Tales of a Skinny Girl

Happy in my own skin.

Skinny. Fat. Healthy. Strong. Obese. Chubby. Thin. Fit. Plump. Scrawny. Anorexic.

Strong words. Fighting words. Dangerous even.

I’ve thought about writing on this topic for a while now, but every time I begin to brainstorm something scares me away. Mostly, it’s the fear of being judged. Also, it’s the fear of offending. Weight and health is such a sensitive issue, and it’s frightening to share my opinions with the world, but after last night I finally feel motivated enough to jump in and cast fear to the side.

I am not a doctor, psychologist, nutritionist, or personal trainer so obviously nothing I say here is a FACT, so please do not get upset if say something wrong, I do not intend to offend.

I am very fortunate in that I come from a family of thin people. I am naturally thin, and growing up I could eat whatever the hell I wanted and still get called “a beanpole”, “skinny as rail”, “anorexic”, and constantly heard “that girl needs to eat something”, “put some meat on those bones”, and “just wait until you hit puberty, you won’t always be able to eat like that!”.

As a child, I became really insecure about being too skinny. All my friends constantly pointed out my boney frame, and boys certainly paid no attention to my flat chest and tiny body. In middle school I decided to gain weight. I ate like a beast. Bacon, cheeseburgers, nachos, hotdogs, fries, and chips were all a big part of my diet. I would even eat a large snack after school, dinner at my best friend’s house, dinner at my own house, and dessert.

I never gained an ounce.

In high school, I completely did a 180. I began obsessing over models, celebrities, and fitness magazines. I thought if I couldn’t be curvy, I’d be toned. This became an obsession, and not a healthy one.

I was young and stupid, but this was a typical day and diet for me during my junior year in high school:

Breakfast: a half cup of Special K (measured out) no milk, 16oz of water, coffee

10am: half of a granola bar, 16oz of water

Lunch: an orange, a few nuts, and maybe a whole-wheat roll. If I was feeling extra heavy, or an event was coming up (like prom), I would just eat an orange, 16oz of water

2pm: other half of granola bar, 16 oz of water

3pm: dance team practice, water

4-6pm: dance classes at studio, more water

6-9pm: work at grocery store, REALLY have to pee

Dinner: 1 cup of salad with less than a tablespoon of vinaigrette dressing…force feed self another bottle of water

9pm: homework and study, hate water

11pm: 100 crunches, and 50 push-ups, one more glass of water and one more bathroom break

By the time spring came, I was VERY thin, and people began to notice. Mostly I received lots of compliments on how skinny I looked, and how I’m so lucky. I liked the way I looked, and I loved the jealousy over my skinny frame.

But, I hated how I felt. Everything I put in my mouth made me feel guilty. I weighed myself constantly. I was exhausted and unhappy, yet thrilled when a size zero was too big. Gaining half a pound was the end of the world. Worst of all, I became very judgmental of people heavier than me. (Although, secretly jealous of the curvier girls who were happy…why can’t I be happy with how I look???) Typing this now makes me sick…

Miraculously, I was able to wise up in college. I had become so obsessed with being fit that eventually all the fitness books and magazines I was reading made me realize that starving myself was really unhealthy and stupid…two things I refused to be.

My family may be “thin” but they are not healthy. Heart disease runs very high in my family, and soon my obsession to be skinny, became an obsession with working out and eating healthy. No need to go into detail here, except to say that after getting rid of a boyfriend who was really bad for myself self-esteem, confiding in my best friends and a doctor, and being honest with myself (admitting anxiety and obsessive problems…blah blah blah), I found happiness.

Being happy makes it really easy to eat without feeling guilty. I still eat healthy and work out almost daily, but I am no longer obsessive, and allow myself french fries and tacos without worrying about the scale. In fact, I NEVER weight myself anymore.

My story is not so dramatic or life changing, which is why I have always debated sharing it, but I need you to understand my history before reading this next part.

Last night I came across this article. Yahoo news posted a story about a popular young blogger who is pro-anorexic and spends her time writing tips about staying skinny; how to be the skinniest out of all your co-workers and friends, measuring your thighs daily, and pointing out all the celebs who have gained weight….any amount of weight.  Her most recent and debatable post is over Kate Upton, who she finds repulsive

I found this so odd…Kate Upton is beautiful, sure she’s not super skinny, but who has the nerve to call her a “fatty” and a “piggie”?! I was intrigued…and spent the next two hours reading her blog:  “Skinny Gossip”.  I HAD to find out what this website was all about…

Well, turns out that “Skinny Girl” has decided to make some changes to her blog, due to the fury she faced after her Kate Upton post went viral. She explained that she has always felt pressure being naturally thin, that she is really upset and disgusted at our nation’s obesity epidemic, and that her blog is “intentionally outrageous” and meant to “provoke controversy”.

