Skinny shaming


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Jun 24, 2008
I was reading an article in the paper at work about "skinny shaming" and a lot of the things the journalist wrote rang true with me. You wouldn't say to a friend "you've piled on a few pounds since I last saw you" or you're looking fat. I was a slim child, a slim teenager/young adult and apart from a little blip in my 40's where I did put quite a bit of weight on and I still can't work out how as I didn't think I was doing anything differently - I put it down to age. I embarked on Slimming World and it worked an absolute treat for me and once I'd achieved my target weight, the comments I got from my work mates were more along the lines of "don't take it too far otherwise you'll start to look gaunt". I realised myself when I'd reached my goal weight that I needed to maintain it rather than lose more or put it all back on again and I'm happy to say that for nearly 20 years I've managed to do so. Fairly recently I was out with friends from work - It was a lovely day I put on a lovely outfit and felt great until I met them "You're looking very skinny are you dieting again?" "No" I replied "Are you sure?" was the response. "Yes I'm perfectly sure" Did that shut any of them up? Of course not as the next question was "it looks like you've lost weight" I said I don't weigh myself often but my clothes aren't feeling loose or anything. Still the questioning continued "do you know how much you weigh?" I said last time I weighed myself I was about 8 stone 7 - "7 stone 7 more like she guffawed" I mean it knocked any confidence I had that day, and there was me thinking I looked nice! Hope you don't mind us saying but it's just we worry about you - yeah right ho! Did they comment upon the friend who has clearly put on loads of weight? Of course not, they just complimented her on her dress and when she glumly said "it's about the only thing I could find that fits" the response was "well we can't all be like skinny Minnie over there" Don't worry they do discuss her weight when she's not in earshot but it's not socially acceptable to make remarks like that to the person's face if they're overweight is it?
When I was a skinny teen some of my less skinny mates would say things like "You're so lucky you can eat anything you want, I've only got to look at a doughnut and I put on weight, or I'm so jealous" nothing was ever said in a malicious manner. Nowadays it seems to be the norm that if you're 40+ and slim then there must be something wrong especially if you're not someone who goes to the gym, goes running or diets. If you don't seem to be making an effort then you must be bingeing and purging or chugging down bottles of laxatives. Don't get me wrong there is nothing wrong with genuine concern, you can talk to somebody discreetly and in private but bellowing out in public is really not on!
As a step-gran to Mr V`s grandchildren I have seen the real damage which can be caused by people commenting about weight. One of his granddaughters became anorexic and her weight fell to under 5 stones and she`s approx 5ft 7 inches tall so you can imagine how skeletal she looked.
She was at College at the time and became so unwell she was admitted to hospital, failed her course which didn`t help her psychologically and had to receive regular sessions with specialist counsellors and Doctors. She was lucky because she got her help fairly quickly, others don`t.
Her obsession with food or rather about not eating food was partly down to her home life, living with her Mum who had several boyfriends after leaving Mr V`s son and her being too young to process the break up and her Mum`s return to teenage hood by going out drinking with her mates and bringing home new fella after new fella.
Her Dad (Mr V`s son ) wanted her to go live with him but she was under 18 at the time and under the conditions of the divorce she wasn`t allowed to make her own decisions about leaving her Mum`s house. She was also the oldest of the children and felt she had to be there for her younger brother who to this day is very quiet and withdrawn even though Mum now has another child and has married again.
The young lass is now 21 and has a steady job and steady boyfriend and chooses to spend a lot of her time with her Dad who is still single and lives alone. She seems happy but is still fragile around food, she hates eating in public places such as restaurants or around anybody but family and she has ended the punishing gym routines she used to put her tiny body through whilst in the height of her anorexia. She is still very very slim, but she at least eats and the awful grey pallor she used to have has gone and her hair and skin look healthy unlike before when her hair fell out in handfulls and her skin looked grey and dull.
She still attends checkups at the clinic which helped her and she knows if she is tempted to relapse she can ring them and ask for help. The Clinic have warned her Mum and Dad she may carry "food issues" for the rest of her life and what they need to look out for plus any emotional or psychological events which may once again trigger the anorexia. It is literally one day at a time with her and those of us who know and love her, never ever comment about her weight, either the loss or gain of it. Should someone say to her "oh you`ve put weight on " then that could be one of the triggers according to the clinic.
I eat whatever I like, but stick on average to 2500 calories a day as recommended for men.

So I have been the same weight for many years (I weigh every day, even if that's not recommended).
I eat whatever I like, but stick on average to 2500 calories a day as recommended for men.

So I have been the same weight for many years (I weigh every day, even if that's not recommended).
As long as my clothes fit I don't bother. Can't remember the last time I weighed myself.
I eat whatever I like, but stick on average to 2500 calories a day as recommended for men.

So I have been the same weight for many years (I weigh every day, even if that's not recommended).
When it comes to blokes (in general of course) they don't worry about fat or thin shaming, depending on your size you'll be known as "Five bellies" or "Stick man" and not behind your back either!

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