I have a problem. It’s been an issue for a few years now and I don’t seem to be getting anywhere in trying to fix it. It’s something that I have difficulty sharing with my friends because to most people it is not a problem but a highly desirable state of affairs. And what could it possibly be, I hear you ask? I am too thin.
Now, before you all log off in disgust, let me say that being too thin is as legitimate problem as being overweight. It’s just that it’s not perceived to be. It’s true that most people have the converse difficulty and that it has famously been said that you can never be too thin. But I think we all know that that’s just not true.
I haven’t always been skinny. Until I had my children I was a good stone heavier than I am now. I had curves where you might expect to find them and I fretted perpetually about my weight just like everyone else.
With the birth of each child I lost a little bit of me. As I dropped my pregnancy pounds, I ended up smaller than I had been before I started. Then, about three years ago, my weight finally stabilized at something which is on only just on the borderline for a healthy weight for someone of my height. I was delighted. I was tiny. I could wear anything I liked and I could eat whatever I fancied. I was in a place that most women spend their whole life trying to find and it was great.
And I’m still there. My weight never fluctuates unless I’m under pressure ( when it plummits). But every so often I see a photo of myself caught unawares and it shocks me. I have been skinny for such a long time now that it is etched onto my self-image but captured in a still photograph rather than viewed in animation, it is clear to see that I was not built to be this thin.
So what’s the solution? Eat more. Simple. Well, no actually, it isn’t. I eat when I’m hungry and I seem to be so finely tuned that I am hungry only enough to sustain my current weight. But I could make myself eat more or more of the wrong kind of stuff and that, eventually, would have the desired effect.
But of course it’s far more complicated than that. I, like every other woman I know, am programmed to think thin is good. No matter that almost every rib shows even in repose, fret not that my face clearly requires some subcutaneous fat to maintain its smooth surface. Every instinct that I have screams at me that I must be mad to even consider gaining weight.
On my recent skiing trip, courtesy of three courses a night and the odd glass of vin chaud, I gained a few of pounds. I could see in the mirror how even this small amount improved matters. And I still weigh next to nothing. I could tip the scales at two and a half stones more and still not be overweight on the charts so there’s plenty of slack to go at. But already, despite what I hoped were my best endeavours, I can see my three pounds falling away.
So I resign myself to my predicament and stop talking about it for fear of upsetting all my friends. I will keep plugging away – trying to balance the arguments that go on in my head into some ordered and logical fashion. Some say I should just count my blessings. But is it a blessing? Really?