When I was 25, I was in the best shape of my life. I was about the same weight I am now but with more muscle. I was doing boot camp, cardio, weight training and pilates. I was hitting the gym about five days a week. It was at this time that I got some of the worst comments of all time about my body. One of my fitness instructors approached me during class, presumably to adjust my form, and said, “You look OK right now, but you have the kind of body where if you gain even five pounds, you’ll look fat.” Needless to say, I never went back to his class. But his words stayed with me. They’ve been particularly harmful whenever I’ve gained five pounds here or there over the last decade. I think, I have the kind of body that looks fat with an extra five pounds, I should lose it.
Later that same year — the year of my “ideal” body (whatever the hell that means) — a guy I had just started dating seriously dropped a body snark bomb into casual conversation like it was nothing. “My friends asked me about you,” he told me. “They asked if you had a good body and I said, ‘Not traditionally, no, but I like it.’”