Just Because I'm Skinny Doesn't Mean I Have an Eating Disorder

Rant 36

As soon as I saw my friend's eyes welling up with tears, I knew it was serious. We were sitting in a bar, finally having a girls' catch-up night. Lily (not her real name) is one of my best friends. We've known each other since college. "Can I ask you something?" she said. By the look on her face, I knew whatever was coming wasn't going to be, "Wanna get another round?" I told her she could, and then she almost burst out crying before asking, "Are you bulimic?" I nearly spit out my wine. It wasn't the first time I'd heard whispers and rumors that people "wondered" about my weight. But this was the first time it had come from someone who knew me so well. Let me explain ...

I've always been thin. As a kid, I was the same size as everyone. In high school, I was what they then called a size 4. It's now called a size 0. Trust me, the first time I tried on something and saw it labeled "size 0", I almost fell over. When did they come out with that?! How can a size be a zero?! Does that mean I no longer exist?

By the time I was in high school, I was probably skinnier than most, but I still didn't stand out too much. I wanted to be bigger -- I wanted big boobs, big hips, a big ass. But no amount of ice cream eating was bringing them on. By the time I was in my late 20s, I was beginning to gain more weight. Thank the metabolism, I guess, which slows as you get older. However, I didn't like it much. Most of the weight avoided the places I wanted -- and instead went straight to my stomach and face.

So I made a few dietary changes -- goodbye weekly French fries and pizza -- and began, for the first time in my life, to work out regularly. I figured if I didn't start then, by the time I got into my 30s and 40s, I was going to regret it.

Since then I've maintained the exact same weight I was in college. I can still fit into clothes from 20 years ago. I do nothing out of the ordinary other than eat sensibly and work out four times a week. For some people, this wouldn't be enough. For me, it is.

For others, it's a real problem. All around me, my friends are gaining weight rapidly -- and I'm not.

So my friend was suspicious. Combine this with the fact that I have the weakest bladder on the planet and go to the bathroom at least 10 times a day, and that I occasionally say things like, "I'm going to the gym tonight," and, well, I must be bulimic!

My friend wasn't trying to hurt my feelings. She was genuinely concerned. Very concerned. She'd actually been holding this suspicion inside for months and had finally gotten the nerve to ask me. Combine this with the one time that she saw me come out of the bathroom and my lipstick was apparently smeared -- and bulimia worries danced around her brain.

Since my friend thought this, it made me wonder how many other people think it, though, to be honest, I'm beyond the age where I care much what anyone thinks of me.

"Honestly, NO," I told my friend. The idea of ralphing up my meal disgusts me. Not to mention that bulimia leads to things like hair and tooth enamel loss, bad skin tone, and major health problems. HELLS no. I'd rather look chunky than bulimic. No offense to bulimics.

Have we, as a society, really gotten to the point where anyone under 125 pounds is accused of having an eating disorder? Anyway, I won't fault my friend for asking. I appreciate that she cared. But I'm NOT BULIMIC. Next question?

Has anyone ever thought you had a health issue when you don't?


Image via Kiri Blakeley

body image, diets, weight loss


To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

nonmember avatar blh

You're think but you certainly don't look bulimic to me. Society is just getting fatter. I'm 5'5 120 pounds and I'm not even skinny for real just average, and u don't work out and eat particularly healthy.

MyPic... MyPicketFence

I, too, get this frequently.  It started in middle school.  I don't work out to maintain my weight, but have never started to gain weight, either.  It is a little unfair that we get accused of things like this, but I am grateful that so far in my life I have not had to struggle with weight and the body issues that often accompany it.

Doomy234 Doomy234

Yeah, in the first half of middle school I still had my baby fat, then as soon as puberty hit BAM skinny as a twig. And it wasnt like a gradual loss either. It was like 10lb loss in a week kind of thing, which for a 13 year old isnt exactly a good thing. All my friends thought I had gone bulimic or that I had started using drugs like coke to lose it. It kinda hurt that they thought that. :-/

Silve... Silvernail

My dad asked me this the other week. I lost all my baby weight plus a couple more pounds so my cloths are all to loose, combine that with the fact that my sister had to be hospitalized from an eating disorder he was concerned. I've always been thin so those extra few pounds makes a big difference, I'm hoping one I'm done breastfeeding I'll gain just a little back so my jeans will fit again.

miche... micheledo

I had a teen I took on a college trip. She has always been very thin. She also happens to be a VERY picky eater. The college was featuring a different country in the dining hall each night. I strongly encouraged her t otry everything - simply because I thought it would be a good experience for her. The next day, some stranger walked u pto her and said he saw her at dinner,, and was so proud of her for eating! He encouraged her to keep eating food and not be concerned about her weight! We laughed so hard, later!

Florence Blantz

I guess this all the time too.  Sometimes people can be downright nasty.  I just want to scream sometimes at people and tell them just because I have some self-control doesn't make me anorexic.  I have to remind my family sometimes that my doctor says I'm at very low end of normal weight but not underweight.

.LoVe... .LoVeMyBuG.

I use to have a noisy neighbor and she would constantly say things in regard to my daughter being so skinny, because well I am not. She use to assume we must have been starving her or something because I was fat and my daughter was so thin. It really started to piss me off, so one day when she again brought it up I finally said "would you like to see a picture of my daughters BIRTH MOTHER?" as her whole biological family looks like skin and bones, we don't share the same DNA, therefore we do not resemble each other or have the same body type! She shut up and never said another word about it.

People need to mind thier own damn buisness.  

nonmember avatar Amy

Would your friend have confronted you if you had gained weight?

I am 5' 7.5" and 115lbs. People tell me all of the time that "You're too skinny," or "Eat a sandwich" or worse "You must be anorexic."

When I was overweight after the baby no one said to me, "Put down the cupcake" or "When are you going to lose the baby weight?" Sadly body acceptance only goes one way.

nonmember avatar Stacey

I'm 27 5'7 and a whole 109lbs..I eat more then most people i know and most of the time it's verrry unhealthy. When i got pregnant at 23 i gained 38lbs i'd give anything to get those pounds back. I'm hoping in my 30s i'm able to pack a good bit of weight on. They need a show for us skinny ppl "the biggest gainer"!!!

SuzyB... SuzyBarno

I was very thin in high school and while I did suffer from anorexia prior to this, I was healing and in the process of gaining weight. After graduation, I went to Disneyland with a few friends and we stopped to have dinner. The yummy clam chowder in the sourdough bread bowls, yum! And this guy came up to me and said that I was so thin that maybe I should eat his bread bowl too. He also said I looked like a 12 year old. He really hurt my feelings because I was already on the healing end of my severe anorexia. I have to say, just like some of the other posters have said, just mind your own business. Don't say something to someone that could potentially hurt their feelings. It could have an adverse affect. Now that I am 10 years down the road, married with 2 kids and at a healthy weight, I still get looks from my dad if I don't reach for a 2nd piece of pizza. Seriously, there is a huge difference between being anorexic and eating healthy.

1-10 of 36 comments 1234 Last