**Warning, this post discusses a very sensitive topic. Those who have issues with food or body imagine should not read this post. Please do not read if you are sensitive to such topics. **
Raise your hand if someone has ever told you, “You are so lucky. You’re so skinny! You could eat anything you want!”. Or how about this, “You’re so skinny! Go eat a freakin’ burger!” My hand is raised, times a thousand. Remember my last post? I talked about the major issue I have with the phrase “going on a diet”. Well today I’m going to talk about another issue I have; people assuming things about people based on their size, and people assuming that it’s ok to make comments about someone’s weight if they are skinny (as if it’s any different than commenting on someone being overweight).
Let’s say I walk up to an overweight guy and tell him, “DAMN! You’re huge! You need to STOP eating! Man, go eat a salad or something!” How would he feel? Probably not so good. So what gives people the right to tell someone who is small, like I am, that they need to “go eat a burger”, or that they are “so lucky because you can eat whatever you want and not get fat”. Seriously people, it’s annoying!
You see this stomach?
That’s me. You see those red lines? When I sit I get rolls of fat and they turn into red lines when I stand (from the crease). I’m in no way saying that I think I’m fat (I know I’m not), but instead I’m using the picture above to make a point. I actually tried to get a picture of my cellulite on my legs, which is something that people always tell me “I’ll never have to worry about” because they think they know my body well, and they assume that women won’t get cellulite if they are skinny, HA!. So…why am I telling you this, and what is my point? I am a healthy weight, and even though you may not know it when you see me in clothes, I do have some fat on my body. I’m part of a family who tends to carry fat in one place, and that’s the stomach. When I wear clothes the only thing people can see is my fat-less butt, my skinny legs, my skinny arms, and my long skinny fingers. What is more difficult to see is that I actually carry fat in one of the most dangerous places; above my waist. I am what you may call, “an apple”. Women with the apple shape are at greater risk for heart disease, which explains the heart disease that runs in my family.
I’m sick of people assuming that they know everything about me and my eating habits the second they meet me. I speak for all skinny (and larger!) people out there, really, because I know I’m not the only one who feels like they are unfairly judged by the shape of their body. Either people assume I “eat nothing” or they assume I can “eating anything I want” and the bottom line is that I do eat anything I want, but in a healthy and moderate way. I practice what I preach. I worry about my health and I want to feel and look good. Who doesn’t? When I say “no” to a dessert, it’s not because I think it will “make me fat” it’s because I’d prefer to have something else, or maybe I’ve already had a dessert that day, or maybe I am just not hungry! I do watch my intake of sugars, but not because I don’t want to get fat, it’s because I know I have to, for the rest of my life, in order to prevent my apple shape from ever getting to a dangerous point (read about waist-to-hip ratios, here). Also, by watching my sugar intake, I am taking care of my heart. I’ll never deny myself a dessert that I want, but I’ve learned to practice good self-control. I care about my life, and my body, and I’m proud of it too, fat rolls and all
There is nothing we can do to prevent the changes that naturally occur to our body as we age. We can, however, learn to love our body, eat intuitively and change our habits as we get older (because we just don’t need as many calories as we did when we were young). When I choose to eat a salad at dinner, or pass on a dessert, it’s not because I’m “on a diet” it’s because I actually love vegetables and other healthy foods, and to me it’s not deprivation at all. I treat myself on plenty of occasions, and I always will. I don’t have to prove myself to anyone, but now perhaps people will understand that just because someone looks skinny doesn’t mean they have perfect health and need not worry about any chronic conditions, and it doesn’t mean they can eat anything and everything they want, and it doesn’t mean they starve themselves (and the same goes for people who are larger…they aren’t all lazy and unhealthy like so many people assume!!!).
Question: Have you ever been in a situation where you felt unfairly judged about your decisions to eat healthier, or live a healthier lifestyle? Have you ever felt judged because of your body type or your size? It’s time to VENT!