Thursday, February 18, 2010

"way too thin."

I have been a very lucky individual in that I have never struggled with my weight. That being said, being skinny isn't always sunshine and rainbows. Throughout my life, mostly when I was younger, I had to deal with everyone thinking I had an eating disorder. I understand that people are just being cautious because eating disorders are a big deal. But after hearing it so many times, it gets pretty frustrating. Recently, I've had a family member of mine express concern and it's irking me to no end.

Let me back up and give you a summary. I was stick thin my entire childhood, up until I went off to college. It was a combination of being in dance classes at least three days a week and having an extremely active metabolism. I would eat everything and anything and not suffer any consequences because I would work it all off in dance.

When I went to college, I put on weight. This is a fact. I'm not trying to say I got fat - which is what most people assume I'm saying - but I legitimately put on a good ten to fifteen pounds by sophomore year. At the same time, I grew into my body a bit more. After that I fluctuated within a five-pound range of weight. In my senior year, however, I completely dropped the five pounds due to my health problems and anxiety.

Back to the issue at hand, the problem I have with this person is that I believe this all stemmed from the comparison between me and my eighteen-year-old cousin. She went off to college this year, grew out of the same gangly, bone-thin body frame I had and put on her "Freshman 15." We used to have identical body types and perhaps there was a even time when she was slimmer than me, so I can see how the contrast between us is larger than usual.

This is really the only reason I can think of for this person to bring it up, because I honestly don't think I look any different than I did the past two-ish years. To be told I'm "way too thin" is just ridiculous. Maybe it's just sitting on me differently; I don't really know. But the concern had to have started somewhere, and I'm thinking that maybe that's it.

Sometimes I feel weird putting things like this out there. I know that there are thousands of people who struggle with their weight and would kill to be in my position, but there are two sides to the spectrum. Overall I think that nobody should judge another person based on weight unless there is clear evidence that there are problems, whether it be someone eating more or less than is really healthy. As much as the media pushes the idea that being overweight is bad, it also creates a backlash for skinny girls because people become hyper-sensitive and will suspect an eating disorder after just one half-eaten meal or one refusal of a snack.

I've always been comfortable with my body and my eating habits and always will be. I make changes when I feel they're necessary. Still, no matter how okay I am with myself, whenever the "are you eating" question rears its ugly head, it is always a cause for frustration.