I’m so tired of skinny girls who don’t eat. Before any of you jump in to say that I’m a skinny girl, I’ve got some photographic evidence to support my claim that I’m not skinny at all.
So what started this rant is when I walked into the office kitchen yesterday to clean my dishes after finishing my meal of a salad, three beer pretzels, and a zero fat Yoplait yogurt–which I consider eating healthy. The skinniest girl in the office was making her lunch of a tiny cup of instant oatmeal. First of all, when I eat instant oatmeal (usually for breakfast), I always use a pack and a half because one pack is not enough food. Secondly, when I eat instant oatmeal, I’m always hungry again about an hour later. I could never eat it for lunch and not go crazy with hunger by 2pm.
Immediately, I’m feeling defensive. God, I think, these girls must think I’m a total pig. They must be looking at me, thinking, “I can’t believe she rides her bike so much and still carries all that weight.”
The second event that roused my anti-skinny girl anger was on a ride last night when one of my fellow female riders stated that she needed to ride up Everett Road to work off the lunch she ate because she rarely eats lunch (in other words, she was feeling guilty for having ate lunch). Immediately, I’m thinking about how I always eat lunch. In fact, call me a traditionalist, but I eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I have to. If I don’t eat, my mind turns to mush and the world spins out of control. I’m very bad at starving myself. In fact, despite the apple I ate before last night’s ride, my stomach was punching me with hunger pains as we rode the last stretch of our 23 mile route down Major Road. I was mentally kicking myself for not having grabbed a granola bar on my way out of the office.
I used to starve myself. In fact, just a few years ago, I was at an all-time low of 130lbs and I was working on getting down to 125. That was before I moved back here from Colorado. I fit into clothes that hadn’t fit me in years and though I still had a fat roll, I was looking a lot more trim, so much so that people were complimenting me on how great I looked. What was I doing? Well, first of all, I lost a lot of weight over the year after my husband died because I just couldn’t eat–the smell of food made me retch for weeks. So I probably lost a lot of weight there. By the time I started eating normally again, my stomach had probably shrunk a little.
During the period of time that I lived in Colorado, I always skipped breakfast. Or, rather, my breakfast consisted of a cup of coffee and a granola bar. For awhile, I used to just eat a bag of popcorn for lunch. I would eat a bowel of some vegetable for dinner. Eventually I moved back up to eating real food, but it was usually half the portion of whatever I ate, no matter how big or small that portion was. I rode the edge of hunger all the time, eating just enough to get the hunger pains to stop, but going no further. I suppose that’s the way you’re supposed to eat, but after awhile the feeling of being constantly hungry really wears me out.
I suspect that I put on the bulk of my weight in 2006 (after moving back to Ohio) when I worked for a company where I spent a lot of time in bars drinking with my co-workers after hours. I don’t think I’ve ever drank as much and as regularly as I did when I worked for that company. Before working at that company, I was pretty consistently exercising and I only splurged on eating once a week on Fridays when I would have pizza and beer at my cousin’s house for sci-fi night. But then I started going out of town every other week for work. Evenings were spent eating at restaurants and, of course, more drinking. I also went through the course of a relationship with a guy who smoked, which got me back into that habit. So I wasn’t at my healthiest.
I’m not sure I can blame all of the weight on that job, though, since it’s been two years and I think I’ve managed to gain even a little more weight despite all the miles I do on my bike. I’m probably maintaining my weight. I wouldn’t say that I eat a lot of bad food. Despite what I say about beer and wine drinking, I really don’t drink all that much. So I don’t understand what’s happening to my metabolism. But I do know that I have to eat three meals a day.
It’s hard to not feel jealous when I see some skinny chick with better self-control. I guess I wish I could eat tiny morsels of food and feel fulfilled. I’d love to be a skinny chick too. I marvel at skinny chicks who eat like I do or worse–eating normal meals and then eating cookies and ice cream on a whim. These skinny chicks I have no problem with, other than a slight jealousy that their metabolism allows them to eat at will without suffering consequences. That’s a lucky strike of genetics. I can grok that.
I rarely let myself eat ice cream, despite the fact that I love ice cream. The dessert I allow myself to have regularly is half a square off a chocolate bar, and I only allow myself to do that once or twice a week. I have whole candy bars given to me at Christmas still sitting my freezer. I have a bag of white chocolate Reese’s cups–my favorite–sitting in my cupboard at home, left overs from Halloween. It takes me a year to get through a bag like that. I have ice cream in my freezer left over from a party from last summer. I like having these things around to remind me of what I’m not eating. But it sucks when I’m having a sugar craving because I can’t stop myself from indulging.
I figure it’s genetics. None of the women in my family are skinny chicks. We’re all big-boned with pillow bellies (and I’m skinny among them maybe). I guess I should be happy that we don’t have huge butts–all our fat goes to our mid-section–but it sucks that I could never wear a bikini on a beach with pride. (I do, in fact, where two piece swimsuits, but I always wear a towel when out of the water–I don’t want to subject the grossness to the women who I know are looking at my blubbered belly and judging.)
I keep trying to just accept my body for the way it is. I’m not fat, I know that. But I’m not skinny either. And being skinny requires a level of deprivation that I just can no longer maintain if I want to function like a human being. At the same time, I can’t help but want to slap the skinny chicks who eat tiny pieces of food as their entire meal and wear size 0-7 jeans (I wear 10 or 12) and then tell me, while my mouth is full of a piece of cake from an office party, that they can’t have any because they are on a diet. Or they tell me they are too fat. No sympathy!
I know. I should probably count calories and see where I’m messing up. That seems like so much work and I suspect it would only encourage me to become more obsessive about food. Guys don’t seem to obsess about food (well, except my dad who has amazing will-power and looks great–he’s lighter than me, I’m sure). I guess I should just try to be more like a guy. Though, that sure doesn’t help attract guys. You can’t win to lose. Guys like women who eat normally, but they want to date women who look like super-models. It’s hard to compete in that world. If I want to get that kind of attention, I need to start eating oatmeal in a small styrophome cup for lunch, I guess.
After a day of skinny girl frustration, I ended up ordering the half-chicken dinner special at The Winking Lizard after the ride. But I only ate half of it and brought the rest home. So at least I’m making the effort to reduce my intake. Though, I did wash the meal down with one 22 oz Commodore Perry IPA beer…