Friday, 10 December 2010

The Skinny on being Skinny.

And I know millions of believers (especially women) will HATE me for this post. I don't care. The reason why they'll hate me is because I'm speaking the truth. I, on the other hand, hate that they believe in The Thin. I hate how they damage their health with irrational fasts, crazy diets and idiotic exercise routines.

I am 5'10 tall. I normally wear a UK size 8-10, and my setpoint BMI is 18,5-19. I'm naturally thin. I have been a lot thinner when I was ill, and it took me 6 months to get back to a normal weight. That was hard work! I'm also a blonde with a D-cup, so I guess that makes me an official Barbie. See? There I am!

A recent drastic change in my normally healthy eating patterns lead to a slight, but significant weight gain. Naturally thin people do also gain weight on a diet consisting of everything the Diet God forbid. It came down to about a kilo a month. I am confident that returning to a healthy eating and exercise pattern will return me to my body's own set point, even if it might take a while. It always does that. Plus, I only have to lose one dress size. If I didn't want to fit my own pants, I wouldn't even bother. But I have an amazing wardrobe.
healthy excercise Healthy Exercise To Keep Body Fit

I love being tall. Unless I'm trying to date; I find it a bit of a turn-off if the guy is shorter than I am. I love my body. Well, I would have been perfectly happy with a cup or what less, but still. I'm slim but curvy, and my light build is something that's pretty unique. Or should be, if the rest of womankind wasn't starving herself.

But the rest of womankind seems to think she's too fat. The rest of womankind aspire to have... wait for it... my body. Or the more sickly version of it, something like this Miss Australia.

That, my dear people, is pretty much what anorexia with make up looks like. I looked like that when I was sick. It wasn't very much fun. Nothing fit, and it hurt to sit down.

But if the rest of Womankind aspires to look like me, or even thinner, because they believe it will give them some, I don't know, happiness or magical solutions to whatever problems, I might as well tell them what it's REALLY like to live, er, the dream:

Because men will find me sexier if I'm skinny
Um, well, honey, see it's like this. Unless you're fat enough to grow baby elephants under your skin flaps, sexy is about self-confidence and how you present yourself. Sensual works better than slutty. And even if you ARE fat enough to grow those baby elephants, I'm sure you'll find a man who thinks that's just smoking hot. Actually, my fattest friend gets more booty than I do.

I will be more self-confident if I'm skinny
My favourite lie of the Thin Gods. I'm sorry love, but you'll still be you if you're skinny. Yes, it's true that losing weight can boost your self-confidence... but that's only skin deep! It has no real effect on your self-esteem, and if it's weak... it's still going to be weak when you're thin. I have actually felt self-conscious about how thin I am.

I will be more successful if I'm thin
Really? Explain to me how that works please. Because based on my bio stats I should be wildly successful if this were true. Unless you're one of those very few people who do earn a living with their looks, or unless you're a professional athlete (which makes it unlikely that you need to lose weight), chances are you're going to need either bulk or brain to be successful. But last time I checked, my physical appearance did not help me get through medical school. If anything, woman-sized A-cupped brunettes get taken more seriously. Or so I've read.  

I'll have more friends
I really hope friendship is still based on character!

Women will be jealous of me
Since we've covered 'guys will want me' I might as well cover 'girls will want to be me'. That's true, if you only count girls with bad body image. I've never heard any of my friends with bad body image tell me that they want to have my body. My sisters actually praised my newly acquired bum. But yes, insecure women with bad body image will be jealous of you. And it's annoying. So annoying that I've actually quit a previous blog because it was only read by desperate believers of the Skinny religion.

It's healthier to be thin. 
Can't argue with that.... no wait, actually I CAN. It's healthy to be thin only if you're naturally thin. It's healthy to be at the weight that's best for your body, and while I'm not really sure exactly how the WHO determined 18.5 and not 20 to be the new lower limit... I am pretty sure it's a fairly small group of the population who are supposed to fall into that lowest range. Please note that I'm only using BMI here as a rough indication, there are many other determinants of health in terms of body composition.
And trust me on this one. If you are currently obese, a BMI of 18,5 would probably be unhealthy for you. It's not a realistic goal. Realistic would be to get yourself out of the obese range, then out of the overweight range...and then to maintain and pluck the fruits of a newer, healthier life style.
Oh, and those fasts and fad diets and generally most of the things you desperately do to lose weight...actually are really unhealthy.

I'll be fitter if I'm thin
Only if you keep fit, regardless of your weight. Only if you don't do any drastic diets or long term fasts or whatever, because before you get even near your goal of my weight, you'll have eaten your own muscle mass. And then I'll be thinner AND yeah...then it's true that the thinner one is fitter but only because the one who had the muscle potential wasted it. So there.
Actually I'm not very strong. I'm stronger than I look, but I'll never have the explosive power to be a sprinter. My light build might benefit me on longer distances though.
But marathon training would make it really hard for me to stay at a healthy weight. I'll end up looking like that Aussie Miss again, and it wasn't really comfortable.

Thin is a sign of strength, fat is a sign of weakness
The strong control argument. But tell me, how strong and in control are you really if you're have so little control over yourself that you need to control your food intake? How strong are you really if you can't say no to the pressure to be unhealthily thin?
Is fat really a sign of weakness, or is it a sign of unhappiness?

Fasting for...
No, you're not strong if you're fasting. I've done it, it's a kick. A really easy kick, it's a lot harder to lastingly improve your eating habits. I am not going to discuss the possible health benefits of an occasional short fast. Because the fasters I've seen do it for weight loss only. I don't believe for one second that any good-willing God would want you to endanger your health by doing a complete fast for prolonged time. Even Ramadan allows eating.

Thin = beauty
Oh, really? And what if you're just an empty shell of your former self when you're thin? And what about all the gorgeous women who are not what you'd objectively call thin? What about gorgeous heart-felt smiles? Laughter? Clear skin? A beautiful personality shining through because you're not hungry all the time? The beauty of diversity?

and....Mums... what about her?

Last but not least: What does it feel like to be thin?
Well. Normal, to be honest. Being thin does not make me a better person. It does not make me a worse person either. It just makes me.. me. It does not make any drastic difference to who I am as a person. My body is just a part of who I am, and I still struggle with your everyday things. I have so much more to offer than a size 8-10 body. I am not perfect and my body is not perfect. Being thin does not prevent me from being a bit mad at myself if I can't get a cannula in. It does not keep me warm at night, or, at all in fact. Jeans still can look bad on me. I still wouldn't mind having a B or C cup rather than a D, and that bit of cellulite on my thighs does bother me. People still comment on my weight, and fat people don't think it's rude. It is rude.

I'm me, I have my own body, and I enjoy it.

1 comment:

  1. I understand where you're coming from. Especially since you've struggled with an eating disorder. Being skinny does not always lead to happiness. Neither does money and neither does a romantic relationship. But our society glorifies these things and we are all driven by them. The decisions we make are based on these things and sometimes one leads to another and the illusion of happiness is something that many of us feel is still worth chasing. I do understand where you're coming from. But I have my reasons for fasting.
    Thank you for your comment. :-)