

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      July 31, 2014 at 12:17 pm

      Thanks, lovely! Never felt better tossing those skinny jeans!

  • Reply
    Brittany
    July 31, 2014 at 9:45 am

    It’s crazy that you post this because yesterday I was going to through my closet too and having some similar realizations. I like to clear my closet a few times a year, and still continue to hold onto things that don’t fit with the hopes that they will again someday. I’ve never been “too thin,” but two summers ago I was training for my first half marathon, working crazy busy hours, always on the go and one major thing…I was stressed a lot, going days without eating because I was too worked up and those are days I never want back. Everything is relative, and shit..getting rid of something means we can go buy something else right!? I love cupcakes wayyy too much anyway.
    Brittany recently posted…Raspberry Chocolate Banana Oat Bread

  • Reply
    Gabby @ the veggie nook
    July 31, 2014 at 11:32 am

    This was such a refreshing post to read. I still struggle with being 100% ok with my weight, but I also know that putting myself through intensive workouts and imposing unreasonable restrictions on my diet just isn’t how I want to live my life! So happy you have reached such an awesome state of mind lady!
    Gabby @ the veggie nook recently posted…healthy fun dip {rhubarb + coconut sugar}

  • Reply
    Emily
    July 31, 2014 at 1:23 pm

    So awesome. Both this post and YOU.
    Emily recently posted…SoCal Family-palooza, Part 1

  • Reply
    Karey @ Nutty About Health
    July 31, 2014 at 4:01 pm

    Great post!! Skinny SO isn’t worth it – healthy is where it’s at! It’s a hard realization to make, but so worth it! Life is too short to just always strive to be something not very attainable. Love this! 🙂
    Karey @ Nutty About Health recently posted…Thinking Out Loud: Snacks & Stuff [video]

  • Reply
    Lauren @ ihadabiglunch
    July 31, 2014 at 5:32 pm

    I love that you admit considering keeping them for a second. It can be so tempting to want to be that rail-thin skinny again because every once in awhile I’m sure it felt great. But you’re right…at the end of the day it just isn’t worth it! Logically it doesn’t make sense, and it’s not sustainable. At my “skinniest”, sure I looked great in pictures, but after all the diet coke I drank I felt sick CONSTANTLY. Bloated and sick. So awesome, I had nice profile pictures on Facebook but my day-to-day life was a joke. Now I’m smarter, and I love reading this post because it feels so great to hear from other women who have made the same realization as I have. Thanks!
    Lauren @ ihadabiglunch recently posted…thinking out loud: “eat mor chikin,” personal intentions, and pugs

  • Reply
    Anoushe
    August 1, 2014 at 4:05 am

    This is such an inspiring post thank you so much for writing this! I have been trying to lose my “freshman 15” weight for 2 years and it isn’t shifting… I too own all of my clothes from when I was 10-15 kg lighter and am still holding on to the hope that I can one day fit in them – but with a healthy attitude.
    Yes, I do know that how I ate then and how I eat now are two completely different worlds: I used to fear carbs and fat and would binge on them every so often, but still managed to plan my meals and would cancel dinner/breakfast if said binge happened. I didn’t care about nutritional content, I cared about eating as little as possible and still being able to survive.
    Now I strive for a whole food/real food diet with emphasis on being natural. Sure I over indulge in nut butter and fruit, but I can lift weights heavier and run faster than ever… but I don’t have my portions under control, nor do I eat when I am hungry and stop when I am full – which is what really gets to me the most. I am so sure my body could let go of the extra weight (even if I am not meant to lose that much, but I know I could take 5 kgs easily) if I could get my weird portions and eating times under control, so that is what I am working on now… I still don’t know yet if I should give away my clothes though or not, as they fit me at a “healthy” weight and I somehow felt that I was then also in my “healthiest” mindset… (not over/under eating). So maybe that is my I am holding on to my jeans so tight?
    Anoushe recently posted…Thinking out Loud Thursday

