I’m thin. I’ve been thin my whole life. Tall and thin.
I’ll take it. It’s not horrible but it’s not always easy either. Many people think being tall and thin equals happiness. I know a ton of people who bust their butts to be a size smaller or to be as small as me. The truth is, it’s not always easy to be the thin one. I’ve taken my share of verbal abuse over the years.
I think I was in second grade when someone told me I was too skinny and that I should “eat a cheeseburger to get some meat on my bones.” Second grade! Just a bit older than my daughter. I remember not understanding what eating a cheeseburger and being thin had to do with each other. It wasn’t until I was in middle school when I understood that some people were told to stop eating cheeseburgers.
When I was young, I was athletic. I played sports almost year round and always felt strong, even if I was thin. People constantly told me to eat. Believe me, I was eating. I’ve never had any issues with eating disorders, only with people telling me I looked anorexic and that I needed to eat. I had, and still have, a fast metabolism. I eat a mostly healthy diet and my fair share of junk.
Thin isn’t always easy, and here are a few reasons why.
- People tell you how lucky you are that you’re thin. Thank you, but stop commenting on my weight. I assure you that you would punch me if I commented on yours.
- Stores purchase only a few of each item in my size. Can you believe there are other people my size in this city? I generally have a hard time finding clothes I like in my size. There’s plenty of ugly stuff left in my size, but no thanks.
- Vanity sizing. A size small isn’t what it used to be. I noticed this trend about five years ago. My daughter was about one year old at the time and I was shopping for a few new outfits. I stopped in to New York & Company only to find that a size small, which is what I had always purchased, was now huge on me. Even the extra small was big. A couple years prior to my pregnancy, I was able to buy a small with no issue, now days, sizing is much different.
- When someone around me comments on their weight or body image, I don’t know how to respond. If you tell me that you need to lose a few pounds, I will clam up. Should I say, good? Or yes? Or me too? For me, this is an awkward social situation.
- Don’t tell me I don’t need to work out because I’m thin. I work out because I want to be strong and healthy. I want my daughter to see physical and mental strength. Working out helps my stress level and we all know that low-stress mamas are happy mamas.
I have body image issues just like the rest of us. I hate my collar bones because they are bony. I hate my knees because I’ve been told for the better part of 38 years that they are knobby. I have trained my brain not to call myself skinny or bony or to remark on my body in front of my daughter. I’ve trained my brain to think positively about my body which wasn’t easy and isn’t always easy to maintain, especially when someone comments on my weight.
I’ve also trained my brain to avoid commenting on my daughter’s physique except to call her strong or tall, which I believe are positive body references. She’s built like me. I don’t want her to feel like she needs to eat because she’s thin. I want her to know that her body is great and able to do amazing things. I don’t want her to struggle with the body image issues like I had to because people around me think that because I’m thin, it’s ok to comment on my physique or weight.
Like any other training program, training your brain takes time and effort. It means ignoring the things that come into conflict with your goal and focusing on what you want to accomplish. In my case, this means choosing to ignore the comments and the ridiculous sizing on clothes and concentrating on feeling empowered in my own skin and passing along that same mentality to my daughter.