Uncomfortable In My Skin

When I was in senior public school (junior high, to my American friends), there was this one boy in my class. I’d absolutely say he was a bully. And While I wasn’t bullied in any sort of ongoing way, there were instances. This one, for example (third bullet point down). He also told this HILARIOUS joke in front of the class many times. It went something like this:

“Hey, Jen!”


“You’re so flat you make the walls jealous.”

And then a chorus of pre-pubescent boys would giggle with delight because someone made a boobie joke.

Then there was this one time when I was an adult working at a bank. I was the youngest one working at this particular branch by decades and so I already had a hard time fitting in. Conversations were generally about work and nothing more. We would have staff meetings after work and those of us working would just stay late and those not working would be required to come in after hours. One exchange stuck with me until this day because it was a shining example of what I can only describe as reverse-weightism.

Me: “I wish I could wear comfortable clothes to this meeting.”

Coworker, with as much venom and disdain as she could muster in her voice, daggers and hate spewing from her eyes: “I wish I were skinny.”

Typing it out, you can’t hear the disgust that was in her voice and you can’t see her looking me up and down like my weight was offensive to her. This is treatment that overweight people receive regularly, I know, and I’m not looking for sympathy because I hardly deserve it from that miniscule instance of weight-based hate. All I’m saying is that without question, the media is overrun and infested with actresses, models, persons-of-interest who are much thinner than the average woman and so, as a whole, because society is screwed up and demented and has put these people on a pedestal to be worshipped, the rest of us are compared to and contrasted against them on a daily basis. Anyone who is not model-thin is wrongly viewed as overweight (I’m still speaking within the media) and called out as such, with their most unflattering pictures splattered across magazines with headlines asking the public to judge them for being real people. 

“Eat a cheeseburger.”


“Your hip bones could cut glass.”

“You eat? Doesn’t show!”

These things are said in jest and in the spirit of fun because people think that if your metabolism is naturally high, that biting, scornful comments don’t hurt.  But they do.  During my adult years, my weight has fluctuated from [number that is way too low for my height and body structure] to [healthy], which is where I am now.  I am, without question, the heaviest I have ever been.  My BMI is still a healthy number, but I am very unused to this size.  Pants that used to require a belt pulled to its smallest hole now fit without a belt at all.  I more often than not buy M instead of S and regret the decision if I chance an S.  The insides of my comfy pants are pilly and worn from rubbing together.  I am a healthy size, most definitely, but I don’t feel comfortable in my own skin.

I should get used to it, get over myself, realize that this is all a part of growing older.  My once hyperactive metabolism has grown tired and is operating at a normal pace for once.  Perhaps existing on a diet of cream cheese icing and chocolate bars is something best left in my youth; this bit of extra weight is a visual reminder that an unhealthy lifestyle leads an unhealthy life.  I don’t exercise, I eat like shit, and for 31 years and 10 months I’ve relied on my body to take care of itself.  My body is now on strike.

I don’t blame my two pregnancies.  I blame myself and my poor decision-making skills when it comes to what food I put into my mouth and the sheer volume and velocity at which it goes in there.  I also blame my sedentary lifestyle.  A person is designed to move.  I move as little as possible.  Sure, some of the weight was gained and retained because of my fetus-gestating skills, but no effort has been made to get rid of it.

This isn’t one of those “so now I’m going to the gym and I’m going to become a marathon runner and eat only lettuce and watermelon and kick this weight in the ass” sort of posts.  I have no plans for any of that.  I used to go to the gym (because I did, at one point in my life, enjoy exercise), I used to play sports, I used to get my daily recommended intake of fruits and vegetables, but I don’t do any of those things any more.  I could promise to get back to my former self.  I could start jogging and vow to eat like an adult.  I could…but I know myself.  I like sugar.  I like my quiet evenings with the tv.  Losing weight, or more accurately, getting into shape, would require a major lifestyle change and that itself would require a lot more motivation than I have.

Like I said, I’m at what would be considered an average weight for my height.  I’m not obsessed with numbers, and don’t even pay that close attention to them, so the number itself isn’t what I take issue with.  It’s how these new curves make me feel.  My body doesn’t feel like my own and I feel uncomfortable with my outer self.  I know in my mind that I look fine, that my body is still half-decent, but I just don’t feel right.  I wish I had the conviction and the determination to make the changes I would need to make in order to get back to feeling like myself again, but I know I don’t.

