I’m housesitting right now for one of my former professors, and on Friday mornings, they have a woman who comes to clean their house. She’s an older woman, very kind, and I spent a few minutes talking to her when she first arrived this morning. I let her know that I’d be upstairs, but I might leave the house to go for a run in a bit. She laughed and looked at me and said “Not that you need to be any skinnier!”
I laughed it off, like I always do, and took the statement for the compliment I knew it was meant to be. However, the fact of the matter is, body shaming comes in all forms, including towards skinny people like myself.
At somewhere between 5’-8” and 5’-9”, I weigh 110 pounds, as of my last trip to the doctor. In other words, I’m significantly underweight. There are a wide variety of reasons for this, not a single one of which is vanity. I have a very high metabolism, in addition to taking medication which has a side effect of appetite suppression. On top of THAT, because I am so tiny, I have a very small stomach, so eating larger quantities of food in one sitting is difficult for me.
I know it’s the opposite problem a lot of people have, but that doesn’t make it any less real for me that I cringe every time I go to the doctor’s office, afraid that I might have lost weight instead of having gained it.
So I’ve made a commitment to myself to get healthier, and to start treating my body better, starting today.
When I woke up today, it was a beautiful morning, and I decided it was time to get serious about actually getting the exercise I keep saying I will. I want to get into a routine of working out, so I can build muscles and put on weight that way. I want to start eating better, cooking more, eating smaller meals more frequently so I get the calories I need to both gain weight and sustain my increased activity levels. I want to be a better me!
So as soon as I finish typing this, I’m going to grab my iPod and go out for a jog. Not a long one, and not far, but over to where there will be a farmer’s market tomorrow, to prove to myself I can do it, and back. And on Monday, I’m going to start going out after I feed the dog and doing my new running program, because if I keep making the excuses that I don’t have my bike, or that I’m not at home, I’m never going to get healthy.
So, watch out world. Just because I’m skinny doesn’t mean I’m “healthy” - but it’s time that I changed that. One day at a time.