Confessions of a skinny person: 'Eating can be a chore'

November 21, 2013 12:51 AM

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Confessions of a skinny person: 'Eating can be a chore'

As if I hadn't heard it before, yet another stranger decides they know what is best for my appearance - like eating a freaking cheeseburger is the answer to my problems.

The heaviest I've EVER weighed was around 56 kilograms. My weight tends to fluctuate based on how much food I consume and how much I work out (naturally), but for me it's easier to drop weight rather than gain.

I can drop a kilo in a couple of days, but it could take weeks to gain it back. And it all begins in my cheekbones, so when I do drop the weight, I'm often told I look "gaunt". Thanks for the self-esteem pep talk.

According to the Heart Foundation's Body Mass Index Calculator, I'm a "healthy weight" for my age and height (177cm), but according to others I'm that dude who can't hold down a meal.

While the skinny gene runs in the family, there's more to it than simple DNA. The reality is that my eating habits are flawed and for me, food is a necessity, not a safety blanket.

So here it is, the reality of a skinny diet, for all those who have ever asked and for those that will no doubt ask again in the future.

If I'm not strict with myself, meals are skipped. It's not deliberate, it's simply a flow-on effect from my day where time is of the essence.

According to my nutritionist, ideally I should be consuming seven meals a day to maintain and gain weight. Good fats (like those found in avocado), carbs and proteins are recommended. Do I follow the rules? No. Do I feel guilty? Sometimes.

Eating can be a chore. Sometimes I'm literally shoving food in my mouth because I know I have to. I'm not always hungry, in fact I could go without eating for hours and still be able to function properly. On a bad day I'll run on one meal, others two. I understand my limits, it's something I've subconsciously trained myself to do (call it laziness) and a bad habit I'd like to kick.

Sometimes even two, to the frustration of my colleagues. I'm often described as a nibbler, rather than an eater.

Ugh, I hate it. It's a task, not a form of enjoyment. Do I prefer home made meals to take out? Absolutely. Do I cook often? Hardly. To be honest I wouldn't know how to cook chicken, let alone cook a roast. Plus, I don't have an oven. Kind of a problem.

I do go the gym and although I avoid strenuous cardio exercise at the advice of my trainer, I am still puffing at the end of a weight's session and therefore exerting myself and burning energy. I don't go to lose weight. I go because it's healthy to exercise. But the truth is you won't lose anything by sitting on the couch. Apart from your waistline.

I don't count calories. Obviously this could be a problem if you are overweight, but I find if you just eat well - a healthy diet - you don't need to. I tend to eat a lot of foods that are low in fat like fruit, yoghurt, and a good, hearty salad.

d) It's about loving the skin you're in, not the skin you wish you were given.

Should I eat more potatoes? Probably. But is my body suffering without? I don't think so.

I am who I am. It still hurts when people make off-the-cuff comments about my appearance, but does that mean I'm going to eat a meat pie because of someone else's insecurity? Hell no (although I do crave one occasionally).

It's taken me a long time to figure it out and sometimes I'll still look in the mirror and wonder if I really do look like a sick matchstick.


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