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    Best of July 2014 - The Healthy Maven
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    Five Things Friday 08-01-2014 | Mango About Town
    August 1, 2014 at 7:04 am

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    Kim @ BusyBod
    August 1, 2014 at 2:08 pm

    Davida this is just perfection: beautifully written and such a powerful and important message. I know you know me well enough to know how deeply this spoke to me. I like to think I’m still on this journey and working hard to get to the place where you are now. You are such an inspiration, and I wish I could go back in time and read this to my teenage self. I’m not sure I would have listened, but it would have saved years of guilt, and hate, and angst, if I had. I hope that this touches some people whose bodies are crying out for rest and for change.
    Kim @ BusyBod recently posted…It’s over!

  • Reply
    Hayley
    August 1, 2014 at 5:00 pm

    Wow thank you so so much for sharing this! SO proud of you! I am struggling right now and this helped me see a lot of things! You are a beautiful lady inside and out!

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      August 3, 2014 at 11:47 am

      Thank you, my dear! As are you and I’ve seen you come such a long way. You should be so proud! xoxo

  • Reply
    Kelsey @ Ramblings of Change
    August 1, 2014 at 11:30 pm

    You are amazing. This resonates so so much with me. JUST today I found a picture from two summers ago, when I tracked every morsel of food and worked out every day (resting was not part of my schedule). And I look small, yes, but I look weak and it didn’t fit “me”. And the weird thing is? I never saw that at that time. I was always working towards being smaller and more lean because that is what I thought I had to be to be attractive. And let me just saw I’m so much happier where I am now. It. Is. Awesome.
    Kelsey @ Ramblings of Change recently posted…Thinking Out Loud / #5

  • Reply
    Mary Frances
    August 2, 2014 at 4:16 pm

    I cannot applaud you enough for this post Davida! This is SO so true: trying to achieve the skinny = beautiful leaves you without any joy. No joy in food, no joy in going out … it is draining and unsustainable. Your honesty and genuineness is pretty amazing and what really sets you apart as a health blogger. Your profile photos aren’t of your abs (or your rib cage – so wrong and sad) you don’t constantly update us on your specific workouts, you don’t eliminate all fat and sugar and happiness 🙂 – you are real and relatable! Thank you for this post! Keep rocking the world!
    Mary Frances recently posted…{Vegan} Key Lime Coconut Cinnamon Rolls

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    Good good links #50 | Let's get living
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    Workouts + Weekly Reads: Feeling Strong
    August 3, 2014 at 6:44 am

    […] I Know The Secret To Skinny- The Healthy Maven […]

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    8/3/14 Sunday Funday - Skinny Fitalicious
    August 3, 2014 at 7:16 am

    […] I Know The Secret To Skinny via The Healthy Maven – How do you define skinny? It’s more than a number or a size. […]

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    . link love 8/3 . - . running with spoons .
    August 3, 2014 at 8:00 am

    […] I Know the Secret to Skinny via The Healthy Maven. An incredibly honest and inspirational post about accepting your body the way it is rather than sacrificing happiness just to fit into a smaller pair of jeans. […]

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    “Sundae” Funday | Coffee Chalk
    August 3, 2014 at 8:36 am

    […] I know the secret to skinny!!  I absolutely LOVE this <3 […]

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    Lauren
    August 3, 2014 at 12:25 pm

    Davida, I literally could have written this post myself.
    You are an inspiration to so many and I am so unbelievably happy that you, that I and so many others have journeyed through those times and come out the other side just loving life. Let’s cheers our tasty glass of white to this, at the top of the mountain after an awesome hike up it, fuelled by whatever the hell our bodies felt called to eat. <3
    P.s. you have inspired me to finally donate a pair of jeans that I have held on to for no other reason than a minute part of me thinks I might one day fit in them. Goodbye ridiculously small jeans for GOOD 🙂
    Lauren recently posted…Coconut Chia Muffins From Ugg Foods

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    ASHLEY
    August 3, 2014 at 1:43 pm

    This post is perfection! I recently did a closet purge for the same reason–I got rid of all my 00 jeans and XXS tops. These were reminders of my ED and reminders of a place I refuse to go again. For the first time in a long time, I am over skinny. I am focused on what my body can do–functionally, emotionally, intellectually. I will trade the 00 for peace of mind and heart and family any day!

