Tuesday, 12 November 2013

On Being Slim

I seem to inadvertently be chucking in a slightly more serious post most weeks now. This isn't deliberate- it's not me being like "Ooh, I want to put a serious post in". It's just because this is my space to think, and word vomit, and somehow, the word vomit-y posts seem to go down quite well. So I do more of them.

But hey. That's not what this is about.

Found here
I'd like to begin by saying that I don't think I'm skinny. I'm slim, that's not something I'm denying. But I'm not super skinny. I was at one point- there was a day in my final year at uni where I probably might have been described as "skinny"- I was stood talking to a friend and she gasped, and said "Alice can I see your hip bones through your dress?!" and she could. That Christmas, there was one day when I stepped on the scales and they stayed below 8 stone, and I had a bit of a panic. I was too light. And I'm not a lot heavier than that now, but I'm a bit more of a sensible weight. I'm a perfectly healthy size. I wear size eight jeans, but I eat literally everything (other than rhubarb because it's a bit gross really). I eat chocolate every day. There's always some sort of cake, or biscuits, or treat in my office, and I always eat it because I like to. 

But the other day, I was involved in a conversation, and I mentioned how I eat a lot of chocolate. My conversationalists sort of looked at each other, smirked, and one just looked at me and said "What, do you make yourself throw it all back up then? How can you stay so slim otherwise?".

I was floored.

I squawked "Of course I don't!!", laughed nervously, and very very rapidly changed the subject. But I was seething. Why, why is it thought to be OK to say this sort of thing to slender people? If I was a size 18 and said "I eat a lot of chocolate" there is no way this person would have said "Yeah, you can tell!" or something along those lines. I certainly would never ever joke about someone having a problem with food, or use a person's size against them.

Found here
At the same time. Why can I not say I'm proud of my body? I like my body, a lot of the time. I don't have any part of me that I constantly hate or wish to the high heavens that I could change. I like being the size I am. And I actually feel like I'm not allowed to say that, because I'm slim. That's probably my own mindset, but it's how I feel. I also take great umbridge with the term "real women". I am a real women, even though I'm slim. Being told I should be a size 14 is no better than telling me I should be a size 0. Why can I not say that I eat unhealthy food without being accused of making myself sick?!

I'm not slim because I try to be. I pay attention to what I eat because I feel unbelievably crap if I don't eat at least four portions of fruit and veg in a day, and because I actually just really enjoy eating fruit. But I also eat chocolate EVERY DAY. I exercise because I like playing korfball, and swimming, and running. Honestly? I am pretty healthy, and this can be evidenced by the fact that I am never ill. It would seem my body has everything it needs. 

I don't like that I keep having to post things about my body, and my weight, and blah blah blah. But if people are going to accuse me of having an eating disorder (and as an aside, what if I did? What would this person have done if I'd have burst into tears and said "yes, yes I do, please help me"?), I'm going to make comments about being healthy, and emphasise being small when I want to.

 I'm going to keep getting cross about comments about "real women" and snarky comments about thin girls. I'm going to keep yelling that of course it's OK to be who you are and look like you do, as long as you are healthy. Because being incredibly overweight or incredibly underweight isn't healthy, regardless of whether you're empowered by it. And I'm sure someone will shout at me for saying that but I'm not wrong

I don't know where I'm going with this really. All I'm going to end with is just keep doing what you're doing people. Eat, be healthy, be happy. 

And throw things at people who are mean.

11 comments:

  1. Alice you're a girl after my own heart! God how i hate people who look at me and say things like that. It's not right, and i feel like saying 'i'm healthy so i'm not being funny but wtf has it got to do with anyone what i eat' ha! The think that really grates on me is when someone who is quite clearly unhealthily overweight turns round to me and says that i look like a twig and need to get some meat on my bones. I think i ended up saying 'why you giving some away, looks like you've got plenty to spare', followed by 'see it's not nice is it!'
    If you're healthy then it shouldn't matter to anyone what you eat and if you aren't then the situation needs to be handled sensitively not joked about. Sometimes i wonder about people on this planet.
    You have a beautiful figure Alice and i say that as i sit and eat my second packet of crisps of the day all before 9am.. see girl after my own heart! :) xx

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  2. Love, love, love this post! I can't count how many times I've been accused of having an eating disorder when if anything, I eat too much junk, and lately as I've expressed interest in getting fit and going to the gym, i've had some of my chubbier friends look at me in disgust, say "But you're already TOO thin, why are you trying to lose weight?" or even suggest I'm only saying it to make them look bad! I don't do a lot of exercise, and I have zero upper body strength, so for me, going to the gym is about getting healthy, stronger and feeling better about myself. I'm definitely not out to lose weight! I think people forget sometimes that skinny people's feelings can be hurt, too. xx

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  3. 'why you giving some away, looks like you've got plenty to spare' Em please say this to someone!!

