Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Weighing in

I'm a petite person. At 5 feet, 2 inches tall and 110 pounds at my heaviest, I am thin. I've always been skinny — some might say too skinny — but I attribute this to my genes and metabolism. And it's really not as great as you might think.

When I was younger, I could stuff myself silly and not put on any pounds. My family went on a cruise once, and I dedicated my days to eating as much as possible, only to find little impact at the end of the journey. I had hoped to gain some weight so that I might look more "normal." I hated it when people pointed on how skinny I was, as if I was starving myself on purpose to achieve my slight build. I hate it to this day because, years later, people still make these kinds of comments. Seriously, what can I do? Change my bone structure? It has always struck me as funny how some people think it's perfectly acceptable to tell someone that they're ridiculously thin, but they wouldn't dare tell someone else that they're too darned fat. Yes, some people actually do deprive themselves in order to maintain some sort of unnatural figure, but that was never the case for me. No matter how hard I tried, I honestly couldn't reach any level of average weight. It came to a point where I asked my pediatrician and a subsequent doctor how I could get heavier.

Now that I'm in my early 30s, I can't get away with unchecked eating in the same manner that I did when I was a kid. In my own proportional way, I do notice the effects of scarfing down unhealthy meals or overeating; it tends to linger around my mid-section, making it sort of round and doughy. There's no overwhelming change to my appearance, but this kind of subtle result is, in a way, more of a problem than your average person's weight gain issues. Weight gain is supposed to be your body's way of telling you that you need to exercise and/or change what or how much you're eating. When you have a freakish distortion of this indicator, you can become complacent. Paired with my dislike of physical activity, it's a bad combination. I freely admit that I'm out of shape. I know I don't exercise nearly as much as I should, and I have a penchant for junk food and snacking. When it comes right down to it, I have just as much difficulty finding the motivation to change my bad habits and increase my activity level as others might have trying to shed extra pounds and adjust their own lifestyles. I know I probably won't get much sympathy from those who constantly struggle with their weight, but I also know that being on the lighter end of the scale has its own difficulties.

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