“You’re Too Tiny”

January 8, 2008 at 2:16 am Leave a comment

“You know what your problem is, don’t you? You’re too tiny.” Wow! I never – in all my fat girl years – imagined I’d ever have someone say that to me. But it happened today.

Every day during my work week, I make several trips from the fourth floor of the building to the first floor where the cafeteria is located. I don’t buy any food or drink, but I do fill up on their hot water. I ride the elevator down, wave “hello” to the security guards as I go by, fill my travel mug in the cafeteria and take the stairs back up to my floor. I’m a stair-taking fanatic, but more about that in another post.

This afternoon, Buddy, the security guard on duty, and I talked a bit about how our days were going and what we were drinking. He was drinking iced tea; I told him I was on my way to fill up my mug with hot water for tea. I told him I liked iced tea but always drank hot tea because I am nearly always cold. He said, “You know what the solution is to that, don’t you?” I responded, “Wear more clothes?” He laughed, saying that would work, but then he patted his stomach, and said his solution was “more insulation”. He said, “You know what your problem is, don’t you? You’re too tiny.”

I couldn’t believe it. Even though I now wear a size 6, I still see myself as a “round” girl. Maybe not fat per se, but definitely “round”. I look in the mirror every day, sometimes multiple times a day, and I never once see a “tiny” girl. It’s inconceivable to me that someone could view me that way. It’s so inconceivable that, when he uttered the words, I had to stop myself from laughing.

I text my boyfriend about it, and he agreed that I was tiny but said a man should never say that to a woman. I asked why not. He said, “You think a man should tell a woman she needs more insulation?” Well, actually, yeah. I think it’s kind of cool.

I had thought it was just a nice exchange, a feather in my cap for the day, to be told I was too tiny. But, after texting about it with my BF, I realize there’s more to it than that. My perception of myself 114 pounds later remains somewhat skewed. This is not uncommon in people who’ve lost a lot of weight, but I am still surprised by it. I was a fat girl for so long that it’s completely absorbed into my identity. I almost cannot see myself any other way.

I have noticed, too, that current fat girls who were thin during their childhood and teen years often do not see themselves as fat. Their self-concept continues to be drawn from those early years, as does mine, even though today’s circumstances are different. In their case, I think that’s a good thing for the most part. Although it may keep them from getting healthy, it frequently means their self-esteem is intact and strong. Back in Skinny Jeans, a blog I read regularly, explores these types of body-related self-esteem issues quite a bit.

In my case, I need to adjust my self-image to the reality because the “round girl” vision holds me back.

Questions for you

  • How do you see yourself?
  • How do your friends or coworkers or strangers describe you?
  • Are the two visions in agreement?
  • If not, why do you think they are different?
  • And, if they aren’t in agreement, do you think that’s positive or negative?
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Entry filed under: self image. Tags: .

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