While in school I got to live with nearly all of my best friends at one point or another. I recently unearthed some of the pictures from that time period and giggled my way through them. Most of the pictures were taken during events that we had dubbed “Skanky Tuesdays.” This had originated from jokes about “Naked Night” and “Lingerie Day” and morphed into events that were the highlights of school for me. Due to a promise and a death threat I can’t actually divulge any of the events that took place. Sorry. Sugar Muffin, please don’t kill me…

Incidentally, none of these events actually happened on Tuesdays, but we just let that little detail slide because, really, how awesome does “Skanky Tuesday” sound?

It was one of those things that, while a little sketchy, was incredibly good for my self esteem and body image. Out of the five of us, only one had what you would generally think of as an ideal body. She doesn’t think so, but everyone else does. It all felt very “Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood” without the tragedy… and there were five of us.

 These were times that I forgot my weight, I forgot my fat rolls, I forgot that I dress strategically to hide the very things that were being shown. Maybe a little exhibitionism is healthy.

The importance of feeling comfortable in your skin, naked or clothed, is something that I cannot emphasize enough. No matter what size you are and no matter what your body fat percentage, you will never be happy with your body until you learn to be comfortable with yourself as you are.

I’ve struggled with this ever since I was the plumpest and shortest ballerina at Pacific Northwest Ballet. Short with hips isn’t exactly smiled upon in a world of tall and thin. For a long time I couldn’t even bear to look at myself naked and I was always worrying about how my clothing fell on certain parts of my body.

This, as a part of weight loss, is unfortunately ignored. It’s true that huge amounts are happening to push for people learning to be happy with their bodies, but not in the context of weight loss. Can a person even lose weight and maintain if they are not content in their own skin? I don’t think so, in fact, I think I can safely say that it isn’t possible in the long run.

What I’m getting at is this; take the time to learn to love yourself and your body. Run free and naked if that’s what it takes. Just don’t do it in public because that can get you arrested for indecent exposure.

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