I learned a new term from Instagram last week, “thigh-gap”. A thigh gap is when a set of legs are so lean skinny that they don’t touch each other, but instead, leave a gap. Body Image’s good friend, Barbie demonstrates it perfectly.

Guys, a thigh-gap is totally realistic! Even Barbie has one!

 

While I rarely see thigh-gaps, I happened to run accross one on Instagram last week (go figure). The intent of the photo was to display some super cute shoes, but the super lean legs could not go unnoticed. There it was in the comments, “#thighgap”.

 

That hashtag helped me put into words a longing I have had since my teens. I wanted a thigh-gap for as long as I can remember. It was an elusive goal that I couldn’t seem to achieve. Even at my lightest (and unhealthy) weight, my thighs did not gap. What the hell? I’m bearing all when I admit to laying in bed at night shaming myself because my inner thighs touched. I couldn’t stand it. It felt like the signal of failure.

 

I know, you want to reach out and smack sense into me, right? Relax, that was the 23 year old Natalie. These days, I save my middle-of-the-night anxiety for bigger fish like, “Where in the world did that set of 3 lb weights run off to… I don’t lose things… They have got to turn up… I cannot use 5 pound weights for front shoulder raises… Crap!”

 

Don’t get me wrong, I would still take a thigh-gap if it were offered, but it’s no longer my focus. I have come a far cry from the obsessive thoughts and self judgements represented by the thigh-gap. Oh, the things I would tell my 23 year old self! For starters…

  • Your value and worth have nothing to do with your body. They are separate. PERIOD.
  • The body’s job is to serve the spirit that lives within. The body is FUNCTIONAL.
  • Set your sights on strength. A STRONG body allows you to experience the world in a unique, independent and special way.
  • Your INDIVIDUALITY is by design. It is beautiful.
  • Your muscular legs will do great things for your speed, endurance, and strength. Be THANKFUL.
  • Hey, at least you don’t have cankles! KIDDING!!

What elusive goals might you be holding in too high esteem?