K. I get that. As previously stated, I, too, was affected when being called “too skinny”. I, too, take a little offense when people say things like “guys prefer curves”…a) I’ll likely never have curves, and b) I want to be considered sexy and voluptuous too!

Yet, still…something did not feel right. I continued to read her posts and forums to get a better idea of what this blog was all about. I have to say; I found it uncomfortable and very negative.

There were SO many articles about “fat” people who are called lots of cruel and hurtful names.

It’s bullying. It’s not nice. It’s hurtful. It’s a dangerous place for my 16-year old self. Thank God, this didn’t exist when I was younger. I am positive I would have spent hours studying the pages and dwelling over the fact that no matter how much I starved myself I would still never be as tall or clear-faced as these models!

The absolute worst part to me is that plus-size models/people are considered fat or ugly, and unhealthy on this blog.

Being a fitness, nutrition, health freak, and a former aerobics teacher I can tell you that we are not all made to be stick-skinny. NOTHING is wrong with being naturally thin or skinny. But, I know some plus-size women who workout like fiends, eat healthy, run marathons, and are basically kick-ass people but are NOT skinny. That’s just how God made their beautiful bodies, and that is OKAY, in fact it’s BEAUTIFUL.

Beauty looks different to everyone, thank God. There are people who find curves sexy, people who find bony sexy, and people who find anything with boobs sexy.

I, too, am concerned with the obesity epidemic. I get incensed when I see parents giving their toddler chocolate bars and cookies all day, and fail to introduce fruits and veggies. However, bullying is not the answer. Bullying is never the answer. Calling people names, posting their pics online, and announcing how much weight they’ve gained is going to cause hurt feelings, pain, and self-esteem issues.

I do not intend to call out this blogger, or for anyone to send her any hate mail. (Hopefully the harsh comments will stop with her new changes.) I just felt compelled to share my opinions on this very touchy topic. Really, I should thank her for giving me the courage to finally share my own story.

Now, a little older, more mature, wiser, I strive to be healthy, toned, positive, less-judgmental of others, and be MORE supportive, compassionate, understanding, and helpful.

Now, go for a jog, eat a healthy meal, take a look in the mirror at your body, curves, bones, bumps, scars, zits, big noses, and stretch marks and say, “Damn, I’m hot!” Then, remind yourself to be kind to others, even if they do not look like you.

Cheers!

16 Replies to “Tales of a Skinny Girl”

  1. What girl doesn’t question her weight?! ha ha…seriously though, I know I do constantly. Sometimes I look in the mirror and I think..yeah I look decent and healthy. Then other times I look and I am disgusted and repulsed with what I see. We are our worst critics and I can be extremely brutal on myself. I think majority of women have done some type of unhealthy approach to weight loss at some point in their life (I know I have..I did the same thing in high school where I skipped meals and lived on fruit and a nibble here or there) Currently, I may not be the healthiest but I know how to take care of myself..I guess that is just part of growing up. I truly enjoy food (maybe too much..ha ha!) But I would never ever think to starve myself..first off because I would be an uber-bitch if I did…it gets scary..just ask Scott lol! Kudos to you on your honest approach on weight and health. It seems like that is all you see this day..this actress for being too skinny but wait now she’s too fat..it’s mind-boggling! I think Kate Upton is beautiful…built like your typical supermodel? No. But she also sets an example on how there are so many different body types and you don’t have to be a certain size to be considered beautiful…just like you pointed out 🙂

    1. yes, I agree that most young girls probably went through a bad period of extreme dieting/exercising…so sad! I hope the next generation is wiser than us and decide not to give a shit about what other people think. And, I am monster if I don’t eat too! I must have been complete bitch my junior and senior year…it’s like those Snicker commercials!