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    Kirtley Freckleton @ The Gist of Fit
    August 3, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    Never heard people say what you said before. Kinda interesting. It seems to go along the lines of just accepting yourself.

    It seems that media has given girls all the wrong ways to lose weight–ways that lead to guilt, hunger, anxiety, over exercise. That’s too bad. There are plenty of ways to lose weight and still be very happy while doing it. If people just stuck to intuitive eating–the world would be a much happier place!

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    Kim
    August 3, 2014 at 10:05 pm

    I have zero desire to be skinny (good thing!!!) – I just want to be fit and healthy. I love that you have given up on those “skinny” thoughts – you are fabulous and beautiful!!!
    Kim recently posted…A Week of Fun (7/27-8/2)

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    lindsay
    August 4, 2014 at 9:11 am

    i actually did the same last year. And it was… LIBERATING
    lindsay recently posted…Why We Eat Resistant Starches for Gut Health

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    clare @ fitting it all in
    August 4, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    Could have written this myself — SO great!

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    Lauren
    August 4, 2014 at 8:29 pm

    Hell yeah! This is the type of post I want to read…way more inspirational + fun than any “weight loss” tips. Thank YOU for being vulnerable and sharing your story. I’ve been there too and even though I was 15 pounds lighter, I spent all my time counting calories, running so many miles, and skipping hanging out with friends because I had a long run the next morning. It’s so liberating to be free of all of that + just live my life.
    Lauren recently posted…July Favorites: Gaining Body Fat (& happiness), Lessons from an Eating Disorder, & Free Anti-Dieting Challenge

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    Nicole
    August 4, 2014 at 10:49 pm

    I am new to your blog, and wow what an incredible first post to read. Thank you so much for sharing this.
    Nicole recently posted…How to fail without feeling like a failure

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    Amy @ Elephant Eats
    August 5, 2014 at 3:53 pm

    You have an adorable body and I think anything skinnier wouldn’t even look good! I’m so glad you learned to live life instead of worry about calories/body, etc. I was there once too and it’s no fun to have your every thought taken up with that. Congrats on being healthy 🙂
    Amy @ Elephant Eats recently posted…Pregnancy Update and Belly Pic- Weeks 31-33

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    Weekly Reads Wednesday 8.7.14
    August 6, 2014 at 6:01 am

    […] I Know The Secret To Skinny <–could have written this myself […]

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    Molly
    August 6, 2014 at 3:12 pm

    love love LOVE this – feel like I could have written it myself and am so happy you were able to articulate everything I have been thinking/feeling. We can be skinny (and as you mentioned, we still are by most standards) but we can and deserve to be happy and to LIVE too. Thanks for the reminder. 🙂

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      August 8, 2014 at 6:35 pm

      Thank YOU! It’s amazing to have such a supportive and understanding community of women who get this sentiment. Keep preaching happy 🙂

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    Jen @ Bagels to Broccoli
    August 6, 2014 at 9:49 pm

    I’m late to the comment party, but just wanted to say that I truly loved this post and your honesty! Truthful and honest – thank you!
    Jen @ Bagels to Broccoli recently posted…Orange Theory Fitness: Review & First Thoughts

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    Fascinating Friday Links #40 + Jumping for Joy | Daily Moves and Grooves
    August 8, 2014 at 5:51 am

    […] secret is simple] I Know The Secret to Skinny via The Healthy […]

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    Natalie Wester
    August 8, 2014 at 11:20 pm

    LOVE THIS. LOVE THIS. I have recently gained weight after recovering from an eating disorder. I have fallen in love with powerlifting, and while I still eat very healthy, I make sure it is a diverse selection that actually has calories! No more salads for me. Sure im not a 00 anymore, but you know what? I am sure in the heck more happier, people no longer worry about my health by how I look, and I am stronger both mentally and physically.

