I was discussing a promised back massage with somebody recently, and she said I would be a good subject for massage study because my muscles and bones have nothing to cloak them. Everything is right there, in the open.
While meeting another person, I mentioned having high metabolism, and she looked me up and down and said "Yeah, I can tell" in this amazingly snarky voice. I felt so... I don't know. Ashamed. Small. Guilty for being skinny when everybody else is so worried about not being skinny.
These two little clips from my week are prompting me to finally write about my relationship with food and my body on here, something that I think I've subconsciously avoided so far. (Unless I didn't, in which case you get to read about it again! Damn my bad memory.) I'm not going to be all sad about it, because I'm not. But whenever people are talking about weight, I feel oddly left out. It's strange to have the opposite problem from the majority of other people.
Those of you who know me (which is most of you, although according to statcounter there may be a few wildcard readers out there. Hi!) know that I'm pretty skinny. To be exact, I'm 5'6" and I weigh about 105 pounds right now, which is slightly on the low side for me; usually, I weigh about 110. (Ironically, the "ideal woman" that you sometimes hear about is supposed to be 5'7" and 110. Also blond. Somehow, I don't think I'm what they have in mind when they say that.) I don't diet, and in fact I eat a ton most of the time because if I don't then I lose weight and it's really hard to gain it back. Or I get cranky and pissy and shaky and perhaps almost pass out. (A year and a half ago I started eating fish again after, following a week where I was constantly hungry no matter how much I ate, I almost bit it in the shower.) I carry trail mix with me everywhere I go. It's extremely lucky that I like to cook so much :)
All of this is fine, but it does put me at odds with most people. Whenever this comes up (and I try to bring it up sometimes because who wants their side of the story to go unrepresented?), somebody inevitably makes a comment about how they wish they had my "problem". Oooh, bitch-slap! No you don't. Culturally, it's far easier to be skinny that to be fat. I know that, and I feel guilty for having a weight problem that is actually coveted by others. (I responded to snarky girl by squeaking "Not on purpose!" She looked a little ashamed, like she'd just figured out that that was a little not nice.) But this is also a big pain in the ass. It's a lot of work to keep enough food around so that I can eat every two hours or whatever. I worry that people think I have an eating disorder. I worry about passing out mid-rehearsal because I can't get to a granola bar.
The thing is, I like my body. I don't know how others see me, but I'm happy with the way I look. (I could do without being able to see every freaking rib I have, but you can't have everything.) On the train the other day, I scribbled this in my notebook: "My body is lacking in artifice." Which is not maybe that profound, but it summed up how I feel pretty effectively. Nothing is hidden. My skeleton, my muscles, my tendons and veins are, to use a perhaps slightly icky term, on display. (I suspect I'm a bit of an exhibitionist at heart.) Maybe I feel this way because society has told me that I should like being viewed, or that I'm somehow automatically sexy because I'm skinny. Whatever. I own my body. We get along. As long as I don't forget the damn trail mix.