Saturday, May 12, 2012

the skinny on skinny, or MOASB #3--by Lana

if you're just tuning in, go here for an explanation!

Hi my name is Lana, I’m 28 years old, 5’7” tall, 125 lbs, and I’m a skinny bitch.

My entire life I’ve been what you would call a bean pole. In fact, everyone in my family is. I have a little brother who is 16 years old, 6 feet 6 inches tall, and let’s just say he grew so fast his muscle mass didn’t have time to start growing yet. He probably weighs 140. With all his clothes and ankle weights on. :) Mom is 6’1”, weighed 125 in her 20’s, and 30’s despite having 4 children. For the first time in my life, I am in the “healthy weight range” (besides as a big, fat, adorable baby!). I’ve been 5’7” since I was 12, and hovered around 110 for most of my late teens and 20’s. I have never had an eating disorder. I have never thought I was fat. This is just the size my body wants to be. I have always wanted to change my size though. I wanted to be bigger for so many years, so people would notice ME, and not just notice my size.  Yes, I’m a beanpole. While it does have it’s advantages -- I stay thin without exercise, and actually lose weight when I don’t workout regularly because my body requires less calories to function without exercise-- it also has it’s disadvantages.

Being skinny makes people feel that they are allowed to say whatever they want to me and assume that it doesn’t hurt my feelings, or self-esteem.

A recent boss told me I looked like a holocaust victim. Has anybody actually been to a holocaust museum or seen pictures of the victims? It is the most horrific sight my eyes have ever beheld. A walking, emaciated-to-the-skeleton, corpse. That is what I reminded him of. Funny... I actually thought I looked pretty that morning in the mirror. I didn’t laugh when he said it. He sure did though. I left immediately to lunch, I parked my car on a nearby street and cried. I felt uglier than I had in a long time.

On an almost weekly basis, someone checks out what I’m eating, and says “You should eat twice that much, we need to fatten you up”, or some other comment about how I’m clearly not eating enough and clearly not looking healthy to them. I went on a date once and the guy forced me to order something I didn’t want because he didn’t want me “to be one of those bulimic/anorexic chicks and waste his money”. I left the date early. Why even ask me out dude?

Here’s a piece of advice Americans... go to Italy, or France. I eat as much as they serve you at the restaurants in Europe. I am a size medium in Italy. In America, I’m a size small. Or a TOO SMALL as most people like to tell me. Why is my size never good enough for you? Why is it that most girls I know that are NOT much larger than me are always trying to lose 5-15 pounds? If you do, we’ll look the same, but to you right now I’m ugly? It has never made sense to me.

Then there’s also the girl from my church that emailed me on Facebook one night out of the blue, we’d never really talked much before. She proceeded to tell me all about her bulimia, and told me that if I wanted to open up to her about my bulimia, she would be a listening ear and get me help with my problem. WHAT THE?! I wanted to respond with something nasty but didn’t.

In high school a couple of girls took it upon themselves to tease me. Sometimes it stung more than I let them know. I was 5’7” and around 105 lbs. If they saw me eating, or saw me heading to the bathroom, they’d either make vomit sounds, or ask me how long before I puked up my lunch. I’ve never thrown up unless I had the stomach flu (or extreme anxiety which I did suffer from off and on, and with that, I only puked when having a very severe anxiety attack). I also had to find new friends at age 12 because as they put it, “none of the boys think you’re pretty, you’re too skinny”, and my girlfriends wanted to hang out with the guys instead of me, so I was kicked out of the group. Oh, and one of my ex-boyfriends offered to buy me a boob job so I “could actually look sexy” since I was “too skinny and flat chested”. Yeah, we broke up shortly after. WHY IS AND HAS MY WEIGHT BEEN SUCH A BIG DEAL TO PEOPLE?

It’s sometimes hard. I rarely can talk about how I feel about my body to anyone but my mother. She understands me completely, because she raised me, and knows I’m healthy. Doctors have always told me my weight was fine, but even my best girlfriends weren’t people I could turn to. They all thought I was too skinny, and unhealthy, even though they knew how much I ate. I would get accused of “trying to watch my weight” because I didn’t want cake or brownies. I’ll be honest, I am not a fan of sweets. I think cake is gross most of the time. But give me a jar of Tostitos queso dip, and I’ll eat the whole thing in an hour. Please don’t try it yourself though. It makes you feel awful. Humans are not meant to eat that much queso at a time. I always regret it.

I had a fear of eating around new people for a while because I was so used to being judged on what I ate. I would panic a little that I wasn’t doing it right, and that people were going to think I was anorexic. It was exhausting. It would trigger anxiety, and then I wouldn’t be hungry, and then their negative thoughts would be confirmed because I wasn’t hungry, so therefore I must be anorexic. It was like no one saw me for who I was, they just saw my size.