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    well, hello monday… |
    August 11, 2014 at 8:01 am

    […] on skinny: the secret  […]

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    Best of August 2014 - The Healthy Maven
    August 29, 2014 at 5:04 am

    […] food. I was truly astounded by the incredible support and feedback I received on my post on “The Secret To Skinny“. It took me a long time to get the words out but I can say with certainty that it was one of […]

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    Jordan @ The Balanced Blonde
    August 29, 2014 at 3:04 pm

    You. Are. Amazing. I’m actually bookmarking this & reading it again and again… seriously, I needed this. Yay for living our lives over planning them, and yay for the secret to happiness not equaling the secret to skinniness. I am so impressed & inspired. PS… Let’s talk soon about you being featured on my Recovery Series. I think it has to happen. Now excuse me while I continue to stalk your old posts.
    Jordan @ The Balanced Blonde recently posted…Recovery Series #2 // Carrie Forrest

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      Davida Kugelmass
      August 29, 2014 at 10:46 pm

      Aw thanks lady!!! I feel the exact same way about you. Your bravery in opening up to your readers despite very vocal opposition was absolutely an inspiration for my writing this post. I would be honoured to be a part of your series.

      In other news, I hope you found some gems in your stalking. I legit cringe when I read old posts! Have a great weekend xoxo

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    Sam @ PancakeWarriors
    August 29, 2014 at 3:24 pm

    I love every single word of this post. Thank you for putting things out there. Focus is no healthy not skinny! Thanks for the reminder that the stress you put on your body now may have consequences later on! Beautiful post! Love your blog! Thanks for sharing 🙂
    Sam @ PancakeWarriors recently posted…Guilt Free Survival: The Holiday Weekend

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      Davida Kugelmass
      August 29, 2014 at 10:44 pm

      You are so sweet! Thank you, Sam 🙂 Hope you’ll join me in changing the game! Healthy over skinny any day.

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    Best of THM 2014 - The Healthy Maven
    December 17, 2014 at 5:02 am

    […] I Know The Secret To Skinny – on realizing that skinny isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. 2. One Year Later – […]

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    The 2014 Blogger Survey
    December 18, 2014 at 3:01 am

    […] Davida- ‘I know the secret to skinny’- I loved this post so much. Why? Davs practices what she preaches. Even though I didn’t spend […]

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    Heather Mason
    December 29, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    I love this post! I just cleaned out my closet last night and was having a mental debate whether or not to give away two dresses that were just a bit tight. I ended up putting them in the Good Will pile. I love Oprah too, but that is horrible advice!
    Heather Mason recently posted…Sweet and Salty Glazed Pecans

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    Hanna
    January 5, 2015 at 11:22 pm

    This post nearly brought me to tears! I could relate to everything that you said, as I struggled with anorexia and orthorexia for nearly a year of my life. I was down to 83 pounds when I was forced to get help and finally realized exactly what I was doing to myself. I was never happy, never skinny enough, and I didn’t have much of a life because all of my time was dedicated to my strange eating habits and unnecessarily intense workouts. Some twenty pounds later, I am so much happier than I have ever been in my life!

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      January 9, 2015 at 2:43 pm

      You should be so proud of yourself Hanna! It’s sad how much we think being skinny will bring us happiness but I think the happiness that comes with accepting yourself just as you are is so much sweeter for having experienced the disappointment and destruction of thinking skinny = happy. I’m thrilled you’ve found your happy place and hope you continue to encourage others to do the same <3

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    hayley @healthyregards
    January 8, 2015 at 10:51 am

    You are awesome, Davida. You are strong and beautiful inside and out. Thanks for this message that SO many of us need to hear <3
    hayley @healthyregards recently posted…WIAW: Trying New Things.

