I Want to Be Fat, Lazy, and Happy — Instead, I’m Thin, Burned Out and Miserable

Dawn Bevier

The grueling toll of “The Perfect Girl” syndrome


Image by StockSnap on Pixabay

So many posts on the misery of being overweight. So many articles on how to be more productive.

And for those of you who have problems in these areas, I get it. People are cruel. And life is full of responsibilities that we must make ourselves fulfill.

But, less explored is the other side of the coin — let’s call it the “perfect girl syndrome.”

I’ve got it. And let me tell you, it’s every bit as miserable as feeling overweight or unproductive.

Imagine a whole life built around will-power. Ambition. Discipline.

Sounds like a recipe for success, doesn’t it?

Well, if you’re living it, it’s a recipe for a heaping dose of misery.

For example, I live in a perpetual state of envy.

I envy things that, to most people, seem stupid.

The ability to sit and do nothing. The ability to wake up to pee and go back to sleep. The ability to eat a candy bar and not feel guilty. The ability to take a “day off” from anything.

And it’s doing me in.

But, here goes. For your viewing pleasure. The other side of the “I’m a procrastinator” or “I hate myself for my lack of self-discipline” coin.

The daily thoughts and confessions of a neurotic OCD girl who is on a perpetual quest to be “perfect” or to attain some unrealistic version of success.

Let me preface.

I know I’ve got issues. Lots of them.

So, here are just a few of the reasons I want to be fat, lazy and happy instead of thin, burned-out and miserable.

1. I’m jealous of your Netflix binges.

You sit there, muscles relaxed, sugary drink in your hand, and stay planted for hours, watching episode after episode. The only thoughts in your head: “What will happen next?” Or “This series is getting ready to end, what’s another good one I can watch when this one is over?”

I envy your slow rhythmic breathing, the way your body splays out like jello on the comfy couch cushions, the way your mind is at one with the screen, while mine pops and crackles like Rice Krispies with what I need to be doing or what’s next on my productivity or self-improvement list.

Oh, I can sit and watch with you, but at least half of the time I am inwardly berating myself for not being up and doing, striving, making leaps and gains towards a “to-do” list that would make Santa’s December “must-do’s” look like a Twitter post.

An hour, max. That’s how long I can “relax” and do the tv thing. And I put the word “relax” in quotes because my shoulders have been glued for years in that stiffly raised state characteristic of all those who live their lives in some sort of unexplained “panic mode.”

It’s actually more stressful sitting, watching, and feeling guilty than it is to stop watching and move on to something more productive.


Because the whole time my mind is blaring like the sirens that go off when they test the alarm system for the nuclear power plant thirty minutes down the road from my home. It’s saying, “Up and at ’em. Come on, you sloth. You’ve got things to do.”

2. I’m jealous of your social media scrolls.

Everywhere I look, your fingers are moving, swiping, punching like a courtroom reporter. Endless hours of amusement watching funny memes or people doing ridiculous things on YouTube. I’m thinking, “Don’t you have something better to be doing with your life?” But secretly, of course, I’m oozing envy.

If you’re not scrolling, you’re playing those games on your phone: quizzing yourself, dressing up digital paper dolls, playing with filters and taking selfies. Having fun doing nothing.

So shameful — and beguiling.

I want to be like that — please tell me how. Tell me how you “turn it off.” You know those voices in your head telling you to be better, more successful, more accomplished.

Tell me how you just watch, laugh uproariously, and repeat.

It’s a destination I hope to visit at least once in my lifetime.

3. I’m jealous of your snacks and meals.

I go shopping with my family every Saturday. We usually stop for breakfast. Well, everybody else gets breakfast. I get unsweetened tea and eat my protein bar.

Midway through, there’s lunch. I skip this (or eat another protein bar) so I can have a relatively satisfying dinner and not feel guilty.

On the way home, of course, we stop for snacks. Actually, they stop for snacks and I sit in the backseat while they run in. When they return, I suck in the sugary sweet smells of their snacks like a good teenager, one who won’t do dope but tries to see what happens if he takes really deep breaths in a room full of marijuana smoke.

Each of them would no doubt be told by their physicians that they should be on a diet. Me? Probably not. Yet, here I am, refusing once again to give myself the pleasure of a small sugar rush that I know would feel soooo good.

But I know the guilt will be more painful than the rush, so no go.

I sit and suffer.

The bottom line:

Obviously, I have a lot of issues. When people look at me, they think I have it all together. I’m actually a tangled mess of overly active brain cells, lazy neurotransmitters, and consuming fears and feelings of inadequacy.

If only I could find a happy medium. But alas, that is not the case for now.

So, I wish you luck on your quest to be more productive, thinner, and happier. Wish me the same on my goal to be fat, lazy, and happy. May we both find success and peace.

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My goal is to provide you with thoughtful, informative, and inspirational content that may increase your productivity, relationships, and well-being.

Sanford, NC

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