      1. Hilarie, I went thru the same thing my junior and senior year. Somehow I was always able to keep it as my own little dirty secret…it’s crazy to know, now, that my own lil sis was starving herself by day and dancing the teeny bit of food away for hours each night…just like me. It took a long time for me to get okay with myself and food. Hell, I’m not gonna lie – there are days when I still find myself analyzing every bite. An eating disorder is an addiction and just like all others, it resides in your brain and never completely goes away. BUT all that to say this, I’m proud of you for writing this and I respect/love that you might reach one random person who is going thru what we did, probably in secret just like us. The key is changing your thinking, loving yourself, then changing your habits.
        (Side note- I read every post 🙂 You’re kinda super awesome. My lil sis is the shit.)
        –jessica

        1. wow!!! thanks so much for those comments and compliments Jess! I just can’t believe we were both going through something so similar…I guess we were just meant to be big and lil sis. And, yeah I still battle the bad dieting/eating habits too. It is really a life-long battle, and I really feel for the people I often read or hear about on TV..I feel their pain.
          So great to hear from you BTW! xoxo

  2. Ever since I started eating your blog, I always got an underlying tone that you are happy. You bring up a good point – it’s only when we face what is really bothering us is when the happiness can begin.
    I am also on the skinnier side – I take after my father who eats constantly but never puts on weight – and I feel a little offended when everyone says “women with curve are more attractive.” I can’t help it if I don’t have a lot of curves.
    I actually find women who have curves very beautiful. I often find myself wishing I could look a little more like Beyonce.

    Physical body aside, it is always the personality and deeds I find beautiful about someone.

    1. Yes, I guess we all have issues not matter what size we are..it would help if we were all just more accepting of others. And, you are so right, it took me along time to realize that admitting my fears and struggle would lead to happenings instead of hiding them and trying to ignore their existence. And, it’s just such a relief to be honest and open really!

  3. I really liked this post Hil. I too struggled with my weight in my teen years as Im sure you well know (yes body image affects men too). Hell, when you are 5’3″ an extra 10 lbs makes a HUGE difference. Of course at the time, I was still growing and didnt really understand about your body evening out as you grow and get older etc.
    Now I have the opposite problem. I am pretty thin now and Im in my 30’s and I always have that insecurity that people assume that I dont eat or that I skip meals. But I am a 3 meals a day guy with snackes etc. I have been trying to put on weight for a while now but I dont seem to do it very easily. Of course Im not gorging on burgers, shakes and fries all day haha.
    Shopping at department stores doesnt help my situation either when mens clothes are sized for “american vanity” sizes (basically mediums tagged as smalls so fat American men feel smaller). Apparently men have gotten bigger over the last ten years. Things have def. gotten longer in length and wider in the stomach area.
    At any rate, it does bother me to be smaller than most guys my age. I try not to worry too much about it though. Somehow its socially acceptable to call someone thin but NOT socially acceptable to call someone fat. It is equally as hurtful in my opinion. Oh well, maybe as I get older it will just happen naturally. At least I still have a nice hair line!

    1. No Jeff. I had no idea you ever suffered with something similar. It’s really a shame we weren’t closer growing up. I’m so glad you commented on here. I love knowing that you even read this, but also it’s good to hear a guy’s opinion. Men are usually not even thought of when eating disorders are discusses, but of course it effects them also.
      I deal with the same issues with clothes, but I can imagine it’s harder for a guy..there just aren’t as many options!
      Thanks so much for sharing!

  4. Yeah I read your posts…usually with envy of your freedom to travel. I agree that it is a shame that we didnt speak much when we were younger. I regret not being closer to the “Guy” side of the family growing up. Maybe you guys will end up back in good ol SETX and we can make up for it! Keep posting!

    1. Hil, how did I not know this?! How did you avoid dinner at home??? Wow, I feel like I should have picked up on this stuff. I get what you mean about the skinny side to things…I often wished I looked more like Beyonce lol. Well, I love you and have always thought you were beautiful!! You’ve actually encouraged me to exercise regularly and eat healthier over the years. Reading this reminds me how blessed we are to know a God that created us in His image, loves us exactly how we are and desires an intimate relationship with us..despite ourselves:). Love you Hil!!!

      1. Well, people with eating disorders tend to be really good liars! So don’t feel bad, I just knew how to avoid food at the time. And, yes, it’s reassuring to know that God created us all different and beautiful!

      2. Jeff! Love you cuz!! Gosh, I’m sad you went through that too. I’ve always liked you for you:). I’m glad we’ve stayed connected. Ha, remember that group date night in hs to see powder?! Wow..that was fun but we were crazy lol. Well hope all is well with you!!

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