I’m pretty thin.
OK, I’m smaller than most.
Who am I kidding? I’m probably the skinniest man I’ve ever met – maybe.
Of course, being so thin, I’ve been on the receiving end of many skinny-themed remarks over the years.
I thought I’d heard them all…
I constantly find myself jumping over cracks in the pavement for fear of disappearing.
I wear armbands when I’m on the toilet so I don’t fall in and drown.
On a windy day, if you can’t find me, try looking up. I’m probably floating away.
I have an eating disorder.
I… Wait… What was that last one again?
I can’t decide what’s worse, the fact that someone would instinctively think I have an eating disorder from looking at me, or that this diagnosis has come from a builder-cum-lorry driver who clearly fancies his chances as a doctor-cum-physician.
You, sir, should stick to your day job.
For anyone who knows me, this will probably be hard to believe, but between 14-16 years old I was actually one of the tallest in my year group. Of course, there were always the few proverbial ‘bean poles’ that towered over the rest of us like, well, bean poles, obviously.
Still, I was still pretty tall for my age.
At 16 I weighed around nine stone (126lbs/57kg) and looked down on most at just under six-feet-tall. The point I’m trying to make is that I was happy with my height and general build.
As far as I was concerned I was growing into a man sausage (sounds well).
But I wasn’t; I wasn’t growing at all.
Now, at 24, I weigh around nine stone (126lbs/57kg) and still find myself looking down on most (children, midgets and people with no legs) at just under six-feet-tall. I am a man-child.
This confuses me. It’s not like I don’t eat. Actually, I eat regularly. I love my food.
What I don’t love is the pregnant sticky-out belly that I get when I’ve had one too many Nutri-Grain bars. I also don’t love how my parents buy me Nutri-Grain bars faster than I can eat them. I don’t even like Nutri-Grain bars. Buy me something useful – like armbands, for when I’m on the toilet.
So at 57kg, admittedly I’m underweight (and by some way according NHS guidance). Perhaps I haven’t managed my diet properly. Perhaps the NHS guidance was put together by a team of builder-cum-lorry drivers? Maybe not, but all I know is I’m fine. I feel fine. I feel healthy.
I do not suffer from an eating disorder.
However, eating disorder charity Beat predicts that over 1.6million people in the UK are affected by an eating disorder.
Naturally, I hear ‘eating disorder’ and immediately my mind skips to anorexia and bulimia. I’m sure I’m not on my own here – and rightly so, they are serious conditions after all. It is, however, also worth noting that there are other forms of eating disorder, such as binge eating disorder and EDNOS (eating disorder not otherwise specified). All just as serious as bulimia and anorexia.
In 2008 former deputy prime minister John Prescott revealed he had been living with bulimia, a revelation that engaged the media and raised awareness for eating disorders in men.
Fantastic. The media jump on the bandwagon; everyone’s excited about raised awareness for male eating disorders. But is anyone going to mention that it’s probably the media’s fault that many people believed only women were susceptible in the first place?
Do we not recall the relentless push for everyone to be size zero, and thus, about as attractive as the prospect of putting a toenail up your nose?
I guess I’m just a skinny sausage with a fat chip on my shoulder…
I remember doing a feature on this last year for the 7 o clock show – I learnt loads about it, I’m ashamed to admit that until then I hadn’t even considered that men could develop and suffer from an eating disorder.
Amazingly, you’re not on your own!
I would probably go as far as to say that sometimes I’m angered by the effects media can have on society. Sometimes.
This is definitely one of those times!
this is so true. mnedia put pressure on all people men and women alike
Strangely, we have a habit of forgiving the media that I’m quite uncomfortable with!
Good posts as always, keep it up.
Thanks Jordan 🙂
Stroppy sausage this has to be my favourite blog yet! Absolutely loved it. This definately made me giggle but it was nice to read about the more sensitive side to being a “skinny sausage”. Cant wait for more. 🙂
Glad you liked it! 🙂
I always seem to end up linking my blog entries to a current issue – It’s not intentional, although it is becoming habitual. Oops 🙂
I can so relate to this. I’m not exactly frugal with my meals, but it just doesn’t go anywhere. Oh well, good to see you getting the eating disorder issue out there, it gets ignored sometimes!
Tell me about it! I’m sure I have a hole somewhere in my body that I don’t know about… I eat and it just falls straight out of me.
On the bright side, it’s less weight for my little legs to carry around all day 😉
As it’s your birthday soon I’m going to buy you a massive pack of Nutri-Grain bars because I think they are your favourite thing ever 🙂
Good Blog and maybe my favourite picture (Y)
Go on, buy me nutri-grain bars… See what you get for Christmas! 😉
Great post again, a bit of humour but also tackling a real problem that is common among today’s youth.
I for one think it is about time that eating disorders amongst men is discussed more widely, especially as men still suffer the conditions that lead to it, or are a result of an eating disorder.
Thanks Danny! Good comment.
Completely agree. Eating disorders have NEVER been limited to just women and I find the fact that many thought so as rather sexest, but that’s just me.
Very insightful! Especially seen as eating disorders are usually brought about by media representations of glamorous men and women. Women usually because of the “male gaze” ideologies.
I’m skinny, under weight but perfectly healthy. Some people just have smaller frames naturally, no matter how much they eat.
Look forward to your next post
Nice to get the views of a fellow-skinny person! Maybe we should start a club!?
Glad you liked my post, don’t forget there’s plenty of links in there if you want to explore it further!
Another strop on its way shortly…
hey Hag, loving the blog as always!
that NHS guidance puts me at overweight/on the border of being obese! ok, i know i never have and never will be a skinny sausage myself, Im curvy, as you know, blessed in my cleavage, but obese?? really?? take it with a pinch of salt, yes i would like to lose an inch (or two!) here and there but generally im happy!
So a skinny sauage or a lumpy sausage 😉 be happy within your self 🙂 thats the message that should be put across in the media!
Lots of love Hannah