I’m not happy with myself.  I know what to do to fix it, but food tastes so good.

“Boo-hoo.  Skinny girl got some curves and now she’s whining about them.  Let’s all cry for the stickbug.  Let’s mourn the loss of her washboard abs and her pertruding hipbones.  Suck it up, pipsqueak.  No one feels sorry for you.”


12 thoughts on “Uncomfortable In My Skin

  1. Change is hard. Even good changes are hard, and changes that we don’t chose are harder still.

    I’m in a very similar place, with a change in my metabolism, and relate very strongly to that. I, also, am not particularly comfortable in my current body.

    But the “unhealthy lifestyle” thing… that has me worried. Because being ill really sucks, and you’re too young to commit to that. I would go back in time to tell my younger self not “Exercise, your thighs are pretty good” but “Drink more water, kidney stones hurt.”

    Ask your future self for that message, and take her advice. 😉

    • This is very true. As far as the eating, I am exaggerating. While I DO love desserts, my meals, and their portion sizes, are healthy. I don’t over-eat. But again…I do love desserts.

      But, yes. Exercise. If only for my health, I need to do some. If not for my superficial view of my body, I need to exercise to stay (or get) healthy.

  2. I know the feeling – during the worst part of my stress-induced extreme weight loss, I hit a size 00. Yes, you read that right. For a 5’7″ chick, that was way too small. Plus, how the hell does anyone in these size groups find anything to wear?

    Just be comfortable with YOU – size only matters if it doesn’t fit well 😉

    • I remember when I was at my smallest, I went to a Christmas party and wore a size 1 dress (I’m nearly 5’7″). I’d never even seen a size 1 dress up close before and there I was, wearing it.

      I’m comfortable with my inside, just not completely comfortable with the outside right now. And it’s not my weight. I honestly couldn’t care less about the number on a scale. If I were the exact weight I am right now, but was treating my body well, keeping it healthy, then I’d feel better about the outside.

      But yes, I am happy with ME and, in general, happy. This is just a thing, you know?

  3. Ugh! I hate when people tell me to eat a cheeseburger! I would love to say “I do!! All the time! AND I don’t exercise!” And then laugh like a mad scientist from a cartoon. How come people are allowed to comment on the size of my body? I’ve never called someone fat, or told someone overweight to eat a salad. I wouldn’t even think to, because that’s rude.

    • I will admit to telling you to eat a cheeseburger from time to time, but I like to think of that as pot calling the kettle black. Or at least it used to be. Plus, you’re my sister and I’m supposed to be unusually cruel to you.

  4. Right now, I am the fattest I have ever been — and the happiest. I can honestly say that when I was the closest to my “ideal” weight, I was pretty much the most miserable I’ve ever been. I hate being this fat (ugh! post 30s metabolism!) because my cute clothes don’t fit right anymore, but honestly, I wouldn’t trade any of my life now for my life then. And to me, it sounds like you wouldn’t trade your life now for your life when you were skinnier. Focus on that. 🙂

  5. It always cracks me up when I, the former fat kid who got teased for being fat, now gets told to eat a cheeseburger because I’m too thin. I have decided that I will never make everyone happy so I quit trying, it’s all about me now. Selfish is the way to go for sure.

  6. Pingback: Day Fifteen Of Shamelessness |

  7. Someone is *always* going to find something to comment on. Some of us just have better filters than others. There is no reason for anyone to comment on anyone else’s eating habits (friend to friend, family to family, that kind of thing is ok if it’s done is a respectful/healthy/joking manner), but it’s a pretty sensitive and personal thing for some. I eat, quite a bit, mostly healthfully but not completely. I go to the gym becasue I LIKE going, because it’s makes me feel good, not to lose weight. I am thin, good metabolism and luck. And if someone takes issue with that? That’s their problem and I don’t ever invite them to share that opinion with me.
    And please – if we’re sitting at the same table and I’m eating a salad and you have a double cheeseburger, super-sized fries and an extra large chocolate milkshake? Just shut your pie-hole abotu *my* food choices and thinness until you’re willing to deal with your own issues.

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