I want to have a chat with you. It’s going to be serious but it’s something I want to talk about. Bear with me because it’s awkward to write to you.
If you don’t know me in real life, I’m 6’2″. Most of my friends consider me tall… and most of them call me skinny. I’m used to being called a “stick” and told to eat more food when others are with me. If the people around me don’t blatantly tell me to eat more, they comment about how I don’t have much food.
I often assume this is because I’m a variation of vegetarian. My plate doesn’t usually have center piece or main food item to surround with sides. Most of my plate is usually vegetables with the occasional grain.
And because I don’t usually have any meat on my plate, I’m often asked where my protein is. Others just assume that I don’t get my daily amount of protein. This is a gripe vegetarians have had for years, and it could be it’s own post.
Over time, this has really weighed on me. I usually dismiss other’s negative opinions but it builds the more people say it and I felt the need to address it.
Here is a screenshot from the app “Up (by Jawbone)”. It’s where I keep track of what I eat on a semi-regular basis.
I originally started tracking my diet because people didn’t believe me when I told them I got enough protein. It was a way of validating that I actually do eat healthy. It also was a reference for my fitness – to keep fats in balance.
If you take a look at me-
Yes I am “skinny”. I weigh around 160 lbs. Which is pretty light for someone of my height. But as you saw above, I get all of my nutrients and food. According to the FDA’s daily recommendations, I’m meeting what I should. I’m slightly under my basal caloric rate but I haven’t finished eating for the day.
However, every inch of me is crawling to Photoshop this image of myself. Why? Because people constantly criticize me for being skinny, whether or not they realize it. It may be a compliment for you to be called skinny but when you’re skinny and you constantly hear it – it becomes an insult. People say it with almost a distaste, “oh you’re just bones”. Really? Is that flattering for you to say? Would you like people to call you a twig? What are twigs known for? Breaking in half – so thank you for that.
If you want to say that I’m looking good or sharp today, say that instead.
So the next time you’re eating next to a vegetarian, please don’t remark about our protein intake. We manage our own diets just like you do yours. If you want to flatter us, tell us we’re looking good.
Thank you for taking a minute to read – I’m sorry for ranting but I think that people don’t understand this. It’s frustrating to be constantly called something you don’t want to be called.
P.S. Thank you Cierra for all your bravery over the years, you are an inspiration to us all!