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      Davida Kugelmass
      January 9, 2015 at 2:45 pm

      Thank YOU Hayley! I know you’re inspiring so many by sharing your own journey with food and body image. I love your positivity and I hope you continue to encourage others to find a healthy balance in their lives. Lots of love! xo

  • Reply
    Links I Love. - Healthy Regards, Hayley
    January 9, 2015 at 6:00 am

    […] This was my favorite post from the week. So much honesty as Davida shares the secrets to […]

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    Jenes and Genes - On How I Learned To Love My Body - The Healthy Maven
    February 12, 2015 at 9:05 am

    […] I soon discovered that my quest for the perfect body didn’t bring with it the happiness that I thought it would. It wasn’t until I realized that the problem wasn’t my body at all that I learned how […]

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    Leah
    October 22, 2015 at 1:19 am

    I’d have to disagree. The secret to being “skinny”, although I’d say being skinny is only a side effect, is nourishing your body by eating plant-based, whole foods or having a healthy variety of foods, or even eating everything you want in moderation, then, exercising daily and doing a variety of exercise whilst listening to your body’s needs. It sounds very long on paper, but really, it’s an easy way to be skinny, which a lot of girls want to be. Personally, being skinny makes me a lot happier than being average or chubby. So i think its important for you to stay open-minded and remember that not everyone who is skinny eats rabbit food and runs miles on an empty stomach.

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    Emilie @ Emilie Eats
    February 23, 2016 at 11:08 pm

    I’m just coming across this (stalker much?) and your honesty is so beautiful. I’ve been in those shoes more times than I’d like to count in my 19 years – the guilt, frustration, the “why-me.” Of course there are days when I still struggle with it, when I see people eating junk food all day who are skinny and I pretty much dedicate my life to being healthy and I don’t look like that. But, that’s just not how I’m made, and I’m learning to be okay with that. Learning to appreciate that I’m healthy and, strong, rather than wish I was skinny!
    Emilie @ Emilie Eats recently posted…Spaghetti Squash Burrito Bowl

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    Cassie
    February 24, 2016 at 11:18 am

    I just read this and I resonated with so many parts that you described. I feared lots of food–sugars, gluten, dairy that wasn’t Greek yogurt; healthy foods like avocados and coconut/olive oil. It was never enough. It wasn’t until I tried the chew-spit technique on a muffin when I knew there was a problem with my relationship with food and exercise. It is so relieving and worth it when you go through the mental hardships of finding a balance. Just by intuitively listening to your body, you already find so much peace and release so much negative energy.
    Cassie recently posted…Tuesday Thoughts: It’s NOT Harder Being a Girl

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    Sadie
    March 16, 2016 at 10:59 am

    You shall know the truth and that truth shall set you free. Thank you for sharing truth and giving others the ability to step out (even if it’s their first steps) toward freedom.

    I share your story, struggle, and now find myself four years in active freedom and recovery from the shackles of over exercise/eating disorder prison. What kind of life is a half-life I ask as I look back and at times can feel the tug for “skinny jeans” longings or thoughts. It is not life, and now walking in freedom what a joy to be healthy, live fully, and treat our bodies with respect to how they are fearfully and wonderfully made! Blessings to you sister, thanks for sharing this and other truths!!

  • Reply
    Carly
    August 27, 2016 at 10:12 am

    Hi! I was first brought to your website by the awesome recipes that you post, but when i found this article I’ll be honest it made me tear up a little. This is a perfect reflection of how I have felt for the past couple months, struggling with exercise guilt and depriving my body of food to achieve the standard of perfection that I have set for myself. But I’m tired of being tired. So thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing such personal information because it’s just what I needed to hear right now. You are so strong and provide both inspiration and hope of breaking the unhealthy cycle of supposed “health” to people like myself.

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    Amber @ Bloom Nutrition Therapy
    June 29, 2017 at 1:18 pm

    What I would give now to have read this post when you originally wrote it. 2014 was about the time I discovered the blogging community. It was also the blogging community and many authors’ “well intentions” that only exasperated my disordered eating tendencies. Only within the past year have I been able to come into the new secret that all the “skinny” people don’t know yet – it’s SO not worth it. Thank you for this raw post!

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