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I already know that I’m skinny.

01/17/2012

I have been naturally thin ever since I was a kid. I always ate whatever I wanted, but never seemed to gain much weight. This was never a bad thing to me—I became used to the nicknames. I became used to the comments from those around me. I became used to the difficulty I experienced finding pants that weren’t too big. I became used to the jokes from my family members. I became used to all of it.

 

 

I wasn’t unhealthy. I ate hearty meals and did plenty of snacking. I ate ice cream and cheeseburgers and pizza and french fries, while I also ate fruits and vegetables and other healthy foods. I didn’t mind the comments from people around me telling me that my weight would “eventually catch up” with me. I didn’t feel the need to explain why I was skinny. I didn’t blame it on my “fast metabolism” or genetics. I felt okay with just being me despite my weight or any other aspect of my physical appearance.

 

 

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For some reason, however, I find it harder to ignore the comments as an adult. I am still skinny, but I don’t understand why people need to tell me that I am (I already know). Just yesterday I found myself feeling frustrated with a coworker who asked me if I was losing weight. I covered up my frustration by politely telling her, “No, I’m not.” She replied “Oh good because you definitely don’t need to be losing any weight–only gaining it.” I’m not sure if this individual realized how she came across to me. Her comment appeared judgmental, though—and even came across as critical. You wouldn’t tell an overweight individual how “fat” they looked so why tell someone who is naturally thin how “skinny” they look? Why is there a double-standard? Either way, you are making the person feel self-conscious. Either way you are coming across as rude. Either way you are asking the person to defend themselves in one way or another.

 

 

Sometimes when people hear that I run or go to the gym, they reply, “Oh that’s how you stay so skinny.” I tell them that this really isn’t the case. I was skinny long before I started running. In fact, for much of my life, I never worked out or considered myself to be physically fit. I hate that people will even state, “You don’t have to work out.” I hate that to some people working out can only be done to lose weight. I hate that people jump to conclusions without hearing the whole story. Why does going to the gym or running have to equal calorie or weight loss? Why can’t people who are underweight or overweight work out for the sole purpose of feeling better about themselves and staying fit? I run because I want to be more physically fit, and I want to feel strong and confident in myself–not because I’m looking to lose weight.

 

 

 

 

Tell me: Can you relate at all to my experiences? How do you deal with judgmental comments from people? Why do you work out?

 

 

 

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. Connie permalink
    01/17/2012 8:07 am

    As you know Amanda, I am not skinny. And I spent the better part of my youth striving to get the svelte figure of a fashion model. It was only until a few years ago that I realized I never would be a fashion model—I am just not built that way. I am a curvy girl—not fat, as I used to think. Nature gave me hips and breasts and there is no reason to apologize for them. I will never fit into a size 6, let alone anything smaller, but it has nothing to do with lack of exercise or eating junk food. It’s just me.

    I think we, as a society, have become conditioned to assume that if a woman has a less-than-perfect shape, she must have something wrong with her. If she’s thin, she must have an eating disorder. If she has meat on her bones she must be filled with self-loathing to let herself go like that. It is hurtful and very damaging. Like I said, I wasted a lot of time feeling badly about myself over something that I had no real control over.

    I think that self-acceptance and self-love is the only way to effectively ignore those hurtful comments. I was 46 when I finally reached self-acceptance.We were vacationing in Cancun and, as usual, I was sitting on the beach wrapped in a coverup and towel, embarrassed by my less than perfect body. Suddenly six women came walking by—all in bikinis, three of them topless—and they were all over 65! Their bodies were aged, but they didn’t care. they were comfortable with who they were. Looking around I waited for a reaction that didn’t come. No one made any comments, or giggled or even seemed to notice. So if no one else seemed to care, why should I? I threw off the coverup and have been wearing bikinis (with tops:)) ever since. So I’m not perfect. I am happy in my own skin.

    Sorry to ramble like this, but my point is that we were all made certain ways. There is no need to apologize for it. Embrace the person you are. Your inner confidence will shine through and that is what people will see.

  2. 01/17/2012 10:00 am

    I dont personally have that problem, but there are people close to me who do. I have a friend that is so thin and is just naturally built like that, always has been and just doesnt have much muscle tone and she is constnalty working on trying to get some muscles (haha) but people always comment to her how “shes so skinny” blah blah. and I know she gets irritated with it and I feel bad!

  3. 01/17/2012 10:23 am

    I don’t face these issues often, but I definitely have at one point or another. I don’t think people realize what they’re saying, even though that’s not an excuse. I’d say, don’t let people define you. When you get comments like that, just know that you’re healthy, fit, and strong and shake it off.

  4. 01/17/2012 1:08 pm

    Hm- this is kind of enlightening! I am guilty of being on the other end of your conversations…and to be honest, it’s usually out of pure jealousy! Ya know…that whole ‘must be nice’ thing. But you’re right. People should be able to get their run on just because they feel like it. I know and understand first hand that running or exercise in general just makes life a little better. Whether its to lose weight, gain weight or whatever!

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