10 September 2009

The Skinny on Being Too Thin

I know you are all going to totally hate my face for posting this, for making a big deal out of it, and for it even being my "problem" in the first place - but I have a big announcement:


The Hate.

Seriously though, I weighed myself this morning for the first time in a week - and like MAGIC I had actually GAINED WEIGHT. For the record, it's the kind of magic that makes you eat like a sumo wrestler and gain weight against the medical craziness that ensues, not the kind of magic that makes these things happen:


Not that a trip on Falkor The LuckDragon wouldn't be fantastic, but I'm kinda totally thrilled that I no longer weigh something that begins with the number '8'.

Commence the hate.
Or.... don't....

You see, although many of you are purging your lunch right now in utter disgust with my insanely low number, I consider each of you blessed.

Some of you ARE your ideal body weight, and that extra carton scoop of Cookies-n-Cream ice cream doesn't make you lose sleep at night. And then I am completely aware of those of you who go all Silas from the Da Vinci Code on yourself for even THINKING about a bite of aforementioned yummy goodness in a carton.

Of course, we have the people in the middle too, who eat as they should and on occasion go ape crap on the Thanksgiving buffet and then exercise like good little peoples.

But what a lot of you don't have to think about is this - the stigma attached to being "fat" or "overweight" or "whale-like" is as intense but completely opposite to those of us who are overly thin.

I have a MEDICAL ISSUE right now, yet I get stares and looks from anyone who doesn't know what is going on. I go out of my way to cover up the thinner parts, but come on! It's summer! Sometimes, when it is/was 98 degrees outside, I have to wear shorts and a tank top. SORRY!

And it's those times that I get those looks and I know what the person is thinking "geez! she's anorexic! let's feed her!"

I absolutely, positively, DESPISE those comments and thoughts, but I also understand why they are even there. It APPEARS that I am not taking care of myself. That I'm not eating.

But the honest truth couldn't be farther from that thought - I am TRULY an obese person trapped in this overly thin shell. I love food! I cook a lot and think one of the most enjoyable things to do is find a new restaurant or food or recipe and try it.

The stigma associated with being thin gets me, but seeing myself at an unhealthy weight does something mentally that is difficult for other people to understand. I can explain it in only one way, a story:

The last time I got this thin, I was at Michael's brother's wedding in Chicago. At the time, I weighed 84 lbs. and didn't know why I was loosing so much weight. I kept eating and KEPT eating MORE, but the weight was falling off.
I had a dress for the wedding that fit a month prior, but when I went to try it on in the hotel bathroom an hour before the ceremony, I realized it no longer fit.
It hit me hard, for some reason - and I took the dress off without unzipping it and sat on the cold tile floor of the bathroom and started crying.
I had my knees bent and to my chest, and my arms folded with my head in them. My tears made a puddle on the floor, and it's then that I opened my eyes to realize that my entire body - all 84 pounds of it - fit on one small 12X12 tile in this bathroom with room to spare.
I told myself "In this great big world, at this moment, your entire body - your entire self - fits on a 12-inch by 12-inch tile. You practically don't exist."

Those are harsh words to think. They are harsh words to type. It still hurts to think that I was telling myself those things, but that's the gravity of the situation.

I didn't have an eating disorder, I don't have an eating disorder, but I look like I do.

I have to deal with the stigma associated with a disorder that I don't have.

And as hard as that is, I am a different person today dealing with this problem than the girl sitting on the 12-inch tile square of a bathroom floor in Chicago 3 years ago.

That doesn't mean I don't still despise every judging glance. It doesn't mean I don't sigh every time my size zero shorts fall off because I've worn them more than once. It doesn't mean that I don't get on the scale and pray for a higher number.

What it does mean is that I've learned to deal with it. That I want to be healthy... and by George...I'm getting somewhere!

Here's to 4 more pounds! And then some!


  1. sweet-cheeks i know the judging must hard to deal with, i can't even imagine the frustration you deal with everyday. it's a shame that while one of us stresses on loosing 5 lbs. the other is stressing to gain it. in the end we have to find our happy place. if i come across some great fat enriched recipes i'm sending them your way.

    p.s.-have you tried greek yogurt??

  2. I found something to help you reach your "goal" weight. You put in start weight then your goal and it tells you the calories you need to consume per day to help you reach your target goal. In a safe and heathy way of course.

  3. http://nutrition.about.com/library/bl_nutrition_guide.htm

  4. ok well the last three are .htm for some resaon it keeps cutting it off.

  5. I can totally see how hard that would be. I used to be that way, in high school. I could eat a big mac, a cheeseburger, fries and have a coke to wash it down (and I did) and never gain a pound. Didn't exercise and continually at TONS. I was asked by docs if I had anorexia and I would burst out laughing.

    Then my metabolism changed or something. It would totally stink to have those stares and judgments thrown your way. I get it.

  6. While I'm currently suffering from the opposite problem, you'll get no hate here. I've been suffering from health problems for awhile so I understand the need to just want to be HEALTHY again. It sounds like you're getting there, so good for you :)

  7. @Heather - Thanks girl. I actually have tried greek yogurt, but it's not really my thing. I can stomach it, but wouldn't want to eat a lot. I am eating a lot of avocados now though - yummers! And i'm still on the high protein shakes.

    @Chasa - THANKS! Although - I'm taking in a few more (try... 500 more) calories than that site recommends...

    @Heather - Yummmm.... Cheeseburger... I know several people like that - high meta. one day, gone years later.

    @Katie - can we go shoe shopping? ;)

  8. Just wondering -- have you had your thyroid levels tested? It's quite possible that you could have hyperthyroidism ... just a thought. My whole family, including myself, has thyroid issues, except we're all hypo/hashimoto's.

    You can read more about it here: http://www.endocrineweb.com/hyper1.html

    it sure sounds like your symptoms match it, but then again, it could be something else entirely!

  9. "But the honest truth couldn't be farther from that thought - I am TRULY an obese person trapped in this overly thin shell. I love food! "

    Another one of my all time favorite lines!

    No words of wisdom but my husband has been your male equivalent for most of his life. Now, at age 40, he weighs more than he's ever weighed - a whopping 165 pounds - and he's 6'3"!!!! Girl, if I don't hate him (and I don't, lol) I could never hate you! I know how hard it's been for him all of these years.

    Now go hit a dozen Krispy Kremes after you drink a gall on of Milo's sweet tea...

    I almost posted this under Jeff's google ID - now THAT would have been a hoot!


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