Thursday, February 12, 2009

On size; and does it matter?

A while ago I was waiting for a bus. I wasn't feeling particularly wonderful as I'd had to go see my solicitor about the mess another solicitor made of my late father's will (it's a long story) , it was raining and I had the start of one of those colds that threaten to make your head block up so you can't think.
Anyway, while I was at the bus-stop I noticed a woman aged about fifty staring at me with a rather disapproving look on her face for some reason. I was wondering whether I had a pair of knickers stuck to my jeans via static from the dryer or a large smudge of chocolate somewhere about my person when she turned to her friend and in a 'whisper' loud enough for me to hear said "You know, that girl's far too skinny. She'd be much happier if she had a couple of burgers or pies inside her, don't you reckon?"
Normally I'd have said something to her along the lines of "I might be slimmer than you, but at least I can go out and not scare the horses" but what with the dark cloud of depression hanging over me I simply couldn't be arsed.
A year or so ago I was about eleven stone. At 5'7" that's not exactly skinny, and as I've always weighed about a stone more than any of my peers who were the same size and height as me, (why I don't know) I looked about ten stone.
I felt alright with myself, and apart from hating my stomach because it's never been as flat as I'd like, I wasn't worried except when I couldn't get into my favourite jeans.
Then over the last year or so I somehow lost over two stones.
How, I honestly do not know, and the only reason I can think of is that I've been walking a lot more as I can't afford to run my car. I've been checked out my the doctors and apart from an on-going Vitamin D deficiency, they can't find any reason for my weight loss either. Possible explanations are that it might be because I've been far more stressed and depressed than usual, the vitamin deficiency, or the arthritis that has decided to slowly start creeping around my body looking for places to stay.
At the lowest weight I was about eight and three quarter stones, and although I felt fine with it, a load of my friends informed me that I was looking far too skinny. I rarely look in mirrors but one day I saw a photo of me looking rather like Skeletor and I realized what they were on about so I quickly added a few more (and note the word more) cream cakes and pizzas into my diet.
I'm now up to about nine and a half stone and I'm very happy with my weight, thankyouverymuch, but it took my friends a lot of convincing that I am not anorexic and that I was eating, and eating as much as I could.
I just happen to be one of those people that can not physically eat a great deal in one go, and I find it hard to put on a lot of weight.
As I type this I can say 'hand on heart' that as soon as I've hit publish, I'm going downstairs to get me a fried eggy sarnie as I'm hungry, but that's all I'll be able to manage.

A few years ago I went out for lunch with a friend of mine who told me that she'd always had a problem with her weight, even though she hardly ate anything.
We decided on a brand name pizza chain place that does a buffet lunch to dine in, and after we'd settled at our table, went to grab our food.
My friend was literally twice the size of me.
She had three times the amount of food on her plate than I did.
She realized that she was kidding herself as to how much she was eating, and went on a diet that was tailor made for her by her GP.
Before, she'd been too overweight to get pregnant, but is now the proud mother of two happy little ankle-biters, so a happy ending for her.

But she had been happy with her weight, and her husband adored her whatever size she was.
So apart from the possible health issues, does it matter what size anybody is?

Only once have I worked in a place where someone's size has made it impossible for them to do the job and that was while I was working in a pub in London.
Although the pub was huge, the space behind the bar was not, and although the new bar maid came with all the necessary experience and so, she simply could not fit in the space, and neither I nor the other barman could get past her.
She cried when the boss gently told her that it wasn't working out, but because of her size, no-one else could do their job either.

Here's what I reckon. If you're happy within yourself and you're fit and healthy, it shouldn't really matter what size or shape you are. If anybody is not happy with how they look, then stop moaning about it and change it.
But for feck's sake, if you've got any derogatory remarks about someone else's appearance, keep them to yourself as the next person you might accuse of being too skinny could be me.
And trust me, I will have a lot to say in return.