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…