    Zoella wrote a really good post on this a while ago now. I really don't understand how people think it's okay to make comment about anybodys weight. Really not cool. I'm renowned for pretty much eating anything. It's an ongoing joke in the office, hell it's an ongoing joke everywhere. And it's true I'm not fussy with my food and I do enough exercise to justify it. Hell, some people would say I do far too much. But I also make healthy choices. Without fail, our korfball team will stop for a maccy D's after away games. I'll probably have one a season, but my body can't deal with loads of junk food. And I become the pain in the arse who insists on there being an M&S at the service station so I can have a smoothie and a salad :P

    And that attitiude that skinny people can't go to the gym grates on me so bad! I don't like seeing paper thin girls churning out miles on the treadmill and comparing how many calories they've burned with the friends, but if they'r there trying to tone up, put on weight, then all power to them. That's just as gutsy as an overweight person going along to lose a few pounds.

    Essay!

    Jenny | sunny sweet pea xx

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  4. oh i like this post, very interesting. I always think of this. I work with models and a lot of them are naturally just gifted, I know people dont believe that but they are. We work with the same girls over and over for fittings and you get to know the ones with problems and the ones just born with it. If you're healthy, at whatever size, you should be able to should out about it! Toooo many people are unhealthy!

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  5. Because my blog is all about going out to restaurants and to cocktail bars, I'm asked ALL the time how I stay the size I am and I think people do get suspicious. Someone direct messaged me on Twitter only yesterday saying just that. I try to explain that for every night I go out and eat a 3 course meal, I'm eating small salads with chicken for lunch or an egg white omelette for breakfast. And that's not difficult for me because I love healthy food! I also love going to the gym! Staying fit and healthy is a lifestyle, not a diet. I get moaned at for being 'skinny' by people who drink cans of Pepsi at their desk, drink the flavoured Starbucks all day long and eat carbs with every meal. Which is completely fine if that's what you enjoy but it probably won't keep you slim.

    Lovely blog post, I think it will hit home with a lot of girls.

    Caroline x
    Cocktails and Caroline

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  6. Thanks for posting this. I really appreciate seeing that I'm not the only one that is being told and reminded that "you are so thin now, is everyting ok?". In my case I haven't been always thin but chubby. Things changed a little when I started to enjoy working out. But the big differene was when I started to date my boyfriend 2 years ago: he is really good ad cooking. So now, instead of eating pasta or rice & meet for every single lunch, we cook dishes mainly with vegetables and just few meet. From that point on, my clothing size decreased 2 units, meaning that I got rid of extra fat and the tonned muscles and good bone structure could be shown off^^. But some people just can appreciate the size change, not the health change, so they just told me (even 6 different people in 2 weeks!) that I looked sooo skinny. I bet if you compare this with the "before" the change is noticeable. But come on, it turns out that my size now is the most common one in the stores. So I have a problem, huh?

    I hate people infering that you have a problem just on the size, not on your healthy habits. For example, lots of skinny girls or averge girls I think they should work out regularly, since thin doesn't imply healthy.

    Well, thanks again for posting your experience and your opinion, this really helps, specially when compared with so many tipical articles on the net about "summer is coming, let's do some diet!" (-_-; )

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  7. I'm so pleased you wrote this post. I've been meaning to write one similar for a while but always lose courage. I nearly broke down in tears the other day from a comment aimed at me. It's nice to see that you are being open and talking about this topic.

    Georgia

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  8. Loved this. I think sometimes the whole 'real woman' thing can be a bit of a defence mechanism. Have you heard about the new size 16 mannequins launching in Debenhams? I think, for some, that's a healthy size to be. But for others, it isn't, and celebrating 'real women' with 'curves' can be a bit dangerous! x

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  9. This is such a good post, I've never understood why it's ok to ask/say to someone 'wow you're so thin! Why are you like that?' As you say you wouldn't do the opposite with a fat person.

    I'm lucky in that I've always pretty much been able to get away with eating what I want. But never felt happy in my own skin until I started taking healthy decisions and working out too.

    But this how 'real women have curves' thing drives me insane. Yes some women do have natural curves, a little bit extra, or whatever you want to call it, but equally some women are slender, don't have big boobs, or a bum. Like you say, girls need to healthy firstly and foremost, and that's what's important!!

    Hmm maybe...

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  10. I think someone's already linked the blog post, but Zoella and Sprinkle of Glitter did a great video about this topic that you might find interesting - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kYvOD1ZIFD8&feature=c4-overview-vl&list=PLeZ60cpzimpuNeb16oKb_qGWw0WmCjSK6
    There's definitely a double standard. If you're thin, you can't be proud of it because then you're bragging, but you can't have low self-esteem about any flaws, because "it's alright for you, you're thin."

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  11. Hey Alice, your post inspired me to finally publish a post on this that I have been wanting to do for a while, but haven't had the courage to until now. So thank-you very much! This is such a well written post, and everything you say is so true. :)
    the Earth through a Lens

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