I have had generalized anxiety my whole life pretty much. And it contributed a little to my small size. When my anxiety was out of control, it was really hard to eat much, and I would drop weight instantly. I would usually get it in check and gain back the weight I’d lost. I finally went through some therapy a couple years ago to fix it, and once I was much more mentally healthy, I actually gained 15 lbs. Which is where I sit now. My body likes it here. It stays here pretty much all the time now no matter what. But even when I gained 15 lbs, and had never had weight on my body before, I couldn’t talk to anyone but my mom about it.

My butt got jiggly, my thighs got bigger. My hipbones were far less pronounced. (Sadly my chest didn’t grow.) I had to buy all new pants and skirts, and some styles that always looked good on me, didn’t anymore. But I can’t talk about it to anyone because people think I’m one of those stupid girls who wants to be told she’s not fat. That’s never been what I am doing. I don’t think I’m fat or even big at all. I am just wanting someone to talk to about how I feel since I’m wearing a body that is different than what it’s ever been. I’m proud of my new butt. It fills out dresses, skirts, and jeans. It’s round. My boyfriend is kind of obsessed with it. When I turn to the side I don’t disappear anymore. And I’m proud of it because it looks more womanly and sexy than I thought I looked for most of my life. But it used to be cottage cheese-less. And now it’s totally not. Yep. I’m 5’7”, 125 pounds, and my butt has cottage cheese on it. You curvy girls should be grateful. Men love having curves to hold on to, with or without the cottage cheese.

I don’t wear bikinis because I have ribs that poke out and people always look at me like I’m sick. You should be so in love with the beautiful bodies God gave you. Trust me, I’ve been talked to like I’m a girl with severe issues my whole life because my body doesn’t store fat the way other girls bodies do. And many a guy has walked right past me and gone to the girl with killer cleavage, and a rocking booty because it’s sexy. Beanpoles aren’t thought of as sexy. 

I will say this though, I can eat whatever I want, but I try not to. The recommended daily foods to eat are the best way to go. I rarely drink soda, it makes me feel sick. There is too much sugar in it. I rarely eat cake, brownies, cookies etc. I just don’t love how that much sugar makes me feel. I grew up with a master gardener for a mother. All of our meals included one or 2 vegetable options AND a salad. And she rarely filled our cupboards with junk. I prefer to drink water over any other liquid. Nothing beats a cold glass of water. I also try to exercise. I’m not the best at it, let’s be honest, it kind of sucks sometimes to run in place on a treadmill. But I try to keep myself healthy. And as long as you’re healthy, who cares if you’re a size 10 or a size 2.

Really though.

And another thing.... I really wish people would keep their negative opinions to themselves. I never walk up to a big person and ask them why they think they need to be eating a burger when they should be running instead. I have felt as ugly as could be because of people’s comments that I was too thin. How about this people... I’m the size I am. This is me. Take it or leave it. But if you leave it, just shut up about how you feel. I work really hard to love myself, and I don’t need you tearing my work apart on a daily basis. 


  1. I'm 5'8" and 118 lbs. I hear ya, girl. My least favorite thing in the world is when my friends compare their bodies to mine, and sadly, it happens ALL THE TIME. I don't WANT them to feel pressured, or jealous, or sad about themselves, I can't help what I weigh, beyond eating right and exercising, which I do to an ordinary degree!

    My favorite, and one of the most effective, replies to friends when they start getting down on themselves is this:

    Look, right now there are literally THOUSANDS of 20 something women who are just ten or fifteen pounds heavier than YOU, whose lives and attitudes would be dramatically changed if they could just get down to YOUR size. They'd buy all new clothes, they'd prance around for their boyfriends/husbands more often, and they would feel more confident. Just try to remember those women and feel good about where you are.

    Thanks for sharing your experience.

    1. I'm so glad someone understands!!! :) The good news is, the more people get to know me, the more the "weirdness" of my size wears off. Always a good thing right? hahaha.

  2. Well, I think one thing that's true is that any happiness and confidence that comes in weight loss is always transitory and lasts as long as you a. keep the weight off, and b. are satisfied with where you are. It's a slippery slope because there will always be someone thinner, stronger, bustier, with fuller hair and lips and clearer skin.

    Skinny girls have depression and fat girls have depression. Skinny girls have eating disorders and so do fat ones. As Lana demonstrates, skinny girls get made fun of/ridiculed/insulted as much as fat girls do. People can make just as many assumptions.

    On the flip side, both fat and skinny girls have successful careers, get married, and lead meaningful lives. A fat girl and a skinny girl can both love and accept their bodies. A fat and a skinny girl can both be healthy. I know because I've seen it. I've lived it.